While not suitable for most full-time US based nomads, short term data rental plans are available through several companies for data usage in the US, and beyond. These plans may be applicable to those who travel infrequently, or have limited data needs.
We track some of the options for companies that offer data and/or device rentals for short periods of a day, days, or weeks.
These plans are not typically cost effective for meeting usage needs beyond a few days.
However, for folks that require data for short bursts - or for part time nomads who don't wish to purchase their own equipment, there are options.
While this Gear Center entry does not go in depth on particular plans and companies, we do keep a list of interesting short term data rental options - and are always on the lookout for plans and companies that are highly applicable to US based RVers and Cruisers.
In addition, most Global SIM rental companies (who typically focus on International travelers) provide short term hotspot data solutions in the US (and beyond). We track some of these companies on our Alternative Global Cloud SIMs Gear Center page. These are worth a comparison with the plans listed on this page if you are considering a short-term data solution.
- DayPass Wireless - A US based company offering short term rentals of data plans and hotspot devices on two major US carriers. Must rent a device to use a plan. Devices can only be delivered to US based address/postal boxes, and returns of devices must be post-marked by the day after your final day of data usage. There is a shipping fee.
- Prices are calculated based on number of days of usage - ranging from $8.75/day to $4.75/day.
- Sprint - Only truly unlimited plan offered. Video streaming permitted. (We are monitoring to see if this offering will be affected by Sprint's merger with T-Mobile.)
- Verizon - 1GB of usage per day included in base price. Additional fee charged per GB after 1GB per day.
- Event Radio Inc - A US based company offering short term (minimum of 7 days) of Verizon hotspots or AT&T hotspots/aircards. Each rental includes 1GB/day of high-speed data. Additional data (up to 5GB) can be pre-ordered for a rental.
- AlwaysOnlineWireless - sells SIM cards for use in phones, hotspot devices, or tablets by the hour, day or megabyte. Data plans for the US range from minuscule to 5GB. If you've got an iPad device with an Apple, you can skip the SIM cards ordering and get a plan directly. Does not specify which US carrier it is supported by.
Potential Alternatives to Consider:
Some of our TOP PICK Cellular Data Plans to also consider:
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Selecting the right cellular data plan for your mobile internet needs is only one part of the equation. Here's some further guides on understanding the selection process as well as the additional gear you might need.