Best Hotspot Data Plans 2021

  • Best overall
    T-Mobile 2GB
    • $10.00/mo.*
    • Quick compatibility with multiple Wi-Fi hotspots
    • Limited network size compared to bigger providers
    • Lots of options for getting more data
  • Best for 5G
    Verizon Unlimited Plus
    • Starting at $75.00/mo.
    • Easy access to ultrafast 5G network
    • Best mobile hotspots to choose from
    • High monthly price
  • Best for international travel
    skyroam solis hotspot logo
    Skyroam Global Daypass
    • $9.00/day
    • Flexible service
    • Easy access to Wi-Fi when you need it
    • Inconsistent speeds depending on country
  • Best prepaid option
    Visible phone company logo
    Visible phone plan
    • $40.00/mo. (after first month)
    • Unlimited data
    • Connectivity to most smartphones
    • Very slow speeds

We dug into the specifics of all the major cellular providers to get you the best mobile hotspot data plans for your dollar. Read on for the highlights of monthly packages, prepaid options, and data deals for international roaming.

Our top pick: Which hotspot plan is best?

The best mobile hotspot plan is T-Mobile’s 2GB plan. It gives you 2 GB of data to use on a T-Mobile–approved hotspot device for $10 a month, with lots of options to buy more data through a “data pass” if you run out.

Another 5 GB on this plan costs $20, 10 GB is $30, and 30 GB is $40—either way you’re getting a solid deal for a hotspot-only plan, especially in comparison to other providers’ offerings. You also have a few different Wi-Fi hotspots to choose from that work on T-Mobile’s network, including Inseego’s 5G MiFi M2000 for 5G fans.

Pro tip: 

You can always use your phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot instead of using a standalone hotspot. It won’t be able to connect as many devices and you may not get as much data either, but it’s a good way to go if you need a hotspot device only every once in a while. To learn more, read our guide to Wi-Fi tethering on your phone.

The five best mobile hotspot data plans

Best mobile hotspot data plans

Best forPlanPriceData allowanceGet it
Best overall T-Mobile 2GB $10.00/mo.*2 GB/mo. (can order more GB w/ data pass)View Plan
Best for 5GVerizon Unlimited Plus$85.00/mo.30 GB of 4G LTE/5G, then reduced to 600 KbpsView Plan
Best for cell phone hotspotsVerizon Do More Unlimited$80.00/mo.15 GB/mo.View Plan
Best data dealAT&T PREPAID 100 GB$55.00/mo. (w/ autopay)100 GB/mo.View Plan
Best prepaid planVisible phone plan$40.00/mo. (plus price of hotspot)†Unlimited (max 5 Mbps speeds, only connects one device at a time)View Plan
Best for international travelSkyroam Global Daypass$9.00/day1 GBView Plan

What should you look for in a hotspot data plan?

The best mobile hotspot plans give you the most Wi-Fi data possible for every dollar you spend. The plan you pick should operate over a large enough network that you’ll get internet wherever you use it. And it should be compatible with a good-quality hotspot device that gives you fast speeds and lets you connect at least 10 devices.

Most hotspot plans give you a set amount of data per month. But if you’re traveling or need a Wi-Fi hotspot only intermittently, consider getting a prepaid plan so you pay for only the amount of data you need.

If you want to know more about the nitty gritty on what makes a hotspot plan worthwhile, read our longer hotspot features guide further down on this page.

Pro tip:

Still shopping around for a hotspot device to use on your data plan? Take a look at our guide to the best mobile hotspots for a breakdown of the fastest and most useful hotspots for work, travel, and 5G.

Best overall—T-Mobile 2GB

Best overall

Price: $10.00/mo. (with option to buy more)*

T-Mobile has the most flexibility when it comes to hotspot data. It’s cheap to start out and you can pay upfront for more internet data throughout the month. This plan is ideal if you need your hotspot device at irregular intervals. Get it if you regularly spend large blocks of time traveling on the road or working remotely out of town.

The 2 GB plan doesn’t give you a whole lot to start out with, but it costs just $10 a month—a steal compared to the steep dollar-for-data prices that other providers have. (It’s also better than T-Mobile’s other baseline plan available, which gives you just 500 MB for $5 per month.)

From there, you can add more data as you like. Here’s a quick breakdown of the pricing options for T-Mobile’s hotspot-related “data pass”:

  • 5 GB—$20
  • 10 GB—$30
  • 30 GB—$40

As you can see, you’ll get exponentially more data as you spend more money, but you also have the option of just getting a little bit extra if your needs aren’t so serious. You also have the option of paying $10 extra per month (with AutoPay) for unlimited data. But there’s a catch: your speeds will be slowed to a crawl after you exceed your initial data allotment.

Pros

  • Cheap price
  • Lots of options to add more data

Cons

  • Smaller network compared to AT&T and Verizon
  • Fewer hotspots to choose from

Best for 5G—Verizon Unlimited Plus

Best for Verizon customers
verizon logo

Price: Starting at $75.00/mo.

