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The Best Mobile Wi-Fi Hot Spot Plans for Your Portable Data Needs


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As Wi-Fi infrastructure improves worldwide, it’s becoming easier to maintain mobile Internet connection using Wi-Fi hot spots. But data plans aren’t cheap, and it can be difficult to find the right plan to suit your Internet needs.

Fortunately, you have access to a range of monthly and pay-as-you-go plans. Before you find yourself without, look into an affordable mobile Wi-Fi hot spot to maintain Internet access when you need it most. 


Best Mobile Wi-Fi Hot Spot Plans

Many of the leading Wi-Fi hot spot providers offer simple plans that let you access the Web without a ton of technical knowledge. And many plans have low monthly fees and no contracts, so you only pay for Wi-Fi when you need it. So it’s really just a matter of finding the best mobile hot spot plan for you.

Best Overall: T-Mobile

T Mobile Logo
  • Pros: Flexible plans; excellent coverage; reasonable throttling limits; nationwide 5G coverage
  • Cons: Expensive unlimited data plans; not the cheapest per gigabyte
  • Network: T-Mobile
  • Speed: 4Mbps to 35Mbps for 4G download; 3Mbps to 17Mbps for 4G upload
  • Price: $10 to $85 per month

T-Mobile is one of the largest wireless carriers in the U.S., but you can use a T-Mobile hot spot plan even if you don’t have a phone plan with the company.


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Hot spot devices start at $90, but you can get devices for free or at a discount if you also add a phone line. Once you purchase a device, you can add a data plan to stay connected while traveling or working remotely. 

There are two affordable base plans, but you can add more data if you need to.

  • $5 Monthly: 500MB of high-speed data per month
  • $10 Monthly: 2GB of high-speed data per month or unlimited high-speed data for watches and wearables

Paying $10 per month for 2GB of hot spot data is a steal if you’re just looking to browse the Web and check your email when away from Wi-Fi. You can also buy additional monthly data bundles as needed, making it one of the more flexible plans on the market.

  • 5GB for $20
  • 10GB for $30
  • 30GB for $40
  • 50GB for $50

T-Mobile also has regular cellphone plans that allow you to tether your phone and use that data. The unlimited is pricey for one line. But it becomes cheaper the more lines you add, making it a fantastic deal for families.


Best Low-Data Plan: FreedomPop

Freedompop Logo
  • Pros: Free 25MB plan; affordable monthly paid plans; no contract
  • Cons: Limited coverage 
  • Networks: AT&T
  • Speed: 1Mbps for free plans, 5Mbps for paid plans; speed boosting up to 25Mbps for $4.99 per month
  • Price: $0 to $55 per month

If you just need a little data occasionally, FreedomPop offers a free 25MB plan you can use monthly without a contract. It comes with free unlimited Wi-Fi calling and texting and 10 non-Wi-Fi text messages. 

But it’s also easy to add data if you have a high-usage month or go on vacation. Paid plans include LTE data and your choice of limited or unlimited calling. 

  • 1GB LTE: $17 per month with unlimited calling; $15 per month with 250 minutes
  • 4GB LTE: $25 per month with unlimited calling; $23 per month with 250 minutes
  • 10GB LTE: $35 per month with unlimited calling; $30 per month with 250 minutes
  • Unlimited LTE: $55 per month; this plan isn’t available for the 250-minute contract

FreedomPop offers a range of hot spot devices and lets you tether your phone to use it as a mobile hot spot. However, you must enroll in FreedomPop’s Premium Plus Service for the latter. You can connect up to eight devices to your phone, and the plan costs $7.99 extra per month.

If you just use Wi-Fi for checking your email or looking at maps, the free plan has enough data to get you through the month. If you use more than 25MB of data, FreedomPop automatically upgrades you to 500MB of LTE data for $8 unless you choose a plan.

You can also buy speed boosting for $4.99 per month. It increases your mobile speed up to 25Mbps. If you stream video content, a speed boost can help provide a better viewing experience. But casual Internet usage doesn’t require this add-on.


