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49 Comments

  1. I have the T-mobile international one plus plan. I get unlimited 4G LTE mobile hotspot for an extra $25/Month. I can’t afford to buy AT and T’s Wi-Fi services at $60 per month, and only get about 7MB’s when I’m supposed to get 18MB’s of speed. It’s a total rip off. Spectrum offers 100MB’s of speed, but they want $49.95 per month. So, I think that my T-mobile plan seems to be the cheapest way to go.

    • I’m glad you found a way to get your Hotspot for less!

  2. I have a house in Rancho Mirage, CA and in Kirkland, WA. I am currently paying for WiFi in both locations. Would it be smarter to get a Mobile Hot Spot device to move between the two locations and not pay for the WiFi? I need to connect to my work network while in CA, so I’m not sure how much data that would use. Any help would be appreciated.

    • It might pay off. Perhaps you can find out how much data you are currently using each month? That might help you compare plans and prices to decide if a mobile hot spot you can use anywhere is cheaper. Also, it could prevent you from getting a mobile hot spot that is slower than what you need.

  3. We are semi-retired. Although we live in PA, we are interested in a snowbird lifestyle. My husband would work remotely 4 hours per day. What type of hotspot would probably be best?

    • That depends a bit on just how much data he’ll need. You could always click on the link in the post for one, such as FreedomPop, and try out their free trial period. For your info, their plans say you can change them at any time. So if the plan needs to be upgraded for more data, you can do that.

  4. If you’re an RVer and a member of FMCA it’s $50 for Sprint Unlimited. Go to FMCA’s website as Sprint knows nothing of this plan. Pay your bill to FMCA.

    • Thanks for mentioning that benefit for RVers. For any readers interested, keep in mind there’s also a one time fee of $40 for this service.

  5. FreedomPop’s “free” plan is a classic instance of the “bait and switch” ploy. Upon downgrading to their “free plan,” I was informed that rather than 500MB of free data, I would only get 200MB of free data because “GSM hotspots can’t get 500MB of free data.” I was charged $20 for account credit (to cover overages in case my usage exceeded the 200 MB of free data) instead of $10 as was explained to me by their sales rep, Allen. After about a month, I was charged $50 for “subscription credit.” When I opened a trouble ticket to protest this charge, I was met with an incomprehensible response that went (and this is verbatim from an email I received from their customer support), “We sincerely do apologize for the confusion this has caused you. Upon account review; you was charge dated 11-25-2018 7:11 PM for subscription credit that equivalent into $65 where in it apply on renewal charge however we confirmed here account has been downgraded into Freedom Basic GSM 200 (plan-free-zmp). We regret to inform you that we unable to issued refund since this charged is non refundable.” A day after I began a dispute with my credit card company, FreedomPop promptly closed my account. We’ll see if I’m able to get my money back. The bottom line is, don’t trust FreedomPop to abide by their promises for a free plan. Perhaps they’re better with customers on other plans, but I’d be very, very wary and look at alternatives.

    • I’m sorry you had a negative experience with FreedomPop, but I thank you for sharing it with us and other readers. Hopefully this is a one time occurrence that other’s will not experience.

  6. Can you clarify a few things for me? When you talk about the data plans charging an average of $10 per gig, is that the amount of data or is that the speed of the day that you use?

    • That is the amount of data you use.

  7. I have used both Cricket and Pure Talk. Cricket has a good 4 line unlimited data and talk,but as you stated, you pay extra for mobile hotspots. As far as I know, there is no tethering, so you can’t share your data with another phone. Pure Talk has a decent plan, but there’s no unlimited group plan like Cricket has. But, you can tether and have a hotspot. Of the data you have with Pure Talk, you just can’t add more data to it, but they don’t charge extra for the tethering or hotspot.

    • Thanks for your extra input!

  8. Do your research before considering Karma hot spot. You pay $200 for a very nice looking device, deceptive marketing, and virtually no support. Although the “Drift” plan says that you “get credit for unused data”, your data expires every month and they will use a portion of your “credit” and you pay cash for the rest. I don’t know how you would ever use all the credits. Just check the Better Business Bureau for numerous horror stories dealing with this company. There isn’t a phone number to call for support and when you email them, they do quickly respond, but usually with very vague non-answers. Their site brags about an app to manage your account, but it doesn’t exist on either Google Play or App Store. Support replied that they will notify their engineering department of this problem, until I pointed out it hasn’t been available for at least 4 months. I will have to eat the $200 for the device and move on.

