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Verizon Wireless vs. AT&T Wireless Review 2021
Are you trying at&t vs verizon decide between AT&T and Verizon? Well, you can’t go wrong, but we’ll help you find the one that’s best for you.
Published on July 20, 2021
AT&T and Verizon make up two of the major wireless networks in the country, but which food banks that are open near me today offers more bang for your buck? It depends what you're looking for.
Verizon is the most expensive wireless carrier, but its coverage and perks are amazing (free Disney+, anyone?). AT&T offers the highest data caps (which means your data won't slow down at the end of the month), but its coverage isn't quite as reliable as Verizon. Though AT&T's data plans are about $5 cheaper a month than Verizon, neither option offers super affordable plans.
We’ll walk through everything you need to know about AT&T vs. Verizon in this article.
The best cell phone deals right now
The Big Three mobile carriers—AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon—are all offering great trade-in deals right now. That means you can f 22 thrust $700 or more off select smartphones like the iPhone 12 when you trade in your old device.
Meanwhile, smaller MVNO carriers like Mint Mobile and Visible Wireless are offering $50 virtual gift cards or discounts on select phones to entice new customers interested in more budget-friendly smartphones like the iPhone SE (2020) or Google Pixel series.
Find these and other offers in our monthly roundup of the best cell phone deals.
Verizon vs. AT&T plan comparison
Choosing between AT&T and Verizon might come down to speed and network coverage.
AT&T and Verizon both specialize in unlimited data plans. In fact, neither provider offers much in terms of limited-data plans at all. So it’s go big or go home (or go get yourself a cheap limited-data plan from one of these other carriers).
But not all unlimited plans are created equal. There are a few different tiers that offer differing data caps (yes, unlimited doesn’t always mean unlimited), perks, and pricing. So we’ll compare Verizon's and AT&T’s unlimited plans from each tier.
Verizon vs. AT&T: First-tier unlimited plans
Verizon Wireless Start Unlimited Plan
AT&T Unlimited Starter plan
So we’ve got the Start Unlimited Plan and the Unlimited Starter plan. That’s not confusing at all (is it so hard to come up with a more original plan name?). Both of these plans offer unlimited data (subject to throttling) and are just $5 apart in price.
AT&T’s Unlimited Starter plan will peg your video streaming at 1.5 Mbps, which is enough for standard definition but not HD. The plan is $5 cheaper (saving you about $60 a year) than Verizon’s, but you will pay a steeper startup cost.
Verizon’s plan also limits your video streaming (in this case it’s limited to 480p picture quality), but it makes up for this by giving you a free, one-year subscription to Disney+. So if you’re bummed about the $70 price tag on this plan, just distract yourself with an episode of The Mandalorian!
Both of these bottom-tier unlimited plans come with a pretty big caveat: there’s no hard data cap, but your data can be throttled, or slowed down, during times of network congestion. That at&t vs verizon you might not have the bandwidth to live stream your favorite musical act at the festival.
All right, let’s move on to tier two.
Verizon vs. AT&T: Second-tier unlimited plans
Verizon Wireless Do More and Play More Unlimited Plans
AT&T Unlimited Extra plan
With the second-tier plans from Verizon and AT&T you’ll get an allotted amount of full-speed data. Your bandwidth won’t be throttled until you hit that cap.
For AT&T’s Unlimited Extra and Verizon’s Do More Unlimited plans your cap is 50 GB, which is a lot of data. Verizon’s Play More Unlimited plan has just half that (but 25 GB is still nothing to scoff at).
How much data do you actually need?
If you’re trying to figure out whether you really need that unlimited plan or not, our handy guide might be able to help.
The other main difference between Verizon’s Do More and Play More unlimited plans is the video quality. The Play More Unlimited Plan will give you HD quality video streams, while the Do More Unlimited plan will keep you watching in standard definition.
All three of these mid-tier plans come with 15 GB of hotspot use, and unlimited talk, text, and data in Canada and Mexico.
