Best Unlimited Data Plan for Android Central 2021
All four major U.S. carriers and even some MVNOs currently offer unlimited data plans. In the past, carriers have steered away from offering a lot of data. Now, the plans are mainly differentiated by extras such as hotspot data, streaming quality, or even bundled extras like streaming services. T-Mobile's Magenta plan is the best value with plenty of data, 5G access, and even Netflix if you bring two or more lines.
- Best Overall: T-Mobile Magenta
- Best Hotspot: Sprint Unlimited Plus
- Best AT&T coverage: AT&T Unlimited Extra
- Best Coverage: Verizon Play More Unlimited
- Best Value: Visible
- Best International: Google Fi Unlimited
Best Overall: T-Mobile Magenta
T-Mobile's three main plans are all unlimited, starting with the Essentials plan and moving up to the Magenta and Magenta Plus plan. All three plans come with unlimited talk, text, and LTE data. T-Mobile also offers 5G connectivity to anyone with a compatible phone, so there's no need to look for a special plan. The main differences come with the extras.
The Essentials plan is the most basic and doesn't include taxes and fees in the sticker price. It starts at $60 per month for one line. For two lines, the price comes down to $45 per line. For three and four, the cost is $35 and $30 per line, respectively. You can get discounts up to six lines at $25 per line. This plan is not available to more than six lines on one account. You get unlimited 3G speed hotspot data as well as unlimited talk, text, and 2G speed data in Mexico and Canada.
The Magenta plan starts at $70 per month for one line with taxes and fees included. For two, three, and four lines, the price comes down to $60, $40, and $35 per line, respectively. Discounts continue up to eight lines at $28 per line. At two or more lines, you get Netflix included with one SD screen. You also get 3GB of LTE hotspot data with unlimited 3G speed as well as 2G data speeds while traveling internationally. You also get 5GB of high-speed data in Mexico and Canada, as well as unlimited texting and one hour of in-flight Wi-Fi with Gogo.
The Magenta Plus plan starts at $85 per month for one line with taxes and fees included. For two, three, and four lines, the price comes down to $70, $47, and $43 per line, respectively. Service is largely the same as Magenta, but Netflix is upgraded to two HD screens, and LTE speed hotspot data is increased to 20GB. You also get faster international data speeds and unlimited in-flight Wi-Fi.
For most people, the Magenta plan is going to be the best balance of features, with Netflix alone making up a lot of the cost. If you are bringing more than one line, you stand to save a lot of money.
- Unlimited talk, text, and LTE data
- 5G included
- Unlimited 3G speed hotspot
- Taxes and fees included
- Two lines required for Netflix and Quibi
- SD video streaming only
- Only 3GB high-speed hotspot
Unlimited data with streaming extras
T-Mobile's Magenta plan comes with reliable coverage and great compatibility, making it the plan that works for most people.
Best Hotspot: Sprint Unlimited Basic
Sprint has some of the best savings overall, with great discounts for multiple lines. Sprint's three main unlimited plans come with unlimited talk, text, and data. Each phone includes 5G access, some hotspot data, and roaming data in Mexico and Canada.
The cheapest Unlimited Basic plan starts at $60 per month for one line. For lines two through four, the price is a solid $100 per month, making it the best unlimited deal on a postpaid carrier. If you have four lines to bring, Sprint wants to add them. This plan comes with a Hulu subscription and 500MB of hotspot data. Video streaming is limited to SD quality, however. If you are roaming in Mexico or Canada, you get unlimited talk, text, and 5GB of data.
The recommended Unlimited Plus plan starts at $70 per month for one line. For two, three, and four lines, the price comes up to $120, $130, and $140 per month, respectively. This plan includes a Tidal music streaming subscription in addition to a Hulu subscription. Hotspot data is increased to 50GB, and video streaming is bumped up to 1080p HD. While traveling in Mexico and Canada, you get double the high-speed data at 10GB.
