Mobile Hotspot Devices and Plans | Articles
You might be one of the many people who have experienced working from home, whether fully remote from your home office or even just occasionally. Or maybe you’ve packed your bags and taken your computer on vacation, to enjoy a little R&R without falling behind on emails. Whatever the reason is behind your need to be connected on-the-go, Verizon understands that you want a strong, reliable connection that can work for the whole family.
Mobile hotspots and plans.
Mobile hotspots are connected devices that allow you to create a secure, reliable Wi-Fi connection. You can then use your personal, private hotspot connection on any Wi-Fi-enabled device, such as a laptop, tablet or smartphone. You can create a mobile hotspot on most smartphones, but by using a dedicated device and mobile hotspot data plan you can allow more devices to be connected to your secure, private network at one time, and use data specifically allotted to your mobile hotspot device (that won’t then detract from your smartphone’s data plan).
Mobile hotspot plans are available to provide the data you need to help you stay connected. Verizon has 4 different plans available: Essential, Plus, Pro and Premium. The plans were designed to fit your budget and needs, so you can choose the one that’s best for your budget and lifestyle and stay connected with confidence. With the Premium plan you can enjoy up to 150GB of premium mobile hotspot data to power all of your connected devices, and all plans (excluding the “Essential” plan) come with 5G Ultra Wideband connectivity, meaning you can enjoy high-quality streaming and 5G-fast internet access on the go.
Once you choose your plan, Verizon offers several router and hotspot options that can fit your budget and needs.
The Verizon Orbic Speed Mobile Hotspot 5G UW is a great option if you’re new to the world of being connected on-the-go. It has a rechargeable battery, lets you connect up to 30 devices at once, and comes in a lightweight and compact design, making it a great travel companion. Check email, video chat or just relax by the pool with your favorite streaming show.
Another great option (especially if you and your team are working together outside the office) is the Inseego MiFi X PRO 5G UW. The MiFi X PRO 5G UW is a powerful, secure hotspot device equipped with everything you need to work, create, and communicate. This mobile hotspot delivers a next level, ultra-low lag experience powered by 5G and Wi-Fi 6 for up to 32 WiFi-enabled devices, including laptops and tablets. The intuitive touch screen on the device itself is easy to navigate so you can quickly monitor your connections, identify your WiFi name and password, and more. With built-in security, a fast-charging, and long-lasting battery1 the portable MiFi X PRO will keep your connections protected all day long.
No matter how you like to travel—whether by planes, trains or automobiles—your hotspot is a travel tech buddy that’s always up for a trip.
Stay connected everywhere you go.
With so much of our world happening online, staying connected is more important than ever. Being able to video chat with family, stay on top of projects and relax with your favorite shows can happen wherever life takes you. Make sure to check out all of Verizon’s unlimited plans to find the best option for your budget and needs.
1. 13 hours of usage on a single connection with light browsing. Battery life and charge cycles vary with use, settings, and other factors; actual results will vary.
Reviewed by the Verizon Editorial Team. This content is provided for information purposes only. All information included herein is subject to change without notice. Verizon is not responsible for any direct or indirect damages, arising from or related to use or reliance of the above content.
Best Unlimited Hotspot Plans of 2023
Best Unlimited Hotspot Plans of 2023 | SatelliteInternet.com
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April 18, 2023
If you’re looking for an unlimited mobile hotspot data plan, you’ve probably already noticed how hard it is to find. It’s not your fault–any kind of unlimited data in mobile plans isn’t truly unlimited, but you can get pretty close. Fortunately, we’ve done the dirty work for you and found the your most generous hotspot data plans options.
Here are the best deals on Visible, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon hotspot data plans in the US.
- Best mobile phone plans for hotspotting
- Best mobile hotspot device plans
- Hotspotting pros and cons
- The final take
See what providers are available near you.
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Best Mobile Hotspot Plans
The best mobile plan for hotspotting is Visible’s unlimited phone plan, which costs $40 per month and gives you unlimited mobile hotspot data. It isn’t the fastest data on the planet—data speeds are capped at 5 Mbps—but it’s fast enough to stream Netflix and do video conferencing on one device. There are other plans that offer unlimited 2G data (which is 114 Kbps or 0.1 Mbps), but 2G speeds are too slow for online learning, Netflix, or most gaming apps.