    • I’m sorry that you had a bad experience with them. Thank you for sharing what happened to you. Fortunately there are other choices available to you should you decide to try again.

  9. If you buy a mobile hotspot can you hook two smart TVs up to it for Netflix and YouTube and maybe 3 cell phones?

    • Yes, you can hook multiple devices to a hotspot. This is called tethering. Once your phone’s hotspot is turned on, open the second device’s list of WiFi options and look for the hotspot name and choose it. Some hotspot plans may charge extra for this, so check out your plan first to see how many devices it will support without extra fees being charged.

  10. Some of the information here is incorrect. I do not see any mobile WiFi hot spots that are cheaper then most of the plans offered by the main cell companies. T-Mobile offers a 55+ plan with unlimited data, and 20 gigs of high speed 4G for 15 bucks more. After the 25 gigs it just slows down, but I can still stream Hulu, even then. I’ve found it best, only if you want to save money though, to actually call and talk to a real person, and they can easily tell you about which plan best suits your needs. I have unlimited data, talk and text, with 20 gigs of high speed 4G, for $65 plus about 5 bucks in additional charges, making it average 70-73 bucks a month.

    • Whether or not you think it’s cheap can depend on the circumstances. For instance a mobile hot spot might be more expensive that regular WiFi, but if you own more than one home or travel a bunch, a mobile hotspot might be cheaper than paying fees for multiple locations. This post is about some hotspot plans that may be cheaper than others that are higher priced.

  11. Which would you recommend if I’m trying to get enough hotspot data to Twitch stream Halo 5 around 3 days a week for roughly 3 hours at a time? I live in an area where it is impossible to get fast internet so I want to use mobile hotspot data for the sole purpose of streaming. I just want to buy the cheapest phone I can with the cheapest hotspot plan, maybe around 20 GB or so.

    • You’ll just need to compare the plans out there to see which features you need and don’t need along with the price of each.

  12. I have to concur with Steve about FreedomPop. I was with them for two years, until very recently, and their customer service is zilch. You are stuck with a page of FAQ’s that are barely intelligible. While the ease of increasing your data plan as needed during the month, without penalty, is a plus, their invoices are as impossible to figure out as the people are to understand – if you can ever get anyone on the line. Furthermore, your service gets cut off abruptly if you fail to alter your data plan in advance, even though they have your credit card on file. In my opinion, there are too many aberrations with FreedomPop to be comfortable with the absence of a customer service feature or any recourse in the case of billing issues.

    • I’m sorry you have had trouble with FreedomPop. Luckily, there are some other choices for you! 🙂

  13. I travel overseas quite often. Can I use a mobile hotspot device from here in the US and also during my trips to Europe? I am an unlimited plan T-Mobile customer, but I am not sure if my iPhone’s built in hotspot would work over there as far as speed and data. And, of course, if so, would that be cheaper than buying a stick overseas?

    • That’s something you need to ask T-Mobile. Since every company is different, their requirements could be different as well as what they charge. In addition, it’s possible your phone won’t even support it. The best way to find out the answers to all of your questions is to contact them and provide the information they need to determine if it can be done and how much it would cost.

  14. MyiInternet on the goHOTSPOT died after 5 years. I purchased the Walmart Straight Talk hotspot and loaded 1G ($15) on it 2 days ago. I used it for 15 minutes of navigation with my Republic Wireless phone. My data was gone. I called customer service and they said I had used all the data – too bad. The Republic Wireless phone actually tracks that data usage. I had used 14.37 MB of data. There are 1000 MB of data in 1G. I told them I would screen shot my phone and send all the information to Miami headquarters if they didn’t give it back. They did. I think customer service in these third world countries is stealing the data and using it. There are 50 complaints about this on Amazon and other websites.

    • That’s possible. I’m glad you pursued it and stood your ground. Not everyone does and they could end up being taken advantage of. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  15. We are grandparents and have the grandkids a week or two, two to three times a year. We take them places which may be a few hours away. They entertain themselves with IPADs, but can’t access Wifi for many of their games while travelling. What are the best options for our situation? We only need mobile wifi a few times a year for short periods. I posted this earlier, but forgot to mention, we have a Version wireless plan and Comcast Xfinity internet.