Best Data Top-Up Options: Boost Mobile

Boost Mobile Logo
  • Pros: 35GB of high-speed mobile hot spot data
  • Cons: Additional hardware cost; more expensive than most mobile hot spot plans
  • Network: AT&T
  • Speed: Boost says it has some of the fastest 5G speeds — download speeds of 4Mbps to 35Mbps and upload speeds of 1Mbps to 5Mbps when on 4G 
  • Price: $50 to $60 per month

Boost Mobile offers one of the simplest mobile Wi-Fi hot spot plans, but flexibility isn’t an option. It’s also on the pricier side compared to some of the other affordable providers. However, if you want simplicity and high-speed browsing, Boost Mobile could be the perfect choice.

For $50 per month, you can share up to 35GB of high-speed 4G LTE data with up to 15 devices using the required Alcatel Linkzone 2, which costs $49.99 upfront (potentially $19.99 when on sale). 

Overall, Boost Mobile isn’t the cheapest mobile hot spot option, but you don’t have to worry about speed throttling or data limitations. It’s also ideal if you frequently need to add last-minute hot spot data to your plan. You can buy data packs for $5 per gigabyte of 4G LTE data. And there’s a $3 daily option that provides 500MB of additional data per day.

Boost Mobile also has phone plans, making it perfect for existing Boost customers or users looking for a new cellphone carrier. They let you turn your phone into a hot spot and use high-speed data from your monthly plan. 

But you can use their hot spot without using their cell service, so don’t switch unless they’re the right phone carrier for you.


Best Hot Spot Plan Coverage: Net10 Wireless

Net 10 Wireless Logo
  • Pros: Compatible with multiple carriers; flexible plans
  • Cons: Not the best value for high monthly data usage
  • Networks: AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon
  • Speed: Depends on your network provider; speed throttling may reduce your data speed to as low as 64Kbps once you reach your high-speed data limit
  • Price: $10 to $65 per month

Net10 Wireless lets you choose between buying a separate mobile hot spot plan and device or relying on your phone’s data plan through tethering. Net10 Wireless phone plans generally give more data and better value, but throttling kicks in after you use a certain amount of data, whereas hot spot plans always provide high-speed data. 

A dedicated hot spot device costs $49.99 for the hardware and lets you enjoy 4G LTE speed and connect up to 16 devices. In terms of plans, there are several low-cost hot spot data options:

  • 1GB: $10 per month
  • 2GB: $20 per month
  • 2.5GB: $30 per month
  • 10GB: $50 per month

The top-tier plan is less cost-effective than Boost Mobile. But if you don’t need 50GB of LTE data per month, the flexibility with Net10 Wireless is a plus.

Net10 Wireless also has multiple talk, text, and data cellphone plans ranging in price between $20 and $65 per month. If you’re already a Net10 customer, sticking with the company for your hot spot plan keeps things simple. But it’s not the best hot spot plan for heavy data usage. 

But if you only use a few gigabytes of monthly data, Net10 Wireless is affordable, even with the upfront hardware cost. 


Best for International Travelers: Keepgo

Keep Go Wireless Logo
  • Pros: Extensive coverage; data doesn’t expire
  • Cons: International data passes from your current carrier might be more affordable for short trips or infrequent international travelers; expensive hot spot hardware; no mobile app to manage your account
  • Networks: Varies based on country
  • Speed: Varies by country; Keepgo offers 4G LTE speeds in select countries
  • Price: $8 per gigabyte for European plan; price-per-gigabyte varies for the world plan, depending on how much data you buy upfront

If you’re a frequent international traveler and want an affordable mobile Wi-Fi hot spot plan that works in more than 100 countries, Keepgo is an excellent choice.

Keepgo offers contractless prepaid phone plans that make it easy to enjoy data coverage while traveling. It also has two hot spot plans that cater to North American and international travelers: a global and European-U.S. plan.

If you only travel to Europe from the United States, opt for the basic European plan, a prepaid data-only plan with auto-refill. The plan only covers Europe and the U.S. 

It costs $8 per month for 1GB and $8 for each additional gigabyte of data you use. But you get unlimited data after spending $64 in a month. Keepgo uses many major cellular networks to provide robust coverage on both continents.

