If you aren’t regularly connected to Wi-Fi, you may be looking for a cell phone plan that includes a high allotment of mobile hotspot data.
I’ve researched the phone plans that are currently available from both major providers and low-cost MVNOs to find hotspot plans with the most high-speed data, the best prices and the best features. In this article, I’ll share my top picks for the best unlimited hotspot plans as well as those that offer less data but better prices.
This article was updated in December 2023 and I review it every three months. Detailed notes on all updates can be found here.
- Unlimited mobile hotspot at speeds up to 5Mpbs
- Unlimited talk, text and data (50GB of premium data on Verizon’s Ultra Wideband network before deprioritization; 5G-compatible phone required)
- One of the cheapest prices for unlimited mobile hotspot data
- Unlimited premium data on Verizon’s fastest 5G network (Ultra Wideband)
- 60GB of premium mobile hotspot data per month
Choosing the Best Hotspot Plan
When it comes to choosing the best cell phone plan for you, the amount of hotspot data included is a big factor to consider. If you don’t have a stable connection to Wi-Fi, you may sometimes need to turn your phone into a hotspot so that you can share your data with other devices.
While it’s nearly impossible to find a completely unlimited high-speed hotspot plan, several providers offer a high allotment of high-speed hotspot data, an unlimited amount at slowed speeds and data-only plans.
Some service providers, such as T-Mobile and Xfinity, advertise free Wi-Fi hotspot locations throughout the country if you already have service with them, but know that you’ll have to be in specific locations to access the free hotspots.
If you need hotspot data wherever you are via your phone, these are great plans to consider.
Below, you’ll find my top picks for the best hotspot plans:
- The Best Unlimited Hotspot Plans
- The Best Prepaid Hotspot Plans
- The Best Data-Only Hotspot Plans
The Best Unlimited Hotspot Plans
If you’re looking for a plan with the highest allotment of high-speed mobile hotspot, shopping for a phone plan from a major provider may be the best option for you. Postpaid plans from Verizon Wireless include mobile hotspot with high-speed allotments up to 60GB. T-Mobile and AT&T include postpaid unlimited plans with up to 50GB of high-speed hotspot data each month before reduced speeds.
If you’re looking for the cheapest way to get unlimited mobile hotspot data with your phone plan, Visible is one prepaid MVNO worth considering. With Visible’s $45 plan, you can get unlimited mobile hotspot at max 5Mbps speeds.
Of course, with a postpaid cell phone plan from a major service provider, you can expect faster download speeds as well as a higher monthly price. Each of these providers also offers data-only plans for cheaper monthly prices, but these plans don’t include any additional mobile data, minutes or texting.
Here are the plans with the most high-speed mobile hotspot allotment from each of the major carriers. I’ve also included Visible as the best alternative to a postpaid plan with unlimited hotspot.
- Visible: Best Cheap Unlimited Hotspot Plan
- Verizon Unlimited Ultimate: Most High-Speed Mobile Hotspot Data
- T-Mobile Go5G Plus: Best Hotspot Plan for Travel
- AT&T Unlimited Premium: Best AT&T Hotspot Plan
Best Cheap Unlimited Hotspot Plan
Price: $45/month (taxes & fees included)
Talk and Text: Unlimited
Data Cap Overage: 50GB Premium Data
Hotspot Data: Unlimited
If you’re looking for a cheap, completely unlimited hotspot plan, Visible is hard to pass up. However, you won’t have access to high-speed hotspot data. Visible’s plans include unlimited talk, text and 5G mobile data starting at $25 per month. Each plan also includes unlimited mobile hotspot data with max speeds of 5Mbps. While it isn’t high-speed hotspot data, it is truly unlimited. Visible+ also offers 50GB of premium network experience on Verizon Wireless’ 5G Ultra Wideband network, which means you shouldn’t experience any deprioritization on your mobile data or hotpsot speeds until you’ve used 50GB of data for the month. Visible+ costs $45 per month.
You may also be able to bring your own phone to Visible and save even more. To see if yours is compatible, visit Visible’s website. Also, be sure to check out our full Visible review for more information before switching.