We compared all mobile phone plans solely on the basis of the mobile hotspot feature. We looked at whether hotspotting was allowed on the plan, how much hotspot data it offered, and how much it cost. We also looked at how much data was slowed after reaching the cap.
Best Cell Phone Plans for Mobile Hotspot
|Visible||Unlimited hotspot data||Up to 5 Mbps||Mobile service included (talk/text)||$40.00/mo.*||View plans|
|T-Mobile Magenta MAX||40GB 4G or 5G data, then unlimited 3G data||Up to 3–12 Mbps||Mobile service included (talk/text)||$85. 00/mo.*||View plans|
|Verizon Pro||100GB 5G data, then unlimited at 600 Kbps speeds||Up to 5–12 Mbps or 5G (where available)||Mobile service included (talk/text)||$90.00/mo.*||View plans|
*Data effective 10/22/2021. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Prices do not include taxes and other fees.
Best overall: T-Mobile Magenta MAX
T-Mobile unlimited plans include a bucket of full-speed data for hotspotting and then unlimited data at 3G speeds. At $85 per month, T-Mobile’s Magenta MAX plan is more expensive than Visible or AT&T, but if you live or travel in areas where T-Mobile has good coverage, T-Mobile’s Magenta Plus plan is a good deal for phone and hotspot in one.
With this plan, you’ll get unlimited mobile phone service and 40 GB of 4G or 5G hotspot data each month (it depends on where you are). If you surpass 40 GB, you can keep using unlimited data at 3G speeds, which are slower but still usable. You may or may not be able to stream video with 3G speeds (which are usually between 1–3 Mbps). But, 3G is fast enough to send email, check the news, and stream music.
Best budget plan for hotspotting: Visible
If you’re going to be hotspotting all month and need a lot of data, we recommend getting a Visible mobile phone plan. It’s the best deal for unlimited mobile hotspot data. Visible is an MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator), so it operates on cellular networks managed by one of the big three cellular networks (T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T).
For $40 per month, you get unlimited talk, text, and data, which includes unlimited mobile hotspot data. The hotspot data is limited to one device at a time and it’s capped at 5 Mbps, but it’s still the best option for folks looking for unlimited mobile hotspot data—even though it’s a cell phone plan with hotspot data included.
Best speeds: Verizon
Verizon’s Get More Unlimited plan is worth checking out for people who are lucky enough to live, work, and play in areas with 5G Ultra Wideband service. If you are in one of these urban areas, you can get truly unlimited data for hotspotting. And, even better, it’s amazingly fast 5G Ultra Wideband data. And you get a whole 100GB of it.
But Verizon isn’t such a great deal for customers who live outside 5G areas or who aren’t already Verizon mobile customers. Exceeding hotspot data allowance will result in sluggish 600 Kbps speeds for the remainder of the billing period, and Verizon’s $30 a month more expensive if you aren’t already a customer.
What is a hotspot?
A hotspot is a Wi-Fi connection that allows you to connect laptops, tablets, and other devices to the internet while you are traveling or away from your home network.
A hotspot can refer to any of the following:
- Mobile hotspot devices are portable, pocket-sized modems that are paired with a cellular data plan from Verizon, T-Mobile, or AT&T. Popular for travel, hotspot devices give you internet access wherever you have cellular service. Learn more by checking out our reviews of top mobile hotspot devices.
- The hotspot feature on your mobile phone is another way to get internet access on a tablet or laptop while you’re away from home. Many mobile plans allow you to share a limited amount of data with another device, like a laptop. Some plans give you a lot more data than others.
- Public hotspots are also connectivity options when you’re traveling. A public hotspot could be a free public Wi-Fi zone, Wi-Fi offered to customers by a business, or a network of Wi-Fi hotspots provided by an internet provider (such as Xfinity’s Wi-Fi hotspot network). Public hotspots are less reliable than carrying your own hotspot with you and are less secure, but they can be helpful in a pinch.
Check your local internet providers
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Best mobile hotspot device plans
If you have a mobile hotspot device, you can provide Wi-Fi to five or more devices. But the more devices you have connected at once, the slower your data speeds will be. Many plans let you choose how much data you want to pay for each month, which can be handy if you travel seasonally and don’t need a lot of data year-round.