If you find yourself wanting even more from your cell phone plan then you’ll want to look at the top-tier plans . . .
Verizon vs. AT&T: Top-tier unlimited plans
Verizon Get More Unlimited Plan
AT&T Unlimited Elite plan
It’s not all about price. If you’re a YouTube junkie or a PUBG Mobile player, then Verizon and AT&T’s top-tier plans will be worth a few extra dollars.
Verizon’s Get More Unlimited Plan comes with a full 75 GB of unthrottled data. That’s enough data to binge watch every episode of Game of Thrones on your phone (in standard definition)! Not that anyone would ever want to do that. . .
(*three days later*)
If you thought 75 GB was a lot of data, try 100 GB. That’s what AT&T’s Unlimited Elite plan will get you each month. This unprecedented amount of data would be hard for even the most phone-addicted teenagers to use up.
AT&T’s top-tier plan will also get you 30 GB of mobile hotspot data and a free subscription to HBO (you know, for all that Game of Thrones). Verizon’s top-tier perks include 30 GB of hotspot data and free subscriptions to Apple Music and Disney+.
Our favorite AT&T and Verizon unlimited plans
That was a lot of information about unlimited data plans, we know. So we’ll make it a bit simpler for the TL;DR crowd. Here are our favorite plans in each of the tiers.
Our picks for AT&T and Verizon unlimited data plans:
First tier: AT&T’s Unlimited Starter is a bit cheaper than Verizon’s offering and it will get you access to the fastest network in the country, which might come in handy when the network is congested.
Second tier: Verizon’s Do More Unlimited offers 50GB of data on the top network for nationwide coverage. Plus you get a Disney+ subscription!
Top tier: AT&T’s Unlimited Elite will give you an eye-popping amount of data: 100 GB. This plan is cheaper than Verizon’s top-tier plan, but it doesn’t skimp on the perks (you’ll get a free HBO subscription).
Verizon’s monthly prices are higher, but AT&T’s startup fees can add up fast.
There’s nothing like getting the whole family together to parse out who still needs to pay for their portion of the phone bill. But seriously, you can at&t vs verizon a bunch of dough if you bundle up with your kids, siblings, and other relatives in a family plan.
Yet again, Verizon and AT&T’s offerings are quite similar. So for many the decision will probably come down to network and perks: Verizon has better coverage and AT&T has faster data speeds. Verizon gets you Disney+ and AT&T (higher-tier plans) will hook you up with HBO.
Here’s a closer look at the plans that each company offers.
Verizon has when did texas become a state ton of family plans—limited data plans, unlimited plans, and prepaid plans. You can see some of the most popular options here.
Verizon Wireless family plan comparison
AT&T also has a huge selection of family plans for all budgets. If you’ve got a family of data hogs then there are unlimited plans. If you want your kids eastern bank danvers hours spend more time looking at their textbooks and less time looking at the phone, there are lower-data options too.
Here’s a selection of the most popular family plans from AT&T. Click on the table to go to WhistleOut’s website and customize your own family plan.
AT&T Mobile Share plans comparison
What are line access fees?
With family plans, you pay for the data your family will be using, and then you’ll also pay an extra fee for each device accessing the data. You might notice that AT&T’s line access fees are a bit steeper.
Coverage and speed: Verizon vs. AT&T
Both Verizon and AT&T have great nationwide coverage, but Verizon’s got the edge.
We’ve talked in general terms about how Verizon has the best nationwide coverage in the industry and AT&T boasts the fastest data speeds. But let’s look at&t vs verizon some of the data behind those rankings.
It’s always best to look at a map to see if the spots important to you are covered. No point in choosing a carrier for its “better coverage”—which happens to be on the eastern seaboard—if you’re a surf bum living between Hawaii and California.
So here’s a peek at Verizon and AT&T’s coverage maps.
Verizon coverage map
As you can see, there’s not a gigantic difference between these two maps. If you live in a metropolitan area, you’ll almost certainly be covered by both Verizon and AT&T. But there are some parts of the rural west and Appalachia where Verizon’s signal will be stronger.