Other Cheap Hotspot Plans To Consider:
- Mint Mobile (Review) offers a three-month unlimited plan that includes unlimited talk, text and data (40GB high-speed). The plan also includes 10GB of mobile hotspot. It costs $30/month, but you’ll have to prepay for three months in advance to get the best price as a new customer.
- Spectrum Mobile (Review) offers 5GB of high-speed hotspot followed by unlimited 600 kbps hotspot data for $29.99 per month.
- Boost Unlimited (Review) offers 30GB of high-speed mobile data that can be shared via hotspot for $60 per month. If you’re willing to commit for 12 months, you can get 12GB of high-speed mobile hotspot per month for $300 upfront. That works out to be $25 per month before taxes and fees. However, I recommend trying out at least one month of service with Boost Mobile before committing to a full year.
- T-Mobile Essentials offers unlimited hotspot data at 3G speeds for $60 per month for one line.
- Consumer Cellular (Review) offers an unlimited plan with 50GB of high-speed data (including hotspot) for $50 per month.
Verizon Unlimited Ultimate
Most High-Speed Mobile Hotspot Data
Price: $90/month (plus taxes & fees; autopay required to get the best rate)
Talk and Text: Unlimited
Data Cap Overage: Unlimited
Hotspot Data: 60GB high-speed data
While Visible offers one of the most affordable unlimited mobile hotspot plans, Verizon Wireless offers one of the most expensive. However, if you’re shopping for the absolute highest amount of high-speed mobile hotspot data, the price may be well worth it to you.
Verizon Wireless’ Unlimited Ultimate plan costs $90 for one line of service (plus taxes and fees; autopay and paper-free billing required), but multiline discounts are available. The plan includes unlimited mobile data on Verizon’s fastest 5G Ultra Wideband network as well as 60GB of high-speed mobile hotspot. Once you’ve used 60GB, speeds will be reduced for the remainder of the month.
Verizon’s new plans also allow you to add additional perks at $10 per month per perk. One of the perks is 100GB of Mobile Hotspot, which you can add to increase your monthly high-speed mobile hotspot limit. This perk can be added or removed at any time.
Data-only plans from Verizon include 5GB for $40, 25GB for $60, 100GB for $80 and 150GB for $100 per month. These plans do not include any mobile data, talk or text, but you can get a discount up to $30 per month if you add an active Verizon Prepaid account.
If you’re thinking about switching to Verizon, you may be able to bring your own phone for additional savings. Simply check your phone’s compatibility online before switching.
T-Mobile Go5G Plus
Best Hotspot Plan for Travel
Price: $90 per month (taxes & fees included)
Talk and Text: Unlimited
Data: Unlimited Premium Data
Data Cap Overage: None
Hotspot Data: 50GB high-speed then unlimited 3G speeds
If you’re looking for a large amount of high-speed hotspot data from a major carrier, Go5G Plus offers the most from T-Mobile. This plan includes 50GB of high-speed mobile hotspot data followed by unlimited mobile hotspot data at slower speeds. It also includes completely unlimited mobile data with high-speed access that never slows. The plan also includes additional perks like T-Mobile’s “New in Two” upgrade program and a basic Netflix subscription. It costs $95 per month for one line, plus taxes and fees, with an autopay discount.
If you’re a frequent traveler that relies on mobile hotspot, this plan may be the best option for you. In Mexico and Canada, you’ll have unlimited talk/text and up to 15GB of high-speed data followed by unlimited data at 256Kbps that can be shared via mobile hotspot. In over 215 other countries, you can enjoy unlimited talk/text and up to 5GB of high-speed data followed by 256Kbps speeds. Additionally, this plan includes full-flight texting and Wi-Fi with streaming where available.
Other plans from T-Mobile begin as low as $50 per month for the Essentials Savings plan, which includes unlimited hotspot at 3G speeds, unlimited talk, text and mobile data with reduced speeds after 50GB. Data-only plans from T-Mobile begin at only $5, but offers vary based on location. You can visit T-Mobile’s website to see what data-only plans are available in your area.
You may also be able to bring your own phone instead of buying a new one. Before you switch to T-Mobile, be sure to check your phone’s eligibility online.
