|+ Available in a wide range of countries||- Doesn’t offer 4G speeds|
|+ Completely free||- Not available on Essential Plans|
|+ Can use all of your calls, texts and data||- Some key destinations aren’t available|
"Three’s Feel at Home is a brilliant addition to the network and an essential service for anyone who travels a lot. While the lack of 4G speeds is disappointing it can’t be beaten for value and coverage."
Feel at Home is one of the standout features of Three. It allows you to use your data to roam abroad in dozens of destinations, and while some other networks offer similar services Three’s was first and is still one of the best.
We’ll get into why that is below, along with a full breakdown of where you can use it, how fast it is and the drawbacks to the service.
Because yes, there are some drawbacks, and as good as it is there’s room for improvement. So read on for a full review of Three’s Feel at Home service in 2017.
Feel at Home has a lot going for it. It’s available in 42 destinations, which is more than most networks with an inclusive roaming service offer.
A lot of these are in Europe as you’d expect, but there are a number of non-European destinations covered as well, including major ones like the US and Australia.
|Channel Islands||Croatia||Cyprus||Czech Republic|
|Portugal||Republic of Ireland||Romania||Slovakia|
However, there are still some major omissions, such as China (though Feel at Home does work in Hong Kong) and India.
Three has gradually been adding more locations to its Feel at Home service, so there’s every chance these will be added one day, but there’s no current indication of when. As such, good as Feel at Home is, it’s worth checking that the places you want to visit are included.
Perhaps the single biggest high point of Three Feel at Home though, is that it’s completely free and you can use all of your data, minutes and texts for it. There are a few limitations – you need to be on one of Three’s Advanced plans, and data is capped at 12GB if you have unlimited data, but it’s still a remarkably generous offering.
The biggest drawback meanwhile is that 4G speeds aren’t supported, so you’re capped at 3G. That might be a problem if you’re travelling on business and depend on a speedy internet connection, but for leisure travel you hopefully won’t be using the net too much anyway, and it’s perfectly functional, just not as fast as you’ll be used to getting at home.
Given that Feel at Home is completely free it can save you a huge amount of money. Actual savings will obviously depend on how much you travel. But if you go abroad a lot, whether for work or play, it could be reason enough on its own to get a Three contract.
In the first two years of its availability Feel at Home cumulatively saved Three’s customers £1.3 billion versus how much they’d have spent to use that much data without it. Obviously data use was higher than it would have been since it was free, but it’s still an impressive figure.
Even more impressively, it had reached £2.6 billion five months later and continued to grow since. As individuals, on average Three customers were saving a massive £202 each year in roaming costs at last count – that’s more than most phone contracts even cost.
Although Three launched its inclusive roaming service before the other major UK networks, some of them now have compelling options of their own.
Customers on EE’s pricey 4GEE Max plans will be able to use all of their allowances to roam abroad in a similar number of locations to Three, though the selection is different and exclusively covers Europe. That, plus the pricier nature of compatible plans on EE, gives Feel at Home an edge.
However, you can roam at 4G speeds in many of these locations, which you can’t with Feel at Home, and cheaper 4GEE plans also allow you to roam, but cap your data use at 500MB.
In short then if you want to roam primarily in Europe and either won’t be using much data or are happy to pay for a pricey plan, EE’s roaming service is better. But if you’re more of a global traveller or want to spend less then Feel at Home wins.
Vodafone also allows you to roam at no extra cost, however data is capped at 4GB, so it’s not ideal for heavy users. 40 destinations are included – 2 less than Three offers, but 30 of these support 4G speeds, so your data use will be faster than on Three.
However, as with EE they’re all European destinations. You can roam further afield, but at a cost of £5 per day, so again it’s not as good as Three’s roaming service if you travel outside Europe.
O2 meanwhile can’t compete as it has no inclusive roaming. You can roam in much of Europe for just £1.99 per day, but you’re capped at 3G speeds, and you’ll pay at least £4.99 per day to roam outside Europe.
Your data speeds when abroad will depend in part on the partner network used by Three, which vary from country to country and we’ve detailed below, but note that you can’t simply look at that network’s speeds, as Three also throttles performance abroad and even suggests you don’t use data for streaming video, as it won’t be as smooth an experience as in the UK.
Once you’ve activated Feel at Home you’ll automatically connect to a partner network when abroad and be able to talk, text and browse as normal. The networks you’ll be using are listed below.
|Telstra, Vodafone Hutchison and Yes Optus||Hutchison Drei Austria||BASE||Globul and Vivacom||Airtel Jersey and Sure||Tele2 Croatia and T-Mobile|
|MTN and PrimeTel||Telefonica 02 and T-Mobile CZ||3 Denmark||Elisa and Tele2||Alands Mobiltelefon, DNA, and Elisa||Bouygues, Free Mobile, and Orange|
|O2 Germany and T-Mobile||GIBTEL||Cosmote and Wind Hellas||3 Hong Kong||Telenor and T-Mobile (Westel||Nova|
|Indonesia||Isle of Man||Israel||Italy||Latvia||Liechtenstein|
|Hutchison 3 Indonesia||Sure||Orange and Pelephone||3 Italy and Wind||Tele2 Latvia||Salt|
|Tele2||Orange (VOX)||3 Macau||Go Mobile||KPN Mobile and T-Mobile||Spark and Two Degrees|
|Norway||Poland||Portugal||Rep of Ireland||Romania||Slovakia|
|Telenor||Play and Plus||NOS||3 Ireland and O2 Ireland||Cosmote||Slovak Telecom and Telefonica O2 Slovakia|
|Mobitel and Tusmobile Slovenia||Telefonica Movistar and Yoigo||Etisalat and Hutchison||3 Sweden||Salt Mobile SA and Sunrise||AT&T and T-Mobile USA|
Feel at Home from Three is a brilliant service and one of the best things about the network if you travel a lot. Free roaming in a large number of destinations right across the globe leaves it in many ways unmatched by rivals, though the lack of 4G speeds is a disappointment and something that can be found elsewhere.
Still, overall Feel at Home remains the best inclusive roaming service offered by any UK network. The competition is tight and Three will have to keep adding locations and/or up the speeds if that’s still to be the case a year from now, but the network seems committed to Feel at Home, so there’s every chance it will do that.
©Copyright 2017 www.3G.co.uk - All Rights Reserved