In testing both plans, we actually found AT&T to offer more reliable service than Verizon in our neck of the woods. If you're thinking of switching to Verizon or AT&T, ask somebody who lives near you what kind of coverage they experience with either carrier. The last thing you want is to sign up for a Verizon or AT&T plan only to find that you live near a gigantic dead spot.
You can have awesome coverage but that doesn’t necessarily mean that your data will be lightning fast. Sluggish data speeds can interrupt your Facetime call, crash your Instagram binge, and spell doom for your Fortnite Battle Royal winning streak.
We sampled tens of thousands of wireless users and found that AT&T fell behind Verizon when it comes to wireless how to customize wells fargo credit card speeds. Here's how the results looked for data speeds amongst the big three wireless carriers.
Verizon averages 32.2 Mbps for download speeds and 12.89 Mbps for upload speeds, whereas AT&T averages 28.9 Mbps for download speeds and 9.4 for upload speeds.
Basically, that means that on average, everything you do on the internet, like streaming, refreshing Twitter, and posting Instagram stories, will be a bit faster on Verizon's network than on AT&T's network. But again, data speeds are always influenced by your location, so its possible you have a different experience.
AT&T and Verizon both offer the latest devices from Apple, Samsung, Google, and more.
The best time to get a new phone is when you’re signing up for a line with a new carrier. So you might want to know which phones are available from Verizon and AT&T before you make the choice to sign up.
The short answer: all of them.
Ready for a new phone?
If you’re looking for the best deal on a new iPhone 11 or Galaxy S20, check out our weekly roundup of the best cell phone deals on the market.
Here’s a look at some of the most popular phone models that are available from these two companies.
Is the idea of parting with the 256 GB iPhone XS Max that you bought last year just too much? Don’t worry, you can also bring your own, unlocked device to either AT&T or Verizon.
Recap: Which is at&t vs verizon for you, AT&T or Verizon?
Verizon and AT&T are both top-shelf cell phone carriers with great plan selection, reliability, perks, and the newest devices. But there are some differences between the two brands, too.
Here’s a quick recap of what makes each carrier great.
Verizon: Best for coverage
If you want the very best coverage in the nation, Verizon is the company for you. While every carrier’s coverage map has come holes, Verizon works hard to make sure that even the most remote communities have a few bars of service.
Verizon’s data speeds are respectable, even if they’re not quite as fast as AT&T’s. The company has plenty of new devices to buy (and it runs great deals, too)
AT&T: Highest data caps, and slightly cheaper
If you want the fastest data speeds in the industry, then AT&T’s network is the way to go. It has dominated in recent speed tests, making it the best provider for gamers, streamers, and influencers of all kinds.
AT&T’s top-tier unlimited plans also come with an unprecedented 100 GB of high-speed data and a free HBO subscription! Binge your heart out, America.
What discounts do Verizon and AT&T Wireless offer?
Both AT&T Wireless and Verizon Wireless regularly offer discounts on their services—including options to bundle your cell phone plan with internet to save some cash. It's worth checking the AT&T and Verizon Wireless sites to see what's on offer right now—we usually see the deals change month to month.
Both companies also offer military discounts, and we've detailed the eligibility requirements here.
Both Verizon and AT&T offer military discounts on plans and accessories to qualified personnel. Take note: Verizon’s discount extends to the whole family, not just spouses, unlike AT&T.
Verizon’s military discount eligibility:
- Active duty
- National Guard
- Retired military
Verizon offers $15 off per month for unlimited plans, and other plans may get up to 15% off. Additionally, you can get 25% off accessories with Verizon’s military discount.
AT&T’s military discount eligibility:
- Active duty
- National Guard
- Retired military
AT&T offers a 15% discount on eligible plans for military personnel and their spouses, but it doesn’t apply to access fees. However, Verizon’s discount applies to access fees over $34.99 and data features over $24.99.
