Skip to content

November 13, 2017

Best Unlimited Data Plan

by John_A

freedom-mobile-lte-3.jpg?itok=ciIirYH4

Unlimited plans are back, but which one is the best?

All four major U.S. carriers offer an unlimited data plan again. After years of hearing how they were unable to provide unlimited data to every customer and maintain the quality of service they wanted, new technology and a more competitive market means a 180-degree turnaround was in order and here we are.

We’ve previously written about how most people just don’t need unlimited data, and you should have a look if you have any questions about how much you should spend or how much data you need. But if you’re sure you need all the data you can get each and every month, let’s look at which company you should give your business to. We’ll start with a quick look at what each company has to offer and what it will cost you.

Advertisement

AT&T

Price for single line $90 for Unlimited Plus $60 for Unlimited Choice (data speeds are capped at 3M/s)
Price for two lines $145 for Unlimited Plus $115 for Unlimited Choice
Additional lines $20 each (wearables are $10)

Features

There are a few differences between the plans, so let’s break each down.

Unlimited Plus

  • Unlimited talk, text, and data
  • 10 GB mobile hotspot (tethering)
  • Unlimited talk and text to Canada and Mexico
  • Advanced messaging between compatible phones on the AT&T network
  • Unlimited talk, text, and data in Canada and Mexico with free Roam North America Feature (if more than 50% of use is outside the U.S. the plan can be terminated)
  • Unlimited music and video streaming with optional Stream Saver for less data use
  • $25 monthly credit for DirecTV services
  • Free HBO subscription

Unlimited Choice

  • Unlimited talk, text, and data
  • Data speeds capped at 3Mbps
  • Standard definition video streaming
  • Unlimited talk and text to Canada and Mexico
  • Advanced messaging between compatible phones on the AT&T network
  • Unlimited talk, text, and data in Canada and Mexico with free Roam North America Feature (if more than 50% of use is outside the U.S. the plan can be terminated)
  • $25 monthly credit for DirecTV services
  • Free HBO subscription

Like most carriers, the monthly fees don’t include tax or regulatory fees and you may have other costs if you get your phone from AT&T.

  • Everything you need to know about AT&T’s unlimited plans
  • See plans at AT&T

Sprint

Price for single line $60
Price for two lines $100
Additional lines Free (with the current promotion) for phones Tablets are $25 per month

Sprint Unlimited Freedom plan details

  • Unlimited talk, text, and data (with certain restrictions)
  • Unlimited data for streaming video up to 1080p
  • Unlimited data for gaming up to 8Mbps
  • Unlimited data for streaming music up to 1.5Mbps
  • 10GB high-speed mobile hotspot with VPN and P2P support
  • Add a tablet with unlimited data for $25 per month

Note: These features apply only to new accounts.

Again, you’ll need to pay taxes and fees on top of these prices and equipment fees aren’t included.

  • Everything you neeed to know about Sprint’s Unlimited Freedom Plan
  • See plans at Sprint

T-Mobile

Price for single line $70
Price for two lines $120
Additional lines $140 for three lines $20 each for more

These prices include taxes and all fees

T-Mobile has a lot of feature fine print that goes with their T-Mobile ONE plan, and it might make a difference:

  • 200MB of roaming data per month
  • Unlimited talk, text, and data in Canada and Mexico
  • One hour of free Gogo in-flight Wi-Fi and unlimited texting on enabled flights
  • Unlimited data and texting in over 140 locations at 2x speed (264kbps) (limited time offer)
  • Netflix streaming included

T-Mobile also offers two Plus add-ons that are worth a mention here:

The $10 monthly T-Mobile ONE Plus add-on includes everything from the standard ONE plan plus the following:

  • Unlimited HD video streaming
  • 10GB of high-speed data tethering per month
  • Unlimited in-flight data on all Gogo-enabled flights
  • T-Mobile Visual Voicemail
  • T-Mobile Name ID

The $25 T-Mobile ONE Plus International add-on includes everything from the ONE Plus plan and adds the following:

  • Unlimited international calling to landlines in over 70 countries and mobile numbers in more than 30 countries
  • Unlimited high-speed mobile hotspot

  • Everything you need to know about T-Mobile’s unlimited plans

  • See plans at T-Mobile

Advertisement

Verizon

Verizon offers two tiers of unlimited plans. Here’s the breakdown.

Go Unlimited

Go Unlimited is the cheaper of the unlimited plans, aimed at users that don’t necessarily need the fastest performance at all times or high-quality video streaming.

