Cookies on the SIM Sherpa website

We use cookies to track which pages on our website readers visit most. This helps us understand which topics people find interesting, to write more articles about them.

You can accept these tracking cookies or choose to block them. You can change these settings at any time.

X close

✖ Tracking cookies deleted and blocked

Ok, we will not track your page views as you move around any part of the SIM Sherpa website. But we will use that one cookie to remember you don't want to be tracked.

Click here to unblock tracking cookies

X close

✔ Cookies accepted

Thank you for accepting cookies for the SIM Sherpa website. This will help us constantly improve our content.

If you ever want to change your cookie settings for our website, go to our Cookies page here.

Various logos of UK mobile networks

The best unlimited data plans in the UK:
we rank each mobile network

Download and infinity symbols

The retailers featured on this page may compensate us when our readers follow links to their websites and make a purchase. More

We compare prices, benefits and restrictions in the fair usage policies on each UK mobile network that offers unlimited data plans. SIM Sherpa is your trusty guide. Last updated: 14th August 2019

In our unlimited data guide

We track and rank which UK networks offer unlimited data

Cropped logos of mobile networks

We look if their plans are truly unlimited

There are two types of people looking for unlimited data: people who worry about going over their limits, and people who know they’re going to use a shed load of data that a capped plan can’t keep up with.

In this guide, we’ve listed all the networks in the UK that have a form of unlimited data available, on SIM only plans, phone contracts, tablet/iPad plans and pay as you go too.

We look for any restrictions on usage, fair usage policies and also compare the prices. The networks with the fewest catches and lowest cost deals will appear nearest the top our rankings.

As deals and terms and conditions change, we keep this page up to date. Choose which type of product you’re looking for below.

SIM only plans with unlimited data

1st: Vodafone Unlimited Max - but not other 'Unlimited' plans

Vodafone unlimited plan banner

Be wary of speed-capped dealsSee all plans

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

What we like:
Green plus sign 5G speeds where available
Green plus sign Decent pricing for Vodafone
Green plus sign Good roaming

What we don't like:
Red minus sign Severely speed-capped options
Red minus sign More expensive than competition

We'd write two of Vodafone's new Unlimited Plans off as not being properly 'unlimited', because they have speed caps of 2 Mbps (3G style) and 10 Mbps (mediocre 4G), even if you can use as much data as you like.

But their Unlimited Max plan is a proper unlimited data plan. You can use as much data as you like, at Vodafone's best 4G and 5G speeds (if you have a 5G phone and coverage):

Both deals are priced historically very well for Vodafone, who have previously been at the expensive end of mobile networks. Although other providers can still beat this pricing on unlimited data.

The only real restrictions are if you take your SIM abroad within your plan's Global Roaming zone, where you can use 25GB a month before paying extra (that's a very large amount for a temporary trip).

Useful link: All unlimited plan terms and conditions

Joint 2nd: Three’s Unlimited Data SIMs are usually cheaper

Three's unlimited data SIM only planThree's unlimited data SIM only plan

Half price for 6 months (order by 22nd August)Get this deal

at three.co.uk
(opens in a new window)

What we like:
Green plus sign No UK traffic management or throttling
Green plus sign Choice of fairly-priced plans
Green plus sign Nice additional benefits

What we don't like:
Red minus sign Not unlimited when roaming

Three now have three unlimited data plans on SIM only, and they really fit the proper definition of being unlimited. There are no usage caps and Three don’t slow you down while you’re in the UK.

And you can choose between a 1-month deal for flexibility or to try the service out. Or take a 12-month or 24-month contract to secure their lowest price on an unlimited everything SIM:

The only usage restrictions on Three’s unlimited data SIMs are when you go abroad. You can use up to 19GB a month depending on where you roam (read Three’s guide here) and tethering isn’t allowed at all while abroad.

Overall they’re an excellent choice, particularly when you consider the extra benefits you get on Three like free roaming, upgrades on easyJet and 99% UK 4G population coverage (check signal here).

