Compare the Best Data Only Plans

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* MoneySavingPro compares plans, deals, and devices across all major US cell phone carriers. The prices listed are meant to be estimates based off the information we gather and we do our best to keep everything as accurate as possible but there may some discrepancies on the actual price you pay. We provide this free service to make it easier for you to switch and save on the best value deal based on your individual usage.

How to Find the Best Data SIM Cards

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When using your mobile phone, you'll need what is known as a SIM card.

A SIM card, or subscriber identity module card, contains your profile - in other words, your cell phone plan, features, contacts, text messages, and more. In fact, without a SIM card, you won't be able to use your carrier's cellular tower. After all, you won't be authorized to make calls, use data, or send text messages.

There are several different types of SIM cards that are suitable for your smartphone and other devices such as tablets, smartwatches, GPS trackers, and more. Such devices probably won't need a SIM card capable of giving minutes and texts, so a specific data-only SIM card is what you should look for.

In this guide, we'll discuss what a data only SIM card is and what they're used for so you can connect your devices to the Internet. Use our comparison table to look at the best SIM cards.

What Is a Data Only SIM Card?

A data only SIM card is a prepay SIM card that doesn't come with any minutes or text messages. You only receive data.

This type of prepay card is absolutely perfect if you need a tablet SIM card and you want to go online but there's no WiFi available. The SIM only plan is especially popular in the UK, but some US companies, like the T-Mobile network, offer them in the form of prepay data only plans.

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So who would use a data-only SIM card?

Why, those who would use a data-only SIM card are mainly those who have a data-only device, like a tablet or a hotspot device. That way, they can access the internet in areas that WiFi is not accessible. For instance, say that WiFi is not accessible in a certain location in Maine, but the 4G LTE network is available. Someone in need of internet access for business, school, etc. would then be able to secure mobile broadband internet via tablet or mobile hotspot device and a SIM only plan. That way, the person can connect to the internet and check anything essential.

Sure, you could turn your phones into a mobile hotspot, but if you use a data-only SIM card, you're using what the SIM card gives you. If you need a monthly plan featuring 22GB of data, then you only need to rely on the SIM card amount (which would most likely be inserted into a tablet or hotspot).

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The Sizes of SIM Cards

There are different sizes of SIM cards. What you need for a SIM card size is dependent on the device you own.

For instance, and according to GSM Arena, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 requires a Mini SIM (or Standard SIM). Then there is the iPad Air. The required iPad Air tablet SIM card is a Nano SIM. Other tablets require either a Micro SIM or a Standard SIM.

When you use our comparison table, you'll be able to see what size the SIM card comes in. Most SIM cards are 3-in-1 tricut, meaning that they're one size fits all. Simply cut the card to the size you need to fit the device. Before you buy a device, make sure you know what size SIM card you'll need to activate it.

The Utility of SIM Cards

SIM cards are not just for mobile phones. Beyond cell phones, SIM cards are used in GPS trackers, activity trackers, alarm systems, smart watches, tablets, and more. But be sure when you purchase any of these devices to check for the SIM card size. Also, when activating the SIM card, make sure to check your APN settings. Without the correct configuration of the APN settings, you may suffer from data issues.

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In order for MoneySavingPro to remain a consumer free service, many of the companies covered in our industry reviews compensate MoneySavingPro for new sign ups. However, the results of our comparison tools, the rankings of the providers, and the information presented is not affected by compensation.

Our ranking system is independent of compensation and reflects our understanding of the industry and the company based on a variety of factors. The companies that receive the highest rating will always be the providers that we believe offer the best value to the consumer.

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