  • One line: $75/month
  • Two lines: $65 per line/month
  • Three lines: $50 per line/month
  • Four or more lines lines: $40 per line/month

Paper-free billing and $5/mo AutoPay discounts apply.

The Go Unlimited plan offers unlimited LTE data, but you’re subject to reduced speeds (throttling) when the network is congested. Verizon may choose to throttle at any time of the billing cycle, which is unlike most other unlimited plans that only do so after a certain amount of data is used.

On Go Unlimited, all video streaming is capped at 480p on phones and 720p on tablets. And while the Go Unlimited plans offer unlimited mobile hotspot (tethering), the speed is capped at 600kbps, which is likely too slow for most people do anything other than browsing the web — slowly.

As of November 3, 2017, customers can pay $10 per line to remove streaming restrictions and have video delivered at its original resolution.

Beyond Unlimited

Beyond Unlimited is basically Verizon’s original unlimited plan with some slight tweaks.

  • One line: $85/month
  • Two lines: $80 per line/month
  • Three lines: $60 per line/month
  • Four or more lines: $50 per line/month

Paper-free billing and $5/mo AutoPay discounts apply.

The Beyond Unlimited plan offers unlimited LTE data, but you’re subject to reduced speeds (throttling) at times of network congestion if you exceed 22GB in a billing cycle (customers that sign up on a two-year contract get 25GB per month before throttling).

Video streaming is capped at 720p on phones and 1080p on tablets. Mobile hotspot use is unlimited, with 15GB of LTE data in each billing cycle. Laptops or other devices used through the hotspot have a 1080p hard cap for streaming video.

As of November 3, 2017, customers can pay $10 per line to remove streaming restrictions and have video delivered at its original resolution.

  • Everything you need to know about Verizon’s unlimited plan
  • See plans at Verizon

The best unlimited wireless plan

pile-of-phones-mid-2017-1.jpg?itok=WEbza

There are a few things in common with all four carriers: The listed prices in all advertisements are for customers who use autopay for their monthly bill. Each carrier can slow down your data to 3G speeds once you hit an invisible cap on data, which is right around 20GB per line. And no carrier guarantees great coverage, no matter what their coverage maps might say.

T-Mobile offers the best unlimited plan in the U.S.

Overall, T-Mobile has the best unlimited plan you can buy. We considered price, coverage, and features equally and while we can’t say T-Mobile will work for everyone, it’s where you should look first. Here’s how we reached the decision.

  • Which companies offer the coverage you need? Having a cheap cell phone bill isn’t so great if your phone doesn’t work where you need it to work. There are large areas of the U.S. where T-Mobile has no coverage at all but for the most part, these are rural areas. While we think rural areas are awesome, we can’t ignore that T-Mobile does offer coverage where most people live. As always, if total overall coverage is your main criteria when buying an unlimited plan, you should have a look at Verizon.

  • How much are your monthly taxes and fees going to be? In some places, these extra fees will add up. When you add upwards of $30 (or more) to each month’s bill, T-Mobile bundling them into the plan price might make a difference. Once you add in all the fees that find their way into your monthly bill, there probably won’t be much difference between Sprint and T-Mobile unless you have three or more lines. Sprint is cheaper, but T-Mobile picking up the tab for those fees makes a big difference.

  • Do you need any of the other services that come with a particular plan? If you have to pay extra for things like texting or calling people in other countries be sure to add those costs into the price unless it’s included in the plan. T-Mobile offers roaming data, calls, texts and data in all of North America as well as texting and data in 140 other places around the world. They even offer free in-flight Wi-Fi with Gogo. This is a great set of useful extras.

Advertisement

The best news is that everything here is subject to change at any time! Because the market has become so competitive for unlimited data, companies will constantly be adjusting prices and features. When one company makes a move the rest will soon follow with their own new pricing or other offers.

See at T-Mobile

Updated November 2017: This article was updated with the latest plan details, but T-Mobile still gets the number one pick.

Carriers

verizon-galaxy-s7-edge-plus-sims.jpg?ito

  • Which unlimited plan should you buy?
  • Verizon’s Unlimited plans: Everything you need to know
  • Everything you need to know about the T-Mobile ONE unlimited plan
  • Everything you need to know about the AT&T Unlimited plan
  • Everything you need to know about Sprint’s Unlimited Freedom plan
  • Join the Discussion

Advertisements
Read more from News

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Note: HTML is allowed. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to comments

%d bloggers like this: