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Best MVNO Carriers with Unlimited Data Plans in 2022

Google Pixel 4
Google Pixel 4 (Image credit: Android Central)

A lot of people think of an MVNO as a carrier you get to just save money; but in the last few years, these carriers have become a stronger choice even for heavy users. A data-hungry user wants to have a fast and reliable internet everywhere they go. There are more options than ever for unlimited data on the best MVNO carriers, and the prices keep coming down as well. Our current favorite is Visible because of its simplicity compared to other carriers.

Visible R2

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

Best Overall: Visible

Visible

Verizon LTE without limits

Unlimited talk, text, and LTE data
Simple to understand
Verizon LTE
Unlimited hotspot (5Mbps)
Save with Visible Party Pay
No roaming
No international roaming
Limited phone selection

Visible keeps things simple like no other carrier and one of the best Verizon MVNOs around. Besides being easy to understand, its service is rated highly, the prices are competitive, and there are no service contracts. Utilizing Verizon's LTE network, Visible has great coverage out of the gate. You should still check the coverage map to be sure.

Unlimited talk, text, and data are all included in the $40 per month price. Unlike some other unlimited plans, all of Visible's data is LTE with download speeds around 5-12Mbps in most areas, which is more than enough for most HD streaming or social media applications. This is rounded out with an unlimited hotspot at 5Mbps. If you join a party with up to three other Visible members you can bring your monthly cost down to $25 per month.

It's worth keeping in mind that Visible doesn't support every new or unlocked phone. You will need to keep an eye on its compatibility list in the Getting Started section of its help page to know for sure. You can also check your IMEI directly. Most modern iPhones and a few Android phones are available with more being added all the time. You also won't get any international service at all. If you are a traveler, you'll need to pair Visible with another carrier to stay connected abroad.

Google FI Website

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

Best World Coverage: Google Fi

Google Fi Unlimited

A great tool for traveling abroad

Large combined network
Support for most phones
International coverage
100GB Google cloud storage
Slowed after 22GB
Video quality may be low

Google Fi's unlimited plan offers 22GB without interruption before being slowed down. Video streams could be limited to 480p quality, but Google hasn't been specific on when quality drops. This 22GB cap is more than most people will use, and starting at $70 for one line with the price per line decreasing with more line activations up to four at $45 each, Google Fi is still a good value. You can also use your data as a hotspot at will.

Google Fi is compatible with phones that are unlocked and compatible with T-Mobile's GSM network but works even better with phones designed specifically to work with Fi. These phones will get access to Sprint's and US Cellular's networks if T-Mobile has weak service. While T-Mobile's growing footprint narrows the gap between the two tiers all the time, if you want the best service possible, you'll need the most compatible phone possible. You can check your phone at Google Fi's website.

It's also a good idea to make sure you are covered on the coverage map to be sure Fi is right for you.

One thing that sets Google Fi apart from the crowd is its international roaming capabilities. In over 200 countries Google Fi users can use their phone's data like normal. For the world traveler, there really is no better value from another MVNO or even the carriers.

Mint Mobile app

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

Best Value: Mint Mobile

Mint Mobile Unlimited

Buy the whole year for even greater savings

Multi-line savings
5GB hotspot
5G support on T-Mobile
Great phone support
Must buy at least three months
Heavily throttled after 35GB

Mint Mobile offers four data plans with 3GB, 8GB, 12GB, and unlimited options. The unlimited plan comes with 35GB of high-speed data and 5GB of hotspot data. Once you use 35GB in a month on the unlimited plan, your data speed is reduced to 2G speeds until the end of the month, which ends up being about 1,258Kbps. If you think you're going to exceed this limit, you should consider other options.

Mint Mobile has gained recognition thanks to the discounts it offers if you are willing to buy six or 12 months upfront. You must buy three months as the minimum term. Luckily, if you're hesitant about the service, you can get the first three months for the same monthly rate as the 12-month plan. Keep in mind that renewal will be at the three-month rate unless you upgrade before the end of your cycle.

Mint Mobile uses T-Mobile's network with access to both 4G LTE and 5G for no extra cost. You can manage up to four lines on one account so if Mint is a good fit, you can bring the whole family. You can buy a phone from Mint or bring an unlocked phone compatible with T-Mobile's network. Don't forget to double-check your coverage before signing up.

Galaxy S10

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

Best on AT&T: Cricket Wireless

Cricket Unlimited

A massive network with unlimited data and no contract

Vast AT&T network
Support for most phones
Mexico and Canada roaming
Multi-line savings
480p video streams
Data speeds limited to 8Mbps

AT&T has a massive network, and for a lot of people, it's worth it to have the coverage that comes with it. Coverage is always one of the most important factors when selecting a carrier, and you should always check the coverage map before signing up for service. Luckily, Cricket has a couple of great unlimited options available.