Tyler has been obsessed with watching sports as efficiently as possible since the creation of the DVR. He is always on the lookout for the best tech in TV and wireless so he can watch all the sports and still have enough time to hang out with his baby. He has written about streaming, wireless, and TV for over three years. He hopes the Lakers will eventually get better.
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New FCC Map Lets You Compare AT&T, T-Mobile & Verizon Mobile Coverage
When carriers show maps of their coverage, the data is not always the most accurate. The FCC is hoping to change this with its latest mobile map.
The FCC has created a tool with the purpose of collecting and displaying accurate coverage from major mobile carriers, giving customers valuable insight as to the best option for them. For years, major carriers like Verizon and AT&T have promoted maps of their coverage in ads and campaigns. In most cases, these maps aren't very accurate and quickly become outdated as carrier technologies evolve. Having a tool that is constantly updated and displays real coverage data would be incredibly useful to the public.
In 2020, the FCC began cracking down on carriers. It knew that these major players had over-exaggerated coverage maps and constantly misled customers into believing they'd have full coverage where they lived. When the FCC did its own drive-testing - a method in which roads are traveled and signal strength is accurately tested along the way - it found that in California, one major carrier completely overstated its limits. The Broadband DATA Act in 2020 gave the FCC a new purpose: find accurate coverage readings and report them to the public.
Related: Is Verizon Unlimited Really Unlimited? What You Need To Know
To further expand on this research, the FCC has released a new tool to fulfill that purpose. The agency has created a full US map that details major carriers' coverage information, such as Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile. Each carrier has its own layer, and users can compare each carrier to see exactly where 4G LTE can reach. The map has an address search bar and utilizes map view customization, providing the consumer with a chance to check out a satellite view for a more precise idea of coverage.
Moving To User-Submitted Data
The DATA act indicates that this information should be updated regularly, and that's what the FCC plans on doing. The one caveat, for now, is that this data was voluntarily submitted by these carriers. As of May 15, 2021, the information is completely up to date. The goal is that eventually, through customer submissions, the FCC can adjust these maps according to the actual signal strength a customer can expect to achieve. In the future, and with the race to cover the most area with 5G, accurate data is going to be extremely useful.
With the new tool, users can start ignoring any carrier claims about coverage and do their own research. As at&t vs verizon map will eventually be updated with real-world performance, it should become a way to more easily choose the right carrier for a particular location. The FCC has a lot of work ahead, but this is an extremely promising development within the mobile internet space.
Next: 5G: What’s The Difference Between sub-6 & mmWave?
MCU: Every Curse Word Cut Off Or CensoredAbout The Author
Andrew started writing about the technology industry in 2014, combining photo and video skills to provide news and reviews for every consumer. During that time Andrew covered events like CES in Las Vegas. In 2019 Andrew moved into biomedical machining until he moved with his wife to Northern California. Now he's back to writing about tech and couldn't be happier.
Opensignal is out with its quarterly report on 5G in the US. For the October study, the findings include T-Mobile having the fastest average 5G download speeds for the fourth time in a row – now more than doubling its competitors. Meanwhile, Verizon came in on top for 5G video, games, and voice apps.
Opensignal published its October 2021 5G User Experience Report today based on millions of devices and billions of measurements in the US from June to September 2021.
When looking at the overall categories, T-Mobile took first place again for download and upload speeds, availability, and reach.
And Verizon took first for the 5G video, games, and voice app experience with AT&T trailing in every category.
When it came to 5G availability, T-Mobile users saw the latest cellular standard 34.7% of the time. That was more than double AT&T and more than triple Verizon.
For average 5G download speeds, T-Mobile made a notable jump over the last quarter:
T-Mobile has lined up yet another impressive improvement in 5G Download Speed since our last report. In our April report T-Mobile’s score increased from 58.1 Mbps to 71.3 Mbps — a boost of 22.6% — then jumped to 87.5 Mbps (an increase of 22.8%) in our July report, and has now blown over the 100 Mbps mark to reach 118.7 Mbps in this report — a further increase of 31.1 Mbps (35.6%) compared to July. T-Mobile is reaping the benefits from its ongoing deployment of the 2.5 GHz spectrum it acquired as part of the merger with Sprint, and the carrier is increasing both its population coverage, as well as the amount of spectrum deployed on that band.
