Best Unlimited Hotspot Plans of 2021

Unlimited hotspot data is hard to find—here are your best options.

  • Best overall
    T-Mobile Magenta MAX
    • Offers fast speeds
    • Doubles as mobile phone plan
    • Has unlimited 4G and 5G data
    • $85.00/mo. (for one line)
  • Best for speed
    Verizon Do More Unlimited
    • Incredibly fast 5G speeds
    • Great network coverage
    • Discount on additional hotspot plan
    • $80.00/mo. (for one line)
  • Best prepaid option
    AT&T
    AT&T 100 GB
    • Lots of data for low price
    • Excellent 5G hotspot
    • Large nationwide network
    • $55.00/mo.
  • Best budget option
    Visible phone company logo
    Visible phone plan
    • Unlimited hotspot data (with limitations)
    • Talk/text included
    • Straightforward pricing
    • $40.00/mo.

Let’s be honest—it’s hard, if not impossible, to get unlimited data for a hotspot. You usually can find Wi-Fi hotspot plans with only monthly data caps, and you’ll need to pay extra each month to get more data if you run out.

Still, you can find hotspot deals that give you plenty of data to work with every month. A lot of cell phone plans have hotspot options, and some providers give you unlimited hotspot Wi-Fi with restrictions.

We did some sleuthing to dig up the best mobile hotspot plans that give you unlimited data—or at least something close to it. Read on for all the juicy details.

Our pick: Which unlimited hotspot data plan is best?

T-Mobile’s Magenta MAX cell phone plan is the best plan you can get for unlimited hotspot data. Costing $85 per month, it gives you 40 GB of monthly high-speed data (averaging around 30–50 Mbps) and unlimited data at 3G speeds (0.5–3 Mbps) after you use that up. 3G is really slow but it will be enough to let you check emails and stream SD video.

We decided to highlight a cell phone plan here because it’s rare, if not outright impossible, to find a standalone Wi-Fi hotspot plan that gives you unlimited data.

Most hotspot plans have strict data caps, giving you as little as a couple gigabytes per month. Not all plans give you the option to top up with extra data when you need it, and you may have a limited selection when it comes to compatible hotspot devices that work with the plan.

So we recommend paying closer attention to cell phone plans, which give you more gigabytes per month that you can use with your phone’s hotspot function. Also, unlimited cell phone plans sometimes give you unlimited 3G data for hotspots, which lets you keep using the Wi-Fi hotspot once you’ve reached a set cap of premium high-speed data.

Pro tip:

You’re going to need a hotspot to go with your hotspot data plan, of course. Take a gander at our favorite mobile hotspots.

Should I use a hotspot for home internet?

We don’t recommend using a hotspot for home internet. Phone hotspots don’t connect very many devices and come with limited data. Standalone hotspots also give you much less data per month compared to what you’ll get from a broadband internet provider. Speeds are also a lot slower, and you won’t be able to connect as many devices onto a hotspot’s Wi-Fi network.

Here’s when to use a hotspot:

  • Traveling (inside the country or internationally)
  • Working outside of the home or office
  • Living in a rural area
  • Staying in a weekend or vacation home

Hotspots are best for temporary use while you’re traveling or working outside the office. They’re also a good option if you live in a rural area since they’re cheaper than satellite internet—although 4G LTE internet or fixed-wireless internet may still be your best options in that case.

Pro tip:

If you’re not sure how to use the hotspot on your phone, read our explainer on phone tethering to see how it’s done. Don’t worry—it’s simple!

Run a quick search with our zip code tool below so you’ll know how broadband providers in your area compare to hotspot options.

The 5 best unlimited hotspot plans

Best unlimited hotspot plans

Best forPlanPricePremium data capGet it
Best overallT-Mobile Magenta MAX
$85.00/mo. (for one line)
40 GB (after reverts to 3G speeds)View Plan
Best for speedVerizon Do More Unlimited$80.00/mo.15 GB (after reverts to 3G speeds)View Plan
Best prepaid plan AT&T 100 GB$55.00/mo.100 GB View Plan
Best budget optionVisible phone plan$40.00/mo.None (max 5 Mbps speeds and only one device can connect at a time)View Plan
Best for international travelSkyroam Global GoData per GB Subscription$9.00/GB1 GB (top up any time)View Plan

What should you look for in an unlimited hotspot data plan?

You should look for a hotspot data plan that gives you a generous amount of premium data at an affordable price. Premium data is data you get that works off the cellular provider’s 4G LTE and 5G network, giving you fast speeds and lower latency. Usually you’ll get a set amount of premium data, after which you’ll revert to much slower speeds.

You’ll also need a plan that works over a large-enough cellular network to give you consistent connectivity wherever you use it. Some hotspot plans work with only certain hotspot devices, so of course you’ll want a plan that works with a good-quality device.

