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VOXI vs giffgaff: which has the better network and benefits?

VOXI vs giffgaff header

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We look at whether you get better 5G/4G coverage speeds and benefits with giffgaff or VOXI on SIM only and phone contracts. Last updated: 23rd November 2022.

Mobile networks: VOXI vs giffgaff

Do VOXI or giffgaff provide better coverage?

We compare their 3G/4G/5G networks

Signal mast with giffgaff and VOXI logos

They’re both close when it comes to 2G/3G/4G coverage

High speed network by Vodafone banner

What this means...

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giffgaff and VOXI are both small providers set up by main UK networks to draw in those customers looking for cheaper deals. giffgaff were set up by O2 while VOXI were set up by Vodafone. Both providers use their host’s network for signal.

There's not really much to split their coverage for calls. As a percentage of the country's landmass covered, VOXI and giffgaff are similar (although that doesn't mean all the same places).

In more urban areas you’ll probably not notice much difference in either networks’ 4G coverage (see 5G below). However, VOXI’s 4G coverage is generally very slightly better than giffgaff’s in rural areas.

The best thing to do before buying is to check their official maps to see which has better signal in your area. Check everywhere you expect to need your phone for calls, whether that be at home, at work, or on your commute.

Useful link: giffgaff's about us page

giffgaff have 5G live in more places

5G on giffgaff available now banner

Read announcement

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giffgaff and VOXI have offered access to their hosts’ 5G networks for quite a while now. And there are enough users on 5G nowadays to have enough data to say which network provides a stronger 5G experience.

On giffgaff, you’ll currently get 5G in these 190+ locations, while VOXI have 5G live in these 120+ locations. giffgaff have the joint-second highest number of live 5G locations, while VOXI have the joint-smallest number.

But just because a network claims a location is covered by 5G doesn’t mean it’s available everywhere in that location. Looking at the coverage checkers we found giffgaff provide better coverage in available 5G locations.

So not only will you get 5G in more locations on giffgaff than you will on VOXI, but you’ll have a better chance of staying on 5G in those locations. Still, use their coverage checker to see which is best for you.

Useful link: Check giffgaff 5G in your area

VOXI signal checker

Screenshot of VOXI's network map

Use VOXI's map

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giffgaff signal checker

Screenshot of giffgaff's network map

Use giffgaff’s map

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Our verdict on coverage:

A close draw

“Overall there’s very little to split the two networks. VOXI offer slightly stronger 4G which you’ll use more often than 2G/3G or 5G. But giffgaff’s stronger 5G and 2G/3G coverage for calls helps them pull up even. ”

Compare pricing and deals

4G/5G data speeds: VOXI and giffgaff compared

Which network provides the faster data speeds?

Speedometer with giffgaff and VOXI logos

VOXI provide typically faster 4G speeds

Vodafone how fast is 5G banner

Read 5G difference

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We use results from independent network testers Opensignal to see what sorts of 4G speeds you’ll typically get on each network. Their results come from millions of tests on volunteers’ phones up and down the country.

You’ll typically get 4G speeds on VOXI of about 21.6 Mbps and speeds on giffgaff around 17.1 Mbps. That’s an especially noticeable difference when using your phone for data heavy activities like HD streaming, which will be smoother on VOXI.

Bear in mind these are average speeds. On VOXI we actually managed to get over 110 Mbps on 4G+, but then we slowed down to about 5 Mbps in rural areas. Similarly we got speeds between 5 Mbps - 95 Mbps on giffgaff.

Overall, VOXI typically provide a much smoother 4G experience as you can get some seriously impressive 4G speeds in the city. However, speeds vary wildly on both depending on location.

Useful links: Full giffgaff review | Full VOXI review

5G speeds are also faster on VOXI

Our own speed test result

Read our review

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Opensignal and Speedtest also measured 5G speeds. VOXI (via Vodafone’s 5G) got between 73.3 Mbps and 133.54 Mbps. O2 got speeds of 90.61 Mbps - 110.9 Mbps.

We can’t really explain that massive variation in speeds on VOXI. All we can say is that 5G may be more consistent on giffgaff, but you should get faster speeds where 5G signal is strong on VOXI.

Both networks’ speed results have actually gone down over time. We think this is down to more people being able to access 5G and more test results coming in, so a fuller picture is emerging.

In any case, 5G will usually be faster than either networks’ 4G and is a great addition to either networks’ overall package. But VOXI just edge out giffgaff on speed.

Useful links: Our guide to the best 5G networks

Our verdict on download speeds:

Win for VOXI

“When it comes to speeds, giffgaff have the unenviable position of being on the slowest UK network. VOXI’s speeds can race ahead or slow to a crawl still, but both on 5G and 4G they’re typically faster than giffgaff, meaning they take this one.”

