We all know that feeling. You’re on the go, and you can’t get WiFi. Maybe your phone’s hotspot isn’t working, the train’s WiFi isn’t strong enough, or you’re simply out of data.
It’s enough to drive you mad!
In our increasingly connected world, we need the ability to get online from anywhere. And that’s where MiFi comes in. MiFi – a mobile WiFi device – can help you stay connected wherever you are.
I’ve rounded up the best MiFi deals in the UK, so you can shop with confidence for a device to keep you connected.
Best MiFi Deals
Of all the MiFi devices available for sale in the UK, I’ve found five to be the best on the market. I’ll dive deeper into each option and give you the details on deals, packages, pros, and cons.
Here are the five best MiFi deals available right now.
1. EE 4GEE WiFi Mini
EE’s 4GEE WiFi Mini is the most compact device on my list and delivers excellent connectivity.
You can connect up to 64 devices, making this an ideal WiFi extender or supplement at home. The 4GEE can boost your WiFi speeds if you’re in a slow-speed area, as well. With a LAN port included, this device allows you to connect directly to gaming devices like XBOX or Playstation.
The 4GEE has an excellent WiFi range of up to 30 meters, so you can get your entire home connected. Plus, the speeds can exceed fibre broadband.
While their unlimited plan is a little pricey, you can find good deals for various data plans, including their most popular for 10GB per month. You can change your plan at any time if you realize you need more or less data than you’re currently using. I love the flexibility of this option.
- 30m WiFi range
- Extremely compact at 92mm x 62.5mm
- High-speed connection
- Connect up to 64 devices
- Plans can be pretty pricey
2. O2 Huawei 4G Pocket Hotspot 2020
The O2 Huawei 4G Pocket Hotspot 2020 is an excellent MiFi option that is affordable, portable, and easy to use. To begin, I like the look of it. It has a polished, all-white design with a simple display.
They call it the Pocket Hotspot, and it fits the name because it’s small enough to put in your pocket. Don’t have any pockets? No problem. It also has a handy lanyard hole that makes carrying it around easy.
It’s also super easy to connect to this device because it uses the Wi-Fi® Protected Setup (WPS) feature. You don’t have to worry about memorising long passwords. All you have to do is select WPS on the device you’re trying to connect and then push the WPS button on the Pocket Hotspot.
Data plans for this MiFi device are as flexible as you may need them to be. Pre-built plans offer 15, 50, and 150 GB data options for affordable monthly prices, or you can customise your plan based on what you need. They even let you pay as you go, so it's a great option if you only need a mobile hotspot for a set period.
The Pocket Hotspot lasts for up to six hours on one charge, so it’s great for watching movies and playing games. But it may not be ideal if you need WiFi for an eight-hour workday. However, you can connect up to 16 devices, so feel free to share the connectivity with family and friends.
- Plans customised for the individual
- Great connectivity on the Huawei O2 network
- Six-hour battery life
- Up to 350 hours of standby time
- Up to 16 devices supported
- Small, portable, and easy-to-carry device
- Only works in the UK
- Does not support a 5G signal
3. Three Huawei 4G Plus MiFi
This sleek little device gives you a ton of bang for your buck.
For a relatively low monthly price, you can connect up to ten devices to high-speed internet. It’s an excellent option for a family plan and can be used for gaming, streaming, messaging, and more.
It’s not the smallest device available, but it’s close. The design is super compact, and the matte black finish is a nice touch. It also has up to six hours of battery life while operating and 350 hours on standby.
You can choose from various data plans, including a great deal for six months at half price for their unlimited plan. Huawei gets excellent coverage, so you’ll rarely find a spot where you can get connected.
However, the WiFi signal on the device may have trouble with large areas.
- Lightweight, sleek design
- Great network connectivity
- Good battery life
- Connect up to ten devices
- Deals available
- WiFi signal doesn’t extend far
- Does not work for travel in the United States and Canada
4. Vodafone R219 MiFi Device
Vodafone’s R219 device delivers excellent speeds and reasonable prices for a mobile hotspot. This model will give you super-fast download and streaming speeds and works well over a relatively large range.
The model is comparable to the Huawei above from Three. You can connect up to ten devices, and it has a similar battery life of six hours in use and 350 on standby. However, it’s slightly more compact, and the WiFi signal tends to be a bit stronger – two significant benefits.
The one drawback is that the Vodafone plans tend to involve an up-front cost and higher monthly payments for the data plans. However, you might decide that the higher reliability is worth it.
They offer a wide range of data plans, so you can find a deal that’s right for you.
- High-speed connection for streaming and downloads
- Connect up to ten devices
- Good battery life
- Strong network
- Upfront cost and somewhat pricey data plans
5. Three 4G Hub
This device isn’t technically a MiFi device – it’s a WiFi router. However, it’s an incredibly portable version that you can set up on your own without bringing an engineer to your flat.
