• Full Review
  • Specifications

Full Review

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.

Destinations : Feel at Home Around the World (Advanced Plans)

Feel at Home has a lot going for it. The full service, known as 'Feel at Home Around the World' is now available in 60 destinations, which is more than any other UK network offers.

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.

Aland Islands Australia Austria Azores Balearic Islands
Belgium
Brazil
Bulgaria
Canary Islands
Croatia
Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Estonia Finland
France French Guiana Germany Gibraltar Greece
Guadeloupe Guernsey Hong Kong Hungary Iceland
Indonesia Isle of Man Israel Italy Jersey
Latvia Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macau
Madeira Malta Martinique Netherlands New Zealand
Norway Poland Portugal Puerto Rico Republic of Ireland
Romania Réunion Saint Barthélemy Saint Martin San Marino
Singapore Slovakia Slovenia Spain Sri Lanka
Sweden Switzerland US Virgin Islands USA Vatican City

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 – data is capped at 12GB if you have unlimited data, and you need to be on one of Three’s Advanced plans to get the full Feel at Home Around the World service.

Destinations : Feel at Home in Europe (Essential Plans)

On Essential Plans you instead get Feel at Home in Europe, which gives you all 48 of Feel at Home's European destinations, but doesn't let you roam for free in the 12 locations that are outside Europe (namely Australia, Brazil, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Israel, Macau, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Sri Lanka, USA and the US Virgin Islands).

But Feel at Home is still a remarkably generous offering, with the biggest drawback being 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.

Costs and Savings

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.

Comparison to Other UK Networks

Although Three launched its inclusive roaming service before the other major UK networks, some of them now have compelling options of their own.

All UK networks now offer free roaming in the EU thanks to Roam Like At Home, but EE, like Three, goes beyond that on some of its plans, with customers on EE’s pricey 4GEE Max plans able to use all of their allowances to roam abroad in the US, Canada, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand too.

That's still a smaller selection than Feel at Home Around the World though, and 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.

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 allows you to roam at no extra cost in 40 destinations across Europe, so it's more limited in terms of locations than Three, but 30 of these support 4G speeds, so your data use will be faster than on Three.

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 offers free roaming in 47 European locations, but not beyond Europe and only at 3G speeds. You’ll pay at least £4.99 per day to roam outside Europe.

Overseas Speeds and Operators

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.

Australia Austria Belgium Bulgaria Channel Islands Croatia
Telstra, Vodafone Hutchison and Yes Optus Hutchison Drei Austria BASE Globul and Vivacom Airtel Jersey and Sure Tele2 Croatia and T-Mobile
Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Estonia Finland France
MTN and PrimeTel Telefonica 02 and T-Mobile CZ 3 Denmark Elisa and Tele2 Alands Mobiltelefon, DNA, and Elisa Bouygues, Free Mobile, and Orange
Germany Gibraltar Greece Hong Kong Hungary Iceland
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
Lithuania Luxembourg Macau Malta Netherlands New Zealand
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
Slovenia Spain Sri Lanka Sweden Switzerland USA
Mobitel and Tusmobile Slovenia Telefonica Movistar and Yoigo Etisalat and Hutchison 3 Sweden Salt Mobile SA and Sunrise AT&T and T-Mobile USA

Conclusion

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.

Specifications

Specifications

  • Free roaming in 60 countries
  • Use your calls, text and data abroad
  • Included at no extra cost with all advanced plans, Pay As You Go and mobile broadband, tablet and data only plans

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