giffgaff offers Always On data with unlimited downloads on their £25 goodybag. 4G download speeds are available on the first 80GB per month.

In the UK, giffgaff offers Always On data on their £25 goodybag, giving you unlimited downloads with 4G speeds on the first 80GB per month. You’ll also get unlimited minutes and unlimited texts included on the goodybag, with no contract and no need for a credit check.

Unlike many other unlimited data plans in the UK, there’s a speed limit on the £25 goodybag if you use more than 80GB of data in one month. Your download speeds will be restricted to 384kbps between 8am and midnight, which is equivalent to a basic 3G connection.

In this article, we’ll review giffgaff’s Always On data plan including what you’re able to do with it and how it compares to unlimited data plans available on other networks. We’ll also look at the download speeds you can expect on the plan, the coverage that’s currently available and how to use it when abroad.

Order giffgaff Always On SIM card (Free) →

What is Always On Data?

Unlimited Downloads & Peace of Mind

In the UK, giffgaff is a low-cost sub-brand of O2. They offer lower prices and greater flexibility with a range of one month rolling plans and no need for a credit check.

For £25/month, giffgaff offers an Always On goodybag with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and unlimited downloading. It’s designed to give you peace of mind that you’ll never run out of data and that you’ll never be charged extra for going over your monthly data allowance.

NetworkMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimitedAlways-On£25.00

Although the £25 goodybag allows you to download as much as you like, there’s a speed limit once you’ve used more than 80GB of data in one month. The speed limit is 384kbit/s and applies between 8am and midnight each day. Once you’ve reached this 80GB threshold, you can either continue using as much data as you like without paying anything extra, or you can decide to renew your goodybag early to restore full-speed downloads.

Download Speeds

With Always On data, there’s no limit on how much you can download each month. There is, however, a limit on the maximum download speeds if you use more than 80GB of data in one month.

For the first 80GB of data usage each month, you’ll have access to the fastest available download speeds (currently 4G speeds). Once you’ve used 80GB of data, your maximum download speeds will be reduced to 384kbps between 8am and midnight each day. This speed limit applies for the rest of your current goodybag period. When the goodybag refreshes for another month, you’ll have a new 80GB full-speed data allowance.

giffgaff’s 384kbps download speed is equivalent to a basic 3G connection. You should still be able to do the majority of things on your phone like browsing the internet, using messaging applications or listening to online radio and podcasts. The main thing that’s affected is online video streaming services like YouTube and Netflix. This may not work properly as you’ll likely encounter lots of pauses and buffering to playback when watching on a 384kbps connection.

You’ll always have access to full 4G download speeds between midnight and 8am each day.

Full Speed Data Allowance

At present, you’ll get 80GB of full-speed data on giffgaff’s Always On goodybag. In the past, however, customers may have received a smaller full speed data allowance:

  • 26th February 2020 onwards: You will now get 80GB of full-speed data on new Always On goodybags purchased from this date onwards.
  • 3rd July 2019 – 25th February 2020: During this time, only the first 40GB of data each month was at full 4G speeds.
  • 11th July 2018 – 2nd July 2019: During this time, only the first 20GB of data usage each month was at full 4G speeds.
  • 4th October 2017 – 10th July 2018: During this time, only the first 9GB of data each month was at full 4G speeds.
  • 2nd September 2015 – 3rd October 2017: During this time, only the first 6GB of data each month was at full 4G speeds.

In addition to the 80GB per month full-speed data allowance, giffgaff also operates a traffic management policy known as Traffic Flow. According to the Traffic Flow policy, customers “who have been using the network in a way that impacts other members, consistently over a period of time” may receive a warning from giffgaff by e-mail and SMS. Customers who continue to violate the policy after receiving a warning from giffgaff may be prevented from purchasing another Always On goodybag.

Comparison to Alternatives

Besides giffgaff, another 9 UK mobile networks also currently offer an unlimited data plan.

On O2, giffgaff’s parent company, you’ll currently need to pay £33/month for an unlimited data allowance. Compared with this, giffgaff’s Always-On data offers better value at £25/month and more flexibility with no need to sign any contracts.

NetworkMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimitedAlways-On£25.00
1 month
O2UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£33.00
18 months
O2UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£35.00
12 months
To show you the most relevant plans, 1 similar but more expensive plans have been hidden. .

On O2’s limitless data plans, there’s a fair usage policy of 650GB per month. The use of tethering and personal hotspot is limited to 12 devices on O2. There are no speed restrictions for using too much data on O2.