You’ll need to be able to connect to power since it isn’t battery-operated, but other than that, it works great as a mobile router.
You can connect up to 64 devices and get speeds of up to 100 MB. You can also plug in your computers, XBOX/Playstation, or other devices directly for a highly reliable connection. The router is also relatively compact at 180mm x 170mm.
Payment plans include a very affordable yearlong contract or a more expensive month-to-month plan. Additionally, if you have 5G hooked up in your area, you can look at Three’s 5G Hub for a slightly higher monthly cost.
- Reliable WiFi connectivity
- Plug-and-play design with no expert assembly
- Connects up to 64 devices
- Unlimited data
- Offers month-to-month or yearly contract
- Requires mains electricity connection
What Is MiFi?
MiFi is a device that allows you to connect to the internet anywhere you are. Think of them like devices that function just like a hotspot on your phone, turning data into a WiFi signal—or like your router at home, but portable.
Technically the term “MiFi” is a brand name owned in the UK by Hutchison 3G. However, in online slang, MiFi simply refers to these portable internet devices.
Most MiFi devices use battery power, so you can use them on trains, in coffee shops, or anywhere else you might have trouble connecting to power. They have varying degrees of internet strength, speed and various plans according to the data you want.
How Does MiFi Work?
MiFi works similarly to your broadband router at home. Standard broadband routers connect via an ethernet cord to a cable, phone, or fibre connection in your wall, and they then send a wireless signal throughout your home.
MiFi devices do the same thing, but instead of connecting to a phone or fibre line, they connect to 3G, 4G, or 5G cellular data networks. That’s why they work without needing a cable to connect. You can use them anywhere you get a mobile network connection.
MiFi hotspots create what’s called an “ad hoc network” of your nearby devices. As your devices connect, you create a mini LAN (Local Area Network). Usually, you can connect around ten devices at a time, though some MiFi devices can exceed that.
Do I Need MiFi Broadband?
None of us wants to lose our connectivity. Hitting a dead zone can mean losing out on work, gaming, or even watching your favourite show.
However, not everyone needs to be connected while they’re on the go. Here are a few different reasons someone may want to consider purchasing a MiFi device.
- You travel regularly. If you travel for work or pleasure regularly, having a portable hotspot can save you tons of time and frustration. No matter where you are or what delays you experience, you can fire up your MiFi device and be instantly connected.
- You have several devices that you need to connect wherever you are. If you need more than just your phone to connect to the internet while you’re on the go, you should consider a MiFi device.
- You use a lot of data when you’re not at home. If your cellular plan doesn’t include unlimited data, you may find that you’re running above your monthly limit. Paying for a MiFi device can help cover that.
- You need to boost your internet speeds at home. If you live in an area with a slow internet connection, a MiFi device can help boost speeds at home.
4G MiFi Data Speeds
As of 2021, 5G is operable in the UK’s main cities and some smaller to mid-sized towns. However, many of us still rely on 4G devices or live and travel in areas without 5G.
5G speeds are nearly four times faster than 4G – but many of us won’t notice the difference in our day to day internet use. MiFi devices operating on a 4G network are increasing our speed capabilities.
The first generations of MiFi devices could typically provide speeds up to 25Mbps. But with 4G, some MiFi devices, like the ones above, can get considerably faster download speeds – up to 150Mbps depending on your area.
4G is available almost everywhere in the UK, no matter how deep in the country you are.
How to Choose the Best MiFi Deal
Let’s dig a little deeper into how to find the best deal for your needs. We’ll explore contracts, data needs, costs, provider reliability, and various discounts.
MiFi Contracts Explained: Can You Pay as You Go?
While payment plans depend on the contract you choose, each of the major UK network providers – Vodafone, Three, EE, and O2 – provide pay-as-you-go options.
Usually, a pay-as-you-go plan will be billed monthly, with the option to opt out each new month.
Users can typically receive discounts if they opt for an annual contract. You can often choose from a 12-month or a 24-month contract. These contracts allow you to find more affordable options as monthly contracts can be expensive.
How Much MiFi Data Do I Need?
How much data you need depends on what type of internet user you are.
If you’re always online with multiple devices or plan to use your MiFi data to stream videos or games, you’re going to need a lot of data.
If you only plan to use your MiFi device for work emails or messaging, web browsing, etc., then you probably don’t need as much.
Most providers offer contracts where you can easily change your data plan midway through the contract if you find you misestimated your data use. For example, EE’s 4GEE WiFi Mini allows you to switch data plans at any time.
What Are the Best MiFi Providers?
In the UK, the four largest network providers are the best MiFi providers as well. Vodafone, Three, EE, and O2 all have excellent options with various data and payment plans.
