flame Compare Deals and save hundreds of pounds Sim Only Deals Phone Deals

Vodafone speed limits explained

24th June 2020

Vodafone Speed Limits

Vodafone handles its smartphone plan speeds different to most networks. While most give you unrestricted 4G speeds as standard with select plans offering 5G, or in some cases offer completely unrestricted plans across the board, Vodafone has three different tiers, and they’re based on speed rather than technology.

There are plans that top out at 2Mbps, plans that top out at 10Mbps, and unrestricted plans (generally described by Vodafone as ‘fastest available’).

Below, we’ll explain which of Vodafone’s plans offer which speeds, and what you can actually expect from those speeds.

How fast is 2Mbps?

2Mbps is the slowest cap you’ll find on a Vodafone plan and this is only found on Unlimited Lite plans. That puts you in the slightly odd position of having unlimited data (typically a premium feature) but very low speeds. However, that does make this a cheap way to get an unlimited data plan.

How fast is 2mbps?
Activity Capability / approximate download time
Loading a web page 8 seconds
Downloading a song 15 seconds
Downloading a 30MB app 2 minutes
Streaming audio Yes, in high quality
Streaming video Yes, in standard definition
Video call Yes, in standard definition
Group video call Will struggle
Online gaming Will struggle
Tethering Will struggle

This should be fine for general web browsing, as well as browsing and chatting on social media such as Facebook, with Vodafone noting that general web surfing requires no more than 1Mbps speeds.

It should also be fine for messaging and emails, and even for streaming in high quality (with Spotify recommending speeds of just 0.36Mbps to stream in that quality). Downloading a song meanwhile should take under 15 seconds, so even downloading a whole album won’t take long – but big playlists would be more time consuming.

You’ll also be able to stream video content in standard definition (which is low by modern standards) and do most other things that require data – just with less speed or smoothness than you’d find at higher speeds.

However, sending, receiving, and downloading large files and apps will be an issue, video content won’t be displayed in high resolution, and many online games will struggle if they’re playable at all. Tethering will also be a very sluggish experience with 2Mbps speeds.

How fast is 10Mbps?

10Mbps speeds are available on Vodafone Unlimited and Vodafone Basics plans. This gives you a lot more room to manoeuvre, as in addition to the things that 2Mbps speeds can do, with 10Mbps you can also download a song in under 4 seconds, stream video in HD (with Netflix recommending at least 5Mbps for that), play most online games, and comfortably download most large files and apps.

How fast is 10mbps?
Activity Capability / approximate download time
Loading a web page 2 seconds
Downloading a song 4 seconds
Downloading a 30MB app 24 seconds
Streaming audio Yes, in high quality
Streaming video Yes, in HD
Video call Yes, in HD
Group video call Yes, in HD
Online gaming Yes
Tethering Yes, for few devices

Video calls should also be handled perfectly, with the only real limitations of 10Mbps speeds being 4K streaming (which is usually unnecessary on a phone anyway) and speedy tethering, especially if you’re connecting more than a couple of devices to your phone’s internet.

Of course, while most things will comfortably be useable at speeds of 10Mbps, the experience still won’t be as good in many cases as with unrestricted speeds – websites will load a fraction of a second slower, apps will take longer to download, and the like.

Fastest available speeds

Uncapped speeds are available on Unlimited Max plans and Red plans. These place no limits on you, beyond what the network and your phone is capable of. So one of these is what you’ll need for 5G.

Fastest Available Speeds
Activity Capability / approximate download time
Loading a web page Near instant
Downloading a song Near instant
Downloading a 30MB app Near instant
Streaming audio Yes, in high quality
Streaming video Yes, in 4K
Video call Yes, in HD
Group video call Yes, in HD
Online gaming Yes
Tethering Yes, for many devices

How fast these plans actually are will depend in large part on whether you have a 5G phone and what the signal is like in your area, but for the most part everything should be fast, smooth, and easily achievable, and video will comfortably be streamable in 4K quality.

These plans are also ideal for tethering multiple devices, and as Vodafone’s network improves, you’ll be able to take full advantage of those improvements.

Latest Offers

Sim Deals

SIM Card Triple SIM
8 GB Data UNLIMITED Minutes UNLIMITED Texts £8.00 a month
Exclusive Deal
View Details
SIM Card Triple SIM
9 GB Data UNLIMITED Minutes UNLIMITED Texts £8.00 a month
Max speeds 10mbps
View Details
View More

Latest Phones

Compare phone deals and save
Sign up for our newsletter.