Meanwhile, average 5G upload speeds were much closer between the three major US carriers and saw if any, very slight improvements.
T-Mobile maintains its hold of our 5G Upload Speed award with a score of 16.1 Mbps, which is 0.9 Mbps faster than what we observed in our July report. Verizon places second in 5G Upload Speed with a score of 14.4 Mbps, which represents a 0.2 Mbps improvement from our previous report, while AT&T’s score increased from 8.8 Mbps to 9.7 Mbps.
You can check out the full Opensignal report here for even more details including regional 5G analysis.
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Battle of the Coverage Maps: Verizon vs. AT&T
Verizon has been running these ads lately that compare their 3G coverage to that of AT&T’s. In the ads a Verizon red wing customer service walks along on a speedy phone, and a US map pops up that’s covered in red. Later, an AT&T customer looks frustrated with a sparsely-covered AT&T coverage map. You’ve probably seen them by now, but if not, here are the Verizon ones.
AT&T subsequently filed a federal lawsuit against Verizon arguing that their map on those commercials were misleading – true, but misleading. Their argument was that the blank space on the AT&T maps implied no coverage at all, rather than at&t vs verizon 3G, as the text on the screen says. That didn’t work, so AT&T filed another lawsuit.
Well, that obviously didn’t work either, as now we’re seeing new Verizon map commercials with Elves and such:
And so it seems the Verizon ads are here to say, AT&T are putting up some of their own maps, featuring Luke Wilson, to “set the record straight.”
Then there’s also this simple comparison chart:
Finally, what’s Verizon’s response to all of this? It’s this:
AT&T did not file this lawsuit because Verizonâ€™s ‘Thereâ€™s A Map For That’ advertisements are untrue; AT&T sued because Verizonâ€™s ads are true and the truth hurts.
Indeed. I don’t think many businesses will be following this whole data transparency movement any time soon.
AT&T vs Verizon: Which Telecom Giant Has More Upside Potential?
The COVID-19 outbreak has led to a surge in remote working, online education, and higher subscriptions for streaming services, thus emphasizing the demand for more robust 5G technologies. 5G, the next generation of wireless technology, is expected to incredibly improve speed compared to the current 4G LTE networks.
Major US wireless services providers Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile have been investing billions of dollars in building 5G networks. Using the TipRanks’ Stock Comparison tool, we will compare telecom giants AT&T and Verizon to see which stock offers a more compelling investment opportunity.
Over the past few years, AT&T made some major acquisitions in the media space to diversify beyond its core telecom business. But such diversification didn’t save the company from the impact of COVID-19.
Recently, the Wall Street Journal reported that AT&T is in talks with private-equity bidders for the sale of a majority of its satellite-TV business—DirecTV. The shift to streaming services (often called cord cutting) has significantly impacted the DirecTV business, which AT&T acquired in 2015 for $48.5 billion.
In the second quarter, the company lost 886,000 premium TV subscribers for DirecTV, U-verse, and AT&T TV compared to the loss of 68,000 subscribers for the company’s live streaming service AT&T TV NOW. The company also lost 151,000 postpaid phone subscribers in the quarter.
Overall, the pandemic had a $2.8 billion adverse impact on AT&T’s businesses in the second quarter, causing an 8.9% Y/Y decline in revenue to about $41 billion. Closure of movie theatres, postponement of theatrical releases and lower advertising revenues due to the lack of televised sporting events dragged down the top-line. The second-quarter adjusted EPS fell 6.7% to $0.83.
The aforementioned headwinds caused a 22.9% plunge in the sales of AT&T’s WarnerMedia segment, which comprises Turner, HBO (Home Box Office) and Warner Bros.—businesses that were added when AT&T acquired Time Warner in 2018.
