Hello and welcome to Ken's Tech Tips, one of the UK's largest independent mobile technology websites. Our mission is to demystify the world of mobile technology. We're doing that by providing a no-nonsense guide on smartphones & mobile technology here in the UK. Whether you're looking to understand mobile technology, to compare the best deals available on the market, for a full review of the tariffs on each network or for information about changing your network or handset, we're here to help.

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Tethering on UK Networks: Which Mobile Networks Allow You To Tether?

May 19th, 2015

In the UK, only some mobile networks allow you to tether. We explore the mobile tethering policies for each UK network.

Tethering

With tethering or personal hotspot, you can share your mobile internet connection with another device (e.g. a laptop or a tablet).

Tethering or personal hotspot refers to the process of sharing your smartphone’s internet connection with another device. It’s often used as a convenient way to get your laptop or tablet connected to the internet on-the-go.

Most smartphones now have tethering functionality (this includes the iPhone, Android and Windows Phone devices). However, only certain mobile networks will allow you to tether (it’ll sometimes be restricted in your network’s terms and conditions). There may also be a limit on how much data you can use through tethering.

In this article, we review and compare the tethering policies on each UK network. We’ll also highlight some of the best value deals with support for tethering.

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TalkTalk Mobile: Review of the Exclusive Mobile Network for TalkTalk Customers

May 17th, 2015

TalkTalk offers low-cost mobile phone and SIM-only deals. The service is exclusive to customers who have TalkTalk home broadband.

TalkTalkIf you’re currently a customer of TalkTalk home broadband, you can now take advantage of low-cost mobile deals on TalkTalk Mobile, the exclusive mobile network for TalkTalk customers.

TalkTalk currently offers 24-month contracts with a new handset included free of charge. They also have a number of SIM-only deals: an airtime-only package for customers wanting to keep their current handset. Of particular note, the All-in SIM card has unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and unlimited internet for only £12/month. TalkTalk Mobile uses 2G and 3G coverage from the Vodafone network.

In this article, we review the TalkTalk Mobile service. We’ll look at the offerings from TalkTalk Mobile and the requirement to have TalkTalk Broadband at your home. We’ll also look at the coverage on TalkTalk and how you can keep an existing mobile number when moving to the network.

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iD Mobile Review: The Low Cost Network From The Carphone Warehouse

May 12th, 2015

iD Mobile from the Carphone Warehouse offers Pay Monthly contracts with the GoTo, TakeAway and ShockProof price plans.

iD Mobile LogoThe Carphone Warehouse has just launched its latest own-brand mobile network: iD Mobile. Designed for the “generation that’s obsessed with the mobile internet”, iD Mobile offers 3G & 4G internet with underlying coverage provided from Three.

The new mobile network offers three types of tariff: GoTo, ShockProof and TakeAway. Each type of tariff caters for a different audience: GoTo for mainstream users, ShockProof for better spend control and TakeAway for travellers who frequently go abroad.

iD Mobile replaces Talkmobile, the 3G-only network previously run by the Carphone Warehouse. It’s no longer possible to get a Talkmobile price plan from the Carphone Warehouse.

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O2’s Big Bundles Reviewed: Pay As You Go Packages from £10/month

May 7th, 2015

O2 currently offers “Big Bundle” packages from £10/month on Pay As You Go with 4G internet included.

O2 Big BundlesCustomers on O2 Pay As You Go can buy a monthly “Big Bundles” package for a one-month allowance of calls, texts and internet. The Big Bundle packages start from £10/month: you convert £10 of your normal Pay As You Go credit into a one-month allowance of 250 minutes, 1000 texts and 500MB of 4G internet. On higher-priced bundles from £15/month, there’s more minutes, texts and internet included.

In this article, we review the O2 Big Bundles tariff. We’ll compare the Big Bundles offering to key alternatives such as giffgaff’s goodybags, EE’s Everything Packs and Vodafone’s Freedom Freebees. We’ll also discuss how to buy a Big Bundle and how you can join O2 as a new customer on the Big Bundles tariff.

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The Best SIM Cards for Using Your Smartphone in Spain

May 6th, 2015

Planning to visit Spain on your holidays? Find out the best value Pay As You Go SIM card for your smartphone.

Spanish FlagSpain is one of the top destinations for British holidaymakers every year. Some 12 million Brits visit each year with key destinations including the Canary Islands, Catalonia and Andalusia.

Whether you’re planning a trip to historical Barcelona or the beaches of Fuerteventura, you’ll need to have a suitable SIM card for your smartphone if you want to access maps, social networks and e-mail. You’ll also want a suitable SIM card for staying in touch with your friends in the UK.

In this article, we investigate the costs of using your smartphone in Spain. We’ll compare the costs of using a UK-based SIM card to the costs of using a local SIM card from Spanish networks. We’ll then help you to find the best value deal regardless of how long your trip to Spain is.