    • One place to start is by looking at how much it would cost to add a mobile hotspot to your plan through Verizon. Then, ask if you can get it turned off and on again, without being charged extra, at certain times of the year. You may have to look over several different companies to find something that works for your situation at the lowest price, so be prepared to check out other plans as well. During your search, make sure you list what each one will and won’t cover as well as the areas in which they will work.

  16. Thank you, I appreciate the info. I’ll contact Version to see what they say.

  17. Is there a plan that you can truly just pay for what you use? We have a vacation house in the country where I am not sure how often we will be there or how much usage we will have. Sometimes it will be just moderate web browsing vs grandkids streaming video. But I would like to have WiFi available both when we are there and when we are not, like for security etc. Do you have any advice?

    • If I were you I would compare the prices of a hotspot to a pay as you co internet plan. One of these might be a cheaper option for you. The hotspot could be used at your main address as well as on the go and at your vacation house. It might be cheaper than paying for two separate locations. I hope that gives you some direction.

  18. I’m looking to get rid of Suddenlink to go with a prepaid plan. Which carrier has the best plan for the home?

    • It depends on your own unique situation. What’s good for one person won’t work for another. Check out the ones in this post that interest you to find a plan that works for you.

  19. I’m looking into purchasing a mobile hotspot for my grandma so she can connect a MemoBird in her house. She doesn’t have internet, and she doesn’t need a new cell phone. She will have minimal usage of the data. Is FreedomPop the best choice?

    • That’s really up to you guys, bit it might not hurt to compare any other features as well. It might also depend on her location.

  20. I was trying to comment in the FreedomPop review above. I had a horrible experience, as so many do. They don’t answer questions about billing in a clear way. Many say the same as the previous reviewer. They snuck in “surprise” bills without notice on a hotspot I had with “free” data. I rarely used it, yet I kept getting billed. Then suddenly my bill went up for no reason. I had back and forths with them all the time as a user, and they were not forthcoming. I reported them to BBB before it was semi-resolved. Just look up reviews and you’ll read a lot of what you just said!

  21. I’m one more voice of painful experience warning against FreedomPop. They employ lots of hidden maneuvers to automatically upgrade you and invoice your card for things you don’t want. If your time being frustrated with unhelpful customer service is worth more than 35 cents per hour, then FreedomPop is no bargain.

    • I’m sorry you’ve had bad experiences with FreedomPop. thanks for sharing about them.

  22. I use the hotspot, Metro by T-Mobile. I average 70 GB a month in data usage. I get 15 GB in data with the hotspot that is gone in 10 days or so. Who should I look at for a truly unlimited hotspot?

    • If you look at our post, early in the post we list Xfinity Mobile. They charge $45 for unlimited hotspot data.

  23. Steve is absolutely correct about Freedompop being shady. In fact, I was recently knocked off the free plan with a ridiculous 13-step process (translation: many hours of nonsense) to get back on the free 500 MB per month plan. I have had other weird things happen, such as suddenly getting charged an extra $5.99 a month for international service I neither needed nor requested. Moreover, the hotspot never seemed to work when I went out to local restaurants. Plus there was a lot of trickery with 3G vs. 4G vs. both with $4 extra to get the slower 3G, believe it or not!

    In any case, service was poor to mediocre in my area anyway for when I did get it to work. RUN AWAY from Freedompop as fast as you can! Life is too short to waste on trying to get this so-called “free” service!

    Second, the article appears to make an error in reporting Netzero

    • It’s too bad to hear you had a bad experience with Freedom Pop! It’s good for everyone to do as much research as possible when they’re trying a new service so thanks for sharing your experience!

  24. Guys if you have a valid complaint and your carrier will not help you on a mobile plan you can always report them to the Federal Trade Commission and report there violations. The FTC has oversight over all websites in the USA.

    • Thank you for the additional information!

  25. Great article! I need a mobile hotspot only to take a programming course online. It will roughly be around 2-3 hours a day. What plan do you suggest? Thank you in advance

    • Definitely depends how much data you think you’ll use! If it’s something where you’ll be watching videos then you’ll want something with more data available! Do a little research on what you think you’ll need and that will help you figure out which plan is the most valuable to you! Best of luck!

  26. Just got back from that Azore islands. Vodafone data plan for my unlocked hotspot was 30 Euro’s for 60 gig for 30 days. These islands are 850 miles off shore and better rates anywhere. WTF.

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