Comparing WIND and Koodo isn't as simple as checking which one is cheaper (spoilers: that would be WIND); you also need to consider the kind of plan you need, the internet speeds you want, and the coverage that either might get in the places you frequent.
That being said, price is still a pretty important factor.
It should come as no surprise that WIND is the cheaper carrier. It runs on a smaller network, and where Koodo offers full 4G LTE, WIND is restricted to HSPA+ speeds (for now).
When it comes to plan options, WIND tends to offer larger inclusions, with no ultra-cheap small plans. Everything is 2GB or above.
Koodo has five extra plans, from 100MB to 1GB, that WIND does not offer.
Note: Folks in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Quebec enjoy different (usually lower) pricing than the rest of Canada. If you live in these regions, follow the data links at the top of each table and select your province at the top of the page.
*WIND's 5GB plan is $39 until Jan 31.
1GB is about as close to a standard entry point as the mobile plan industry has. This will get you some moderate daily usage, but still try to steer clear of things like YouTube, or music streaming services. You'll also want to make sure any updates or downloads happen over WiFi.
2GB is where you can start to breathe a little easier, and where WIND's range of plans begins. Occasional music streaming is fine, as are smaller app updates and downloads.
3GB and up is for people that use the internet heavily every day. If you're one of these people you probably know that you are, but still beware of HD video streams and some mobile games.
These plans are for people that don't, or rarely use the internet. If you have mobile broadband switched on at all, you will need at least some form of data cap. Notifications for web apps use data, as does GPS and quite a few other background operations. 100MB is the absolute least you could get by with if you have a smartphone with mobile broadband switched on, but you're better off going higher, even if you never actively use the internet when out and about.
500MB will get you some very light, occasional browsing and social media usage. 750MB slightly more, but still be careful and keep an eye on the meter.
Koodo is owned by TELUS, and operates over the TELUS 4G network. This is one of the largest mobile networks in Canada, and should provide service in most population centers.
WIND functions over its own network, which is found in many well-populated areas, but is not yet as widely-spread as TELUS'. Neither carrier covers the entirety of Canada, so it's important to get a rough idea of how each of them operates in your area.
There are two checks you should make before signing up to a new plan. These will help you get an approximate picture of the kind of mobile service you can expect.
- Look up a coverage map. Go check out a map of the TELUS network and find your house and your workplace, and any other places you often go to. Do the same for WIND and compare the two.
- Ask friends, family, and co-workers. The best way to find out if you'll get decent reception with any network is to ask people that already use it. Check with people that you have to your house, and with any co-workers, how good their reception is. Remember: Koodo and TELUS are the same thing, in terms of connectivity, so ask folks on each. WIND is the fourth-largest carrier, so it shouldn't be hard finding anyone with a WIND plan, either.
So how do I choose?
If you think you will get good coverage with one carrier, but not the other, the choice is simple. No deal, no matter how cheap, is worth it if you can't use what you pay for.
On the chance you think you'll get good coverage from both, you have to ask yourself: what is more important to you; fast internet speeds, or saving money? Koodo has a faster network in many areas, and will be more likely to give you better coverage if you travel elsewhere in Canada. WIND is far cheaper, saving you $360 per year for the 2GB plan alone.
If you still can't choose it's not the end of the world. Both Koodo and WIND are month-to-month providers; they have no lock-in contracts. If you go with one carrier and end up hating it, next month you can switch to the other one.
Just be sure to remember that your first month with most carriers tend to incur an activation fee. In this particular case it's just $5 for Koodo, and $25 for WIND.
If you'd like to compare more BYO cell plans, check out our Wind vs Fido, WIND vs Virgin, Koodo vs Virgin, Fido vs Virgin, and Fido vs Koodo articles. Alternatively, you can compare all BYO cell plans using our search & compare tool. Be sure to pop your province in up the top, select how many minutes and how much data you want, and off you go.