Mobile broadband is becoming a competitive market as providers strive to better each others deals and services. In this article we look at the Vodafone TopUp and Go mobile broadband service.
Many people don’t want to be tied into contracts for their mobile broadband services, particularly if they only need mobile broadband access infrequently. Pay as you go services in which there are no contractual commitments could well be the answer for these customers.
The Vodafone TopUp and Go service allows you to purchase 2GB of bandwidth for £15. Each top up lasts for thirty days and then expires, which is a point that we will discuss later in this article. In addition to the top up costs, there is a one off cost of £15 to buy the stylish USB modem that comes in white, pink and blue.
So to get started with Vodafone TopUp costs an initial £25, which allows you to go online for thirty days as long as you don’t use all your 2GB bandwidth. If you want to extend your access after thirty days then you have to pay another £15 for another bandwidth top up.
This sounds great in theory, but as each bandwidth top up only lasts for thirty days and any unused bandwidth cannot be carried forward, infrequent users could actually be paying quite a lot for their mobile broadband access. Those requiring frequent mobile access or use more bandwidth should really consider a contract as this would be more cost effective over time.
Vodafone mobile broadband performance
Although other providers such as Orange, O2 and Three are constantly upgrading their mobile data networks, we believe that Vodafone still have the best coverage throughout the UK, particularly in outlying rural areas.
Travellers visiting rural areas in Norfolk, Scotland and Cornwall for example, are more likely to receive some connectivity with Vodafone than with the other networks, in our opinion.
Even though we don’t like the expiration of the bandwidth top ups, it may be worth paying for the Vodafone service just for their better coverage.
You can achieve download speeds of up to 3.6Mbps when there is suitable signal strength. If you are travelling, on a train, for example, then the access automatically switches to a GPRS bandwidth, if available, or terminates the connection if no signal can be found.
Overall we found that the Vodafone mobile broadband gives good connectivity, download speeds and handles fluctuating signal strengths very well. This is a strength of the product, in our opinion.
Ease of use
This is a very easy service to use. You plug the modem into a USB port on your laptop and then call management software is automatically installed on your computer.
It is no exaggeration to say that you can be online within five minutes. Connecting to the Internet is simple and straightforward and you can see signal strength and details about your connection speeds and download amounts very easily.
For our own use, we have always chosen Vodafone mobile broadband. This is because Vodafone still have the best coverage in the UK and seem to offer the best signal strengths in out of the way places.
We don’t like the way in which the bandwidth top ups expire after 30 days and would recommend people look at the other providers if they don’t need the better network coverage offered by Vodafone.
All in all, though, the Vodafone TopUp mobile broadband product is recommended and this is why we use it ourselves.