Meanwhile, the company’s Mobility unit fared better than other businesses and reported a 0.8% revenue decline, including a 1.1% fall in wireless service revenues to $13.7 billion due to lower international wireless roaming services.
AT&T launched HBO Max in May to capture growth prospects in the streaming space. In its second-quarter conference call, the company disclosed that HBO Max saw 4.1 million activations since its May 27 launch. HBO Max faces intense competition from Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+.
Significant acquisitions over recent years and investments in 5G network added huge debt to AT&T’s books. As of the end of the second quarter, AT&T had long-term debt of over $153 billion. In the first half of the year, the company’s capital expenditure was $9.4 billion.
On July 23, AT&T announced that its 5G network is now available nationwide, covering 205 million customers in 395 markets.
On August 31, Scotiabank analyst Jeffrey Fan downgraded AT&T stock to Sell from Hold to reflect the impact of mid-band spectrum costs and lowered the price target to $30 from $34. The analyst also expressed concerns about the company losing wireless market share to T-Mobile as the latter expands its 5G mid-band network.
The analyst stated, “While the shares may look attractively valued on an absolute basis and relative to its peers, we think it will remain cheap until T can stem its wireless share loss and/or undergo a significant structural change to its asset mix, which is currently burdened by the exposure to DirecTV.” (See T stock analysis on TipRanks)
The Moderate Buy consensus rating for AT&T is based on 8 Buys, 2 Holds and 2 Sells. The stock has declined about 24% year-to-date (as of At&t vs verizon 31). However, the average analyst price target of $34 implies a possible upside of 14% over the next 12 months.
Verizon Communications at&t vs verizon has been able to face the pandemic better compared to AT&T as it derives most of its revenue from its wireless business. Like AT&T, Verizon also looked for growth in the media space through the 2015 AOL acquisition and 2017 Yahoo acquisition. However, these acquisitions didn’t meet the company’s expectations and as a result Verizon booked a $4.6 billion impairment charge related to its media business in 2018.
Now, the company is more focused on its telecom operations and is geared to take advantage of the prospects in 5G services. In the first half of 2020, Verizon’s capital expenditure of $9.9 billion was directed toward supporting the capacity for traffic growth and the deployment of additional fiber and cell sites to expand the 5G Ultra wideband rollout. The company aims to reach 60 cities with 5G Ultra wideband mobile services by the end of this year.
In the second quarter, Verizon’s revenue declined 5.1% Y/Y to $30.4 billion due to lower device sales owing to retail store closures. Also, the adjusted EPS fell 4.1% to $1.18. A spike in the use of internet services helped in driving 352,000 retail postpaid net additions, including 173,000 phone net additions and 287,000 postpaid smartphone net additions.
However, total wireless service revenues declined 1.7% to $15.9 billion, reflecting the impact of waived fees and reduced roaming and usage due to travel restrictions.
At the same time, sales from the company’s Media business (includes Yahoo, HuffPost and TechCrunch) plunged 24.5% to $1.4 billion as companies trimmed down their advertising spending. (See VZ stock analysis on TipRanks)
On August 11, Tigress Financial analyst Ivan Feinseth reiterated his Hold rating for Verizon and stated, “While VZ’s current valuation leaves little room for significant upside appreciation, once significant 5G adoption takes place helped by the public service credit union atm near me of new 5G enabled phones, we could see an acceleration of business performance trends in 2021.”
An average analyst price target of $62.30 suggests an upside of 5.1%. The stock has fallen 3.5% so far in 2020. Five Buys, 6 Holds and no Sells add to a Moderate Buy consensus for Verizon.
The 5G roll-out is expected to boost the prospects of both AT&T and Verizon. However, in the current scenario, AT&T is more exposed to pandemic-led headwinds due to its media business.
Despite an array of issues, many investors prefer AT&T for its dividends. AT&T, a dividend first national bank david city nebraska, has increased its dividends for 35 consecutive years and has a dividend yield of 6.9%. In comparison, Verizon’s dividend yield is 4.2%. About 67% of the analysts covering AT&T have a Buy rating compared to 45% in the case of Verizon.
