Question What's the cheapest option for very occasional Internet access on my tablet?

DG16052020

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May 16, 2020
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I have a Samsung tablet and a cheap 'dumb' phone. Normally I rely on wi-fi hotspots if I want to use the Internet on my tablet, but when I'm abroad, I sometimes need to use Google Maps when I can't get to a hotspot. For this reason (and this reason only) I am thinking of getting a SIM card for my tablet.

My question is, what is the cheapest option for getting Internet access with a SIM card when all I want to do is use Google Maps for a few minutes now and then? I'm not interested in a phone contract because I don't want a smartphone, so I would have thought it will be some sort of pay as you go arrangement, but I don't know what deals there are out there (I live in the UK, by the way).

I've one other question. If I'm on a pay as you go arrangement, and I don't want to use any more of my 'credit' than I need to, does this mean that I will have to switch on the Internet when I want to use Google Maps then switch it off again as soon as I've finished?

I've only ever accessed the Internet at libraries or via Wi-Fi in my local supermarket, so I don't know the first thing about getting the Internet via a SIM card, so I'd be grateful for any advice.
 

VidJunky

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Dec 6, 2011
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Is your "dumb" phone a dumb phone or is it a feature phone? Does it have internet? In a dark period of my existence I used my feature phone and a USB to get internet for a laptop. I figure this would be the equivalent. I don't even think I had to do anything special, like change a setting on the phone or anything and I probably found the instructions on YouTube.

Barring that, do you have wifi anywhere during the day? Google Maps offers downloadable maps that help save on data costs. I wonder if you could when you're a chick, I mean abroad, LOL, if you could download the area map and then just use GPS to navigate? You may even be able to do it before you leave...? You might want to play with it a bit beforehand so you're not learning on the go. I know the area that I can capture is pretty large and if you can't get the whole area in one go there may be an option to do multiple areas. You won't have business hours and you might not be able to look things up by name, but instead have to look them up by address, but it becomes virtually free if you can download beforehand.

What @dangerousfen said.
 

DG16052020

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Thank you both for replying. My phone is definitely 'dumb' - it can do calls and texts but that's all. I've never heard of Maps. Me so I'll look into that, but I think I'd prefer Google Maps.

Just to clarify something, I do download a Google map and use GPS when I walk around a city, but the problem is, if I want to search the map (to find a bus stop, for instance) the search doesn't work when I'm offline. That's why I want to buy a SIM card to get Internet access, but I need to know a cheap, non-contract way to do it.

And there's a question I asked that I'd still like an answer to: if I'm on pay as you go, do I need to keep the Internet switched off when I don't need to search the map? Thanks.
 

Madd62

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May 31, 2021
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I'm in the UK.
Are you travelling in Europe.
Either get a 30 day sim in the UK with plenty of data,

- go for a call, text and data sim as they're far better priced with more data than a data only sim on most networks -

or try for a sim in the country you will arrive in.

I've not had a tablet (Nursey is cross with me today!) but I don't know if they or some have GPS hardware built in. If not then it will rely on cell towers to work out your location via the sim.

I also presume your tablet has a sim card slot as the majority do not have one as standard.

Sorry if I read the thread too quickly and missed some information. That's commuting for you.

 

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VidJunky

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Maps is short for Google Maps. Being the most popular navigation app out there many people just call it Maps vs GMaps or Google Maps. It's popular enough to be called by one name like Cher. And I agree there are tons of temporary SIM options for travelers everywhere you go. Your concierge at any hotel can help you with this, or even the hotel staff.
 

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