What’s the Best Unlimited Data Plan?

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TIRED: The Essentials plan only includes 3G speeds if you use your phone as a Wi-Fi hot spot. You have to pay $25 more per month (!) for the Magenta Plus package to get HD video streaming on the go, unlimited in-flight Wi-Fi on flights with Gogo, voicemail to text, and 20 gigabytes of 4G LTE hot spot data.

Former Sprint customers: You’re now a part of T-Mobile. At the moment, your plan and pricing haven’t changed. You’ll be redirected to T-Mobile’s website when you try to sign in and pay your bill, and it will then redirect you again to another interface that will let you access your Sprint account. You’re already able to access T-Mobile benefits like T-Mobile Tuesdays. For more information, take a look here.

Will your phone work? T-Mobile has a Phone Compatibility Test that lets you search to see whether your phone will work on its network. Most unlocked phones should work, especially those that also work on AT&T, but see our section below for our favorite devices and more info on how to liberate a phone from your current carrier.

How AT&T Compares: Unlimited Starter, Extra, and Elite

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Starting at $65/month for one line

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AT&T is on the spendier end for its unlimited plans, and there are a lot of restrictions, like no mobile hot spot tethering or HD streaming for the base plan. The carrier also still pushes Mobile Share Plus data-sharing plans, which aren’t much cheaper and give you less for your money. Stick with the unlimited plans (there are three): Unlimited Starter, Unlimited Extra, and Unlimited Elite. We’ve detailed the pricing structure for the Starter tier below.

Unlimited Starter cost per line (with autopay; taxes/fees not included): 1 Line: $65 | 2 Lines: $120 | 3 Lines: $135 | 4 Lines: $140 | 5 Lines: $150 | 6 Lines: $180 | 7 Lines: $210 | 8 Lines: $240

WIRED: Your data won’t be throttled until you hit 50 gigabytes or 100 gigabytes on the Unlimited Extra and Unlimited Elite plans, respectively. If you’re on the Unlimited Elite, you get a big 30-gigabyte bucket of mobile hot spot to tether to other devices, access to HBO Max, as well as 5G (if you have a 5G-supported device).

TIRED: The Unlimited Starter plan is light on extras, with no HD video streaming, no international data, and zero Wi-Fi hot spot capability. Plus, AT&T may slow your internet speed during any “busy” times. The mid-tier Unlimited Extra only gets you 15 gigabytes of hot spot data and no HD streaming when you’re on the go.

Will your phone work? AT&T has a Device Compatibility Tool you can use to check your current phone(s). Unlocked GSM phones work on AT&T and T-Mobile.

How Verizon Compares: Start, Play More, Do More, and Get More

Starting at $70/month for one line

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Verizon still has the best coverage, but T-Mobile and others are giving it a run for its money. The carrier finally got rid of its confusingly named double unlimited plans, GoUnlimited and BeyondUnlimited, only to replace them with four unlimited plans plus a kids plan. You can choose between Start Unlimited, Play More Unlimited, Do More Unlimited, Get More Unlimited, and Just Kids. We’ve outlined pricing for the starter tier below.

Start Unlimited cost per line (with autopay; taxes/fees not included): 1 Line: $70 | 2 Lines: $120 | 3 Lines: $135 | 4 Lines: $140 | 5 Lines: $150 | 6 Lines: $180 | 7 Lines: $210 | 8 Lines: $240

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