Do you ever feel like feel like your wallet is being hurt by frequent purchasing of data bundles? Yes? Does this force you to limit the time you spend online? We all want total freedom when it comes to internet access. Apps like Whats-app, Skype, and Gmail demands an uninterrupted internet connection for you to keep conversations going. Unlimited data plan is the way to go.
The plan has gained popularity fast and furiously in recent times. Probably ten years ago, lists like Best Unlimited Data Plans were not even a thing. The whole idea appeared doggy, but with almost everything going digital, unlimited data plans are just too good to ignore and here’s why:
- Modern smartphones have a higher processing power and better screens thereby becoming data hungry
- It is cost effective compared to limited plans. You can use more than 6GB on monthly basis
- You don’t have to keep on checking your cellular data balance
- You can switch carriers or plans completely
- You stream instantly
- You require frequent access to your websites and emails
Unlimited data plans are no doubt a big deal, and for most people, having the best plan means so much to them. It not only saves them some pennies but also ensures they have the most stable internet connection that is within their reach.
The market today offers endless choices of unlimited data plans, from expensive ones to pocket-friendly bare-bones plans. All these options have unique packages which vary and can be confusing. Some suits individual needs, others are ideal for a family of small organizations while kids can have their preferences too. Choosing the best plan is not just about the cost and duration you can use in a specific time frame. It also has to have good coverage!
When subscribed to unlimited data plans, you don’t have to be stressed about overages; you can be connected for as long as you wish, from anywhere. So then, what are these plans?
Unlimited Data Plans
Our four major carriers (AT & T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint) are providing this data plans, with each plan structured differently. In February this year, almost all major carriers made significant changes and adjustments to their plans. Verizon, which is the biggest subscriber regarding the number of subscribers, reintroduced uncapped data. Sprint and T-Mobile on their parts crapped throttling schemes from their data plans. AT&T, the second largest carrier, availed unlimited data to their clients who don’t pay for U-verse or DirectTv.
The variations amongst these carriers include pricing while others slow down the speed once subscribers exceed a certain limit. Let’s break down each of the four carriers’ best-unlimited data plan;
Frankly, it’s hard to pick a winner among the available plans, but having T-Mobile starting the list is not just because there had to be a starting point. I feel it offers the best value for your cash. It gives more than just unlimited plan.
The market has turned out to be more saturated and carries are busy focusing on attracting groups and families in their quest to add customers. Fortunately, T-Mobile came up with this simple choice to take care of individual needs to give more than enough data for one to up to date on social media and video streaming without data cap stress. Credits to data BingeOn and rollover, you have a host of music and video streaming services, and you can easily carry over the unused data for one year! This means that if you don’t exhaust your 4GB data in the current month, you can carry forward to the next month and it can only expire after one year. This feature is dubbed “kickback.”
Data and cost
T-Mobile cost $70 a month for just one line. Currently, T-Mobile is offering two lines for $100 per month, but they usually charge $120 for two lines. For three lines, you have to part with $140 monthly and $160 for four months. You are also required to enlist in auto-pay billing to get those prices, or else you’ll pay $5 more per line in a month.
A key thumb-up is that subscribers can access data and texts in 140 countries across the world making it the best option for international travelers. Quite interestingly, subscribers get discounts every Tuesday on movie tickets, fast food, lyre rides and much more! Furthermore, what you see is what you pay; there are no additional fees or taxes!
Subscribers have unlimited access to high definition videos and music streaming. It’s the perfect option for users watching 480p video on smartphones, but you can opt to pay extra $10 monthly for T-Mobile One Plus for a higher degree of HD Videos. Other carriers such as Verizon and AT & T are desperately trying to match T-Mobile’s offering, but they can’t compete in hosting free streaming.
Unfortunately, this simple plan offers some 2G internet speed which is slow, though fast enough for emails, social media, and texting. It’s not convenient for international video calls. On a positive note, If you are in desperate need of high-speed data, more so when in abroad, T-Mobile takes care of that. You can take a quick data pass which gives 100MB for $15 as a single-day-pass, 200MB FOR $25 for seven days and $50’s 500MB for 14 days. Upon hitting those day’s caps, the speed reduces.
Sprint offers the best option for a family plan due to its competitive price. Unlike T-Mobile, sprint has subscribers sharing pooled data that results in a four line family plan with 120GB for $140. That slashes it down to $60 flat rate a month, plus the extra $20 per line cost, which results in additional $80. Technically, if every family member can use below 3GB of cellular data, this family option becomes the best choice.
Split if operating on deep discounts until October 31st, 2018. In the period before the said date, split is working on $50 a month for a single line. Customers can have up to five lines at $90 a month for each multi-line. These promotional prices apply to new customers only.
After the discount period, one line will be charged $60 a month, $100 for two lines, $130 for three lines, and $160 for four lines. These prices will also apply to the current customers who are switching from another plan.
Quite noticeably, these charges do not include regulatory fees and taxes, which vary depending on the regions that you come from. One is also required to enroll in auto-pay to get the rates, lest each line will demand an additional $5 a month.
