What's the best SIM plan for tethering?

What's the best SIM plan for tethering?
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Believe it or not, some SIM plans won't clearly tell you upfront that you can't use your phone for tethering. Yup, if you want your phone to work as a Wi-Fi hotspot, to connect a laptop, tablet and more, you'll need the right SIM plan for tethering. So you've likely seen a lot of SIM only deals...but which can you tether from?

This is how to make sure you get the right SIM for tethering from your phone.

What is tethering and how does it work?

Tethering is connecting one device to another to use its data connection. So, for example, you can connect a Wi-Fi only tablet to a smartphone to use its 4G data connection. 

To do this you need to set up the phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot. This can be done relatively easily initially, setting up a password so that the connecting device can connect as if it were connecting to any wireless network.

From then on, most phones allow you to pull down the drop-down menu to tap and turn the Hotspot on and off. If the connecting device has been setup on that hotspot network before it'll automatically connect. Simple.

Why don't all SIM plans offer tethering?

Since tethering a device to your phone network means another gadget that will be using up data, some networks don't allow it. After all it's one thing to say you have unlimited data on your smartphone but quite another when you connect your housemates' devices to it too. Data use between video watching, gaming, social media and more could really stack up. That's not even considering the beating your phone's battery would take. 

For this reason many SIM deals that offer you unlimited data will stipulate somewhere that this does not include tethering. 

The general rule is that a lot of SIM only deals that run for a 12 month contract will offer you tethering but to find that on monthly rolling SIM only deals is tougher.

Which is the best SIM plan for tethering?

One of the main things to look for when hunting down the best SIM deal for tethering is unlimited data. These options all offer at least 4G speeds.

The Advanced Unlimited Data plan from Three offers, as the name suggests, unlimited data, texts and minutes for just £18 a month but you are required to lock into a 12 month contract.

Don't want a contact for that long? The Smarty 4G plan, which runs for 30 days at a time, gets you unlimited data, texts and minutes with tethering for £20 per month for the first year then £20 per month after that. 

Or go with Voxi and it'll set you back £35 but this one is 5G enabled.

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Luke Edwards

Luke is a freelance writer and editor with over two decades of experience covering tech, science and health. Among many others he writes across Future titles covering health tech, software and apps, VPNs, TV, audio, smart home, antivirus, broadband, smartphones, cars and plenty more. He also likes to climb mountains, swim outside and contort his body into silly positions while breathing as calmly as possible.