If you travel more extensively than that, the lifetime mobile plan is a global prepaid data plan that works in over 100 countries. This plan starts at $10 per gigabyte when you buy 25GB for $250 upfront. 

Buying lower amounts is quite costly. For example, 1GB is $26 and 3GB is $61, so you’re incentivized to buy more data upfront. You get small discounts if you refill your data at least once per year. Luckily, data doesn’t expire. You can also buy 100MB for $3 if you just need a bit of data while traveling.

Each hot spot plan requires hardware that costs $99. But if you want contract-free, flexible data plans for an unpredictable travel schedule, Keepgo’s hot spot plans are for you. 

Plus, the international coverage is an advantage for globetrotters since many major carriers’ hot spot plans only work in the U.S. or require expensive data passes when abroad. But for those planning a single overseas trip, your carrier may still be cheaper.


Best for Convenience: Straight Talk

Straight Talk Wireless Logo
  • Pros: Extensive coverage; plan variety; affordable low-data hot spot plans
  • Cons: Expensive upfront hardware
  • Network: AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon
  • Speed: Straight Talk plans have varying data allotments at 3G and 5G speed and then throttle to 2G
  • Price: $15 to $75 per month

Straight Talk operates using AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon, giving its users comprehensive nationwide coverage. That makes it perfect for people who regularly travel domestically for business or pleasure.

For mobile hot spot plans, there are five options available:

  • 2GB: $15 per month
  • 4GB: $25 per month
  • 8GB: $40 per month
  • 10GB: $50 per month
  • 20GB: $75 per month

These plans require a mobile hot spot device, and Straight Talk offers two devices: the Moxee mobile hot spot for $49.99 and the Franklin mobile hot spot for $69.99. You can also buy a refurbished Franklin device for $34.99 if it’s in stock. 

The Moxee hot spot allows up to 16 devices to connect and provides 4G speed. The Franklin hot spot offers 4G speed and lets you connect up to eight devices. 

You can also stick with regular wireless phone plans that allow hot-spotting up to a certain data amount. Straight Talk has nearly a dozen wireless phone plans with unlimited data starting at $45 per month. 

You can also buy Straight Talk SIM cards at retailers like Walmart, pop one into an unlocked device, and enjoy calling, data, and texting. If you frequently travel in the U.S. and want a local SIM card to cut costs, this convenience is a plus.

But if you’re not a Straight Talk customer, the stand-alone hot spot plans are competitively priced, and there’s a nice amount of plan variety to suit your data needs.


Best High-Speed Hot Spot: Karma

Karma Wireless Logo
  • Pros: Simple monthly plans; 5G speed and no throttling
  • Cons: No unlimited data plans; expensive upfront hardware; no mobile app to manage your account
  • Network: T-Mobile (formerly Sprint)
  • Speed: 5G LTE or 3G, depending on available coverage
  • Price: $10 to $50 per month

Karma is one of the most straightforward affordable Wi-Fi hot spot providers, with three month-to-month plans:

  • 1GB: $10 per month
  • 5GB: $30 per month
  • 10GB: $50 per month

All three plans offer up to 5G speed if the devices you connect to your hot spot support it, and you don’t experience throttling after a certain threshold. If 5G isn’t available, Karma drops to 3G. 

You need a $79.99 Franklin Wireless hot spot device to use a Karma plan. You can connect up to 15 devices and enjoy nationwide coverage.

You can also contact Karma for enterprise pricing and discounts. If you’re a small-business owner managing remote workers or employees who have to travel for work, Karma could be your mobile data solution.


Best for Digital Nomads: Solis by Skyroam

Solis By Skyroam
  • Pros: Extensive coverage; plan variety
  • Cons: Expensive upfront hardware
  • Network: Solis uses a variety of local mobile networks
  • Speed: Speed varies depending on your location but is generally 4G LTE 
  • Price: $10 to $50 per month

If you’re a digital nomad, Solis from Skyroam is one of the most popular and reliable ways to get Internet while abroad, no matter where you go next. This portable Wi-Fi solution works in over 130 countries.