To summarize, higher upside potential in the stock over the next 12-months, prospects in the streaming space and an impressive dividend yield make AT&T look more favorable right now.
To find good ideas for stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of at&t vs verizon featured analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment
Best family cell phone plan in 2021
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By Philip Michaels
We’ll help you find the best family cell phone plan with unlimited data
With Black Friday phone deals in full swing, you may be on the hunt of the best family cell phone plan to cover you and your new phone. After all, many of those discounts on new phones only come when you commit to a new data plan. So it helps to know what you're signing up your family for.
The best family cell phone plans at a glance
1. Best overall family plan:T-Mobile
2. Best for coverage and speeds: Verizon
3. Best group plan for non-families: Visible
4. Best family plan for streaming: AT&T
Even if you're not picking up a new phone, it pays to know what options are out there for family cell phone plans. Carriers both big and small offer discounts when you add multiple lines, and the price you end up paying may be less at&t vs verizon what you're charge for now. Your choices expand if you look beyond AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon. Discount carriers have rolled out unlimited options, and they're among the best family cell phone plans out there precisely because they don't charge a lot.
It then becomes a matter of finding the right unlimited option for families — a tricky prospect since each carrier offers different variations on unlimited data, featuring specific perks and benefits. That means the best cell phone plans for families will depend on how much you're willing to spend, if you need to hotspot and a host of other factors. (If streaming services are important to you, for instance, we have a breakdown of which unlimited data plans offer free access to which streaming services.)
The best family cell phone plans from the major carriers feature escalating discounts as you add more lines, allowing you to compete with the best cheap cell phone plans for the lowest prices.
Families of four can expect to pay between $120 to $220 a month for four lines from the major wireless carriers. If that seems like a wide range, that’s because benefits can increase on higher-priced plans. The average plan costs between $160 and $180 for four lines of data, with the best option depending on which carrier offers the best coverage capital city bank online login your area and which features best fit your wireless needs.
Here’s a closer look at the best family cell phone plans depending on your needs.
The best family cell phone plans
Best overall value family plan
Best family plan for coverage and speeds
An alternative option for families and friends
Best family plan for Comcast customers
Best family plan for streaming
How to pick the best family cell phone plans
Picking the right cell phone plan comes down to balancing the costs of multiple lines of data with the perks each carrier offers. If you do a lot of video streaming, for example, you’ll want to pick a plan that not only throws in a streaming service as a perk (Netflix with T-Mobile, multiple streaming services with Verizon or HBO Max with AT&T's priciest plan) but also doesn’t slow your data if you consume a lot of data in a given month.
Because the thing about unlimited data is that, with the exception of one plan, it’s not truly unlimited. AT&T's Unlimited Extra customers will enjoy a 50GB cap, just like three of Verizon's four unlimited plans. T-Mobile has doubled the cap on its Magenta plan to 100GB, while the more expensive Magenta Max plan does away with caps entirely for a truly unlimited plan; AT&T followed Magenta Max's lead with its Unlimited Elite plan.
The lowest-priced plans at Verizon (Start Unlimited) and AT&T (Unlimited Starter) allow your data speeds to be slowed whenever there's network congestion. As for Visible, we've noted that its speeds don't always match Verizon's in the same away, as traffic can be slowed when the Verizon network is congested; Visible no longer caps data speeds outside of hotspot usage and 5G.
We’ve focused on unlimited plans, but both AT&T and Verizon offer tiered data options, too. AT&T offers a single 4GB plan, while Verizon lets you choose between 5GB and 10GB tiers. Families draw from the same pool of data at both carriers. Unless you’re only adding two lines and don’t need a lot of data, the costs savings from unlimited data plans aren’t really substantial. For example, four lines of Verizon's 10GB data plan will cost you $140 a month, which is the same amount as four lines of the carrier's Start Unlimited plan.