The best cheap hotspot data plans in September
Cheap mobile hotspot plan benefits
Low cost carriers called MVNOs are great for cell phone plans. But these smaller carriers also pack a punch if you need a cheap mobile hotspot plan.
Need an internet service plan for your mobile hotspot device? Want to save money without sacrificing your wireless network or data speeds?
You've got it. Forget the major carriers. Get T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T data plans at up to 50% savings.
Nationwide coverage: Smaller cell phone carriers operate on the exact same networks as the big four carriers. Many already offer 5G network coverage where available at no extra cost.
High speed data: Get hotspot services on the same networks the big providers use. You'll get the same lightning fast hotspot speeds you're used to, ideal for streaming video and playing games.
Much lower prices: MVNOs have lower overhead costs because most of them operate solely online. That means you pay less for your mobile internet plan.
No contracts: Low cost carriers don't make you sign contracts. Switch carriers any time you find a better deal on a mobile hotspot plan.
Bring your own device: No need to buy an expensive hotspot from the carrier. Bring your own device to save even more money.
Customize your plan: Choose the data only plan that fits your needs. Get anywhere from 1 GB of data per month all the way up to unlimited.
Great customer support: Customer service ratings are consistently higher with MVNOs. Check out our carrier user reviews before switching.
Compare the cheapest mobile hotspot plans
Verizon & T-Mobile
$15Free Starter Kit with code: MSPUSM
$23** 20% Off with code: MSP20
Verizon & T-Mobile
$26Free Starter Kit with code: MSPUSM
$39** 20% Off with code: MSP20
Carrier coverage comparison
Which network is best for powering your prepaid mobile hotspot? That depends on which network has the best coverage in your area.
Network performance ratings
Carrier customer service comparison
Concerned that low-cost carriers won't have good customer service? Don't be, on average MVNOs score much higher customer ratings than the big networks as you'll see in the comparison chart below:
TRUSTPILOT USER RATING
Cheap mobile hotspot plans pros & cons
No contracts: It's easy to switch if you find a better internet plan from another carrier.
Flexible plans: Choose the amount of data that you want to pay for.
Cheaper for all your wireless needs: Get a cheap cell phone plan and mobile hotspot features all from one low cost carrier.
Limited availability: Not all MVNOs sell data only SIM cards. Several do though, so you can typically find what you need at a great price.
Relies on cellular signal: Mobile hotspots use your carrier's wireless network coverage. So if you're in an area with a spotty signal your hotspot will be spotty too.
Mobile hotspot vs tethering
There are two types of mobile hotspot plans available through smaller carriers.
Requires a separate portable device that provides internet to things like your laptop or tablet.
It's handy if you need to power multiple connected devices at a time.
It has its own data allotment so you don't have to worry about using up your phone plan.
Most modern smartphones have a feature that lets you share your phone data with other devices.
You need a cell phone plan that specifically allows you to share your data.
It can be a drain on battery life.
There's typically a data cap on how much of your phone plan you can use as a hotspot.
How to switch to a cheaper hotspot plan
Changing your data only plan is simple and hassle free.
Pick a plan. Customize your plan to fit your needs. Get just a little bit or set up your tablet with unlimited data. Not sure how much you need? Check out our data usage calculator to find out.
Prepare to make the switch. Make sure your old bill is paid off and your mobile hotspot is unlocked to use on another carrier.
Set up your new account. Keep your current mobile hotspot device active until your new one is set up. If you're buying a new Wi-Fi device it should come all ready to go. If not you'll get a new SIM card in the mail or in a store. Just follow your provider's instructions to activate it.
Best prepaid hotspot carriers by network
Best cheap AT&T hotspot plan: Red Pocket.
Best cheap Verizon hotspot plan: US Mobile.
Best cheap T-Mobile hotspot plan: Tello.
Considerations when comparing hotspot data plans
In addition to price, the right mobile hotspot data plan for you depends on several factors:
Coverage - Mobile coverage used to be a big deal. Now, all of the major mobile networks boast very similar coverage areas. When you're shopping for a data only plan you'll want to look at the 4G LTE coverage in the locations you'll be using your device. If you travel and need mobile data usage during those times check those zip codes as well.
Speed - You'll want fast internet if you're powering compatible devices like your laptop and tablet. The good news is that most carriers deliver a 4G LTE connection to enabled devices. This means that if your hotspot device or smartphone is capable of handling LTE speeds then you will have a high-speed connection. Even better, many low cost carriers give you 5G hotspot speeds where available at no extra charge.
Data Allowance - Your mobile hotspot usage will inform your decision as to what data allowance you need to buy. Packages are available in various sizes to meet all data usage needs, from 500 MB to unlimited. Of course the smaller the data bucket the less you'll pay. It's easy to add more data if you run out.
Mobile hotspot plans FAQs
Who has the best mobile hotspot plans?
Who has the best unlimited hotspot plan?
Tello offers unlimited hotspot data at around $39 a month. But unlimited doesn't always mean unlimited, so be sure to check the small print. Most carriers have a set data limit and when you reach it your data is reduced to 3G speeds and sometimes even 2G.
Who has the cheapest mobile hotspot plan?
You'll find the cheapest hotspot plans with a low cost carrier like US Mobile or Tello. Running on the same major networks offering you nationwide coverage but with prices starting from as low as $6 a month.
The takeaway from all of this information is that MVNOs are changing the mobile data landscape. You have more options than ever for cheap plans that meet your needs.
The most convenient way to handle all of your data needs is to consolidate everything into one package.
Rather than purchasing separately, consider building your own cell phone plan with service for your phone and your data only devices.