Its portable devices connect to local mobile networks to gain Internet access, so you don’t need a SIM card from a phone carrier. Solis devices can fit in your pocket and let you connect up to 10 devices.

The starter device is the Solis Lite, and it’s available on Skyroam’s website and from companies like Best Buy and Amazon for $119.99. You can also buy the Solis X for $179.99. It’s basically a souped-up version of Solis Lite and comes with a remote camera and built-in virtual private network to stay safe online. However, if you’re on a budget, Solis Lite suffices.

Once you buy the hardware, you buy data plans based on where you’re traveling. There are nine plans, but some popular options include:

  • USA Pay-Per-Gigabyte: 5GB for $35; 10GB for $60; 20GB for $100
  • Global Pay-Per-Gigabyte: 5GB for $55; 10GB for $100; 20GB for $180
  • Europe Unlimited: Unlimited data for $49 per month; Solis throttles speed at 20GB, but you can buy high-speed data for five euros (around $6) per gigabyte
  • Global Unlimited: Unlimited data outside Europe starting at $99 per month; Solis throttles speed at 20GB, but you can buy extra high-speed data for 8 euros (around $9) per gigabyte

Solis also has plans like its $6 monthly U.S. and Europe plans that give you 1GB of data. There’s also a 1GB monthly global plan that costs $9. You can view the complete list of plans on Solis’ website.

Ultimately, the flexibility of all these data plans and extensive coverage makes Solis a popular choice for digital nomads. Solis still works for occasional international travelers, but the unlimited data plans and reliable hot spot device make it a favorite for long-term nomads working abroad.


Best Family Hot Spot Plans: AT&T

Att Logo
  • Pros: Extensive coverage; plan variety
  • Cons: Expensive upfront hardware
  • Network: AT&T
  • Speed: Varies depending on your plan, but AT&T offers 4G and 5G speed; AT&T throttles speed for unlimited plans once you use varying amounts of high-speed data but only during periods of congestion
  • Price: $25 to $75 per month

For AT&T’s data-only plans, you need to buy an AT&T hot spot device. You can pay monthly for various devices starting at just $2.78 per month. Alternatively, the cheapest device costs $99 if you buy it upfront. 

From there, you have two plan options under the AT&T DataConnect umbrella:

  1. 25GB of data for $60 (or $50 with autopay and paperless billing)
  2. 40GB of data for $85 (or $75 with autopay and paperless billing)

Additional domestic data costs $10 per 2GB. If you’re traveling internationally, you can buy data starting at $70 for 2GB, and data expires in 30 days. That makes AT&T an affordable hot spot plan for domestic travel but overpriced for international travel.

Many AT&T phone plans also allow hot-spotting. That includes various unlimited, prepaid monthly, and shared plans. Prepaid data plans range from $25 to $55 per month. Additional data costs $10 for 5GB with prepaid plans.

But the best thing about AT&T is the family phone-plus-hot-spot discounts. For example, you can get an unlimited data plan for $40 per line per month when you sign up with four phones. This plan also includes 15GB of hot spot data for each phone. 


Final Word

As technology and cellular networks improve worldwide, data will only become more accessible. When you consider how many people work remotely, travel for work, or simply need data on the go, these advancements are undeniably positive.

However, if you want to save more money each month, it still pays to shop around. There’s a wide range of mobile Wi-Fi hot spot plans available so anyone from the occasional traveler to a full-time nomad can stay connected.  

Plans with dedicated hardware are ideal for serious travelers trying to save money abroad. If you travel less frequently, you can check hot spot plans from your current carrier and compare the prices to stand-alone services. 

Hopefully, by switching to an affordable plan that offers mobile Wi-Fi hot-spotting, you can enjoy unfettered Internet access wherever you go without feeling the sting of hefty data prices.

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Tom is a freelance writer originally from Toronto, Canada. Tom's passion for finance and discovering methods to make money originally sparked in college when he was trying to make ends meet on a tight budget. Outside of freelance writing, Tom also manages the blog This Online World - a personal finance website dedicated to helping young adults make and save more money.

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