Useful link: Three’s Traffic Management policy

Our ranking:
Joint 2nd

Use for tethering?:
Yes - unlimited in the UK

Throttling / traffic management?:
No - apart from abroad

Joint 3rd: SMARTY's unlimited data is the most flexible

SMARTY logoSMARTY unlimited data plan

1-month contract See full deal

at SMARTY.co.uk
(opens in a new window)

What we like:
Green plus sign As much data as you like
Green plus sign No speed restrictions (unlike giffgaff)
Green plus sign Use SIM in other devices

What we don't like:
Red minus sign 19GB limit on EU roaming

SMARTY are a recent provider to enter the unlimited data game with a 1‑month contract. At the time of writing, it's the cheapest truly unlimited data plan in the UK due to their 25% off sale ending 28th August:

If you've not heard of SMARTY before, they're a low-cost operator owned and run by Three, so they use Three's network. You can check SMARTY's coverage in your area using their map here.

The strength of their unlimited data plan is the flexibility of a one month contract and that there's no data or speed limits on using the SIM directly in a phone or tablet. There's also no credit check to pass.

The only limitations apply if you're taking the SIM abroad to an inclusive EU roaming destination, where you'll only be able to use up to 19GB a month there without paying extra.

Useful link: Full details on their unlimited plan at SMARTY.co.uk

Our ranking:
Joint 2nd

Actually unlimited?:
Yes - when using in UK

Use for tethering:
Yes

Throttling / traffic management:
None

4th: Virgin Mobile Truly Unlimited plan is good but exclusive

You must have Virgin Media at homeSee the full deal

at virginmedia.com
(opens in a new window)

What we like:
Green plus sign No upper data limits
Green plus sign No throttling/traffic management
Green plus sign Works on the superfast EE network

What we don't like:
Red minus sign Only for their broadband/TV customers
Red minus sign Fair usage policy abroad

The only way to get an unlimited data SIM that works on EE's superfast 4G network is by joining Virgin Mobile on their Truly Unlimited plan. But it's only for people with Virgin Media broadband/TV at home:

It's on a much longer contract than SMARTY's deal, which is £13.25 a month cheaper at present due to their 25% off sale ending 28th August 2019:

And it's £144 a year more expensive than Three's equivalent deal at the moment:

Or a ludicrous £348 more over two years than Three's 24-month plan, which is currently being offered with six months at half price (order by 22nd August 2019):

Virgin's deal really does fit the bill of unlimited. There aren't limits on tethering, the speeds aren't throttled and you can use as much data as you like.

The only real downside is taking it abroad, where a Fair Usage Policy does apply, capping the amount of data you can use there (use Virgin's calculator here to see how much you can use).

Useful link: Virgin Mobile's roaming fair usage policy

Our ranking:
3rd

Actually unlimited?:
Yes - but capped data abroad

Use for tethering?:
Yes - in the UK

Throttling / traffic management:
None

5th: giffgaff's Always On SIM doesn't count as unlimited data

giffgaff banner for Always On

Always On isn't truly unlimitedRead giffgaff's guide

at giffgaff.com
(opens in a new window)

What we like:
Green plus sign You can’t be charged for extra data
Green plus sign Decent enough pricing
Green plus sign Short plan with no long commitments

What we don't like:
Red minus sign Speed limits after 40GB usage
Red minus sign Capped usage abroad

Another option is giffgaff's "Always On SIM", which offers uncapped data with no limits on how much you can use the internet whilst in the UK. There are a couple of downsides to the deal though:

Each month you get 40GB data to use at giffgaff's full 4G speeds. But after that you'll be slowed down to 2G speeds (384 kbps) during the day from 8AM until midnight.

If you're used to flicking around web pages quickly and watching videos on your phone, this speed restriction basically makes it unusable, so it's not a suitable plan if your data consumption is definitely above 40GB.

On top of that, there are restrictions on free EU roaming too. You'll only be able to use 20GB there each month before you'll then be charged per MB for the rest of the month.

There are positives. The O2 network giffgaff uses offers excellent UK coverage, it's only a 1-month deal, and you can join without having to pass a credit check.

Useful link: giffgaff's guide to Always On

Our ranking:
5th

Actually unlimited?:
No - speeds limited

Use for tethering?:
Yes

Throttling / traffic management:
Yes - after 40GB usage

No other networks offer unlimited data on SIM only

Logos of mobile network without unlimited data

Most networks don't offer it

The above are the only options if you're looking for a SIM only plan with unlimited data. You can't get it on EE, O2, BT, Tesco or any of the other smaller providers.