Split gives you 23GB of LTE data in a month, which is capped to slower speed once you hit that limit. You also get 10GB of LTE mobile-hotspot data for every line each month, when you use above that, the speed is capped at a 2G speed which is nigh-unusable.
HD video streaming
Split lets you stream music and HD videos for up to 1080p resolution. This is fairly sharp. For users who subscribed before February 17th, 2017, their video streams are capped at 480p resolution which is non HD. You’ll need to switch to updated plant to access HD upgrade.
Verizon’s new “Beyond Unlimited” and “Go Unlimited” plans have split what used to be the most preferred plan. The Go Limited trades at $75 a month for the first line, $130 for two lines, $150 for three lines, and $160 for four lines a month. Subscribers have the option of adding up to six lines each one costing an additional $40 each month. This gets us to a maximum of $400 for ten lines a month.
On the other hand, the Beyond Limited deal starts at $85 monthly for a single line. Two lines cost $160, three lines $180and $200 for four lines. A single line after the fourth one demands an additional $50 a month. This translates to a maximum of $400 for ten lines a month.
The previous plan started at $80 a month for one line, $140 for two, $160 for three and $180 for four lines. Users who had subscribed to the previous plan get to maintain those prices.
How much data do you get?
With Beyond Unlimited being a bit expensive, Verizon argues that it can be temporary slow the mobile data speeding places of congestion when you use more than 22GB LTE data in one month. This is similar to the previous plan.
Go Unlimited plan can also slow down the connection speed temporarily at any point in areas of congestion. This, however, doesn’t mean that you’ll be continuously slowed to a crawl when using the internet.
Streaming HD Video
Unfortunately, you cannot stream HD Videos to a smartphone when you are on Go Unlimited plan. Video streamed oven Go Unlimited maxes out at 480p resolution, and this is less than what can be considered a high definition video quality.
Beyond Limited plan is the ideal package for streaming HD Videos on smartphones, but still, it is capped at a 720p resolution. This quality might not be the best HD video, but it’s the minimum threshold for high definition videos. Sadly, when comparing this with the previous plan, it’s a step back for users as Verizon never restricted videos on any gadget.
With tablets, however, Go Unlimited can support up to 720p while Beyond Unlimited can hit 1080p video streaming.
Mobile-hotspot data on Verizon
Go unlimited presents unlimited mobile-hotspot but at a slower speed compared to LTE speed. The speed is capped at 600kbps, and that’s a 3G quality, not bad.
Beyond Unlimited, on the other hand, gives up to 15GB of LTE mobile-hotspot data a month and the speed reduces to below 600kbps once you hit 15GB mark. This is a better deal compared to the previous one which offered 10GB before throttling.
Apart from data, Verizon offers unlimited texting and calling thru out the US, Mexico to Canada. This is only enjoyed by subscribers of Beyond Unlimited Plan. It also lets data usage in those states with that plan but holds on to its slow 2G speed if you go past 500MB on a given day.
AT&T has two unlimited plans, Unlimited Choice and Unlimited Plus.
Unlimited Plus demands $90 for one line in a month. Two lines cost $145 a month, three lines $165 and $185 a month for the fourth one. The fifth line up to tenth is charged $20 each. The speed is slowed once you use 22GB. Also, you will have 10GB of LTE mobile-hotspot data monthly in each line. This speed is reduced to 128Kbps once you exhaust that amount.
Unlimited plus lets you stream HD videos though kept at 480p resolution, but you still have an option of improving the video quality by turning off the stream saver option.
The unlimited choice will cost you $60 for one line. Two lines cost $115 a month, three lines $135 and the fourth one $155. Fifth to tenth will cost $20 each per month. The prices for both plans do not include regulatory fees and taxes. You also have to enlist in auto-pay
Once the line is slowed after exhausting 22GB, everything is capped at 3mbps which is too slow. This plan, however, does not have mobile-hotspot data. Streaming videos are capped at 1.5Mbps 480p resolution.
Apart from the two unlimited plans, AT&T lets you add a tablet to the plans at monthly charges of $20 which can be worn for $10 a month.
The best option
There is no specific data plan that can be concluded to be the best for everyone because different people consider different factors and preferences. However, T-Mobiles advanced coverage and network, plus the inclusion of fees and taxes make it look like the best deal
AT&T’s plan is costly scaring away middle-income earners. However, its network is not far off from that of Verizon.
Verizon’s new deals have advanced on the networks but the prices are reasonably much higher scaring away existing and potential customers. Its system is seen to be fastest, but it lacks 1080p video resolution. On the other hand, Sprint offers the cheapest plan, but the network is weaker compared to other plans.
Despite the term “unlimited data plan,” no single plan can let you use an endless amount of LTE data without any form of restriction. All carriers slow down the speed if you hit a certain point, or restrict you what you can do with the data especially when it comes to HD video streaming, international calls, and mobile-hotspot.
However, these unlimited data plans ensure that one remains connected to the internet. You need therefore to be keen when deciding on the best plan for you, the one that will take care of your individual preferences. Are looking for the cheapest, or the HD quality, or speed, there’s that option that fits your primary concern!
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