Pay as you Go Mobile Broadband is the main way I connect to the internet at the moment. I use my handset (Nokia E61) as a modem, connected via a USB cable. Pay as you Go Mobile Broadband can give an economical way of accessing the internet wirelessly wherever you can get a mobile signal without a contract, so you just top up as you want to and maybe purchase an add on. This also allows you a very effective way of budgeting your expenditure, as if you have no credit there will be no chargeable access. At the moment I only know of two networks in the UK who offer Mobile Broadband on Pay as you Go.
The first is T-Mobile, which is a service I would not recommend except to trial the network and service before taking a contract as it can run very expensive. You get charged for the first £4.00 of usage each day and then the rest is free. There is a fair usage policy of up to 3GB per month, but unlike some providers they do not charge if you go over this fair usage limit. If you go over two consecutive months you get a speed restriction placed on your line for 2 weeks, and if it happens for a 3rd consecutive month you get the speed restriction for 2 months.
Now, the service I would definitely recommend, and the one I am currently using to post this, is the service with 3. The available add ons were until very recently the same as on contract, the same price for the same allowance. £10.00 for 1GB, £15.00 for 3GB, £25.00 for 7GB. I'm sure you can see straight away how this is more economical than the T-Mobile service. If you use your 3GB in 3 days, then you would save money with T-Mobile, otherwise you can be paying up to £124.00 for it. Now, once this allowance has been used up you do get charged for any extra usage, this is at a rate of £1.00 per MB. But you can add a new add one at any time. Each add on lasts for 30 days and anything not used is lost. With the Pay as you Go option on 3 you also can easily pick and choose how much you expect to use or want to pay for at that time. ou also get a SMS notification when your allowance is running low, to let you know you need to add a new bundle soon or you will start getting charged the £1.00 per MB. You can also keep track of your remaining allowance with the My3 service which keeps you up to date with your remaining allowances and credit. With contract you would need to change your price plan each time you wanted it changed. With Pay as you Go, you just add the relevant add on as and when you need it. Now, the only real problem I have had with the service from 3 is problems with topping up using my Debit card. I have now given up on this, it worked for the first two months but now I need to get a voucher to get it topped up. I consider this a minor problem, and may not be a problem to anyone else.