Since they are the most extensive network providers, their MiFi devices have the strongest signals, fastest speeds, and most reliable coverage. O2 has the only 5G-enabled MiFi device on the market.
Let’s compare the four network providers for their MiFi options.
- EE: EE has the most extensive and most reliable network coverage. Their MiFi device, reviewed above, offers excellent signal strength and speed for up to 64 devices. While you’ll pay a bit more upfront, EE is perfect if you need reliable signal strength for several devices.
- Vodafone: Vodafone is another very reliable company. Their MiFi plans offer a lot of flexibility but will be more expensive than Three. If you live in an area with strong Vodafone coverage or want a strong signal throughout a larger area, you might consider Vodafone.
- O2: O2 is the only network provider with a 5G-enabled MiFi device. If lightning-fast speeds are your thing, you should go with O2’s device. They offer a variety of data plans but are pricier than Three.
- Three: Three has the cheapest MiFi plans on the market. Three is probably the best option if you’re looking for a simple mobile hotspot to carry with you for work and other simple tasks.
In my list above, I’ve sourced the best device from each of these four network providers.
How Much Does MiFi Cost?
To use MiFi, you’ll have to pay for the device and then a recurring fee for a specific data plan. The total cost depends on how much data you choose, how long your contract is, and what promotions are running at the time.
I’ve currently found the best deal is Three’s Huawei 4G Plus, listed as my number one pick above. While the connection isn’t as strong as others on the list, you can get an unlimited plan for as low as £22 per month. They’re currently running a promotion for half off the first six months, as well.
Again, look for seasonal promotions for great deals on MiFi devices and plans. Three offers the best rates, though they don’t have as consistent coverage as EE and Vodafone or the speeds of O2.
4G MiFi vs 5G MiFi Deals
As explained above, O2 is the only provider that currently sells a 5G-enabled MiFi device.
5G is becoming more and more available across the country. Every major city has 5G, and many smaller towns and villages are as well. However, if you live or travel to more remote or rural areas, 4G is likely the only speed available.
4G has excellent speeds that are sufficient for all everyday uses, with speeds up to 150Mbps. 5G speeds can work up to four times faster, but that change won’t make a huge difference for most users – even in streaming or downloading.
For MiFi, O2 does offer a 5G device. If you live in a major city, it might be worth getting their device for gaming and high-speed streaming.
If you live outside of a major city, the 5G connection will be more unreliable. While O2’s device will automatically click over to 4G, it’s not worth the extra cost if you aren’t going to maximize 5G use.
Alternatives to MiFi Devices
If you’re looking for something other than a MiFi device, you have two primary options: a regular broadband router or a dongle.
- Dongle - A dongle is a small device that plugs into your computer and works as a WiFi modem. The device looks like a small flash drive and can connect to 3G or 4G broadband. The only downside is that it only connects one device at a time.
- 4G and 5G Router - 4G and 5G routers are just like a regular WiFi router, except they use 4G or 5G data to connect rather than broadband. You’ll have to plug them into mains electricity, and they’re larger and less portable than a MiFi device.
Dongles are a great option if you only need portable WiFi for your laptop, and they are much cheaper than a MiFi device.
4G and 5G routers are ideal if you need a stronger signal for multiple devices than your MiFi device offers and if you don’t need the extra mobility.
Frequently Asked Questions
Now that I’ve covered all the basics about the best MiFi deals in the UK let’s get into a few frequently asked questions from consumers.
Can I get unlimited data?
Yes! You’ll typically have to pay for the most expensive plan to access unlimited data, though, so consider if it’s what you need. Since MiFi devices are usually not our primary internet connection, many of us will only need limited data plans.
A great way to reduce the cost of unlimited data is to pay for a 12-month or a 24-month plan. Going month to month usually involves a pretty high price for unlimited data.
However, for some people, an unlimited plan is going to be necessary. For example, you may need unlimited data if your job requires you to do a lot of streaming on the go or if you need to connect multiple devices and be online all the time.
Is MiFi as good as WiFi?
The answer is that it depends. It depends on the signal strength of 4G or 5G in your area and how good your broadband connection is.
However, MiFi can often be better than WiFi! If you’re in an area with spotty or slow broadband connection but good cellular coverage, a MiFi device is going to be a much more reliable source of connectivity.
As you consider whether a MiFi device is suitable for you, research the network coverage in the places you expect to use the device most.
Another essential consideration is signal strength. MiFi devices typically have weaker signal strength than your at-home broadband router. If you want the MiFi device to work throughout your home or work through walls, you might have some trouble.
The best option for this is a home hub like Three’s 4G or 5G hubs or the Vodafone option above, which has a considerably strong signal for MiFi.