Are Unlimited Data Cellular Plans Worth It?

August 31, 2018

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Not too long ago phone carriers were discontinuing their unlimited data plans but now they've returned and can sound like an attractive options, especially with te3xting teenagers giving your heartache with data overages.  But before you jump into a contract, you need to know the full extent of these unlimited plans. While all unlimited plans will give you as much data as you want, the speed at which data reaches your handset varies. Providers often prioritize feeds going to customers with metered plans; that is customers who only pay for a fixed amount of data per month and charge an overage beyond that limit. If the network is crowded, unlimited users will typically see speeds slow down, known as throttling. The amount of this slow down depends on numerous variables from the number of people using the network, your location, and even the time of day. It can also occur if you reach a certain threshold of data consumption in a month (generally around 22gb per billing cycle). While saving money with a pre-paid sounds good, the tradeoff is data is generally slower in general than the standard plans and even then, your data will be throttled when you reach a certain threshold of usage.  Low cost carriers, such as Cricket Wireless and Consumer Cellular which also use the big 4 carrier signals, also have lower limits of when your data will be throttled. So with all this in mind, it's time to see if today's unlimited plans are worth it to you and your family. As you'd expect, plan are different depending on the carrier you choose. Verizon and T-Mobile offer premium data, which puts you a first in the speed lane for a certain amount of data. However the costs range from $70 to $95 per phone.  Considering metered plans (those which you buy a certain amount of data) cost $30 to $50 per phone with a $10 fee for 1 gb of additional data (that is not throttled), it may be better deal for you to steer clear of unlimited data, even if you use your device a lot.

SOURCE: Popular Science

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