FreedomPop takes a different approach to its broadband plans. It offers both dedicated 4G plans, which tend to be cheaper, and plans that offer additional nationwide 3G roaming at a slight premium. Where FreedomPop stands apart, however, is its ultra-budget option: You can sign up for a free, 500MB monthly allocation that can be used with any Sprint-compatible USB modem or mobile hotspot.
While 500MB is enough to let you browse Facebook, check your email or order food online, if you plan to connect to the mobile internet more often or stream any sort of video, you’ll want more data to play with. With plans as small as 1GB and as large at 10GB, most casual users should be able to find an allocation that suits them, for prices notably cheaper than what’s offered by the competition. Other considerations aside, $60 for access to 10GB of 4G LTE data is a solid deal. You can sometimes find even better ones on the FreedomPop website, but they change often and aren’t always clear.
Granted, the price of service is only one of the factors you’ll consider when deciding between mobile broadband providers. Ubiquity is another, and as FreedomPop runs on Sprint’s network, there are positive and negative aspects to its connectivity. The network itself lags behind those of other major carriers, with severe spottiness in rural areas and 8Mbps connection speeds – relatively slow for 4G LTE. A few major metropolitan hubs are getting speed upgrades that, as a FreedomPop customer, you’d be able to take advantage of, but they’re still being rolled out.
Great mobile broadband options offer great customer service, and FreedomPop’s service is unimpressive at best. The general public can’t call the customer service number because there isn’t one – telephone support is restricted to customers who pay $3.99 a month for the privilege, on top of their monthly plan. Even if you do pay for the service, which FreedomPop bills as ensuring “uninterrupted VIP support,” you can only access it on weekdays during common working hours. Uninterrupted, indeed.
FreedomPop is one of the cheapest wireless internet providers in the nation, but it’s not the best of the best. With connections speeds on the slower side and unintuitive customer support, you’re almost guaranteed to have a better experience with one of the bigger names. If you’re after a budget deal, though, it’s tough to beat FreedomPop’s prices, especially if you go with the free 500MB plan.