AT&T Unlimited Premium
Best AT&T Hotspot Plan
Price: $85/month per line (plus taxes & fees)
Talk and Text: Unlimited
Data Cap Overage: Unlimited with no slowdown
Hotspot Data: 50GB high-speed data
AT&T offers a few different unlimited data plans, but the only one that’s truly unlimited with no data cap/slowed speeds is the Unlimited Premium plan. This is also the best hotspot plan from AT&T with 50GB of high-speed hotspot data. For $85 per month for one line, AT&T offers unlimited talk, text and high-speed data that never slows based on usage. This plan includes a six-month subscription to Stadia Pro.
For a cheaper AT&T hotspot plan, consider Unlimited Extra for $75 per month for one line with 15GB of hotspot data and 50GB of high-speed mobile data. AT&T also offers data-only plans that can be used as mobile hotspot data starting at $35 for 15GB. These plans don’t include any additional mobile data, talk or text.
Before you switch to an AT&T plan, be sure to check your phone’s compatibility to see if you can bring it with you to save even more money.
The Best Prepaid Hotspot Plans
Prepaid plans are another great option to consider. With a prepaid phone plan, you won’t need a credit check and you’ll pay only for what you use. Still, you can find prepaid phone plans that offer a significant amount of high-speed hotspot data. You can choose a hotspot plan from a prepaid MVNO or a prepaid data plan from a major carrier.
Here are my top picks for the best prepaid hotspot plans:
|T-Mobile Simply Prepaid
|T-Mobile Simply Prepaid
|$25/month (taxes & fees included)
|$30/month (plus taxes & fees)
|$50/month (plus taxes & fees)
|Talk and Text
|Unlimited (speeds up to 5Mbps)
|Unlimited at 3G speeds
|Data Cap Overage
|None, but speeds may slow during congestion.
|Slower speeds after 40GB
The Best Prepaid Hotspot Plans:
- Visible (Review) is the absolute cheapest unlimited hotspot plan available. The standard plan costs $25 per month per line for new customers, and it includes unlimited talk, text, mobile data and mobile hotspot. However, mobile hotspot download speeds are limited to 5 Mbps and data deprioritization can kick in at any time. For a better mobile hotspot experience, consider Visible+ for $45
- Mint Unlimited (Review) is a phone plan that allows you to prepay for the first three months of service and then prepay for annual service to keep the same low price. This plan includes unlimited talk, text and data as well as 10GB of mobile hotspot for $30 per month. After 40GB of premium mobile data, speeds will reduce.
- T-Mobile Prepaid (Review) offers unlimited talk, text and data for $50 per month with unlimited hotspot data at 3G speeds. After you’ve reached 50GB of high-speed mobile data, speeds will be reduced.
Other Prepaid Hotspot Plans To Consider:
- Boost Unlimited (Review) is another prepaid option that offers unlimited talk and text plus 30GB of high-speed hotspot data before reduced speeds for $60 per month. Boost’s Unlimited Annual plan is another great prepaid hotspot plan to consider if you’re willing to commit to the phone service for a full year. This plan costs $300 for 12 months ($25 per month plus taxes and fees) and includes unlimited talk, text and 35GB of high-speed data that can be shared via mobile hotspot. It runs on AT&T’s network.
- AT&T Prepaid (Review) offers 15GB of high-speed data (but not 5G) for $40 per month that can be shared via mobile hotspot.
The Best Data-Only Hotspot Plans
If you just need hotspot data but don’t need talk, text or mobile data, there are a few data-only hotspot plans worth considering. These plans range from 1-100GB of monthly mobile hotspot data, which means you may be able to use your smartphone as a hotspot without purchasing a separate hotspot device. Be sure to check device compatibility online before purchasing a plan.
Keep in mind that data-only hotspot plans aren’t an affordable replacement for home internet; you’ll likely find a better overall price with Wi-Fi depending on how often you use the internet at home. If you already have a phone plan, you may be able to access free hotspot locations, like libraries and coffee shops, throughout the country.
If you are looking for hotspot data that you can share from your own device, these data-only plans are worth considering:
|$5 per month
|$40 per month
|$90 per month
The Best Data-Only Hotspot Plans:
- Tello Mobile (Review) offers a data-only plan beginning at $5 per month for 1GB of mobile hotspot data. If you’re looking for the cheapest option available, Tello Mobile is worth considering.
