A few months ago, we did a story called Smarter Smartphones: How to Get Free Talk, Texts and Data. It was about a company called FreedomPop that offers cheap, even free, cellphone service.
In addition to phones, FreedomPop also offers pocket-sized, rechargeable wireless Internet hotspots. Anytime you want to browse the Web, turn it on, connect a computer and you’re ready to go. Depending on the device, you can connect laptops, smartphones, tablets and PCs at home or away.
Purchase a FreedomPop hotspot, and you’ll get 500MB of 4G wireless Internet usage free every month. If you use streaming services like Netflix, download a lot of music, or stay online for hours at a time, you’ll need to go beyond the free plan. But if you’re a light user, it’s an opportunity to keep free Internet in your pocket or purse.
A special deal for Money Talks News readers
FreedomPop recently approached us with two special offers exclusively for our readers:
1. 803S LTE Hotspot for $39.99. This can provide WiFi for up to eight devices at the same time. With this device, your laptop, tablet and phone will all be able to connect to the hotspot’s WiFi signal at once. (While I use traditional cable Internet service at home, I personally use one of these in my car and on my boat. Works great!)
2. U770 LTE USB Modem for $19.99. This plugs directly into your laptop/desktop computer and will provide Internet only for that specific device. Because it requires a USB connection, it won’t work with most tablets or smartphones.
Both products connect to Sprint’s 4G LTE and 3G networks. Both come with the same data plan from FreedomPop: a one-month free trial of the 2GB data plan. After the first free month, you can either:
- Do nothing: You’ll remain on the same 2GB 4G LTE/3G plan and be charged at the normal rate of $19.99 per month.
- Downgrade: Downgrade to the 100 percent Free Plan and receive 500MB of 4G LTE data each month. Note, however, that 3G access is not a part of the Free Plan, so if 4G LTE isn’t available in your area, it won’t work. If you want to have both 4G LTE and 3G access, which will make your device more flexible, you can opt for the 500MB 4G LTE/3G plan for $3.99/month.
Sprint is rapidly expanding its 4G LTE network, which provides very fast speeds (about 20 times faster than 3G).
The one-month free trial does not begin until the device ships. You can switch your data plans anytime on your FreedomPop account page; you don’t need to contact customer support.
Some important caveats:
- As with a cellphone, before you order this or any wireless Internet service, make sure you’re in a covered area. Use this coverage map to check your area. Be sure to select the 4G LTE and 3G boxes: uncheck the box that says “FreedomPop 4G (WiMax).” If you receive the hotspot and it doesn’t work, FreedomPop offers a 30-day return policy.
- After your trial month, unless you downgrade, you’ll continue on the 2GB plan at the $19.99-a-month rate. You must downgrade to the free plan within 30 days to avoid being charged. (The FreedomPop folks assure us it’s not hard to cancel. You can either do it online or by calling (888) 743-8107.) If you downgrade, after the first month you’ll be on the free monthly Internet plan, which offers 500MB of free LTE data every month, no strings attached. FreedomPop’s services don’t come with any contracts.
- To make sure you don’t get charged for going over the limit: After opening your account, uncheck the “Automatic Top-Up” feature in the Billings Settings. Otherwise, should you exceed 500MB, you’ll automatically get more data and be charged for it.
- Download the FreedomPop app, and you can use your smartphone to keep track of your data usage. This is another method to make sure you don’t use more data than you intend.
We’re being compensated to send customers to FreedomPop. That said, your trust means everything to us. We check out the partners we recommend. Nonetheless, we suggest you shop this deal or any other you see here or anywhere else.
Stay tuned for other deals. If you like this one, please share it with your friends!