Unlimited data — it’s the 21st century’s all-you-can-eat buffet. Whether it’s to browse social media, check in at work, be entertained, or all the above, most of us use data without even knowing it — and we certainly don’t want to pay more while doing it. While an unlimited data plan sounds like a no-brainer, not all plans are created equal. How you do you know if an unlimited plan is really what you need, and which one you should go with? Here are some factors to consider.
With Xfinity Mobile, you can choose the right data plan for each line, including the Xfinity Mobile unlimited data plan.
Deciding to go unlimited
According to a report by Cisco, those of us on standard, tiered data plans used just under 3 Gb of data a month in 2016. If that’s you, then a tiered plan is likely a good bet (Xfinity Mobile offers a By the Gig option). But if you ever go over your data limit — or feel you’d like to — then stepping up to an unlimited data plan is a good option. Check your monthly data usage, and if you (or your family as a whole) use more than 10 Gb a month, an unlimited plan becomes pretty much a necessity to avoid overage costs. It’s also a good idea if you fall into one of these categories:
- You depend on your phone for most of your activities. From communication to entertainment, productivity to play time, you use your phone to do more than just call, text and email. You rely on it to surf the web, download files, watch videos, stream music, navigate, track exercise, play games, and stay connected on social media.
- You’re paying for multiple people to use their phones. Phones that are part of a family plan that belong to spouses, children, and other dependents all eat into your monthly data allowance. With an unlimited plan, you never need to worry about you or your loved ones being cut off.
- You regularly work on the road or from the soccer sidelines. Remote work demands connectivity, and if you need to give your laptop or tablet a WiFi connection, unlimited plans often allow “tethering.” Tethering is a way to share your phone’s internet connection with multiple devices. It’s also useful if you have children who don’t have their own data plans on their devices (yet) but still like to be connected to stream movies and music while on the go.
Questions to ask when choosing an unlimited plan
If you decide unlimited is for you, the next step is figuring out which unlimited plan to choose. Ask the following questions about each option to find one that’s right for you:
- Is “unlimited” truly unlimited? All carriers cap their unlimited data. This means once you’ve reached the cap you’ll still be able to go online, but your speeds will be slower. These details vary from carrier to carrier (see table below). Xfinity Mobile caps out at 20 Gb, but after that cap is reached, the connection speed drops only to 1.5 Mbps , which is still much faster than most of the competition.
- What else do you get? Some carriers offer Internet and cell phone bundles, or premium services for free with your plan, such as free Netflix, Hulu, or HBO. (With Xfinity Mobile you get access to millions of high-speed and often secure hotspots, so you won’t need to worry about slow speeds as you’re streaming.)
- What don’t you get? Carriers often limit what you can do with all that data, such as not allowing, or slowing down, mobile hot-spotting (when you connect an iPad or laptop to your phone’s internet connection). Prepaid plans often exclude streaming video or using your phone as a mobile hotspot, drastically reducing the functionality.
Whether you use your phone for work, play, or everything in between, consider whether an Xfinity Mobile unlimited plan may be right for you.