PROS / Paying $50 for 10GB of data is as good a deal as you’ll find for that price point.
CONS / Lack of plan flexibility and reliance on Sprint’s underperforming network hamper what could otherwise be a great service.
VERDICT / However affordable Boost might be, you can do even better and get faster service to boot if you look higher on our lineup.
Boost Mobile is one of the best prepaid cellular providers in America. It offers great prices and a fun rewards program that increases your monthly data allocation every time you make an on-time payment. However, for whatever reason, Boost hasn’t ported Growing Data or its autopay discount over to its mobile broadband plans. Without those incentives, the plans don’t look very different from what everyone else has to offer.
You can pick from two mobile internet plans at Boost. The lower tier gives you 1.5GB for $25. This is an okay deal for low-use customers, but it’s not as compelling at T-Mobile’s 2GB for $20 option. Paying $5 more at Boost for 500MB less data is a tough sell any way you look at it.
The other option is a 10GB plan, which costs $50. This is actually a fantastic price, matching what T-Mobile offers and handily beating out the competition by $30 to $40 every month. Whether you pick it likely comes down to the choice between Sprint’s network or T-Mobile’s. Boost uses Sprint’s towers to connect you to the internet, and Sprint tends to have broader coverage than T-Mobile. T-Mobile gets faster speeds, however, and fewer dropped connections.
Boost only sells a single portable hotspot, but it should meet your internet needs. The device is 4G LTE capable and supports up to 10 Wi-Fi connections at once. At just $50, it’s pretty cheap and easy to factor into your budget, though if you decide to return it, you’re responsible for a $25 restocking fee. That means you’re out half your investment, even if you return the hotspot within its return window. Honestly, we recommend reselling it to someone else who could use it, should you decide to cancel Boost service.
For all its strengths as a smartphone service provider, Boost’s hotspot options are merely average. If it were possible to grow your broadband allocation from month to month, we’d probably be more on board with its mobile internet plans. As it is, you’re better off picking someone else, even if you need cheap connectivity. Buying a hotspot may be more expensive at places like T-Mobile, but they save you more over time in monthly payments.