If a hotspot user needs a deluxe option for a high-flying mobile lifestyle, this is the hotspot plan to pick. Verizon’s Unlimited Plus plan (which you can sign up for when you order a hotspot device on Verizon’s website) gives you a nice chunk of high-speed internet data to work with and the fastest 5G speeds possible.

You get unlimited access to Verizon’s much-touted 5G Ultra Wideband network, which has a relatively small footprint nationwide but will get you stupendously fast speeds—think 1,000 Mbps and up.  5G Ultra Wideband is available in select areas of several dozen major cities, including Las Vegas, San Francisco, and Baltimore.

This plan isn’t affordable enough to justify using this as your permanent home Wi-Fi option (that’s what Verizon 5G Home Internet is for). But it’s fast and reliable all the same.

Pros

  • Compatibility with the best hotspot devices
  • Excellent speeds

Cons

  • Expensive price
  • Limited availability of 5G

Pro tip:

Verizon also gives you the pick of the biggest variety of hotspots. Several top-of-the-line Wi-Fi hotspots work on its network—including our personal favorite, the Jetpack MiFi 8800L—and you can add your own unlocked device if you want.

Best for cell phone hotspots—Verizon Do More Unlimited

Best for your phone’s built-in hotspot
verizon logo

Price: Starting at $80.00/mo.

This cell phone plan from Verizon gives you a modest 15 GB of high-speed data each month to use on the hotspot that’s built into your phone. Even better, the plan comes with a 50% off discount on a qualifying data plan to go with a separate hotspot device. So you can stick with the phone hotspot for a simple setup, or you can invest in a more powerful, standalone hotspot and save some money while you’re at it.

Pros

  • Doubles as phone plan
  • Includes discount on hotspot devices

Cons

  • Confusing plan options
  • High price for the amount of data you get

Pro tip:

Like AT&T and T-Mobile, Verizon gives hotspot users access to its budding 5G network, which is faster and more responsive than 4G. Take a look at our 4G vs. 5G guide to learn more about what sets the two apart.

Best data deal—AT&T PREPAID 100 GB

Best for everyday hotspot users

Price: $55.00/mo. (w/ AutoPay)

It’s really hard to find mobile hotspot plans with lots of data—and unlimited data plans are pretty much nonexistent. So AT&T deserves a lot of credit for offering up this generously-proportioned prepaid plan. It gives you 100 GB of data for just $55 a month, by far the best dollar-to-gigabyte ratio you can get for a hotspot.

The only catch is we’re not exactly sure how you can order this plan. It doesn’t show up as an option when you order a hotspot from AT&T’s website—you may need to buy the plan directly from one of AT&T’s retail shops.

Pros

  • Lots of data for good price
  • Great hotspots to choose from

Cons

  • Confusing plan options
  • High price for the amount of data you get

Best prepaid option—Visible phone plan

Best for budget hotspot users
Visible phone company logo

Price: $40.00/mo.

  • Data allowance: Unlimited (max 5 Mbps speeds, only connects one device at a time)
  • Network access: 4G LTE, limited 5G
  • Compatible hotspots: Your phone’s built-in hotspot

Prepaid provider Visible runs over Verizon’s network and gives you unlimited hotspot data with some caveats (albeit big ones). This is a cell phone plan, so the hotspot data you’ll get will work over your phone’s built-in hotspot. You can get all the data you want all month long—the only catches is that your speed will be limited to 5 Mbps and you can only connect one device at a time to the hotspot.

That probably won’t work for some people—for example, it’s not a practical option for coworkers who need Wi-Fi on a shared hotspot connection while attending a conference away from the office. But if you can manage with the limitations, this will still be a decent option, giving you reliable hotspot connectivity over a major US cellular network at a cheap price.

Pros

  • Unlimited data
  • Cheap price

Cons

  • Very slow hotspot speed
  • Connectivity for only one device at a time

Best for international travel—Skyroam Global Daypass

Best for international travel
skyroam solis hotspot logo

Price: $9.00/day

Skyroam makes hotspots and hotspot plans with itinerant van dwellers and globe-trotting backpackers in mind. How it works is you buy the hotspot—either the Skyroam Solis X or the Skyroam Solis Lite—and then you pick a plan to go with it. That gives you mobile Wi-Fi access in 135+ countries.

Depending on your needs, you can pick a monthly unlimited subscription ($99/mo.), a Global Daypass ($9 per day), or the Global GoData per GB subscription ($9 per 1 GB per month). We think the Global Daypass is the best bet because it gives you the simple option of just paying for internet when you need it. But the $9 per 1 GB option is also a great deal, since you can just buy more data if you run out.