- Verizon Plus offers 50GB of mobile hotspot data for $40 per month. This is a great price for a significant amount of hotspot data.
- AT&T Prepaid offers 50GB of mobile hotspot data for $55 per month or 100GB for $90 if you need even more. If you need a large amount of hotspot data, this is a great prepaid data-only plan worth considering.
Other Data-Only Hotspot Plans To Consider:
- Cricket Wireless (Review) offers 20GB of hotspot data for $35 per month.
- Metro by T-Mobile (Review) offers 30GB of hotspot data for $40 per month.
- Verizon Premium Hotspot Plan offers 150GB of premium mobile hotspot data then unlimited lower-speed data for $110 as a standalone plan. Verizon customers with a smartphone on an eligible unlimited plan can add the Premium Hotspot plan for $80 per month.
Team Clark’s Methodology
For the purposes of this review, Team Clark determined that the top things customers care about when it comes to hotspot plans are price, network reliability/coverage, hotspot data allotment and overall satisfaction.
Various staff members tried out each of these popular cell phone providers to get a feel for their reliability and service. We have linked to Clark.com’s individual reviews of those providers.
I researched more than 70 phone plans at the time of writing and analyzed the following characteristics when determining the “best” options for each category:
- Network reliability
- Network coverage
- Monthly data allotments
- Monthly data hotspot allotments and speeds
- “Bring your own device” availability
- Deals and discounts (loyalty, autopay, additional lines, etc.)
- Online reviews from real customers
If you’re looking for a cell phone plan with hotspot data, you can find plans as cheap as $25 per month. For this price, you can get truly unlimited hotspot data with a max speed of 5Mbps with Visible’s basic plan. For $45, you can also get 50GB of premium network experience with Visible+.
Phone plans from major carriers will give you a higher allotment of hotspot data, but they also come with a higher price. Verizon’s Unlimited Ultimate plan is one of the best. It includes 60GB of premium hotspot data followed by unlimited at slower speeds for $00 per month, and you can add 100GB of high-speed mobile hotspot for $10 more per month at any time. T-Mobile Go5G Plus also costs $90 per month and it includes 50GB of high-speed hotspot followed by unlimited mobile hotspot at slower speeds. Plus, you can use your data internationally and enjoy free in-flight Wi-Fi. On AT&T’s network, AT&T Unlimited Premium also includes 50GB of high-speed mobile hotspot, which makes it a slightly better deal for $85 per month.
Prepaid plans and data-only plans are also great options to consider when hotspot is your biggest priority. For these plans, check out Visible, Mint Mobile, T-Mobile, Boost Mobile and Cricket Wireless for some of the best deals.
Keep in mind that data-only hotspot plans aren’t an affordable replacement for home internet; you’ll likely find a better overall price with Wi-Fi depending on how often you use the internet at home. Also, some service providers like T-Mobile and Xfinity advertise free hotspot locations throughout the country if you already have service with them, but know that you’ll have to be in specific locations to access the free hotspot.
For even more options, be sure to read our guide on the best cell phone plans and deals available now. Once you’ve decided on a new phone plan and you’re ready to make the switch, check out this guide that we put together to take you step-by-step through the process.
- December 5, 2023: Updated Tello Mobile’s plans
- December 5, 2023: Renamed T-Mobile’s Go5G Plus superlative as “Best Hotspot Plan for Travel”
- December 5, 2023: Replaced Verizon Unlimited Plus with Verizon Unlimited Ultimate and renamed its superlative as “Most High-Speed Mobile Hotspot Data”
- December 5, 2023: Updated T-Mobile Essentials Saver to T-Mobile Essentials (no longer available for one line)
- August 7, 2023: Moved Visible to the #1 spot under “The Best Prepaid Hotspot Plans”
- May 30, 2023: Mint Mobile’s Unlimited plan now offers 10GB of hotspot data (previously 5GB) and 40GB of high-speed mobile data (previously 35GB)
- May 30, 2023: Visible’s basic plan now costs $25 for new customers; removed Party Pay discounts
- May 30, 2023: Replaced Verizon’s Do More plan with Verizon’s myPlan Unlimited Plus
- May 30, 2023: Replaced T-Mobile’s Magenta Max with the new Go5G Plus plan (10 more GB of mobile hotspot)