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10 best data SIMs for iPads and tablets in February 2017

Monday, February 13th 2017

When it comes to getting your tablet or iPad online at home or in a café, wi-fi is great, but what happens when you’re away from a wi-fi signal? That’s where a 3G or 4G SIM-only data plan comes in handy.

There's a wide variety to choose from, with data allowances ranging from 500MB for light users up to 20GB and more for those who want to stream and surf without constraint. Here are 10 of the best SIM-only deals on the market right now.

1
giffgaff 1GB gigabag

giffgaff

1GB gigabag

  • Data1GB
  • Contract length30 days
  • Monthly cost£7.50

If you are just looking for something to fill in the gaps between wi-fi coverage, then giffgaff offer two straightforward plans on the lower end of the scale. This is the bigger option - 1GB of data - but you can also go for just 500MB of data for £5 a month.

Subject to coverage, giffgaff offers 4G as standard and both its plans are on one-month contracts. Giffgaff runs on O2 and you can check giffgaff's coveragein your area here.

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2
Virgin Mobile SIM-only

Virgin Mobile

2GB Tablet 4G SIM only

  • Data2GB
  • Contract length30 days
  • Monthly cost£8

This SIM-only tablet deal is one of the mid-level plans on offer from Virgin Mobile and represents great value. The 2GB allowance is great for light users who don’t want to run the risk of going over the limit. For an extra £4 per month you can choose to get the 5GB plan.

Virgin's data SIMs can also be used in dongles and other wi-fi devices. Plus, you can use WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger for free with Virgin Mobile without using any of your data.

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3
EE SIM-only

EE

16GB 4G Mobile Broadband

  • Data16GB
  • Contract length12 months
  • Monthly cost£23

We enter the high-speed mobile internet realms of 4G with this SIM-only tablet plan from EE. With 4G, you can download, browse, and stream music and video faster than on the slower 3G connections.

EE offers the most extensive 4G coverage in the UK, but it still isn’t available everywhere. To see if you’re covered, you can use the checker on its website.

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4
iD Mobile

iD Mobile

5GB data-only plan

  • Data5GB
  • Contract length30 days
  • Monthly cost£15

Renowned for its well-priced phone SIM deals, iD Mobile also offers a good selection of data-only SIM deals, including this 5GB tablet plan.

All iD's data-only sim deals are on a one-month contract, so you can chop and change each month until you find the package that's right for you. Keep an eye on your data usage each month so that you get the best value for money. 5GB is a generous allowance, but it all depends on how much you intend to use your tablet away from a wi-fi connection.

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5
Three SIM-only

Three

Broadband 5GB One month

  • Data5GB
  • Contract lengthOne month
  • Monthly cost£15

Another good and cheap SIM-only deal for average internet users, Three’s 5GB allowance will comfortably enable you to browse the web when you’re away from a wi-fi signal, including moderate amounts of downloading and streaming.

If you go over your data limit you’ll be charged 1p per megabyte. It’s best to keep an eye on your usage with this plan to avoid any unnecessary charges at the end of the month.

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6
iD Mobile

iD

500MB DataOnly SIM

  • Data500MB
  • Contract lengthOne-month
  • Monthly cost£5

If you're looking for budget-friendly data plans you may want to consider iD. This plan comes on a one-month contract with 500MB of data, which is enough for occasional browsing, emailing and social networking when you are away from your home wi-fi connection.

If the allowance isn't enough for you, iD also offers DataOnly plans with up to 15GB data. However, make sure you check iD’s coverage in your area before purchasing your plan.

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7
Virgin Mobile

Virgin Mobile

10GB 4G Tablet SIM

  • Data10GB
  • Contract length30 days
  • Monthly cost£20

Virgin Mobile offers three SIM-only tablet deals on 4G, of which this is the most expensive. This SIM plan comes with 10GB data for £20 per month. This allowance is ideal for anyone wanting to download and stream video when they're out and about and is the most data that Virgin offers for a tablet SIM.

All Virgin's tablet SIMs are for one month only, with the option to carry it on if you want to. If you don't use up your data by the end of the month you will lose it - you cannot roll it over - but the flexibility to change plan compensates for this.

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8
Three SIM-only

Three

Broadband 15GB 12 months

  • Data15GB
  • Contract length12 months
  • Monthly cost£18

The huge 15GB allowance included in this plan will keep even the most internet-hungry tablet user online for the whole month. Another boon is the free upgrade to Three’s 4G network when the rollout reaches your area.

If you somehow manage to use up all 15GB of data, you’ll be paying 10.2p per extra megabyte. You can also send text messages on this plan for 10.2p per UK text if you’ve gone down the phablet route.

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9
iD Mobile

iD

15GB DataOnly SIM

  • Data15GB
  • Contract lengthOne month
  • Monthly cost£25

All iD’s data-only SIMs are compatible with the Huawei 4G MiFi device, which is a small device that projects a local wi-fi connection, enabling several devices to connect to the web and is available to purchase from iD.

iD’s 4G coverage is still limited, so make sure you use its coverage checker to see if it is available in your area before you commit to buy.

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10
EE SIM-only

EE

32GB 4GEE Extra Mobile Broadband

  • Data32GB
  • Contract length30 days
  • Monthly cost£29

EE’s 4GEE Extra is a boosted version of its 4G network, providing even faster download speeds in a limited area. The 32GB data allowance should be more than enough for those who want to browse the net all day long, as well as stream TV programmes and movies.

Again, the main drawback with EE’s 4G plans is the limited coverage. Be sure to check coverage in your area before you decide to purchase one of the provider’s tablet SIMs.

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Not found what you’re looking for?

We update our top ten tables every month to reflect the latest deals, but that doesn’t mean these will always be the right deal for you. If you’re still looking, take a look at our comparison services for alternative options. Just click the link below to zip over to our impartial comparison tables and see what you can find.

Compare cheap SIM-only tablet deals

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