Written by Karen Bryan
When I’ve been searching for the best deals on USB modems, I’ve seen contract deals which include the offer of a free or very cheap laptop or netbook. These contracts generally run over 24 months. I don’t think that these deals save you money, I think it’s cheaper to buy a netbook and a USB modem separately. It’s strange, as I generally find that buying a mobile phone contract which includes a new phone is cheaper than buying the SIM card and the mobile phone separately.
I bought my Samsung NC 10+ netbook last year for just over £200. I usually spend around £10 a month on mobile internet. At the moment I’m using a 3 Mobile Internet pay up front package which cost £90 for 12 GB. This can be used over a 12 month period. Therefore over a 24 month period I’ll spend a total of around £450 on the netbook and mobile internet connection.
The best deal that included a netbook that I could find was a 24 month contract with Vodafone; you paid £29 for an Acer D257 netbook then £25 a month for 1GB of data. That comes to a total of £629.
Therefore you can save at least £179 by purchasing the netbook and USB modem separately.
The advantage of buying a package is that you don’t have to pay upfront for the netbook, but a premium of £179 for this seems a bit steep.