Compare pricing and deals

Extra network features

The other benefits VOXI and giffgaff offer to help you stay connected

Extra benefits on giffgaff and VOXI

Only VOXI offer WiFi/4G calling between the two

Table of network features on VOXI vs giffgaff and SMARTY

Read WiFi calling guide

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Most networks now offer WiFi calling and 4G calling as features. This lets your phone use WiFi and 4G signal to make calls, which can be vital for people with poor calling signal inside their homes or businesses.

VOXI include both features on every plan. When we tested their WiFi calling and 4G calling for ourselves, we found it was very similar to Vodafone’s, meaning you can move between WiFi and 4G signal on call without it dropping.

But you don’t get either feature on giffgaff. Their call signal is widespread and good at getting into buildings, so this won’t be an issue for everybody. But you might still struggle to get signal indoors and for this giffgaff offer no features to help.

Vodafone no longer offer Underground WiFi hotspots, which used to go well with their WiFi calling as you could stay connected on the Underground - so VOXI don’t benefit from that any more.

Useful link: Our guide to providers with WiFi calling

giffgaff get you access to lots of free WiFi hotspots

giffgaff WiFi underground banner

How to log in

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While giffgaff don’t offer WiFi calling or 4G calling, they do offer all their customers access to a network of free WiFi hotspots at 8000 O2 WiFi locations and more on the Underground.

All you have to do is download their app and you’ll be connected as soon as you’re in range of a hotspot. It’s a bit more fiddly on Android, you can find the full process here.

These free WiFi hotspots are great for helping you save a bit of the data on the go. But free WiFi hotspot schemes aren’t as important as they used to be, as free WiFi is more common these days anyway.

Still, it’s something giffgaff have that VOXI don’t. It’s a nice-to-have feature that we wouldn’t usually expect from a no-frills network.

Useful link: How to get free WiFi on giffgaff

Our verdict on extra network features:

Slight win for VOXI

“We’d say it’s more important for a network to offer WiFi calling and 4G calling rather than to offer free WiFi hotspots, especially considering how common free WiFi is these days. A decent win for VOXI here.”

Compare pricing and deals

Benefits on giffgaff vs VOXI

Roaming on VOXI vs giffgaff

Which network is better for taking your phone abroad?

Roaming on giffgaff vs VOXI

giffgaff offer inclusive EU roaming as standard

Roaming with giffgaff banner

Check roaming costs

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Compared to other networks, giffgaff’s EU roaming is middle of the road. But it’s good that they still offer it when so many other networks have removed theirs. giffgaff let you use up to 20GB of your allowance in these EU/EEA countries.

You’ll get 4G wherever it’s available. It’s the sort of experience you would expect from a low-frills network, but it’s good enough for a short trip to the EU.

However, giffgaff don’t offer any worldwide roaming destinations. If you roam beyond the EU then you could end up paying as much as £2000 per GB (see international rates here before going abroad).

There are no worldwide roaming add-ons with giffgaff (VOXI do offer them), so going further afield than the EU will get very pricey very quickly. If you do that, make sure your spending cap is set or you could end up paying more than you want.

Useful link: giffgaff's roaming fair usage policy

VOXI have scrapped inclusive EU roaming

VOXI Endless roaming banner

Check where's included

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VOXI have joined the growing list of networks to remove inclusive EU roaming from their plans. You now either have to pay £2 a day to use your VOXI SIM in the EU, or pay for a temporary pass (£8 for 8 days or £15 for 15 days) while there.

That’s on top of the fact that their unlimited streaming and social media data benefits don’t work at all abroad. And you’re still limited to 20GB while you’re there. It’s a bit annoying to have to pay to access your allowance only for it to be limited.

For going beyond the EU you can take one of their Global Roaming Extras that give you a small allowance of minutes, texts and data to use over 8 days or 15 days. These are quite expensive, but still cheaper than paying VOXI’s steep rates.

VOXI’s roaming is much worse than it used to be and you’ll end up spending considerably more now if you want to go abroad with them. It’s a shame, but it seems more and more networks will continue to do the same.

Useful link: VOXI's roaming help section

Our verdict on roaming:

Slight win for giffgaff

“VOXI are the better network for worldwide roaming, but we think most people will want to use their allowance in the EU. For that, giffgaff are clearly the better choice. Overall, an easy win for giffgaff here.”

Compare pricing and deals

How giffgaff and VOXI’s extra benefits compare

Here are the other benefits that either network offers

Extra benefits on giffgaff and VOXI

VOXI include Endless Social Media data on all plans

VOXI Endless Social Media banner

Full list of apps

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VOXI offer what we consider to be the best free streaming and social media data features, which are the major selling points of their network.

You get their Unlimited Social Media benefit on every VOXI SIM only and phone deal. This means using apps like Messenger, Instagram, Snapchat and the others on this list on the go won’t use up your data allowance.

The list of apps covered by the benefit is impressively long. It’s especially helpful for social media apps like Twitter and Snapchat, as videos on these apps would otherwise use up a hefty chunk of data.

One downside is that audio and video calls aren’t covered by the benefit, so they’ll still use up data. Still, it’s a great way of keeping the data you paid for and costs nothing to get other than the price of your plan.

