Aside from wired connections and WiFi networks, mobile hotspots have become a widely sought-after way to stay connected to the internet. It is a very practical option when all the other conventional means have failed. That said, more and more mobile carriers have included data allocation for mobile hotspots in their phone plans.
Are you on the lookout for a good mobile hotspot plan? You’re in the right place.
What Is a Mobile Hotspot?
A mobile hotspot is one of the essential features in your smartphones in terms of connectivity. It shares your internet connection with your friends, family, or colleagues, or other devices that you own so they too can access the internet. Through the respective devices’ Wi-Fi feature, they can easily connect to your mobile hotspot. In other terms, the process is called internet sharing or tethering.
What mobile hotspots do is access cellular signals and transform 3G and 4G connection to Wi-Fi and vice versa. It creates a portable Wi-Fi network that can be shared by other people within 10 meters from the mobile hotspot area. The majority of wireless carriers provide mobile hotspot devices and the essential wireless data plans to activate them. Another alternative option is using your mobile phone to share with other devices. As mentioned, numerous smartphones allow the creation of a portable hotspot through tethering, using the smartphone’s current mobile data connection.
Hotspot Data vs. Prepaid Data
Despite hotspot data and prepaid data having a similar purpose, each has its own unique aspects. While other devices are only Wi-Fi compatible, some smartphones and tablets both have 3G, 4G or LTE, and Wi-Fi compatibility. Regardless of wherever you are and the frequency of your internet usage, a data-compatible device will provide you secure and fast connectivity on the web, allowing you to access the information you’ll need as well as the flexibility of your data consumption.
A hotspot data makes use of your Wi-Fi signal that you use to wirelessly connect computers, smartphones, tablets, and other devices. That said, when your smartphone or tablet has a Wi-Fi signal, you can share your internet connection with other people, or other devices that connect through a Wi-Fi signal. In a nutshell, your hotspot data connects to a router while prepaid data doesn’t.
In terms of coverage, a hotspot data only works well within the range of the router you’re being connected with. With prepaid data, it doesn’t have any restrictions. As a result, if you’re bringing your phone with you and for as long as you have the prepaid data activated, you’ll be connected to the internet. Depending on your plan, hotspot data provides you with an unlimited internet connection.
For prepaid data, you’ll need to pay for an internet service first before using it. It’s similar to using your prepaid mobile phones. The sole difference is that you’re paying for the amount of data you’ll consume as well as the time and frequency of usage. With prepaid data, you have the option of paying for a daily, weekly, or monthly coverage.
How to Get Unlimited Mobile Hotspot?
With the popularity of the digital nomad lifestyle and smartphones, internet access has become as essential as the food, water, and air we need daily. The best mobile hotspot plans that we’ll highlight in this article additionally offer free hotspot tethering on their corresponding data plans. That said, you can connect Wi-Fi-compatible smartphones, computers, tablets, and other devices to your mobile phone and utilize it as a data gateway.
The drawback with the unlimited mobile hotspot is that no service providers nowadays provide unlimited data tethering on unlimited mobile plans without slowing down the internet speeds when the monthly data allotment has been reached.
To get an unlimited mobile hotspot, you can purchase some of the best mobile hotspot plans we’ve highlighted in this article. Once you’ve purchased a suitable plan, you should enable the Wi-Fi hotspot on your smartphone. Depending on your handset model, the process can be accessed through your phone’s settings. Once you’ve activated the mobile hotspot on your phone, you can locate the hotspot signal or network using the device that you want to connect to. As mentioned, unlimited mobile hotspot plans do exist; however, you’ll eventually get slower internet speeds when you’ve capped out.
Best Carriers for Wi-Fi Hotspots
Visible provides unlimited mobile hotspot plans with 5 Mbps data capping. If you’re a minimal internet user with lite activities such as streaming music, surfing the web, and checking emails, then you’re definitely covered without a problem. However, if you’re a gamer or a certified binge-watcher, and do any other heavy streaming activities, then you might want to choose from other mobile hotspot plans that we’ve included.
Visible is considered an MVNO (mobile virtual network operator), utilizing the network of Verizon for connection. If you’re familiar with MVNOs, these are cheaper wireless service providers that make use of a larger and more expensive service provider such as T-Mobile, Verizon, and Sprint. In the case of Visible, it utilizes Verizon’s reliable network coverage for a cheaper price.
The drawback of using MVNOs like Visible is deprioritization. Since you’re only using Verizon’s network, you’ll encounter loss of signal or minimal signal during peak hours. It is because Verizon is prioritizing its own users during rush hour, instead of customers subscribed to mobile hotspot plans for MVNOs.
- – Consistent coverage
- – 5 Mbps of unlimited hotspot data
- – Data speeds that disconnect out of the blue due to the deprioritization process of MVNOs
- – Unavailability of high-speed data
Considered as the country’s largest service provider, Verizon Wireless offers four mobile hotspot devices. If you already have an existing postpaid mobile hotspot on your Verizon account without additional devices, you can purchase internet service for as low as 1 GB/month for only $10. For additional charges, you will pay $10 per GB excess.