However, if you’re thinking about using a mobile hotspot instead of getting a dedicated home internet connection, we recommend against it. There are no unlimited mobile hotspot device plans (yup, you read that right—you’ll have to use a cell phone plan like we mentioned earlier if you’re interested in getting unlimited data). All data-only hotspot plans limit the amount of data you can use. Plus, you’ll pay more for each GB of data than you will with most other types of internet.
You can buy prepaid data for your mobile hotspot and then use it as you go, or sign up for a monthly plan that gives you a set amount of data each month. Verizon has the most expensive data per GB for mobile hot spotting while T-Mobile has the most affordable plans.
Best data-only plans
|T-Mobile||Low prices on hotspot data||No roaming data allowed||Plans starting at $5.00/mo. for half a GB||View plans|
|Verizon||Widest coverage network||Most expensive data||Plans starting at $40.00/mo.||View plans|
|AT&T||Good network||No budget plans||Plans starting at $60.00/mo.||View plans|
*Data effective 10/22/2021. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
The Pros and Cons of Using a Mobile Hotspot
There are dozens of plans in the US that offer hotspotting, including mobile phone plans and mobile hotspot device plans.
The most common way to hotspot is to use your mobile phone as a personal hotspot. Many (although not all) mobile phone plans include a separate data allowance for hotspotting. Mobile phone hotspot data isn’t usually unlimited (although we did find a plan from Visible that truly has unlimited mobile hotspot data), but it can keep you connected when you’re away from home.
By hotspotting off your phone, you can avoid the cost of a mobile hotspot device and paying for a hotspot data plan but keep in mind that there are significant limitations with hotspotting off your phone. Mobile phone plans offer only a limited amount of hotspot data—generally between 10 GB and 25 GB per month. Since the average American household uses about 350 GB of data per month, hotspotting off your phone plan is convenient for occasional use but it doesn’t offer enough data to keep a whole family connected at home and on the go.1
The second way to hotspot is to get a mobile hotspot device and a mobile hotspot plan. Most mobile hotspots devices cost between $75 and $300, with a few outliers costing more (such as Verizon’s $649 Insego 5G MiFi Hotspot). Mobile hotspot plans all have limited data—the unlimited plans of the past are gone. Mobile hotspot plans vary in cost but are generally higher priced per gigabyte than a typical home internet plan.
Mobile hotspots have become more popular since the COVID-19 pandemic because they offer a simple solution to connect students and remote workers to the internet.2,3 But, that doesn’t mean that mobile hotspot devices are a good choice for a family internet connection. Because data costs so much more on a hotspot device than it does with mobile phone plans or home internet, we recommend using hotspot devices for travel or vacation homes but not for full time home connectivity.
If you’re interested in a mobile hotspot because you need home internet but have limited internet options in your area, check into LTE home internet from Verizon or T-Mobile. It’s competitively priced at $40 to $60 per month and offers unlimited data. Although you can’t take the modem with you on the road like you could with a mobile hotspot device, it’s an excellent alternative to satellite internet in many parts of the country.
If you’ve heard someone talk about unlimited mobile hotspots, they’re probably talking about 4G LTE internet plans. For more tips about getting 4G LTE internet, check out the Best 4G LTE Home Internet Providers for Rural Areas.
There are many hotspots but few that offer an unlimited amount of high-speed data. You’ll be comparing speed, price, and data, and there are no options that give you the best of everything at the lowest price. Determining your ideal internet speed is the first step to narrowing down a potential list of providers.
T-Mobile’s hotspot device plan is among the most reasonably priced—$40 for 30 GB of data, which can be enough for weekend travel.
Verizon’s mobile hotspot speeds are pricier but the plans deliver priority Verizon data. And, if you happen to live and work in an area with Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband, jump on it! You’re the luckiest of all because you can get truly unlimited, high-speed hotspot data through several Verizon Unlimited plans.
Visible is an affordable alternative to getting a separate hotspot device and data plan. Visible data speeds are slow (they’re capped at 5 Mbps), but you’ll get unlimited hotspot data all month long.
And finally, AT&T’s new 100 GB data-only plan earned a place on our best-of list. With this plan, you get oodles of priority, full-speed data at the attractive price of $55.