If you're looking to get the most out of your Sprint plan, the Unlimited Premium plan starts at $80 per month for one line. For two, three, and four lines, the cost comes up to $140, $160, and $180, respectively. This plan comes with Hulu, Tidal HiFi, Amazon Prime, and Lookout Premium Plus. Video streaming quality is uncapped, and hotspot data is increased to 100GB. You also get unlimited high-speed data in Mexico and Canada.
For most people, the middle Unlimited Plus plan is the best balance with music streaming, and Hulu included. 50GB of hotspot data is also more than enough for most people. Still, if you're bringing multiple lines and already pay for Amazon Prime separately, you can likely break even with Unlimited Premium and get the extra hotspot data as a bonus.
- Unlimited talk, text, and data
- 1080p video streaming
- Hulu and Tidal included
- 50GB high-speed hotspot
- 5G included
- Smallest LTE network
- Weaker phone compatibility
Share your data with no worries
If you have strong Sprint coverage and a compatible phone, this is one of the best unlimited values you can get.
Best AT&T coverage: AT&T Unlimited Extra
AT&T has three postpaid unlimited plans called Unlimited Starter, Unlimited Extra, and Unlimited Elite. They all come with unlimited talk, text, and data. The two larger plans come with an allotment of premium data, which is the amount of data they can use before being subject to slow down during network congestion.
The Unlimited Starter plan starts at $65 per month and comes down to $60, $45, and $35 per line per month with two, three, and four lines. This plan doesn't come with any premium data, which should only really be an issue if you live in a dense area. Video quality is limited to standard definition, and it doesn't come with any hotspot data or extras. You also don't get 5G access on this plan.
The Unlimited Extra plan starts at $75 per month for one line. The price comes down to $65, $50, and $40per line per month with two, three, and four lines. This plan comes with 50GB of premium data and 15GB of hotspot data. Streaming is still limited to standard definition, but it does come with 5G access if you have a compatible phone.
The Unlimited Elite plan starts at $85 per month for one line. The price comes down to $75, $60, and $50 per month per line with two, three, and four lines. This plan takes the premium data up to 100GB and hotspot data up to 30GB. It comes with 5G access, and video streaming is upgraded to high definition. This plan also comes with HBO or HBO MAX starting May 27.
For most people, the middle Unlimited Extra plan has the best balance of features. With enough hotspot data for most people and 5G access, if you've got the phone, it's a worthy upgrade over the base plan, especially if you live in a congested area and can use the premium data.
- Unlimited talk, text, and data
- 15GB high-speed hotspot
- 5G access
- Large LTE and 5G network
- Unlimited hotspot only 2G speed
- SD video streams
Best AT&T coverage
Tons of fast data
AT&T's Unlimited Extra offers 50GB of premium data and is one of the fastest and largest networks available.
Best Coverage: Verizon Play More Unlimited
One of the main things that sets Verizon apart is its coverage. While coverage and speed are going to vary a great deal depending on where you live, Verizon is one of the most consistent. According to statistics gathered by speedtest.com, Verizon customers spend more time connected to 4G LTE with the least amount of time without any coverage. Consistent LTE coverage means customers will have greater access to the fast speeds that make an unlimited plan worthwhile.
Verizon has four unlimited plans called Start Unlimited, Play More Unlimited, Do More Unlimited, and Get More Unlimited. The Start Unlimited plan is the most basic with unlimited data and 480p video streaming. It doesn't have support for 5G or hotspot data. This plan starts at $70 per month for one line and comes down to $60, $45, $35, and $30 per line for two, three, four, and five lines.
The remaining three plans come with 5G support and some premium data and hotspot data. Premium data is the amount of data you can use on Verizon before your data is deprioritized during heavy traffic. The Start Unlimited plan doesn't come with any Premium data. All plans come with 500MB of high-speed data in Mexico and Canada per day with 2G speeds after that.
