Prepaid Wireless Internet Providers

Some wireless Internet providers offer prepaid plans to access their network. Unlike contracts, these plans are pay-as-you-go, on a month to month, or as used basis.

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Prepaid plans can be nice, but there are also some drawbacks. Check out these pros and cons.

Prepaid Pros:

  • Pay for what you use. This is great if you don’t plan on needing wireless Internet all the time, or everywhere you go.
  • No contract, no obligation. You don’t have to worry about being tied to a specific provider for years at a time.
  • Use your own gear. If you already have 3G devices, you might be able to use them on different networks. Not all providers use the same technology, but some of them do. So if you have your own devices, you might want to hang on to them till you find the best service.

Prepaid Cons:

  • Per-month costs are often higher than those under contract.
  • Exclusive devices are sometimes free or reduced for those willing to sign a contract.
  • Some providers reserve their highest data usage tiers for contract users, which means you might not be able to get the fastest wireless Internet service.

Find the Internet plan that’s right for you

Examine your current Internet habits before deciding which way to go. If you use the Internet intermittently, you might not want a contract. There’s no point in paying for service you won’t use. If you’re always online, browsing websites, playing online games or watching movies, a contract might give you more bang for your buck.

Not all providers offer prepaid plans. As always follow the checklist on how to compare Internet providers—look for the coverage, the speed and the data limits. After you’ve checked those things, then look to see if there is a prepaid plan and how it stacks up to the contract plans.