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A beginner’s guide to iPad sim cards

Whilst many purchase their iPad on a set network and with a specific sim card owners do have the option of unlocking their device; so if you’re unhappy with the provider you’re currently using for your iPad usage then this guide walks you through unlocking your device to another network and the factors you should consider when choosing a new provider.

Factors to consider when choosing a new provider

Free data usage/internet browsing

Data usage and the allowance you’re provided with on a monthly basis should form the main consideration when choosing your provider. Generally every pay as you go iPad sim will provide a free allowance, and so you should see what’s on offer by using price comparison websites.

The cost of data outside your allowance

Considering the cost of data that you may use outside of your allowance is very often overlooked when the free data amount is deemed to be a significant amount; however even where providers offer in excess of 1GB, their charges passed this limit need to be considered. Make sure you know before opting for a provider how much their charges are and whether they differ at certain times of the day.

Setting your iPad to not auto update

A lot of people use up data quickly because they don’t realise that the apps stored on their iPad automatically update; to turn on or off your automatic updates follows these steps:

1. Go to Settings, and click onto the iTunes and App Store.

2. Sign in to the iTunes Store if you haven’t already done so.

3. Enter your Apple ID and password.

4. From here you can see if your downloads are set to automatically download and switch them on/off.

Added extras

As well as considering the amount of free data and data rates you’ll also want to consider if your sim card comes with. Many providers offer discounts on days out and events which, if you make use of them, can save you a small fortune on a monthly basis.


The last, but important, consideration you have is the network coverage that providers offer. Many people presume that the main networks provide full reception in urban areas but can be surprised to get their iPad home to find that the internet is slow and only operating on low reception. To avoid this most network provides have a feature on their website where you can enter your postcode to check coverage, so it’s advisable you do this before ordering your sim.

Unlocking your iPad to another network

Whilst many iPads brought from specific providers come locked to a certain network the majority of providers do allow for you to unlock your device. This process simply involves contacting the network provider directly and asking them to unlock the device.

Current deals to consider for iPad sim cards

Depending on the money you can afford per month and the data you need there are plans for every budget and needs:

- O2 offer a 4G sim deal with 2Gb data on a 12 month contract for just £9 per month.

- Vodafone offer unlimited data on their new 5G network for £28 per month.

- Three offer 2GB of data on 24 month contract at £8 per month.

You might be interested to know about: iPhone Deals.

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