If you’re willing to look at other mobile networks as well, it’s currently possible to get unlimited data from just £18/month. The following table shows a list of available options:

NetworkMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£18.00
12 months
SmartyUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£20.00
1 month
iD MobileUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£21.00
1 month
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£22.00
24 months
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
2Mbps max
£22.00
24 months
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£24.00
1 month
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£24.00
12 months
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
2Mbps max
£24.00
12 months
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimitedAlways-On£25.00
1 month
iD MobileUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£25.00
1 month
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£26.00
1 month
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
10Mbps max
£26.00
24 months
Virgin MobileUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£27.00
24 months
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
2Mbps max
£28.00
1 month
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
10Mbps max
£28.00
12 months
Virgin MobileUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£30.00
12 months
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£30.00
24 months
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
10Mbps max
£32.00
1 month
O2UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£33.00
18 months
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£33.00
12 months
EEUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£34.00
12 months
O2UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£35.00
12 months
VOXIUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£35.00
1 month
Lebara MobileUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£35.00
1 month
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£37.00
1 month
To show you the most relevant plans, 15 similar but more expensive plans have been hidden. .

For more information, see our full guide to unlimited mobile data plans in the UK.

Coverage

2G, 3G & 4G Coverage From O2

giffgaff is a virtual network operator, making use of O2 as their network coverage provider. Customers joining giffgaff on their Always-On data plan will therefore receive the same coverage as customers on O2.

At the time of writing, giffgaff offers 99% population coverage on 2G, 3G and 4G in the UK. You can check the coverage in your area by entering your postcode on giffgaff’s online coverage map:

Check giffgaff coverage (giffgaff.com) →

For more information, see our full guide to the coverage on O2. We’ve also got an overview of UK mobile coverage.

5G Coverage

giffgaff doesn’t currently offer 5G coverage to customers on their network. They’ve been undergoing a limited trial with selected customers but the launch date for 5G more generally is still yet to be announced.

We’re currently unsure whether giffgaff will charge extra for 5G and whether it will be available to use on their Always-On data plan.

When giffgaff eventually launches 5G coverage, it will be available in the same towns and cities as 5G on O2:

Now Live30 towns and cities are live on O2 5G (May 2020)
Belfast, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cardiff, Chatham, Coventry, Derby, Eastbourne, Edinburgh, Gateshead, Glasgow, Leeds, Leicester, Lisburn, Liverpool, London, Lowestoft, Luton, Manchester, Mansfield, Newcastle, North Shields, Northampton, Norwich, Nottingham, Sheffield, Slough, South Shields, Stoke-on-Trent
Planned &
Announced
20 towns and cities planned
Aberdeen, Birkenhead, Brighton, Cambridge, Hove, Kingston-upon-Thames, Milton Keynes, Newbury, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Southampton, Sunderland, Warrington, Wolverhampton (Summer 2020)
Blackpool, Bournemouth, Eton, Guildford, Reading, Windsor (January 2020)

For more information, see our guide to the UK’s 5G rollout.

Tethering & Personal Hotspot

Tethering or personal hotspot refers to the process of sharing your smartphone’s internet connection with other devices (e.g. with your laptop or tablet).

On giffgaff’s £25 Always On goodybag, the use of tethering and personal hotspot features are permitted. However, if you use more than 80GB of data in one month, you’ll be restricted to 384kbps on all of your tethered devices.

Between September 2015 and August 2017, tethering was only permitted on the first 6GB of data per month when using Always On data. This restriction on tethering and personal hotspot has since been removed.

International Travel

With giffgaff’s Always On goodybag, you’ll be able to use your goodybag allowances when travelling abroad in other European countries.

Whilst you’re travelling in Europe, a fair usage policy of 20GB per month will apply to your mobile data usage. If you exceed the 20GB limit, you’ll be surcharged 0.36p/MB (equivalent to £3.60 per gigabyte). This is charged against your Pay As You Go credit.

Outside of Europe, it isn’t possible to use your Always On data allowance. Instead, you’ll need to pay giffgaff’s international roaming rates which range from 20p to £5 per megabyte (equivalent to £200 to £5,000 per gigabyte). For this reason, it will often be cheaper to use a different mobile network when travelling outside of Europe. Our in-depth guide to using your mobile phone abroad has more information.

Keeping Your Phone Number

If you’re switching to giffgaff to take advantage of their Always On data plan, it’s a straightforward process to keep your current phone number.

Start by ordering your free SIM card from giffgaff. Once you’ve done that, request a PAC Code from your current mobile network using their website or app, or by texting PAC to 65075.

When your giffgaff SIM card arrives in the post, activate it and then fill out the number transfer form on giffgaff’s website. Once you’ve done that, your phone number will normally be transferred on the next working day.

For a step-by-step guide on transferring your phone number to giffgaff, please select your current mobile network from the drop-down menu below:

PAC Code Finder: Transfer Your Phone Number to giffgaff

Select your current mobile network:

  More Options

It isn’t possible to transfer credit from your old mobile network to giffgaff so you should try to use it up before moving your phone number over.

More Information

For more information about Always On data, please see giffgaff’s official website.

Your Comments 20 so far

We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 20 comments from readers. You can add your own comment here.

