Unlimited data plans aren't all they're cracked up to be.
Ask anyone in the US who is on an Unlimited Data plan and they'll tell you: deprioritization temporarily slows the speed of your data stream. This isn't fun for "unlimited" data customers.
If you're still bummed about not having unlimited data as an option, don't be. The reality is that the average person uses 6GB of data a month. If you are average, you don't need unlimited data. Chances are, you won't ever come close to needing unlimited. In fact, 6GB, 5GB, or even 4GB will do just fine.
So what do we do when we want the comfort of knowing we can text, talk, and feel as if we have unlimited data? Turns out, there are plenty of options.
In this guide, we're going to go over some of the best unlimited plans right now. To clarify, when we say "unlimited" we mean text and talk. We might even mean coverage area. Data, sadly, is not included in unlimited (we've already explained why that's not such a bad thing, anyway).
Why unlimited text and talk matters to you:
You're always on the go. You are someone who has their phone on silent because that's how much it chimes and beeps and let's you know that someone is trying to contact you. You're the king/queen of keeping a group chat going and you text faster than any 14-year-old out there. Your phone's battery life is begging for mercy with all of the texts and calls coming and going from your phone.
You've got dependents who need you. If you're a parent or have an elderly parent you care for, you'll need to have unlimited texts and talk to keep your communication open and going. This is more important than entertainment. The last thing you want is for your loved ones to have trouble contacting you when they need you because your package doesn't offer unlimited data.
You need the highest data package you can get, and they're throwing in unlimited talk and text. Some of these cheap cell phone plans often include a larger data plan along with unlimited text and talk. This is good.
Is Unlimited Data Really Unlimited?
While this doesn't exactly apply since unlimited data isn't available yet, it is important that you understand what unlimited data actually is. The truth is, there is always a limit. It’s just that the technical threshold is so far out there in the universe of data that it feels unlimited. But in reality, getting to that threshold occurs more often and more quickly than you'd think. And when you do reach that "unlimited" data cap (varies from carrier to carrier) something called de-prioritization happens. That's when you are able to stream, but not in HD and not as fast. So, you’ll never actually reach the absolutely-no-streaming-at-all limit of your unlimited data plan. This is why they call it unlimited.
Here’s the backstory:
In 2010, carriers ended up selling way more smartphones than they could have imagined. They didn’t think they’d sell as many so the unlimited data plans they offered grew to be more unlimited than even they could have envisioned. They initially thought, “Sure. Unlimited data. No big deal. LOL. No one is going to use it all that much.”
Turns out, everyone wanted to use it. All. That. Much.
Things are different now. Carriers offer unlimited data plans (in some areas) along with unlimited text and talk. This is where you can win. You can get plenty of data along with talk and text without limits. And since you're not paying for "unlimited" you could come out on top with a sweet deal.
Unlimited Talk + Text with 10GB Data
We mentioned above that the average person uses 6GB of data a month. These plans give you talk + text unlimited with 10GB of data. This technically isn't "unlimited data" but it's pretty darn close.
Unlimited Talk + Text with 5GB Data
Generally, 5GB to 6GB is where folks end up at the end of each month, data-wise. These plans will satisfy the "average" data user. We like the fact that Koodo offers a TAB large plan for around $48 a month.
Unlimited Talk + Text with 2GB Data
For those of us who really only want to check our email or look up something on a map from time to time, or if you simply want to post once in a while on instagram or Facebook, this is for you. What you'll quickly notice when you compare cell phone plans is that whether you go with 10GB or 2GB of data, the prices are not too far away from each other. So, what are you going to go for?