Cricket's cheaper Unlimited plan is limited to just 8Mbps, which should be fast enough for most standard usage but if you want to do a lot of downloading, it may start to feel limiting. You can also get some nice discounts if you bring multiple lines with a five-line package coming in at $125. If you need to connect a family, that's a great value. If you need more speed, you can get the Cricket More unlimited plan which removes the speed cap and adds a 15Gb hotspot.

Cricket sells a decent array of phones from its website, such as the Samsung Galaxy S20+, but is missing the cheaper S20 option. Still, most unlocked phones should work fine on Cricket, and you can make sure on Cricket's website.

Moto G7

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

Best Multi-line: Walmart Family Mobile

Family Mobile Truly Unlimited

Available at your local Walmart

Save with more lines
Support for most phones
Uses T-Mobile network
Only 5GB hotspot
480p video streams

Family Mobile offers a large amount of data on the T-Mobile network for a fairly standard price. Where it really stands out is when it comes to adding lines. While one line with unlimited data costs just under $50 per month, adding additional lines is only $25 each. With more than one line, the value really stands out.

As always, check your coverage before signing up. As far as phones go, Walmart sells plenty of devices, though most of them are lower end, there are high-end phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S20 line. With the T-Mobile network, most unlocked phones should work as well.

Family Mobile isn't perfect, with its hotspot only coming with 5GB of data as well as videos only streaming at 480p. Still, if you are fine with these drawbacks and have coverage, Family Mobile can be a great value.

US Mobile Coverage

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

Best Family Perks: US Mobile

US Mobile Unlimited

Two networks and plenty of data

Two networks to choose from
Speed and hotspot upgrades available
5GB international data
Streaming perks with three or four lines
Speed limited to 5Mbps
No hotspot in the base plan
Poor phone selection

US Mobile's unlimited plan is a great value, but it doesn't do enough to dethrone our overall pick. While it's great to have no cap on downloads, you are limited to 5Mbps unless you are willing to spend $5 more per month. 5Mbps is more than enough for general usage, including video and audio streaming, but will be noticeable when downloading larger chunks of data such as games or backup files. There is also a speed upgrade that comes with 5GB of hotspot data for $10.

As noted in our full review, US Mobile makes use of both the T-Mobile and Verizon LTE networks, depending on device compatibility and coverage where you live. While US Mobile suggests that its Verizon based SIM will offer faster speeds, you can expect plenty of speed on either network as long as you've upgraded your speed.

US Mobile's best value comes with three or four unlimited lines. Not only are additional lines discounted but if you sign up for three lines, you get to choose from one of US Mobile's perks. These include video and audio streaming services as well as gaming services like PS Plus and Stadia Pro. You get to choose two perks with four lines.

Metro by T-Mobile website

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

Max Data: Metro by T-Mobile

Metro by T-Mobile Unlimited

A data-focused network

35GB before deprioritization
100GB Google cloud storage
Save with more lines
Support for most phones
Only 5GB hotspot
480p video streams

Metro by T-Mobile allows users to consume a massive 35GB of data before they are subject to data deprioritization. This is good if you want to use a lot of data and want your speeds to stay suitably snappy even when the towers are getting busy. The lower-priced unlimited plan, at $50 per month, includes 5GB of hotspot data and 100GB of Google One cloud storage.

Since Metro uses T-Mobile's network, it has the same coverage a T-Mobile customer would get, but you should always check to be sure you're covered. It also means that nearly any unlocked phone should work, but you can always check before you sign up.

Metro sells some phones from its stores; you can see the models on the website, which are mostly lower-end devices with more expensive phones available from Samsung and Apple. You can also save some money if you have multiple lines with the cost of additional lines discounted $20. A bigger plan is available for $10 more per month that comes with more hotspot data and an Amazon Prime membership.

Bottom line

There's a lot to consider with all of these different plans, but the most important factor is going to be coverage. Not all MVNOs have access to the same towers, so it's important to check each one individually. Thanks to its great price, uncapped data speeds, strong network, and unlimited hotspot, Visible continues to stand above the rest.

While another carrier like Google Fi is compelling for its massive roaming potential, Visible is the best balance and should be suitable for nearly any user. There's only one plan, but it's easy to understand, and you'll get everything you need for heavy data usage. You don't get international roaming, but for U.S.-based customers who don't travel often, you can't do much better.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Author:

Samuel Contreras When Samuel is not writing about networking, he spends most of his time researching computer components and obsessing over what CPU goes into the ultimate Windows 98 computer. It's the Pentium 3.

When Samuel is not writing about networking or 5G at Android Central, he spends most of his time researching computer components and obsessing over what CPU goes into the ultimate Windows 98 computer. It's the Pentium 3.