    • Hi Candice,
      Thanks for your comment. Yes, you can use your Always On goodybag in any device, including a 4G tablet.
      Hope this helps!
      Ken

  • hi just a quick question, i have a £25 goody bag with gift gaff and this month i have used 120GB or so. all this has been in the UK am i going to get charged extra for this?

    • Hi Lorna,
      Thanks for your comment. No, you won’t be charged any extra for this. You get unlimited downloads on the £25 goodybag (albeit, with reduced speeds after the first 40GB per month).
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

  • I must say thank you for this page. Your information has covered everything I needed to know. Im with virgjn media home broadband and have given them my 30 days notice. As I’ve just started using my phone for my internet use more and more. So I’ve decided to try giffgaff always on data £25 and try out tethering to my desktop computer as I don’t like doing my banking etc on my phone. I’m already on o2 mobile phone so everything should be straight forward. I don’t actually know how much data I normally use on my broadband so I’m hoping 40 gb is enough. But as this is not a contract it’s worth a try for one month to test it out

  • Clarence Chuah said:

    Hi guys justs a quick question.

    While roaming in Europe, and I limited to 3G speed or full 4G for 20GB? Planning to purchase the $25 plan.

    Thanks
    Clarence

  • chipz chipping said:

    Hey, it appears that I’ve ended up in the ‘well..it’s not really, er, how do I put this, er, it’s not what we in the business call, erm, always on as such…?’ sort of area. After the first 20gb is used, I’m actually left with 0.4mbps download speed an long with a mighty 0.3mbps at 7.10pm!?WWWHHHAAAATTTTT?????

  • Hi all,
    Great news! You can now get 40GB of full-speed 4G data on the £25 goodybag. The article above has been updated to reflect this 🙂
    Ken

  • Rich Baxter said:

    This is not at all accurate. What GiffGaff don’t say until you read the small print (or even smaller print) is that after you use the 20GB, yes you drop to the slower speeds but you also have to pay 47p per MB used (yes, thats Mega Byte) after the 20GB. This is surely going to hurt a lot of people. I’ve already used over 10GB in 5 days so I am glad I read that as I’m stopping the service immediately.
    This is for roaming in the EU.

    • Hi Rich,
      Thanks for your comment. As you say, giffgaff has a 20GB fair usage policy for roaming in Europe. If you’ve used more than 20GB of data, you’ll be surcharged 0.47p/MB (equivalent to £4.70/GB). However, this isn’t actually unique to giffgaff – most other mobile networks also have a fair usage policy for roaming in Europe!
      Ken

    • Hi Steven,
      I believe it should normally be possible to renew your goodybag early when you have less than 100 minutes, 100 texts or 100MB remaining on your goodybag. On the £25 Always-On goodybag, you should also be able to renew it early once you’ve used 20GB of data per month. If the system isn’t allowing you to do this, I recommend asking your question again over at giffgaff’s online community.
      Ken

  • So I’m confused. I want to get a data package that means I’ll always have data and for a cheap price which is why I chose giffgaff.

    I’m unsure whether or not this is unlimited or not and if I’d be better getting the £20 deal.

    Also is my bank card automatically charged every month or do I do that myself manually??

    • Hi Amelia,
      Thanks for your comment. giffgaff’s £25 goodybag is unlimited in some sense, though it’s worth being aware of the speed restriction once you hit 20GB per month. Personally, I’d probably go for the £20 goodybag unless you definitely know you need more than 20GB per month! You can then change your goodybag as required in subsequent months based on the amount of data you actually use.
      With regards to how you’re charged for this, you’re not charged automatically every month by default. However, if you like, you can enable the automatic top-up & automatic goodybag purchase feature within your giffgaff account interface.
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

  • Hi all,
    Just a quick note to say that giffgaff have updated their Always On goodybag. It has now gone up in price from £20 to £25 per month. However, you can now use 20GB of data at full 4G speeds, before the maximum speed is limited to 384kbps between 8am and midnight.
    I’ve updated the article above to reflect these changes.
    Ken

  • jim boonman said:

    Dude 2. Giffgaff backend for data is shocking in some locations. All you can eat… yeah from a tap that drips once a minute.

  • Dude your forgetting to inform people that gigfgaff have a secret limit on always that means they can ban you from rebuying it ….. So one month you will be always on the next you won’t and they ban you for 3 months from purchasing always on …..three can not be compared to gigfgaff at all. On. Three you can use 100 or 200gb. No fuss …..on gigfgaff u dare even approach 15 to 20gb your banned although 384 kilobits. Isn’t gonna get you far and it’s not enough to stream. YouTube or Netflix I mean off gigfgaff labled the speed restriction in kylobytes you would realize that also vectone are doing amazing deals I get 30 gb pay as you go for a tenner a month

    • Three stops all their services once you reach 30gb. Be aware they will blame your post code area. They even stopped the calling service and everything once I reached 50gb. They give me 10-30kbps speed at most of the day. They are evil.

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