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What is mobile internet?

Mobile internet is an internet connection through 3G or 4G mobile phone networks — the same ones your smartphone connects to.

This is opposed to ADSL (phone line) or cable (fibre-optic) broadband.

Mobile internet uses mobile phone networks as opposed to copper phone or fibre-optic cable lines and, for the most part, can be accessed by any mobile device or any computer with a USB port. No routers, cables or telephone lines are needed.

In many ways, mobile internet is taking over from home broadband in much the same way as mobile phones took over from home phones in the 1990s.

Greater flexibility and mobility are the key factors fuelling the growth of mobile broadband. And with increasingly sophisticated technology, mobile broadband is a viable alternative to traditional, phone-line based mediums for some users, especially those with reliable access to 4G networks.

Mobile internet can be accessed via:

  • Mobile phones
  • Data cards
  • Dongles (USB modems)
  • USB sticks
  • Broadband-embedded laptops
  • MiFi units

For more information on the technical workings of mobile broadband, see our mobile broadband guide page.

If you're interested in seeing what options are available to you, compare our best-selling mobile broadband deals at uSwitch now.

mobile internet

More questions about mobile internet?

Learn more and compare our best mobile internet packages here, or read our guides on mobile dongles and 3G and 4G broadband. There's also a great one on just 4G broadband.