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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: 20th June 2023.

Mobile networks: VOXI vs giffgaff

Do VOXI or giffgaff provide better coverage?

We compare them based on their 5G/4G/3G/2G networks

Signal mast with giffgaff and VOXI logos

4G/3G/2G coverage is quite close on both networks

High speed network by Vodafone banner

What this means...

at VOXI.co.uk
(opens in new window)

giffgaff and VOXI are smaller providers set up by big networks to draw in customers looking for cheaper deals. giffgaff were set up by O2 and VOXI were set up by Vodafone. Both use their host’s network for signal.

In terms of call signal, there’s little to split them. Both networks cover a similar percentage of the UK’s landmass for calls (but that doesn’t mean it’s in the same areas).

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

Before joining either network we recommend using their coverage maps to see which network provides better signal near you. Check everywhere you’ll use your phone. At home, at work or anywhere else.

Useful link: giffgaff's about us page

giffgaff have more 5G live locations

5G on giffgaff available now banner

Read announcement

at giffgaff.com
(opens in new window)

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 test data to say which network provides a stronger 5G experience.

At last time of checking giffgaff had 5G live in a massive 750+ UK towns and cities while VOXI had 141+ 5G locations. giffgaff now have the joint-highest number of 5G locations, while VOXI have the joint-fewest.

However, that doesn’t say anything about how good coverage is in those locations. When looking at either networks’ coverage checker, we found that giffgaff tend to be better at covering their 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 checkers 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

at VOXI.co.uk
(opens in new window)

giffgaff signal checker

Screenshot of giffgaff's network map

Use giffgaff’s map

at giffgaff.com
(opens in new window)

Our verdict on coverage:

A close draw

“Having more widespread 4G is very important as it’s the kind of signal you’ll use most often for data. So VOXI’s slightly better 4G gives them an advantage. But giffgaff’s 5G coverage is miles ahead of VOXI, so we call this one a draw.”

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

Which network offers faster 4G and 5G data speeds?

Speedometer with giffgaff and VOXI logos

VOXI have the faster typical 4G speeds

Vodafone how fast is 5G banner

Read 5G difference

at vodafone.co.uk
(opens in new window)

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 around the country.

Their report showed typical 4G speeds sit around 21.2 Mbps on VOXI and around 16.8 Mbps on giffgaff. That means things like HD video streaming and other data heavy activities will be noticeably smoother on VOXI.

But remember those are only speeds as an average. In real life we got over 110 Mbps over 4G+ on VOXI but went as low as 5 Mbps in rural areas. We got similar 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 is also typically faster on VOXI

Our own speed test result

Read our review

at simsherpa.com
(opens in new window)

To compare networks on 5G speeds we use results from Opensignal and Speedtest by Ookla. They showed typical 5G speeds on VOXI between 105.2 Mbps - 146.01 Mbps and between 80.57 Mbps - 92.3 Mbps on giffgaff.

On top of that VOXI got peak speeds up to 322.91 Mbps while giffgaff only got up to 214.2 Mbps. Both networks have healthy 5G speeds, but it’s clear from these results which is the stronger network.

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

“Unfortunately for giffgaff they use the slowest UK network for both 4G and 5G speeds. VOXI offer faster typical speeds and peak speeds over both 4G and 5G, so they take this one easily.”

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Extra network features

What other benefits do VOXI and giffgaff offer to help you stay connected?

Extra benefits on giffgaff and VOXI

VOXI have WiFi/4G calling as standard, giffgaff don’t

Table of network features on VOXI vs giffgaff and SMARTY

Read WiFi calling guide

at voxi.co.uk
(opens in new window)

Both WiFi calling and 4G calling are standard features on most UK networks now. This lets you connect to calls using WiFi or 4G signal instead of 3G/2G. This is handy if you get poor indoor signal at home or work.

VOXI include both on every plan. We tested their WiFi calling and 4G calling for ourselves and 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 good at getting into buildings, but you might still struggle to get signal indoors and for this giffgaff offer no features to help.

VOXI’s scheme used to pair well with their Underground WiFi hotspots, but they don’t have this benefit any more as their hosts Vodafone pulled out of the scheme. But still, VOXI’s WiFi calling is excellent overall.

Useful link: Our guide to providers with WiFi calling

giffgaff have lots of free WiFi hotspots around the UK

giffgaff WiFi underground banner

How to log in

at giffgaff.com
(opens in new window)

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.

Just download their app and you’ll be able to automatically connect to all their hotspots as long as you’re in range. It’s a bit harder to get it working on Androids, so use 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.

It’s a nice little extra that giffgaff offer and VOXI don’t. It’s a great way of saving a bit of extra data and is more than you’d expect from a no-frills network.

Useful link: How to get free WiFi on giffgaff

Our verdict on extra network features:

Win for VOXI

“Overall we think it’s more important to have WiFi calling than WiFi hotspots, as it’s more important to stay connected to calls and texts wherever you are. giffgaff’s hotspot scheme would be more helpful if they had WiFi calling, but as it is VOXI take this one.”

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Benefits on giffgaff vs VOXI

Roaming on VOXI vs giffgaff

Which provider is better for using your SIM abroad?

Roaming on giffgaff vs VOXI

giffgaff still include EU roaming on their plans

Roaming with giffgaff banner

Check roaming costs

at giffgaff.com
(opens in new window)

Compared to other networks, giffgaff’s EU roaming is middle of the road. It’s good you still get it while other networks have removed theirs, but giffgaff only let you use 5GB of your data in these EU/EEA countries.

That will be enough for most users for a short trip, but you might find yourself going over that on longer trips. You’ll get 4G while abroad, so at least data speeds shouldn’t be an issue while you’re there.

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).