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TalkTalk’s All-in SIM Card: Unlimited Data & Unlimited Minutes for £12/month

April 28th, 2015

For £12/month, TalkTalk is currently offering unlimited data, unlimited minutes and unlimited texts on their All-in SIM card. The SIM card is available to new and existing TalkTalk broadband customers.

TalkTalkTalkTalk has just launched their latest SIM card for customers with a smartphone. For £12/month, you can now get a SIM card with unlimited 3G data, unlimited UK minutes and unlimited UK texts. The SIM card is designed to slot into your existing unlocked smartphone and is on a 30-day rolling contract for greater flexibility. The offer is only available to customers who have TalkTalk broadband at their home.

In this article, we review the new £12 All-in SIM card from TalkTalk Mobile. We’ll look at how the SIM card offering compares to rival networks. We’ll also look at fair usage policies, the download speeds on TalkTalk and the level of coverage to expect. Finally, we’ll discuss how to keep an existing mobile number when moving your handset to TalkTalk.

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Giffgaff Review: The UK’s Low Cost, People Powered Mobile Network

April 24th, 2015

giffgaff is a low-cost mobile network running on O2. Their goodybags start from £5/month on 3G and £12/month on 4G. Members earn cash or free credit by participating in the network.

Giffgaff Logogiffgaff is a low-cost mobile network in the UK and is a fully-owned subsidiary of O2. Founded five and a half years ago in November 2009, giffgaff uses the same underlying network as its parent company, O2. Members of giffgaff hence receive the same level of coverage as they would on O2 with the added benefit of getting substantially lower prices.

Most giffgaff members choose to buy one of their goodybag bundles. A giffgaff goodybag is a monthly bundle that includes a set amount of calls, texts and internet. The most popular goodybag at present is the £10/month 3G offering. This includes 1GB of internet, 500 minutes and unlimited texts. For £12/month, you can upgrade to the same package with 4G internet or you can triple the amount of data to 3GB per month at 3G speeds.

Occasional users can Pay As You Go at 10p per minute, 6p per text and 20p/day for accessing the internet (this includes up to 20MB of mobile data). giffgaff also has competitive rates for calling abroad.

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EE’s Wi-Fi Calling Reviewed: Make & Receive Phone Calls Over Wi-Fi

April 15th, 2015

EE has launched their Wi-Fi Calling service for Pay Monthly customers who have an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy. It allows you to make and receive phone calls even where a mobile signal isn’t normally available.

EECustomers on EE with a Pay Monthly contract can now take advantage of their Wi-Fi Calling service. Providing you have a handset that’s compatible with the service, you can make and receive phone calls using only a wi-fi internet connection. It’s great news for anyone who has patchy network coverage at their home (e.g if you’re living in a rural area or in a basement flat). It also makes it possible to call from new places: for instance, when you’re on the London Underground in a station or a platform.

Wi-Fi Calling is currently available on the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge, Galaxy S5, Lumia 640 and Lumia 640XL. There’s no need for any additional applications but you’ll need to enable the service on your handset. Typically, you’ll also need to buy your handset directly from EE. The Wi-Fi Calling service can only be used when you’re in the UK.

In this article, we review EE’s Wi-Fi Calling service. We’ll discuss how the service works on your phone and we’ll look at the list of compatible handsets on which you’re able to use it. We’ll also look at the drawbacks and limitations and at alternative services you can use on another network.

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Free Pay As You Go SIM Cards: Listed, Reviewed & Networks Compared

April 14th, 2015

How to get a free SIM card for your phone: Pay As You Go offerings compared from 17 UK mobile networks.

Pay As You Go SIM CardWhether you’re a smartphone fanatic or someone who only uses their phone on an occasional basis, there are some great deals to be had when you order a Pay As You Go SIM card in the UK.

The best Pay As You Go SIM cards offer super-low calling rates which can often rival those on a Pay Monthly tariff. If you’d like to take advantage of the best offers currently available, simply order a free SIM card below and slot it inside your existing mobile phone. There are no credit checks or upfront payments. There’s also no need to set up a direct debit for the account: simply top-up your SIM card when you need extra credit.

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The People’s Operator: Review of UK’s Ethical Network With Charity Donations

April 14th, 2015

The People’s Operator brands itself as an “ethical mobile network provider”. They’ll donate 10% of your phone bill to charity and have pledged to donate 25% of their future company profits.

The People's Operator - LogoThe People’s Operator is a UK-based mobile network which brands itself as an “ethical” network provider. Running on top of EE’s 2G and 3G networks, the company provides both Pay Monthly and Pay As You Go SIM cards. Its unique selling point is an offer to donate 10% of your monthly phone bill to charity. The company also plans to give 25% of its future profits to charity. As of May 2015, The People’s Operator has 30,000 subscribers in the UK.

In this article, we review The People’s Operator network. We’ll look at their price plans and tariffs. We’ll also look at their commitment to charitable causes. Finally, we’ll discuss the level of coverage you can expect on the network and how you can keep an old phone number when switching to The People’s Operator.

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