T-Mobile's Web ‘n Walk service is a strong contender, offering top download speeds approaching those of Vodafone's service and providing consistent coverage.
A plus point is the Web ‘n Walk Stick Manager software, which installs the first time you place the dongle into your USB port. We particularly liked the stats tabs, which presents a constantly updated line graph demonstrating the download speeds you're achieving.
This view also allows you to keep a close eye on the data downloaded and uploaded on a daily, monthly or yearly basis.
T-Mobile's mobile broadband services are available on 12- and 24-month contracts. On the 12-month options, the ‘Plus' deal costs £20 per month and £20 for the hardware, while the ‘Max' contract is £35 per month and £20 for the dongle. The latter gives you a 10GB monthly data limit, against 3GB for the Plus. If you go over your limit, you won't get charged, but T-Mobile reserves the right to call you and discuss upgrading to a more suitable data plan.
If you're prepared to sign up for 24 months, the USB modem is free. T-Mobile once again offers consumers the Plus and Max contracts, with Plus costing £10 for the first three months (and then £15 thereafter) and Max costing £30.
But you're not restricted to 3G: T-Mobile also provides free access to its network of wireless hotspots across the UK.