Useful link: Read VOXI's explanation of Unlimited Social Data

VOXI include Unlimited Video on most deals

Endless Video banner

See covered apps

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If you take one of their slightly pricier plans you’ll also get VOXI’s Unlimited Video benefit. With this you can stream YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and three more streaming apps without using your data.

Endless Video is included with each of these plans:

Since streaming videos on data will use up loads more data than using social media apps, this benefit can save a lot more data than their social media benefit. But the fact you get both means you can really hold onto your data.

The biggest downside of the scheme is that it won’t work while using your VOXI plan abroad and subscriptions to the apps aren’t included. But those are small holes in what is overall a fantastic scheme.

You can even tether to devices with larger screens while doing this and you’ll still benefit. But the only way to get anything similar on giffgaff is to get an unlimited data goodybag.

Useful link: Full details and terms

VOXI offer rewards for referring friends to their network

VOXI refer friends

How it works

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VOXI customers can get extra rewards for bringing friends or family members onto their network. These take the form of Amazon vouchers and VOXI give these to you and the person you referred after they join.

All you need to do is send your friend a special link which will take them to VOXI’s website where they can take their deal. Then once your friend has stayed on VOXI for at least two months you’ll then both get your rewards cards.

The value of these cards are either £10, £15 or £20 depending on the cost of your friends’ plan. And you can do this multiple times if you refer more friends onto VOXI. You can read all the details of the scheme here.

Overall if you get lots of friends to join VOXI this scheme can really help you offset the cost of your plan. Direct cashback would be a better reward than Amazon gift cards, but in any case it’s a great benefit.

Useful link: Full offer terms

VOXI offer great flexibility with their plans

No bill shock

How payment works

from VOXI's help section
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On top of all the other benefits you get on VOXI you also get the flexibility of their plans as a benefit. Every one of their plans comes on a 1-month deal with no contracts. That has a few advantages.

Because there are no contracts you’re free to leave VOXI any time you want or switch down to a different plan if your current plan doesn’t suit your needs. You can do either without giving notice like you’d have to on a contract.

And since you’re paying for your monthly plan up front with a UK debit card rather than creating a direct debit, there are no credit checks to pass to get onto VOXI. That makes them a good option if you’ve failed a credit check with Vodafone.

Finally, you can only use what you’ve paid for with them. That means you can’t accidentally overspend on extras outside your plan. Overall, VOXI offer a great deal of flexibility with their plans (we go into giffgaff’s plans below).

Useful link: Our full 1-month contract network guide

giffgaff reward you bringing friends onto their network

giffgaff payback scheme

How it works

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giffgaff grew so fast in popularity due in large part to the fact that users can get £5 free credit each time they get a friend to join the network.

So you could order a free SIM, give it to a friend and then if they top up with at least £10 of credit (or a £10 “goodybag”) then you’ll both receive £5 free credit.

You can then put this £5 credit into a Paypal account twice a year, or give it to charity. You can also earn credit by answering queries on giffgaff’s customer help forum, and the more people you bring onto giffgaff the better the rewards.

It’s a great way to earn some free credit or earn some money on the side, your friend gets free credit and giffgaff gets new customers. It’s a win-win-win arrangement in the end.

Useful link: Make money recruiting for giffgaff

giffgaff also offer great flexibility and community support

Banner with giffgaff selling points

Read About Us

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giffgaff’s plans are all also on 1-month deals, letting you leave or switch plans early and without notice. And for their SIM only plans you won’t have to pass a credit check (you will on phone contracts).

But unlike VOXI, giffgaff have promised not to raise costs for 2023. That’s significant because there’s nothing technically stopping VOXI from raising prices, where with giffgaff you can be sure you won’t see your bill increase until the end of 2023.

One thing that shouldn’t be overlooked as well is the community support you get with giffgaff. With them you can find answers to most issues customers have run into and if you answer these questions then you’ll get benefits for doing so.

It’s not much of a consolation, but the lack of extra benefits means that giffgaff can give you cheaper and more flexible deals. Their community support is genuinely good as well.

Useful link: Compare phone contracts | Compare SIM only deals

Pricing compared on giffgaff and VOXI

SIM only plans on giffgaff vs VOXI

Here's how VOXI and giffgaff's current deals stack up

SIM only on giffgaff and VOXI



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VOXI’s and giffgaff’s phone contracts are similar

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The main difference between VOXI and giffgaff’s phone contracts is around cost. Otherwise they’re both on similar “split” agreements where the payment for your device and usage (mins, texts and data) plans are separate.

These two payments are bundled together to make your monthly bill. What’s good about this is that you’re free to leave or change your usage agreement to fit your budget.

That can technically save you money in the end. On a regular phone contract you’d have to stay on the same usage plan until your contract is over, which means you could be paying for more than you actually use.

On both you can pay lump sums to pay your phone off early. You can use our comparison tool to see which network can give you a better deal.

Useful link: Compare phone deals with our comparison tool

More giffgaff guides

Other articles about VOXI

Individual network reviews