FAQ about unlimited mobile hotspot plans
Technically, yes, T-Mobile does have unlimited hotspot data on Magenta and Magenta Plus mobile plans, although speeds are slowed to 3G speeds (typically 1-3 Mbps) after you reach your hotspot data cap (which varies by plan from 2–22 GB per month). T-Mobile Essentials has unlimited hotspot data but it’s all 3G data—similar to Visible’s plan.
Technically, yes, there are Verizon plans with unlimited hotspot data but this only applies to 5G Ultra Wideband data—available in select neighborhoods of cities with Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband. So, if you don’t live or work in one of these areas, you are out of luck for getting unlimited full-speed hotspot data.
All Verizon mobile plans have a soft data cap for hotspotting 4G LTE, 4G, and 5G data (15–30 GB) and then speeds slow down to 600 Kbps or slower for the rest of the billing cycle. Verizon calls this unlimited data—but it isn’t unlimited full-speed data, and it won’t be a good solution for homes or businesses.
If you want to use Verizon data for your home internet, consider getting Verizon LTE Home Internet, which is $40 to $60 per month and does indeed offer unlimited full-speed data.
In almost all cases, unlimited cellular data does not mean unlimited hotspot data. You might have unlimited data on your mobile phone, but you’ll have a limit on how much data you can share with other devices while hotspotting. Some plans offer a bucket of hotspot data at full speed and then unlimited hotspot data at reduced speeds. Some mobile providers require you to set up hotspot data, while others (such as Verizon) have it already set up.
The best unlimited mobile plans for hotspotting are Visible’s mobile plan (they have just one) or T-Mobile’s Magenta plan. Although these plans aren’t designed for hotspot devices, they offer ample data for hotspotting off your phone. For those who live in areas with Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband, there are a few more unlimited data options available because several of Verizon’s unlimited plans offer unlimited full-speed 5G Ultra Wideband hotspot data. The catch is that you’d have to live in an area with Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband (even 5G hotspot data is metered).
No, a hotspot isn’t designed to replace home internet for most households, although it can work for some households that use very limited data. If you don’t stream video content, use video conferencing, or upload photos to social networks, then a hotspot could provide enough data at a reasonable cost. But if your household uses a lot of data, you could end up paying hundreds of dollars in data overage fees.
If you’re interested in getting home internet through cellular data, we recommend checking out Verizon LTE Home Internet or T-Mobile Home Internet instead of using a mobile hotspot, as these options give you unlimited data at an affordable price.
- Toledo, Rob, “REPORT: The Average Household’s Internet Data Usage Has Jumped 38x in 10 Years,” April 2020. Accessed October 22, 2020.
- AP News, “Colorado spending $2M to provide internet access to students,” September 2020. Accessed November 13, 2020.
- THE Journal Staff, “Updated: Free WiFi for Online Learning During COVID-19,” June 2020. Accessed November 13, 2020.
After graduating with a degree in English from the University of Utah, Kristin learned to geek speak while working as a technical recruiter, interviewing software developers and tech companies. For over 20 years, she has created award-winning content for technology, health, and finance companies. Kristin is an advocate for affordable internet for all and writes about rural internet solutions, satellite internet news, and tech products at SatelliteInternet.com. Her work has been featured in New York Post, PCMag, Forbes, Business Insider, Telecompetitor, Space.com, and The Benton Institute for Broadband & Society.
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How to share internet from phone to computer
You can share a mobile network to a computer or laptop through the tethering mode on your phone. It is used if you are having problems using the wired Internet or if you are in a place where there is no available home and public network.
August 19, 2021
3 minutes, 14 seconds read
First make sure your phone is connected to the Internet. If the Internet is working, then proceed to the distribution.
Connecting your phone to a computer is carried out wired and wirelessly – using a USB cable and via a Wi-Fi access point.
In addition, you can distribute mobile Internet via Bluetooth, but we will consider this method last, because it has less advantages than the other two.
It is most effective to distribute mobile traffic to several devices via Wi-Fi if you work from a laptop or computer with a built-in Wi-Fi adapter. Then the smartphone acts as a router.
1. In the settings menu, find “Wi-Fi hotspot” and activate.
2. Next, click “Access Point Settings”.
3. Make sure the Wi-Fi ranges of your phone and computer match
4. Set up traffic restriction or just turn it off.
5. Enter the network name, security code to connect the computer.
On the smartphone, personal Wi-Fi access is activated for any device with a password. Do not forget that the Internet must be working on the smartphone.
