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Best Mobile Hotspot Plans in 2021

Compare the cheapest mobile hotspot data plans

You don't always have access to Wi-Fi when you need it.

There are times you may need to log on for work, send a few emails, or access something online while out and about. A mobile hotspot plan makes doing so a breeze.

With a simple pocket-sized device and an affordable mobile data plan you can hop on the internet on your computer, tablet, or any other connectable device no matter where you are.

US Mobile SIM Card - Best cheap Verizon hotspot data plan - US MobileUS Mobile SIM Card - Best cheap Verizon hotspot data plan - US Mobile
Minutes
0
Texts
0
Data
4 GB
Price
$15/mo
Free Starter Kit with code: MSPUSM
Editors Take
4.5 / 5
Plans
Plan Minutes Texts Data Price

US Mobile 2GB Data Only

0

0

2GB

$10

US Mobile 4GB Data Only

0

0

4GB

$15

US Mobile 6GB Data Only

0

0

6GB

$20

US Mobile 15GB Data Only

0

0

15GB

$26

US Mobile Unlimited Data

0

0

Unlimited

$45

Free Starter Kit with code: MSPUSM

Features
Benefits

Pros

  • Flexible, no contract plans

  • 24/7 customer service

  • 5G coverage available

Cons

  • No international calling

  • Phone selection

Benefits

  • Coverage on either the T-Mobile or Verizon network

  • Risk-free trial: Full refund within 14 days or before 1000 talk, text, or MB's is used

  • Prepaid - no contract, credit check, or activation fee

  • Bring your own GSM or CDMA phone or choose from a small selection of phones for sale

  • Keep your own phone number

  • Mobile hotspot use available as add-on option with unlimited data plans

  • International roaming plans available with eSIMs

  • Add-ons available for talk, text, and data, with rollover

  • 24/7 customer support

Red Pocket SIM Card - Best cheap AT&T hotspot data plan - Red PocketRed Pocket SIM Card - Best cheap AT&T hotspot data plan - Red Pocket
Minutes
0
Texts
0
Data
5 GB
Price
$25/mo
Editors Take
4.5 / 5
Plans
Plan Minutes Texts Data Price

Red Pocket 1GB Data Only

0

0

1GB

$10

Red Pocket 5GB Data Only

0

0

5GB

$25

Red Pocket 20GB Data Only

0

0

20GB

$40

Features
Benefits

Pros

  • Nationwide coverage

  • No contracts

  • Latest selection of phones

Cons

  • Account dashboard needs work

  • No 0% financing options on latest phones

  • Customer service

Benefits

  • Operates on all four networks - AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon

  • Prepaid cell phone plans - no contract, credit check, or activation fees

  • Bring your own GSM or CDMA device and keep your phone number

  • Mobile hotspot/tethering allowed with your plan data

  • Free international calling to 70+ countries

  • Customer service available in English, Chinese, Filipino, and Spanish via chat or phone

US Mobile SIM Card - Best cheap prepaid hotspot data plan - US MobileUS Mobile SIM Card - Best cheap prepaid hotspot data plan - US Mobile
Minutes
0
Texts
0
Data
2 GB
Price
$10/mo
Free Starter Kit with code: MSPUSM
Editors Take
4.5 / 5
Plans
Plan Minutes Texts Data Price

US Mobile 2GB Data Only

0

0

2GB

$10

US Mobile 4GB Data Only

0

0

4GB

$15

US Mobile 6GB Data Only

0

0

6GB

$20

US Mobile 15GB Data Only

0

0

15GB

$26

US Mobile Unlimited Data

0

0

Unlimited

$45

Free Starter Kit with code: MSPUSM

Features
Benefits

Pros

  • Flexible, no contract plans

  • 24/7 customer service

  • 5G coverage available

Cons

  • No international calling

  • Phone selection

Benefits

  • Coverage on either the T-Mobile or Verizon network

  • Risk-free trial: Full refund within 14 days or before 1000 talk, text, or MB's is used

  • Prepaid - no contract, credit check, or activation fee

  • Bring your own GSM or CDMA phone or choose from a small selection of phones for sale

  • Keep your own phone number

  • Mobile hotspot use available as add-on option with unlimited data plans

  • International roaming plans available with eSIMs

  • Add-ons available for talk, text, and data, with rollover

  • 24/7 customer support

The best cheap hotspot data plans in September

Check Carrier Coverage

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

Carrier

Network

Minutes

Texts

Data

Price

Red Pocket

AT&T

0

0

1GB

$10

US Mobile

Verizon & T-Mobile

0

0

4GB

$15Free Starter Kit with code: MSPUSM

Ultra Mobile

T-Mobile

0

0

6GB

$23** 20% Off with code: MSP20

US Mobile

Verizon & T-Mobile

0

0

15GB

$26Free Starter Kit with code: MSPUSM

Ultra Mobile

T-Mobile

0

0

Unltd

$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

NETWORK

OVERALL

RELIABILITY

SPEED

DATA

CALL

Verizon Coverage

95

96

94

96

94

AT&T Coverage

94

94

95

96

92

T-Mobile Coverage

86

88

82

89

82

Source: Rootmetrics

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:

CARRIER

TRUSTPILOT USER RATING

Tello

4.6

US Mobile

4.6

Red Pocket Mobile

4.5

T-Mobile

1.5

Verizon

1.3

AT&T

1.2


Cheap mobile hotspot plans pros & cons

Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • 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.

Mobile hotspot

  • 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.

Tethering

  • 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Prepare to make the switch. Make sure your old bill is paid off and your mobile hotspot is unlocked to use on another carrier.

  3. 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


Considerations when comparing hotspot data plans

In addition to price, the right mobile hotspot data plan for you depends on several factors:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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?

The best hotspot plan is personal to you. There are some great value deals with low cost carriers like US Mobile, especially for light use.

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.


Recap

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.

Carrier

Best for...

Mins

Texts

Data

Price

US Mobile SIM Card - Best cheap Verizon hotspot data planUS Mobile

Best Verizon hotspot plan

0

0

4GB

$15/mo

Red Pocket SIM Card - Best cheap AT&T hotspot data planRed Pocket

Best AT&T hotspot plan

0

0

5GB

$25/mo

US Mobile SIM Card - Best cheap prepaid hotspot data planUS Mobile

Best prepaid hotspot plan

0

0

2GB

$10/mo

Rob Webber
Rob Webber

Rob has 15+ years experience in the US and UK running price comparison sites for cell phone plans, smartphone deals, TV, and internet. He loves thinking outside of the box to build tools that empower consumers to make more informed decisions.

The best prices on the best networks