Data only SIM plans

Get online anywhere you want for as little as $15 per month.

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Data SIMs are super convenient – stick one into your iPad or tablet and you can hop online in all the same places your mobile phone can get a signal. With this easy, portable data solution you won't have to fuss too much about your work, gaming or streaming needs on the go. Take a look at all the plans below to find the best one for your usage.

Compare data only SIM plans below

Sort through the tables below and adjust the filters to set price, data amount, and more, depending on what kind of data SIM you're after.

How does a data only SIM card work?

Data SIMs are a fast and easy to use type of mobile broadband. Pop one into your tablet and you'll gain access to the Internet via the same mobile network your phone uses. Anywhere your phone gets a signal, your data only SIM will work too.

The only difference with a data SIM and your regular mobile plan is that you won't be able to send texts or make calls, although you can still communicate with apps like Skype, WhatsApp or Viber.

I already have a mobile plan. Why bother with a data only SIM?

Getting a separate data only SIM can have a lot of advantages, including:

  • Improved data value. If you're looking for a specific source of data, a dedicated data SIM usually gives better value, since you aren't paying for calls and texts.
  • Portability. Data SIMs work anywhere a mobile SIM does. They're extremely travel-friendly and great for working or gaming on the go.
  • Convenience. Switching a single SIM around can be a huge pain. Having a data only SIM lets you manage limits separately, and use your larger tablet screen without having to rely on hotspotting.
  • Backup Internet. When your fixed Internet goes down or has problems, a data SIM is an incredibly handy backup to have.

How to compare data only SIM plans

Not all plans are the same, so you should think about a few things when deciding on one.

  • How much data do you need? Downloads and videos consume a lot of data, and buying extra data past your limit can be very pricey. Invest in a plan with a high enough data cap.
  • Prepaid or postpaid? Prepaid plans are great if your data needs change regularly or you only need data for a specific period. Postpaid suits people with regular data habits, like if you use it for work. The difference between the two is when you pay your bill. With prepaid, you pay for your usage at the start of the month so there's a possibility you'll run out before your recharge period. With postpaid, you'll pay for your usage at the end of the month so you'll always have Internet access.
  • Do you still need a device? If you already have a tablet that can take a SIM, great. Otherwise, you might have to splash out to get one with a SIM slot.

What can I use with a data only SIM?

Data SIMs can be slotted into a surprisingly wide range of devices, including:

  • Tablets. Some iPads and many Android tablets will include a SIM slot. Beware of cheaper models that might not.
  • Smartphones. If you have a spare handset, you can stick in a data only SIM like any other SIM.
  • Laptops. SIM slots are rare on normal laptops, but higher-end business models may include them. If your laptop doesn't come with a SIM slot, you might want to consider using a Wi-Fi dongle or pocket Wi-Fi as an easier solution to get online.
  • Wi-Fi modems. A Wi-Fi modem can accept a data only SIM and then be used as a hotspot for multiple other devices to get online.

Can you insert a data SIM in a smartphone?

Yes, you can insert it the same way as any mobile SIM card. This will allow you to use the Internet, but it won't let you send or receive calls and texts. With a data SIM inserted, you can use your smartphone as a mobile hotspot, or keep in touch using data-driven apps like WhatsApp or FaceTime.

Can I use a mobile SIM in my tablet?

Yes, you can also reverse the above situation. In Australia, most modern tablets, such as most newer iPad models, will still be able to function with a mobile SIM inserted, the same way as a mobile phone. You'll be able to use data, send texts and make phone calls. Some plans or providers may have restrictions on what devices you can use their mobile SIMs in, so check the terms and conditions.

Can I get an unlimited data SIM?

Unfortunately, there are no full speed unlimited data SIMs currently available in Australia. The closest thing you can get to unlimited data SIMs are with Telstra. These plans don't charge for excess data usage so it will allow you to keep browsing and using data on your plan even after hitting the limit.

The catch is that your download speed will be slowed down to a mere 1.5Mbps, which is significantly slower than full speed. So while you don't get charged for going over, you should also expect a limitation on what you can do with this speed.

Here are the plans that you can get with Telstra with no excess data charges:

FAQ about data SIMs

Does every iPad have a SIM card slot?

No, not every model of iPad comes with a SIM slot. Some, especially cheaper or older models, are Wi-Fi only, meaning you will only be able to get online via a Wi-Fi connection. Check the technical specifications of an iPad before you buy it to be sure.

Do data SIMs have a phone number?

No, not really. Technically, your data SIM card may have a number associated with it for identification purposes. However, this number cannot be used to make or receive telephone calls, or to send and receive texts.

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