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Compare the Best Unlimited Data Plans

Looking for unlimited mobile phone data? We've made it simple to compare your options in UK. Find the unlimited plan that's best for you.

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Unlimited Data Plans Explained

If you use your phone often, there’s a good chance that data makes up a substantial portion of your tariff.

With everything available on today’s smartphones, it’s shockingly easy to burn through gigabytes of data at a time.

Unlimited plans are aimed at people who want to eliminate the hassle of keeping track of data and avoid data overage charges every month.

But are they truly unlimited? Think unlimited plans sound too good to be true? We’ll answer these questions and more.

1. Are Unlimited Data Plans Actually Unlimited?

Yes and no…

Most unlimited data plans still have a cap on how much data you can use.

However, different networks enforce this in different ways.

Some pay little attention to data use, some only slow down your data speeds during heavy traffic periods, and others follow their terms to the letter.

But we want to be clear about one thing...

When networks say they’ll slow down your connection, they’re not kidding.

Many will slow them down to the point that they are useless for anything more than basic web browsing, checking your email, and using messaging apps or basic games.

What networks really mean by unlimited is that you won’t be charged if you go over your data. And even this isn’t always the case.

But we don’t think having 50GB of data at useful speeds followed by all-you-can-use dial-up in your pocket is really that unlimited.

Still, most unlimited data plans feature caps which rival most of the largest metered data plans out there. They’re often priced lower than metered data plans too.

So even if they’re not truly unlimited, they’re still likely a good value -- as long as you use a lot of data.

2. Do I Need an Unlimited Plan?

As we use our mobiles for more and more things, data use continues to creep higher.

If any of the following apply to you, there’s a good chance you could benefit from -- and maybe even save some money with -- an unlimited data plan.

Reasons to Consider an Unlimited Plan:

  • You travel often for work or work on the go
  • You like to stream video or high-quality music
  • You like to play games -- especially multiplayer or graphics-intensive ones
  • You’re not near Wi-Fi often
  • You have weak or slow Internet at your home or office

Figuring out how much data you need is the best way to judge if you need an unlimited plan.

Already have a mobile plan? Compare how the unlimited plan compares to your existing data allotment.

You can also average the data used on your last few tariffs and consider if you’d like to use your data more than you do. If the unlimited plan is bigger, and you’d use more data if you could, then it’s likely a good fit for you.

3. Are There Any Alternatives to Unlimited Plans?

Yes. Unlimited plans are not the only way to enjoy more data without expensive overages every month.

In most cases, alternatives fall into one of two categories:

  • Zero-rate plans
  • Plans with large data buckets

Zero-rate plans allow you to use specific services (such as Netflix, Spotify, social media apps, or a network-owned streaming service) without it counting toward your data. 

So if the services you can use for free line up with what you typically use, these can be just as good as an unlimited plan.

Plans with larger data buckets aren’t ideal -- but they’re better than paying for data overages month after month or dealing with throttled speeds if you hit your unlimited plan cap. 

Plans with the highest data allotments are often more expensive than unlimited plans. However, if an unlimited plan has a cap below what you need, they might offer more options to keep your data running snappy.

4. What is the Best Unlimited Plan Available in the UK?

The answer to this will vary based on your exact needs and how you use your mobile.

However, for most people, the following plans and SIMs offer a great balance of features and cost:

5. Can I Tether with my Unlimited Plan to Share it With Other Devices?

Networks treat tethering in a variety of ways.

Some plans allow tethering with no restrictions. However, most only allow you to use a certain amount of tethered data or throttle tethered data speeds to prevent abuse.

If tethering is important to you, be sure to check the terms on the unlimited plan you are considering.

6. Are There Multi-Line or Family Unlimited Plans?

Most unlimited plans are for single lines of service.

However, if you have kids that frequently go over their data allotments or you have plans with large data buckets, you might find that the unlimited data on separate lines is still cheaper as most networks price their unlimited plans as attractive alternatives to large data plans.

7. Are There Prepaid Unlimited Plans?

Yes! Many prepaid/PAYG providers now offer a basic unlimited plan. This means you’ll pay a flat fee every month and, since it’s prepaid, you can often skip the credit check unless you need to finance a mobile to go with your service.

8. How Do Unlimited Plans Impact Roaming?

For domestic roaming, you’ll likely need to use data on your primary network most of the time.

Many unlimited plans include terms which allow networks to throttle your speeds or even terminate your plan if you use excessive data on a partner network regularly.

If you’re travelling abroad, you’ll typically still pay standard roaming rates.

So be careful and call your network to confirm before heading off on your next adventure to avoid any nasty surprises when the bill rolls in.

9. What About Data-Only Unlimited Plans?

Options are nearly non-existent as most unlimited plans also include unlimited calling and texts.

However, you might find your network offers data-only plans with large allotments.

Just keep in mind that many tablets and laptops will use significantly more data than a phone would. So even those larger data allotments might not work as well as you think.

For many, it might be a better fit to find an unlimited plan that allows tethering instead.

Then you can enjoy unlimited data on your mobile and use its data on your tablet, laptop, or other devices.

Just remember to check the tethering terms on the unlimited plans you’re considering to avoid any issues.

10. Why Do I Still Have Data Charges with an Unlimited Plan?

Some unlimited plans still have a cap on the amount of data you can use at a particular speed or during specific times. While most simply throttle speeds once you reach the cap, some plans charge for additional data.

Always check the terms when signing up.

If you’ve travelled recently or are on the border of two networks, you might find yourself with surprise charges.

Using a partner network more than your primary network can cause added fees. Also, most unlimited plans do not include international roaming outside of the EU.

11. How Can I Make the Most of My Unlimited Plan?

While unlimited plans offer greater freedom than most plans with a set data allotment, it’s still important to keep an eye on your data usage to avoid throttled speeds.

Minimizing data usage can help to avoid running into your “unlimited” data cap and might even save you some battery life.

Common ways to reduce data usage include:

  • Download music or video while on Wi-Fi to view later in offline mode when you’re on the go
  • Disable data-hungry apps running in the background
  • Limit your mobile gaming while away from Wi-Fi
  • Ensure cloud storage and app updates only run on Wi-Fi.

For help on how to optimize your mobile and app settings and other tips to help stretch your unlimited plan further, check out our guides on reducing data usage and finding free Wi-Fi in your area.


If you’re even looking for information on unlimited mobile data plans, there’s a good chance you could use them to save money and make your monthly bills more predictable.

However, most plans are not truly unlimited.

So, depending on the options available with your favourite carrier, plans with large data allotments might be a better alternative.

Regardless of the plan you choose, be sure to read all terms and conditions.

If a plan sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Also, just because you have unlimited data doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to save data where possible.

Downloading files and using free public Wi-Fi are excellent ways to make your “unlimited” data spread that much further.

Finally, like any other cell phone plan, you’ll want to compare your options before agreeing to anything.

Promotions and deals can turn up surprising savings. Prices and features between networks often differ as well -- even on unlimited data plans.