Take a look at our expanded section farther down on this page for more info about specs and features.

Pro tip:

Depending on what you use your hotspot for, you may be just fine with a hotspot plan that gives you a set amount of data. Get the best recommendations in our best hotspot plans guide.

Best overall—T-Mobile Magenta MAX

Best overall

Price: $85.00/mo.

Most other hotspot and cellular plans make it a bit of a pain to get lots of data for hotspot use, but you won’t have to worry with this plan. Magenta MAX is a cell phone plan with hotspotting included. Although it’s primarily meant for your phone, it can serve double duty as your hotspot plan, which will save you a lot of money and still give you plenty of data to work with.

It comes with totally unlimited phone data, giving you top speeds over high-speed, 4G LTE and 5G networks with no caps on premium data. On top of that, it comes with 40 GB of high-speed data just for your hotspot.

Instead of cutting off after you’ve reached your hotspot data cap, T-Mobile will slow down your speeds to 3G levels, which usually range from 0.5 Mbps to 3 Mbps. Granted, that’s a lot slower than what you’ll get on 4G or 5G. But it’s enough to let you browse online, stream video, and attend Zoom meetings with relative ease, so long as you aren’t connecting too many devices to your hotspot.

This plan is meant to be used with the hotspot on your cell phone—but you have other options, too, if you plan to use a separate hotspot device, including our favorite budget pick farther down on this page. This array of options is just another reason why we think T-Mobile is the best out there when it comes to hotspot plans and devices.

Pros

  • Lots of premium data
  • Data plan for both phones and hotspots

Cons

  • No hotspot-only option
  • Slower 5G speeds than Verizon

Pro tip:

You can use Zoom even if your internet speed is as low as 1.2 Mbps. Take a look at our Zoom speed guide to learn how to improve your Zoom performance on a slow connection.

Best for speed—Verizon Do More Unlimited

Best for getting millimeter-wave 5G speeds

Price: $80.00/mo.

This cell phone plan from Verizon lets you tap into Verizon’s small-but-growing millimeter-wave 5G network, which can deliver download speeds upwards of 700 Mbps. That’s exponentially faster than what you can get on most hotspots.

Millimeter-wave 5G has very limited availability, so you probably won’t be able to see those dazzling speeds unless you’re in select parts of major American cities. But Verizon’s 5G availability will expand in the coming months, and the emergence of mid-band 5G (a slightly slower but still very fast version of 5G) will make record-breaking wireless speeds accessible to a lot more customers.

Since Do More Unlimited is a cell phone plan, you use it with your phone’s built-in hotspot. But if you want to invest in a standalone hotspot, Do More Unlimited gives you 50% off on a qualifying data plan to go with a separate hotspot device. So you can boost your hotspot capabilities and get a break on price to do it.

Pros

  • 4G LTE and 5G compatibility
  • Discount on additional mobile hotspot packages

Cons

  • Limited premium data allowance

Pro tip:

The best way to get boosted speeds is to access a 5G network—and for that you need a 5G hotspot. Take a look at the best 5G hotspots to see prices and features.

Best prepaid plan—AT&T 100 GB

Best for no-contract options
AT&T

Price: $55.00/mo.

AT&T announced this red-hot prepaid data plan just as COVID-19 vaccinations were picking up in the United States and Americans were getting ready to be on the move again. We gotta say, we’re impressed. With this plan, you get 100 GB of data for $55 per month. The majority of other hotspot options give you a lot less data with higher monthly fees.

Pros

  • Lots of data for a good price
  • Excellent 5G speeds

Cons

  • High price for 5G hotspot
  • Limited availability (plan must be ordered in-store)

Best budget option—Visible phone plan

Best prepaid option
Visible phone company logo

Price: $40.00/mo.

    • Premium data cap: None (speeds slowed during network congestion)
    • Compatible hotspots: Cell phone hotspot

Visible is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) that gives you cellular coverage from Verizon’s network. It has one phone plan, which comes at a very agreeable price that includes unlimited phone and hotspot data all month long.

This is a phone plan, so you’ll be limited to using your cell phone’s hotspot (as opposed to a more powerful 4G or 5G hotspot device)—that means you won’t have to invest in a separate Wi-Fi hotspot to use it.

There are some caveats to consider: the hotspot data works on only one device at a time, and speeds max out at 5 Mbps, well below average 4G speeds of 30 Mbps. But, hey—unlimited data! You may have trouble with bandwidth-heavy tasks, but this plan will be useful for all kinds of web browsing and light online work.