You can only roam beyond the EU by topping up with credit and paying out of that, so if you make sure there’s no extra credit on your account, it’s impossible to accidentally overspend.

Useful link: giffgaff's roaming fair usage policy

VOXI don’t include EU roaming any more

Expired stampVOXI Endless roaming banner

See roaming charges

at VOXI.co.uk
(opens in new window)

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

And their Unlimited Video and Unlimited Social Media benefits don’t work while you’re abroad. And while you’re paying to access to your allowance you’re still technically limited to a large 20GB while there.

To go 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 better value than paying VOXI’s steep rates.

You’ll spend a lot more to go to the EU on VOXI than on giffgaff, but VOXI are the better option if you go beyond the EU. But VOXI’s overall roaming scheme is one of the worst of all networks in our eyes.

Useful link: VOXI's roaming help section

Our verdict on roaming:

Slight win for giffgaff

“Most users will care more about going to the EU rather than beyond it. You’ll pay nothing extra to use your SIM in the EU on giffgaff (if you don’t use more than 5GB) while you’ll end up paying a lot on VOXI. But if you’re a long haul traveller VOXI are the better choice.”

Compare pricing and deals

How giffgaff and VOXI’s extra benefits compare

We compare both networks’ unique benefits against each other

Extra benefits on giffgaff and VOXI

VOXI offer Unlimited Social Media data on all plans

VOXI Unlimited Social Media banner

Full list of apps

at VOXI.co.uk
(opens in new window)

VOXI have what are in our eyes the best free data streaming and social media data benefits of all networks, which make up a huge part of their marketing and appeal as a 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.

This benefit covers an impressively long list of apps. You’ll save the most data on video and image heavy apps like Twitter and Snapchat, as these would otherwise eat up quite a lot of data.

One downside is that audio and video calls aren’t covered, 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 also include Unlimited Video on higher end plans

Endless Video banner

See covered apps

at voxi.co.uk
(opens in new window)

On VOXI’s higher end plans you’ll also get their Unlimited Video benefit, letting you stream Youtube, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix and three other streaming apps without eating into your data.

Endless Video is included with each of these plans:

Since streaming videos uses 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.

And you can tether to other devices with larger screens and still use up none of your data. The only way to get anything like it on giffgaff is to buy an unlimited data goodybag.

Useful link: Full details and terms

How giffgaff and VOXI’s reward customer loyalty

We go over what either network offers to benefit loyal customers

VOXI vs giffgaff customer loyalty

VOXI reward you for bringing friends onto their network

VOXI refer friends

How it works

at VOXI.co.uk
(opens in new window)

When you refer a friend or family member onto VOXI you’ll be rewarded for your loyalty to the network. VOXI do this by giving you and the person you referred Amazon gift cards after they join.

You just need to send your friend a special link which will take them to VOXI’s website where they can take their deal. Once your friend has stayed on VOXI for two months you can then both get your rewards cards.

You can either get a £10, £15 or £20 gift card depending on how much your friends’ plan costs. And you can do this as many times as you want by referring more friends onto VOXI (read all the details 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

giffgaff give you rewards for referring friends to them

giffgaff payback scheme

How it works

at giffgaff.com
(opens in new window)

One of the reasons giffgaff grew in popularity so fast is due to the fact they give users £5 free credit for every new user they refer onto their 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 put this £5 into a Paypal account twice a year or give it to charity. And you can get more credit for answering questions on giffgaff’s help forum and get more rewards the more users you bring to giffgaff.

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

Our verdict on rewards:

VOXI win

“While it’s nice that giffgaff give you free credit directly rather than a gift card for something you have to spend money on, the value of VOXI’s gift cards can potentially off-set the entire cost of your plan.”

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How VOXI and giffgaff compare for flexibility

Which network has the more flexible deals?

VOXI vs giffgaff flexibility

VOXI have very flexible plans

No bill shock

How payment works

from VOXI's help section
(opens in new window)

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.

Since you’re not joining on a contract you can leave VOXI or switch to a different plan that better suits your needs whenever you want. And you don’t have to give notice to do either lie you would on a contract.

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

Also there’s no way to accidentally overspend on extras as you can only use what you pay for. To use any extras you have to top up with credit first. Overall, VOXI offer a good amount of flexibility on their plans.

Useful link: Our full 1-month contract network guide

giffgaff have great flexibility and community support

Banner with giffgaff selling points

Read About Us

at giffgaff.com
(opens in new window)

giffgaff offer flexible 1-month deals that let you leave or switch early without notice and flexible 18-month contracts that let you switch plans each month. And you don’t have to pass a credit check for either.

But giffgaff have also made a promise to not raise prices for 2023, while VOXI haven’t. That means VOXI can raise prices whenever, while giffgaff won’t increase your bill until after 2023.

You shouldn’t overlook 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 doesn’t really make up for the lack of other benefits, but then again their lower costs can be a good consolation for this anyway. And the community support is genuinely helpful.

Useful link: Compare phone contracts | Compare SIM only deals

Our verdict on flexibility:


“When it comes down to it, both networks offer the same level of flexibility on their 1-month deals. You can leave and switch plans at the end of each month. So this one’s a draw.”

Compare pricing and deals

Pricing compared on giffgaff and VOXI

SIM only plans on giffgaff vs VOXI

Here’s how giffgaff and VOXI’s deals compare on price

SIM only on giffgaff and VOXI



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VOXI and giffgaff offer similar phone contracts

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Compare phone contracts

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The main difference between VOXI and giffgaff’s phone contracts is around cost. Both offer 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.

Both networks let you pay lump sum amounts to pay off the cost of your phone. Use our comparison tool above to see which network offers the better deals.

Useful link: Compare phone deals with our comparison tool

More giffgaff guides

Other articles about VOXI

Individual network reviews