Data Plan Pricing Guide
Selecting your ideal cellular carrier and plan can be an overwhelming adventure, especially for nomads who need to replace a home internet connection while being mobile.
This guide is here to help you do that, and is a living document that we'll keep updated as each of the four major carriers change around their plans and offerings.
When considering cellular plans, we are focused on finding the best options for keeping a nomadic household online.
We are only interested in data that can be shared with your laptops and other gadgets, not just consumed on a single phone or tablet. Data that is “unlimited” but throttled to super slow speeds isn’t particularly interesting for this comparison either.
Most nomadic households also need a voice line or two as well, so we do factor in voice somewhat into our analysis.
But the focus here is on data. Lots and lots of glorious hotspotable data! As a result, this guide offers very detailed information on plans that provide 10GB or more of high speed hotspot use.
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Postpaid Plans and Features for the Four Carriers
Shopping the direct postpaid plans offered by the carriers is typically the first stop for most consumers. Postpaid means that you pay for your service at the end of the month, and the carriers tend to give higher priority and customer service to their consumer postpaid plans. Because you are paying for service after delivered, the carrier will want you to establish an account with them based on your credit record.
Postpaid plans also traditionally associated with contracts - although options exist to avoid contracts on postpaid plans if you're willing to purchase your cellular devices on you own instead of subsidizing or financing them.
Click on the carrier you're interested in to view all of the current and recently retired postpaid plan options offered:
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Plan Pricing Comparison Grid
Our team tracks most every data plan that offers more than 10GB of data in a month in a handy comparison grid for each carrier.
Make sure you're getting the best pricing you qualify for. This section tracks the various discounts each carrier offers.
This section goes over some combinations of plans to consider for various use factors - from high bandwidth junkies, to moderate consumers.
Conclusion: Review all of Your Options
Selecting an ideal plan can be overwhelming given all the options available. Having a good understanding of you own data needs is important in determine what you should look for in a plan. If you are dependent on being connected, having plans with two or more carriers may be a good idea. Be sure to look for discounts you may be eligible for such as age-based discounts, military, or employee discounts.
Here are some of the featured plans we're tracking. Be sure to also visit our Cellular Data Plan Gear Center to view all of the plans we track, or click on over to our current Top Pick Data Plans guide.
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.
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