Based on our own experiences traveling and living abroad, we’d say the Global Daypass is the best option if you’re planning a trip to several countries over a short time period. (Say, you’re touring Europe by train or doing a month-long vacation across Southeast Asia.) That way you can pay for the Daypass when you really need it and at other times rely on public hotspots at hotels and restaurants.

Pros

  • Accessible service in 135+ countries
  • Flexible usability

Cons

  • Expensive price
  • Inconsistent internet service depending on which country you’re in

Pro tip:

If you’re traveling overseas for a longer period and mostly staying in one place, then you’re better off getting this USB hotspot from Huawei and using it with a SIM card from a local cellular provider. You can also use your phone’s hotspot with a local SIM card. That way you’ll save money and have more control over how much data and speed you’ll get.

Hotspot data plan features

Most hotspot plans are relatively straightforward—basically you pick from what your cellular provider offers you when you buy a hotspot. But you don’t have to limit yourself to your cellular provider: you can also shop around for other providers that give you more data, have a larger cellular network, or a hotspot data plan that leaves room for international roaming.

How much data do you get?

You can pay a relatively small amount of money for a couple GB of data per month, or you can go all out and fork over $50 per month for 30 GB or more. Most plans work on a month-to-month basis, but some plans give you a prepaid option and/or let you top up with more data when you need to. That’s a good way to go if you use a hotspot once or twice a month and don’t want to pay a monthly fee.

Sadly, you won’t get nearly as much data from a hotspot plan as you would from a home internet plan over a connection like fiber or cable. Cellular companies just don’t have the same capacity to serve our ravenous Wi-Fi needs in the way internet providers do.

But you’ll still have enough data to last you several days and maybe even a few weeks, depending on what you use the hotspot for.

Pro tip:

Prepaid data plans are often easier to get and sometimes give you more data for how much you pay. You’re also more likely to get a prepaid plan that works with your own unlocked hotspot (as opposed to one you have to buy directly from the provider). Our favorite prepaid data plan is Cricket’s Simply Data 20 GB.

What carrier has an unlimited data plan?

Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T all have unlimited data plans for hotspots. But that comes with a major caveat—each provider limits the amount of high-speed data you can get on a hotspot device. Usually you’ll get somewhere between 15–30 GB of high-speed data. After you’ve used it up for the month, your hotspot will be “deprioritized” and revert to 3G speeds, which can be as slow as 128 Kbps (or 0.128 Mbps). Unfortunately, it’s uncommon to find truly unlimited plans for hotspots.

Wireless network size

Hotspot devices depend on cellular service to give you Wi-Fi access, so you’ll want your data plan to be on a big enough network to get internet wherever you are. If you’re traveling a lot—say, planning a cross-country road trip or flying to different cities for business—consider getting a plan on the biggest US cellular network possible.

Here’s a breakdown of American cellular providers, according to the size of their wireless networks:

  • Verizon—Largest network nationwide
  • T-Mobile—Second-largest network nationwide
  • AT&T—Third-largest network nationwide
  • US Cellular—Fourth-largest network nationwide

International roaming

Not every hotspot plan will let you access the internet while traveling abroad. But you can get cellular access from a local provider—just plug the new SIM card into your unlocked phone. Or you can pick a Wi-Fi hotspot and data plan from an American cellular company that gives you cellular access overseas.

Going with a local provider when traveling abroad is usually cheaper and gives you more options to choose from. But that may be difficult if you’re planning to visit a lot of countries in a relatively short period. Going with a set plan from your current provider or a data plan option like Skyroam’s Global Daypass can save you the headache and confusion of figuring out cellular options in a foreign country.

Our verdict

If you’re shopping for a hotspot data plan, you can’t go wrong with T-Mobile’s 2GB plan for the affordable price, large nationwide network access, and option to buy more data upfront at your leisure. It also works with a lot of great Wi-Fi hotspots, so you’ll have reliable Wi-Fi as you’re on the go.

But plenty of other providers have excellent hotspot plans too. Sign up with Verizon for a 5G hotspot data option, seek out Visible for a simple hotspot package, or go for the Skyroam Global Daypass if you’re traveling abroad.

Author -

Peter Holslin has more than a decade of experience working as a writer and freelance journalist. He graduated with a BA in liberal arts and journalism from New York City’s The New School University in 2008 and went on to contribute to publications like Rolling Stone, VICE, BuzzFeed, and countless others. At HighSpeedInternet.com, he focuses on covering 5G, nerding out about frequency bands and virtual RAN, and producing reviews on emerging services like 5G home internet. He also writes about internet providers and packages, hotspots, VPNs, and Wi-Fi troubleshooting.

Editor - Cara Haynes

Cara Haynes has been editing and writing in the digital space for seven years, and she's edited all things internet for HighSpeedInternet.com for five years. She graduated with a BA in English and a minor in editing from Brigham Young University. When she's not editing, she makes tech accessible through her freelance writing for brands like Pluralsight. She believes no one should feel lost in internet land and that a good internet connection significantly extends your life span.

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