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Compare unlimited data phone deals

It’s not hard to get the best value out of your smartphone – most of us work them pretty hard – social media, watching TV, downloading music and online shopping. But getting the best value out of your contract can be quite another matter – just how much data do you need and is unlimited data really a great thing?

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What are unlimited data deals?

Is ‘unlimited’ actually what it says it is? Well, in truth that depends on your contract and what it says in the terms and conditions. In theory unlimited data means that you can use the internet on your mobile while you’re on the go and never have to worry about exceeding your data limit – and in turn avoiding a hefty extra charge.

In practice of course, the realities can be very different. You’ll be pleased to know though, that most of the time, unlimited data is exactly what it says but you should make yourself aware of any ‘fair usage’ policies that your provider has in place.

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But is it fair?

Fair usage policies basically protect your mobile services provider from misuse by customers. This means that even though your data allowance is ‘unlimited’ there may well be a cap to what you can use written somewhere in the T&Cs.

It’s not necessarily about purposely setting a ‘hidden’ cap on your data usage, it’s about making sure you’re not using your allowance in any dubious ways. The good news is that even if you’re a heavy mobile internet user, if you’re using your data allowance for regular, domestic use then you shouldn’t be affected. Your contract should clearly stipulate what fair usage is, so if you’ve got any doubts about how much you should be using, then double check or speak to your provider.

Are unlimited data deals good value for money?

That depends – if you use lots of data then of course, an unlimited data deal will offer you the best value for money. It means that you won’t get caught short and end up exceeding your allowance and in turn won’t be billed for any additional charges.

But if you don’t use a lot of data, or are in between medium and heavy usage then it might not always be the best choice of phone deal because you could be paying for a lot more than you actually need.

How much you do actually need - put your usage into context. You use ‘data’ every time you access the internet on your mobile, even just viewing a photo on your Facebook feed uses up data. The average customer uses about 1GB of data a month – this would let you do one of the below:

  • Send a million WhatsApp messages a month
  • Post 500 photos on social media
  • Send and receive 10,000 basic emails
  • Watch two hours of TV in standard definition and an hour in high definition
  • Make up to five hours of video calls

Plus, you’d still have enough data to download and read webpages and just over half an hour to play a game online.

So what’s the best unlimited data deal?

At comparethemarket.com, we make it our business to compare stuff, but rather than just throwing a whole load of deals at you, you can refine your search so you only see what you actually need. You can search from pay monthly unlimited data deals or if you prefer you can search by the number of minutes, texts or even by contract length. Whatever your data needs and whatever your budget, let us do the searching for you.