Verizon Unlimited Data Plan – New Vs Old
Its officially been over a week since the return of one of the greats to the unlimited data brotherhood. Verizon left the unlimited data game years ago shortly after 4G hit the scene. Up until that point, the Verizon unlimited data plan had the best of everything as far as service goes. Once they lost unlimited data the drive for Verizon slowly dwindled as prices were high and other networks were improving. This coupled with the fact data meant more than ever due to the high speed nature. Watching streaming video or music was now not just a dream. Many people weren’t ready for 4G data rates and blowed through their miniscule 2GB data limits in no time at all.
Is it Really Unlimited?
The short answer is, depending how you look at it, no. If by unlimited data you think you can use as much as you want without anyone bothering you, then that would most likely only be true if you’re in a rural area. If you’re in a very busy city with low tower or cell count, you may be slowed down after 22GB of data. You won’t know that until you do some personal testing of course while you have the phone. They never specified the areas which would require throttling.
Tethering is the ability to use the phone as a WiFi hotspot for other devices. This plan allows around 10GB of high speed tethering. So if you are hoping to use WiFi freely from your phone, then this may or may not be for you. Tethering has basically be gone for all grandfathered unlimited data users for quite a while now. However there are ways around it via rooting, using apps such as this one or FoxFi. I highly recommend you check device compatibility before getting either app. Also keep in mind updating your phones software has a high chance of causing the app to quit working. This may be temporary, or permanent, depends on the app developers.
Is 10GB of Tethering Enough?
The average user who only tethers occasionally will have no issue using only 10GB. If you’re super concerned, you won’t be penalized for going over financially, only speed will change to the slower 3G. The best way to minimize this is not to watch videos, or stream music. You could browse the web an excessive amount if you exclude those items with the allotted amount.
When streaming videos if you wish to do so while tethering, I recommend a lower video quality. Websites like YouTube allow you to change the video quality, 360 is my minimum, but in a pinch I will go as low as 144. At that point the videos look pretty bad, but the audio is still great. If you travel constantly, and burn through tons of data while tethering, this plan won’t be friendly for you.
Should I Switch from my Grandfathered UDP?
This, as with many things in life really depends on your situation. Are you in a busy area (cities etc), do you use over 22GB of data a month, do you want to use apps or root/ROM your phone to get unlimited WiFi tethering?
Living in the big City:
So you live in the most congested city in all of the states? Living in a busy city has three outcomes for cell phone speeds. It’s either extremely slow, usably fast, and blazing fast, the biggest losers on a new plan would be people with usably fast, or blazing fast speeds if they get throttled. If your use to watching videos at 1080 resolution and 60 frames per second. The moment you’re downgraded to a slower speed at 22GB (which doesn’t take long at 1080, 60fps) you’re going to be watching TV like it’s 1995. Gone will be HD, and incomes 360 or 240 resolutions, with buffering.
Your speeds may only decrease during the day, so if you’re a night owl, you might be safe! This really is situational, and each persons need changes. Where with the old plan, there are no strings attached, do what you want, when you want. It’s certainly a trade off, and the only benefit is a lower bill at this point in the discussion.
22GB a Month, I use that in a day:
If you’re using over 22GB a month and depend on the 4G network (notably more reliable, and faster than 3G), this may or may not be for you. If you absolutely need 4G no matter what, it’s not for you, if you live in a small area, you may continue to get fast speeds even after 22GB. This is purely determined by the tower you’re using, rural America would be an example of a low congestion tower location.
The absolute worst case scenario, you use over 22GB a month, depend on 4G, and live in a city. This plan absolutely stands no chance in making you happy. Do not upgrade (downgrade)!
Tired of using apps, or Custom ROMS:
I have been using apps, or ROMS for years now to tether on a UDP plan, and it gets tiring. You can’t just go buy the newest phone in my situation, you must research which phone can be rooted, Unlocked, or tethered from the box. Verizon locks down their phones pretty tight, people (most of the time) manage to crack them open. This could take a day, or a year plus, no one knows.
Once you do all that research, you must then root and unlock the phone. Generally safe, but can be risky, and not user friendly most of the time. The 2ed best way, is to use an app we mentioned above, but then if you update the phone (not apps), you may break your tethering app until they update it, if they update it.
The best option which has been non existent until recently, is to get an unlocked phone that works on verizon. The only two I know of is the Galaxy s7 Edge unlocked (935u model number), or a Motorola X Pure. I recommend double checking those both still work before purchasing.
Conclusion for the New Verizon Unlimited Data Plan:
If you use over 22GB of data, depend on 4G, don’t mind paying a little extra a month on the bill, then I would keep your old plan. The old plan was much more “Wild West” no rules, no throttling, no strings attached. Recently they put an unofficial 200GB cap, but that’s still way more than the new plan is offering “guaranteed”.
Until something better comes along I will keep my old Verizon unlimited data plan lines, and continue to enjoy it. The #1 thing I will dislike about my current plan is finding phones that work with tethering. That alone is worth it to me, if that is worth it to others, that’s up to them to decide. Good luck!