Pros

  • Unlimited data for hotspotting
  • Talk/text included

Cons

  • Hotspot connection for one device only
  • Slow speeds

Best for international travel—Skyroam Global GoData per GB Subscription

Best for international travel
skyroam solis hotspot logo

Price: $9.00/GB

The best way to get internet abroad is by buying a SIM card from a local provider in the country you’re traveling to or by using publicly available Wi-Fi hotspots in hotels and restaurants. But if your travel plans make it too inconvenient to set up a new phone or data plan while you’re overseas, then stick with this solid plan from the hotspot provider Skyroam.

Using one of Skyroam’s hotspot devices—the Skyroam Solis X or more affordable Skyroam Solis Lite—you can pay a simple fee of $9 per every GB you use. Once you’ve used that all up, you can pay $9 for another GB, and so on and so forth. It’s a straightforward deal, giving you internet when you need it without requiring any contracts or big upfront payments.

Pros

  • Convenient pricing
  • Network access in 135+ countries

Cons

  • Inconsistent speeds depending on where you’re traveling
  • No ability to buy data in bulk

Pro tip:

For a cheaper and more practical travel hotspot, use Huawei’s E8372h-153 USB Wingle. It costs less than $100 and lets you connect to a wide range of cellular providers in Europe, Africa, and Asia, delivering fast speeds over 4G.

The only challenge is you’ll have to use your local knowledge (and possibly foreign language skills) to set up a plan with a cellular provider that operates where you’re staying.

Unlimited hotspot plan specs and features

Unfortunately, most hotspot plans don’t give you unlimited data. Cellular providers don’t deliver internet at the same capacity as broadband internet service providers, so many standalone data plans come with fairly strict data limits, and your speeds will be slowed down to a crawl once you use up your data.

Still, you can find solid options and workarounds from a range of wireless providers. Your best bet is to look for a data package that comes with a sufficient amount of data for a relatively manageable fee. You’ll also want a package that gives you some flexibility.

In some cases, you may be better off paying a small fee for a small amount of data so you don’t end up spending a lot upfront on data you won’t end up using. Then you can buy more data if you need it once you run out.

Cell phone hotspot vs. mobile hotspot—which is better? 

A mobile hotspot is better for regular hotspot users who connect lots of devices and consume a lot of data.

Granted, some of the best hotspot plans are cell phone plans that come with hotspot data. You can simply use your phone as a hotspot when you need it, saving you money because you won’t have to buy a separate hotspot device. This is the best way to go if you use a hotspot only every once in a while.

But you can also sign up for a standalone data plan meant to be used with a separate hotspot device. A mobile hotspot connects a lot more networking devices than a cell phone and has a better range.

5G hotspots also have Wi-Fi 6, making them really efficient as they connect lots of devices. It’s worth investing in a hotspot if you’ll use it on a regular basis and routinely share the connection with friends, family, classmates, or coworkers.

Can you use a hotspot for home internet?

We don’t recommend using a hotspot for home internet because it’s much more expensive than a broadband plan from an internet service provider. You’ll also have a lot less data on a hotspot than you would on a fiber, cable, or DSL internet plan.

In most cases, we recommend using a hotspot as a temporary solution for when you’re traveling or working away from the home or office. However, a hotspot would be useful if you live in an RV because it gives you a portable internet option that internet providers can’t, uh, provide.

Pro tip:

If you’re looking for a wireless home-internet setup, then definitely look into 5G home internet—see our guides to Verizon 5G Home Internet and T-Mobile Home Internet for details on speeds, pricing, and availability.

A hotspot could be a good way to go if you live in a rural area where your only other option is satellite internet. Still, most users would be much better off with 4G LTE or fixed-wireless internet because the pricing and speeds are more in line with broadband providers.

Do you need a 5G hotspot?

A 5G hotspot is not necessary for everyone, but it’s great for groups and users with high-bandwidth needs.

5G hotspots are a lot more powerful and versatile than their 4G-only counterparts. They connect a lot more devices—between 30–32 versus the 15 or 20 that 4G hotspots can connect. They deliver much faster speeds. And they have Wi-Fi 6, which ensures that your connection stays strong even if you’re connecting a bunch of devices all at once.

Our verdict

While it’s not likely that you’ll find a hotspot plan with truly, everlasting, unlimited data with no restrictions or conditions attached, we still think you have some excellent options for mobile hotspot plans. T-Mobile really rules the roost when it comes to hotspot deals and data plans, so we recommend going there first. But Verizon is also great if you’re looking for sheer speed and live in an area where you can get millimeter-wave 5G.

If T-Mobile isn’t to your liking, definitely consider AT&T for its 100 GB data plan, which is generously priced and gives you some of the most data you could ever find in a hotspot plan. Visible will work, too, for something more simple, while Skyroam is your go-to hotspot provider for traveling overseas.

Sources

  1. Francesco Rizzato, Opensignal, “5G User Experience Report,” April 2021. Accessed May 12, 2021.

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.

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