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NetZero 4G mobile broadband review: Variety of plans

A good variety of data plans for light internet users.
Written by Reviews.com Staff, Contributor

 Internet provider NetZero has been around since the 1990s, providing various types of connection services as technology has shifted. Today, in addition to other products, NetZero offers a 4G mobile broadband plan that is flexible and portable enough to go with you anywhere. With a variety of plans to choose from – even one that's free – and no long-term contracts, there's plenty to like about NetZero.

PlanPriceMonthly DataConnection TypeBest for
Free$0200 MBMobile BroadbandOccasional browsing
Basic$17.951 GBMobile BroadbandLight browsing and email
Plus$27.952 GBMobile BroadbandLight browsing and email
Pro$45.954 GBMobile BroadbandFrequent browsing and email
Platinum$63.956 GBMobile BroadbandFrequent browsing, gaming, and streaming
Platinum Plus$79.958 GBMobile BroadbandFrequent browsing, gaming, and streaming

Data effective 3/22/20

What are NetZero's estimated speeds?

Since NetZero's mobile broadband service relies on the 4G network, speeds depend on the strength of the signal and proximity to a cellular tower. However, NetZero advertises download speeds of up to 10 Mbps. This is pretty average for mobile broadband providers; FreedomPop offers speeds of 5 Mbps, while Verizon and AT&T advertise 12 Mbps.

Does NetZero offer a hotspot?

When you sign up for a NetZero plan, you have two options: bring your own device or purchase their hotspot for $59.95. The NetZero Hotspot is a device that connects to the mobile broadband service and acts as a WiFi access point for other devices like smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Up to 10 devices can be connected at once.

What is NetZero's pricing structure?

NetZero is unique in that it offers a free plan that includes 200 MB per month of data for $0. The caveat is that this plan requires the purchase of their $59.95 Hotspot and only lasts for 12 months. Afterwards, you'll be forced to upgrade to a paid plan. Still, this isn't a bad deal if you want to try out mobile broadband or simply need a backup connection to have on hand.

Where is NetZero available?

NetZero is available across most areas of the United States, but whether or not you can get NetZero in your specific region depends on the availability of 4G service. The most reliable way to find out if NetZero is available where you live is to visit their website and enter your home address. Speeds and plans may also vary depending on your geographic location.

Other Factors to Consider

NetZero has no long-term plans or commitments; unlike most internet providers, you won't be locked into service for months or years if you decide you're unhappy. To give you additional flexibility, NetZero lets you choose whether you want to bring your own device or purchase one of theirs, although you'll have to opt for the latter if you want to take advantage of the free plan.

However, there are a couple things to keep in mind. NetZero does carry some hidden fees; for example, all plans are charged an additional $3.95 per month access fee. NetZero also doesn't offer an unlimited data plan, which many competitors do. In fact, even the highest tier plan offered by NetZero is limited to just 8 GB. If you do a lot of heavy streaming, you may need to look at a different provider.

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