Aside from the per-GB subscription of Verizon, the company offers different plans to stay connected. Verizon customers can purchase any of the shared subscriptions or Unlimited Plans as a mobile hotspot with no extra and hidden fees. It also offers a mobile hotspot service through its Verizon Plan and More Everything Plan. With the $75 Prepaid Unlimited Plan of Verizon, you can obtain 600 kbps mobile hotspot internet speed. However, if you are subscribed to Verizon’s $70 and $80 monthly plan, you won’t have the mobile hotspot inclusion.
If you don’t require constant mobile hotspots such as for a family vacation or business trip, there are plenty of Verizon prepaid plans available. For an introductory price of $35/month, you’ll have 6 GB worth of mobile hotspot. Also, Verizon offers $45 for 16 GB per month as well as $65 for 30 GB per month.
As one of the frontrunners in the 5G network, Verizon launched its first 5G mobile hotspot device, the Verizon Inseego 5G MiFi M1000. For existing Verizon customers with mobile phones and subscribed to one of its unlimited mobile phone plans, they can just add a 5G MiFi M1000 to their existing account. That said, they’ll enjoy 50 GB of 5G data monthly, including 15 GB of 4G LTE for only $30 per month. If you prefer 5G mobile hotspot data alone, subscription plans have an introductory price of $85 per month.
- – The best and most reliable network coverage
- – High-speed hotspot data worth 15 GB
- – Access to 5G network
- – Very expensive
If you’re currently subscribed to AT&T for all your internet needs, you can purchase its DataConnect mobile hotspot plans. It has a $50 monthly plan for 10 GB of hotspot data and a $70 monthly plan for 15 GB of hotspot data. For other alternatives, you can purchase one of AT&T’s Wireless Internet bundles. For voice talk alone, it will cost you $20; however, you can have 10 GB of hotspot data for $50. Other packages include a $60 monthly plan for 50 GB of hotspot data and a $100 monthly plan for 100 GB of hotspot data. All hotspot packages already include voice talk.
AT&T also offers prepaid mobile hotspot plans with a starting price of $35 for 3 GB worth of hotspot data for a month. The succeeding monthly prepaid hotspot costs $50 for 10 GB worth of hotspot data. If you want to have the most out of your prepaid hotspot data, you can purchase the $75 monthly hotspot plan for 18 GB worth of data.
- – Inclusions of HBO Max and Hulu
- – 4G hotspot data worth 30 GB
- – Fastest internet speeds
- – Costly
Sprint provides you with the flexibility to choose between three mobile hotspot devices. And if you’re planning to purchase one of these hotspot devices and register it to Sprint’s network, you also have three subscriptions to choose from. With simple and straightforward hotspot data plans, Sprint offers you suitable hotspot packages for $30 per month for 10 GB worth of hotspot data, $50/month for 50 GB, and $60/month for 100 GB.
The MiFi 8000 developed by Sprint is already available; thus, hotspot data is back in the competition. MiFi 8000 supports gigabit internet speeds with a maximum of 24 hours of battery capacity and can be fully charged within three hours. Sprint’s mobile hotspot device even works as a portable power bank to recharge your smartphone without interrupting the hotspot connection.
- – The flexibility of hotspot data plans
- – Cheaper hotspot data subscriptions
- – Two M.2s via CPU PCIe for Skylake-X
- – Good efficiency overall
- – 3-year warranty
- – Improvements with customer service
- – Coverage not the best
Frequently Asked Questions:
Can I Share Mobile Hotspot Without Using Data?
Since most people nowadays have smartphones that rely on some form of internet connection to access their social media accounts, it’s pretty common to use data to activate their mobile hotspots. As such, it’s completely rare or, to a point, non-existent to share mobile hotspots without the presence of some form of a data connection. Connecting to a mobile hotspot is synonymous to having a data plan.
However, like most cases, there are always tweaks especially if you’re a tech expert. Little did you know; there are rare smartphone models that can be used as a mobile hotspot even without using an internet service. Even without the availability of a data connection, you can definitely turn your old mobile phones into a Wi-Fi hotspot. If you have the expertise, you can manipulate Wi-Fi tethering so you can create a LAN.
You can discover more about this process through the Android Wi-Fi Tether. If you want to proceed, perform with extreme precaution, especially if you’re completely a newbie to this process.
How Much Data Does Mobile Hotspot Use?
The mobile hotspot data usage is directly proportionate to the number of activities you’ll perform on the device you’re tethering to your mobile hotspot. The majority of mobile internet service providers provide you with methods on how to track your hotspot data consumption and the corresponding activities. The majority of unlimited mobile plans have mobile hotspot as part of their inclusions; however, you can generally add more if you’re consuming your mobile hotspot data allotment before the renewal of your subscription.
To give you an overview of the amount of data you’ll be consuming on your devices, these are some of the most common internet activities:
|Mobile Hotspot Data Consumption|
|< 1 MB|
|Internet Surfing||40 MB|
|Playing Music||80 MB|
|Streaming Netflix||125 MB and above|
|YouTube||150 MB and above|
|Zoom (HQ Call)||400 MB and above|
Indeed, sharing is caring, and it includes sharing your internet connection with your colleagues, peers, and family members. After all, that what is mobile hotspots made for.
Are you currently subscribed to any of the mobile hotspot plans we’ve mentioned? If yes, we would love to know any tips and feedback. Feel free to comment down below!