There are a number of reasons most networks don't offer it. Providers that use a network they don't own have to pay for the data their customers use, so can't give away unlimited plans.

Over the last years, we have noticed that the maximum data allowances are getting a lot larger though, so even if you can't get unlimited data, there are options for 30GB, 50GB or even 100GB.

Use our SIM only plan comparison tool below to compare big data deals, as well as unlimited ones, as you'll find there are more choices of network, and you may get a lower price.

Useful link: Compare all SIM only plans

Compare all SIM only plans

Find SIMs with large and unlimited data allowances

SIM cards in three sizes

Choose what you want in your deal:

Deal options >
Choose mins, texts and data >
Choose data speed (4G or 5G) >
Choose max contract length >

Close options

Minutes

Texts

Data

Done

Minimum data speed

Any
4G
5G
Done

Maximum contract length

Any
1 month
12 months
Done

Close filters

Choose which networks you'd consider:

Three logo
BT Mobile logo
EE logo
giffgaff logo
ID logo
O2 logo
Plusnet logo
Sky logo
SMARTY logo
Tesco logo
Virgin Mobile logo
Vodafone logo
VOXI logo
Showing SIM only deals with at least
 mins |  texts |  data on 4G or 5Gedit search
( possibilities) on any length contract.

minutes
+
texts
+
G data
=
£ a month
on a -month contract
Features: Point1 | Point2 | Point3
(opens in new tab)

minutes
+
texts
+
G data
=
£ a month
on a -month contract
Features: Point1 | Point2 | Point3
(opens in new tab)

minutes
+
texts
+
G data
=
£ a month
on a -month contract
Features: Point1 | Point2 | Point3
(opens in new tab)

minutes
+
texts
+
G data
=
£ a month
on a -month contract
Features: Point1 | Point2 | Point3
(opens in new tab)

minutes
+
texts
+
G data
=
£ a month
on a -month contract
Features: Point1 | Point2 | Point3
(opens in new tab)
Want more results?
Use these filters to make your search more specific
minutes
texts
data
on G
£ a month
on a month contract
minutes
texts
data
on G
£ a month
on a month contract
minutes
texts
100MB data
on G
£ a month
on a month contract
minutes
texts
100MB data
on G
£ a month
on a month contract
minutes
texts
100MB data
on G
£ a month
on a month contract
minutes
texts
data
on G
£ a month
on a month contract

Phone contracts with unlimited data

It's the same networks that offer unlimited data with phones

Screenshot of comparison tool

Our price comparison tool helps find dealsCompare prices now

here at simsherpa.com
(opens in new window)

We've set out the mobile networks with unlimited data in the section above for SIM only, and the various restrictions and quirks with each plan. It's the same networks that offer it on phone contracts.

If you have Virgin Media broadband at home, you'll get access to their Truly Unlimited plan on each phone. Virgin are typically the cheapest provider for phone deals out of ones that do unlimited data.

Three also have an unlimited data plan on each phone. Price-wise they're generally a little more costly than Virgin although they frequently appear in promotions with discounts.

giffgaff's Always On is also available in conjunction with their phone contracts but has the same usage and speed restrictions that stop it from being a real unlimited data plan.

Use our phone price comparison tool to find out the costs on each network for the particular model you're looking for.

Compare phone contract prices

Pick a make and model to get started

A generic white mobile phone

Choose a manufacturer

Which make of phone do you want?

Find a plan for your phone

Choose what you want from your deal

Deal options >
Mins, texts and data >
Data speed (3G or 4G) >
Max contract length >
Max upfront cost >

Close options

Minutes

0+

Texts

0+

Data

0MB+

Done

Maximum contract length

Any
12 months
24 months
Done

Upfront cost

Any upfront cost

Done

Close filters

Choose which networks you'd consider:

Three logo
BT Mobile logo
EE logo
giffgaff logo
ID logo
O2 logo
Sky logo
Tesco logo
Virgin Mobile logo
Vodafone logo

Unlimited data for tablets, iPads and mobile WiFi

SMARTY offer an unlimited data SIM you can use in tablets, iPads and mobile WiFi dongles

SMARTY SIM only planSMARTY unlimited data plan

You're allowed to use it in mobile broadband devicesSee full deal

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

For a long time, there's been no data SIMs for tablets/iPads that come with an unlimited data allowance (presumably because these devices can rip through so much data). But that's now changed:

SMARTY are a low-cost provider owned and ran by Three, using their mobile network for 3G and 4G. You can read our full SMARTY review here.

