FreedomPop: UK mobile data just became free

FreedomPop has been active in the USA for some time now, but it is only recently that they’ve come to the UK.

If you’re lazy and can’t be bothered to read the full article..just click here to get free data with FreedomPop in the UK.

Why should you care? Free data – that’s why. There have always been deals from the mobile networks and MVNOs that give cheap data, but nobody has given it away completely free before.

FreedomPop uses Three’s network, so they don’t own the infrastructure themselves, but that makes no difference to you the consumer and Three he a very robust data network.

They don’t just do mobile data, they offer free texts and calls too – however this is offered via their app (click here for their iOS app) as a voice over IP solution so you don’t get the QoS you would with a network based voice call. However, we’ve only used FreedomPop for data so we can’t comment on much else.

So, the free allowance gives you 200mb if data per month (although they have an offer on at the moment upping this to 1GB – see here). Whilst this isn’t a lot (and certainly wouldn’t suffice for heavy usage…but you can upgrade at competitive rates), we find it plenty for staying online between the office and home, etc. It’s worth noting that FreedomPop isn’t our main mobile connection, but the nano SIM has been used in an iPad mini and a 3G dongle with great success.

You do need to pay for the SIM card and to activate it – a total of £0.99. We assume this is to avoid people ordering hundreds of the cards. This is a one off payment though, and seems manageable to us.

You can get a micro or nano SIM card. The nano SIM slotted straight into our iPad mini. For the 3G dongle we needed an adapter such as this to change the nano sim to a full size SIM:

Mudder 5-in-1 Nano Micro Standard SIM Card Adapter Converter Kit

The 3G dongle we’re using is a great bit of kit, it lasts for a whole day of usage and is small enough to stick in your pocket. It is not 4G but can still push up to 21Mbps over a decent 3G connection:

TP-LINK M5350 3G Mi-Fi Hotspot

In summary, this is actually the real deal. You often hear about free data deals which, when you look into them, have unreasonable caveats such as long term contracts. Whilst there is an initial payment of a few quid, this seems like a great deal for lightweight data usage.

Find out more at FreedomPop UK here.

Buy stuff online in the UK? Cashback sites are a no brainer…

Over the past couple of years I have earned £234.59 in cashback. What arduous task did I have to carry out to do this? Click a button before buying the item that I was already going to buy anyway. That’s it, seriously. This cash was brought to me by Quidco, one of two major online cashback sites in the UK (the other being Top CashBack.. more on that later). In this article, dedicated to the UK, we’ll show you how you can get paid for buying things online that you were already going to buy anyway.

I can’t be bothered to read more, summarize..

OK then, register for both Quidco (click here) and Top CashBack (click here). Before you buy anything online, search their directory for the store you are on, and click the referral link. If you want to save time, install their browser plugin which will tell you when you are on a cashback site. We prefer Quidco‘s plugin, but it is up to you.

How does it work?

These sites, known as cashback sites, sit between you and the online store that you are going to buy from. If the store is registered with the cashback site (and, to be honest, a significant portion of the UK online retailers are) then you will get a few percent of the deal slugged back to you. What you must do though, is click what is know as a referral link from the cashback site before your purchase.

When you do this, and actually carry out a purchase, the store that you are on will log that you came from a cashback site. This is communicated back to either Quidco or Top CashBack who will log this and pay you the money.

When do I get paid?

This all depends on when the cashback site gets paid from the online store. The site will tell you the usual payout time for that store, but it’s usually about 30 days. Tracking that the purchase has taken place usually happens within minutes or hours. Once the money is in your account with the cashback site, they usually payout when you’ve reached a certain threshold.

How do I get paid?

Payment from both services can be done via Paypal or direct to your UK bank account. You can choose to get a potentially better deal (i.e. more cashback) if you chose to be paid via a 3rd party. For example, with Quidco you can boost your cashback by being paid with Amazon vouchers (click here to see what you can do with Amazon vouchers). Top CashBack has a huge list of different 3rd parties, including Avios points towards travel with British Airways.

How do I know when I’m on a supported store?

You can check manually by searching each cashback site’s directory. This is also a good way to check which cashback site has the best % payment, but also to see if there are any specific offers available. However, we’d strongly recommend installing their browser plugins. These notify you when you are on a supported site. This is important for two reasons:

  1. It’s much quicker then going and hunting through the cashback site’s directory.
  2. You’re more likely to build up cashback because you are reminded during your normal browsing activity that cashback is available.

Both Quidco and Top CashBack offer browser plugins, however we prefer the UI and interaction of the Quidco plugin. This is entirely a preference though.

OK, so that’s online. What about in-store, real world purchases?

Both cashback sites have solutions to this, and to be honest, they are rather good. With Quidco you register you debit or credit card number with the site as part of their Quidco High Street product. Again, this is completely free to register. A subset of their supported stores will then recognize when you spend cash in their physical store and credit the cashback to you in your Quidco account. If for some reason the cashback isn’t tracked you can send them a copy of the receipt to credit it to your account.
Top CashBack have a service called In-Store Offers, which is very similar to Quidco. You register your debit or credit card details and pay in store as above.. cashback is credited to your account. In addition you can print out vouchers or submit a receipt to them.

What else?

Well, both providers give you mobile apps for iPhone and Android which ply you with offers or tell you where the nearest supported in-store cashback place is:

In addition, if you have some downtime you can complete surveys via Quidco and Top Cashback to earn additional money.

So, Quidco or Top CashBack?

There is really no reason not to use a cashback site. Of the main two in the UK, which should you go for? Well, honestly, both. They are almost identical services. What you should do really is, once you’ve signed up for both, look for the best deal online that you want to buy and then see if that retailer is listed with either of the cashback sites you are on.

If you really want to only go with one, then we’d recommend as our preference to go for Quidco, simply because their browser plugin for Google Chrome is beautiful.

Click here to sign up for Quidco and click here to sign up for Top Cashback.