The advantages of this type of communication are a wide coverage radius, fast Internet connection speed, as well as the ability to connect different devices in parallel. The only negative is that the smartphone consumes a lot of energy and sits down quickly.
Internet distribution to a computer via USB modem
Unlike a wireless connection via a Wi-Fi network, connecting via a USB modem has important advantages: the smartphone battery does not run out; distribution of the Internet to any device without a WiFi module; Internet quality is higher and more stable.
Connect your phone to your computer with a USB cable and set up your phone for connection as follows:
1. Open Settings > Network & Internet > Hotspot & tethering
2. Turn on the USB modem by moving the slider and check that the cable is properly connected on both sides.
3. At the time of connection, a window will open on the display with a proposal to make the computer public. This is not necessary, so just click No.
4. Click “OK” to enable.
Now you can use the mobile Internet on your computer.
Disadvantages of USB wire:
Only one device can be connected;
the presence of a suitable wire is mandatory;
short distance, cable length
If the previous methods of distributing mobile Internet on a PC do not work, a bluetooth modem will help you. To activate you need:
1. Enable Bluetooth on
2. Find your computer on your smartphone among bluetooth connections.
3. If necessary, enter or approve the pairing code.
4. Go to the following path: Settings> Connections> Hotspot> Bluetooth.
Disadvantages: Difficult connection method, small range – less than 10 meters, the phone runs out of power quickly.
So, you have learned about ways to distribute the Internet from a smartphone, allowing a computer or laptop to have active access to the network. An important meeting or urgent work outside the home will no longer have to be postponed until later.
Almost every modern phone with a working Internet can act as a modem.
How to distribute Internet from your phone: creating a Wi-Fi network
If you often access the Internet from a laptop, PC or like to watch movies via Smart TV, buying a 4G modem would be an ideal solution. Take a look at our selection, where we collected the most popular models. And just recently, we studied unlimited tariffs for modems – we went through the main operators and found out who is cheaper.
But there are times when buying a modem is impractical. For example, you are going to work for a couple of days from your country house – you need internet for your laptop only for this time. In this case, you can distribute it from your smartphone.
Things to do before handing out
Learned from experience, we recommend that you first carry out some actions before you put the phone on hand.
Remove the cover from it. The smartphone will warm up, and it does not need extra “clothes”.
Connect charger. Dispensing drains the battery quickly, so power is required.
Disable cloud sync on the laptop. If you have recently uploaded large files to the cloud, and rarely turn on your laptop, the information may be automatically synchronized. This will take a lot of traffic.
How to distribute the Internet from the phone?
There is nothing complicated about this. Our screenshots show the version of Android 10, but the interface is slightly different on earlier ones. In general, you need to do the same.
Create an access point
Move the shutter down. You may also need to swipe it to the left. We are looking for this icon and click it.
Set the password
If you are in the remote Siberian taiga, you can skip this step. In other cases, it is better to set a password so that free Internet lovers do not connect to you. To do this, click on the icon and hold your finger on it for a few seconds. You will be taken to this menu.
You are interested in “Access point settings”. Go to this item and set the WPA2 security type, and then the password. If your phone supports the 5GHz band, you can use it. By default, you will have the more popular 2.4 GHz installed.
If you have a tariff plan with a traffic package, it will be extremely useful to set a limit for a single connection. It is also useful to use auto-off when there are no disconnected devices.
How to distribute Internet from a phone to a stationary PC
A PC, as a rule, does not have a Wi-Fi module. This means that it is pointless to create a wireless access point for it. But you can do otherwise: connect your smartphone via a USB cable. And just as well use it as a modem.
Another exotic method is to use Bluetooth to access the Internet. Connect two devices as you normally would and enable blue tooth networking in the hotspot settings. The speed will be much lower, but it’s better than nothing.
Nothing works for me, why?
It is unprofitable for mobile operators if you buy a tariff with unlimited internet and use it with the whole family. Therefore, they strongly oppose the distribution.
If you install a SIM card with unlimited internet for a smartphone in a modem or built-in communication module, it will not work.
The same can happen when connecting a smartphone via USB to a PC.