The Play More and Do More plans are the same price with a couple of differences in included features. The price starts at $80 for one line and comes down to $70, $55, $45, and $40 per line per month. Both plans come with 15GB of high-speed hotspot data. The Play More plan comes with 25GB of premium data, an Apple Music subscription, and 720p video streams. The Do More plan has 50GB of premium data video quality is knocked down to 480p and only has a trial of Apple Music. It does come with 500GB of cloud storage, however.
Get More Unlimited starts at $90 per month with one line. The price per line comes down to $80, $65, $55, and $50 with two, three, four, and five lines. It comes with 75GB of premium data and 30GB of hotspot data. Video quality is 720p, and Apple Music and cloud storage are included.
For most people, one of the middle plans is going to make the most sense, depending on whether or not you prefer to have more premium data or would rather have Apple Music included. For most people, the Play More plan will be a good fit. All of these plans also come with one year of Disney+.
- Great coverage
- 720p video streams
- Apple Music and one year of Disney+ included
- 5G features included
- 15GB high-speed hotspot
- Slow unlimited hotspot
Huge networks with streaming options
Verizon has earned its reputation for coverage and offers some great perks, including 5G, which is truly unlimited if you have coverage.
Best MVNO value: Visible
Visible only has one plan, and it comes with unlimited data, including an unlimited hotspot. While the hotspot is limited to 5Mbps, it's plenty for basic web browsing and even some streaming. Visible uses Verizon's LTE network, meaning coverage will be great. At $40 per month, it can be a great deal, especially since taxes and fees are included. Up to four Visible customers can for a party and get their lines discounted down to $25 per month with separate payments.
It's worth keeping in mind that you don't get access to roaming data of any kind, and there is no support for the older 3G network. You also don't get access to any 5G network. Video streams at an expected SD resolution as well. Still, Visible is an excellent option for a lot of people that don't want to worry about data usage or contracts.
- Unlimited Verizon LTE data
- Unlimited hotspot (5Mbps)
- Taxes and fees included
- Save with Party Pay
- No 3G or roaming
- Limited phone support
- No 5G option
- SD quality video streams
Verizon LTE for less
Visible keeps things simple with only one plan, and it's unlimited as long as you stay in the U.S.
Best International: Google Fi Unlimited
Google Fi makes use of the Sprint, T-Mobile, and U.S. Cellular networks for its coverage. While you'll need a Google Fi approved phone to access the three networks, you can still bring nearly any unlocked phone and use it on the T-Mobile network exclusively. You also get access to T-Mobile's 5G if you use an unlocked and compatible phone.
Google Fi Unlimited comes with unlimited data that gets slowed down after 22GB of usage. You can share all of this data with a hotspot as well. Google Fi also comes with 100GB of cloud storage with Google One. While most of these plans come with some international data, Google Fi is unique in charging the same rate no matter which of the over 200 supported countries you are in.
- Unlimited data
- Sprint, T-Mobile, and U.S. Cellular network
- 5G support on T-Mobile
- Free international roaming
- Less high-speed data than others
- 480p video streams
- Data is slowed at 22GB
Leave data on when you travel
Google Fi can use up to three networks at once, and you can also roam for free in more than 200 countries.
We've previously written about how most people just don't need unlimited data, and you should have a look if you have any questions about how much you should spend or how much data you need. If you want to save some money on your unlimited plan, Sprint's multi-line discounts can't be beaten by any other postpaid carrier, and with a ton of bonus features such as Hulu and Tidal, it's a great value.
Still, a lot of people don't want to think about how much data they use and are willing to pay the difference for peace of mind. T-Mobile has been growing its network at a record pace, especially if you can access 5G. If you are looking for a great balance of features, including hotspot data, and some extras like Netflix, T-Mobile's Magenta plan is one of the best fits. Plus, any phone with a capable modem can use T-Mobile's vast 5G network.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Samuel Contreras When Samuel is not writing about networking and carriers, 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.
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