Don't be concerned that it also comes with minutes and texts. The plan isn't just for use in phones. You're also 100% allowed to use the SIMs in tablets, dongles, pocket MiFi and WiFi routers (here's where SMARTY confirm this themselves on their website).

As we point out further down, no other networks offer a tablet-only SIM without having a cap on the monthly data you can use.

Useful link: Full details on SMARTY's data SIMs

Three offer unlimited data on pocket mobile WiFi devices and home WiFi routers

Three's unlimited data SIM only planTwo mobile broadband routers

Choose a pocket or home Wifi routerSee mobile WiFi plans

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

There aren't any SIM card options on Three that you can put into the device of your choice and get unlimited data (see SMARTY above for that).

But if you need an actual device too, they have got two options that come with no upper data limits. Choose from either their pocket Huawei mobile WiFi device you can take anywhere, or a larger more-powerful WiFi router to use at home.

To get unlimited data with either device, you will need to commit to a 24-month contract, which is actually a fairly long period for this type of product. But the reward is having no data caps.

At our most recent check, both were priced at £22 a month with £0 up front (see Three's latest prices here). That compares to 100GB capped products on EE for example at £40 a month on an 18-month contract.

Useful link: Full device specifications on Three

No other network sells plans with unlimited data

A mobile broadband device

Other mobile broadband plans have caps

If you're after a tablet SIM or a mobile broadband dongle, you can only get other deals with capped amounts of data on them. There are no other unlimited plans from any network.

We'd say the main reason behind this is that you're capable of ripping through a lot more data on something like a tablet or iPad than you are with a phone, simply because of the types of activity you use them for.

You're much more likely to use a tablet for data-hungry activities like watching videos or filesharing. You might even be thinking about replacing your home broadband connection with it entirely.

We think most networks would find it uneconomical to provide this much data so it's just not worth them offering it. So what are your alternatives?

You could take a phone SIM and use it mostly for tethering

A phone connected to a tablet and laptop

Use a phone to tether tablets / laptops

Both Three and Virgin Mobile let you use their unlimited data phone SIMs for unlimited tethering in the UK, even if you're not allowed to put the SIM specifically into a tablet or mobile WiFi device to use directly.

Tethering is where you use the data connection on your mobile phone to create a personal WiFi hotspot around you. You can then connect other WiFi-enabled devices to this to get them internet access.

The idea would then be that you either switch your main phone SIM only deal to one of their unlimited data plans, or get a separate deal to use in a spare phone that you either have lying around or buy separately.

As long as you're not using data in such large quantities that you're hogging the network from other users or for professional / business purposes, there's nothing in Three or Virgin's terms that stop you doing this.

Useful link: Our rankings for unlimited data phone SIMs

Unlimited data on Pay As You Go

There are fewer unlimited data options on Pay As You Go

Three logoSMARTY unlimited data plan

No credit checks, pay up frontGet this deal

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

If you don't like the idea of getting stuck on a contract, or you don't want to have to pass a credit check, taking a pay as you go deal will be a decent option, even if there are fewer choices with no caps on data.

Virgin Mobile no longer have any pay as you go options, so the only providers with truly unlimited deals are Three and their sub-brand SMARTY. At the moment, it's SMARTY who have the cheapest price:

It's especially affordable at the moment due to their 25% off promotion ending 28th August 2019. Otherwise, the next best truly unlimited pay as you go deal is Three's:

The plan has the advantage of having no credit check (because you pay for it up front each month). You also don't have to give any notice to leave either - you just stop buying the add-on.

To save £15 over 3 months, you can also buy a 90-day version of the unlimited add-on too, which comes in at £90 (£30 a month):

Again, giffgaff's Always On SIM is technically pay as you go too because it's paid for up front. But the cap of 40GB before you're slowed down to 2G speeds makes it a much less competitive option, even if it's cheaper:

Useful link: Compare all SIMs with no credit check

SIM Sherpa can help you find your next SIM only deal

network logos