Best Unlimited Data Cell Phone Plans

Unlimited data plans are available on all four major U.S. carriers (T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon, AT&T), and provide shoppers with a lot of choice. But that newfound freedom comes with a bevy of gotchas. For instance, an unlimited cell phone plan might get greatly throttled (slowed down) tethering speeds or downgraded streaming video when trying to watch Netflix. As always, carriers are happy to upsell customers plans with slightly better features, but every plan has its own unique pitfalls.Our recommendations are as follows:

Best unlimited data plan: postpaid

Plan name: Sprint Unlimited Freedom

Monthly price: $65; $60 with $5 autopay discount.

Why we like it: Sprint has one of the cheapest unlimited data plans available, unless you go prepaid, and it includes 10GB of mobile hot spot access and unlimited HD video streaming

You can have up to 10 lines on your plan. The first additional line costs $45 per month. Each line after that is $35 per month. You can save $5 per line, per month if you opt for automatic payments.Sprint charges a $30 activation fee for each new line.

Best unlimited data plan: prepaid

Plan name: Boost Mobile Unlimited

Monthly price: $50

Why we like it: An unlimited plan with none of the commitments

Video streaming is limited to standard definition. You can upgrade to HD streaming for $10 per month.

Plan includes 8GB of high-speed mobile hot spot data.You can have up to five lines on your account. Each additional line is $30 per month.You’ll pay full price to purchase a new phone, but if you have a phone through Sprint,you might be able to activate it with Boost.

Restrictions on unlimited data plans

Even though these are “unlimited” data plans, they aren’t exactly limitless. Most of them cap high-speed data usage at around 23GB per month. If you hit that threshold, your connection might be “deprioritized,” that is, slowed considerably. Even if you buy an unlimited plan, you should still connect to Wi-Fi when you can to conserve your data.


How to Check Network Quality in Your Area

If you live in a rural area, before you switch to a new wireless network, do some research. Don’t trust the people at the Best Buy or store in the mall. See if neighbors, friends, or relatives nearby use other carriers. You can ask some local friends on Facebook, too.

Use  OpenSignal and  RootMetrics to track how effective networks are in your area. Just enter your address and you’re good to go.

If you own a cabin or travel for work, check those addresses, too. Chances are high that all four wireless carriers will work just fine, but it’s smart to check before switching.

Posted on May 5, 2023