When it comes to mobile performance, Verizon Wireless is the heavyweight champion, the king of the schoolyard, the big cheese. However you want to say it, Verizon offers the best coverage in the country, fast data speeds, and outstanding perks. If you can afford it.
Verizon knows it’s great, so it charges more than most other carriers for its service. Lucky for you, there are cheaper ways to get on the Verizon network.
Mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) are smaller prepaid carriers that piggyback off the networks of the Big Three—AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon. They offer cheaper plans but often cut down on perks, like free subscriptions and HD video streaming.
In this review, we’ll tell which MVNOs use Verizon’s network and which ones have cell phone plans we like.
The Interactive plan supports security cameras, but the Standard plan does not.
You don’t need the Interactive plan to use SimpliSafe’s security cameras, but it does give them some extra functionality. With the Interactive plan, you can view camera events alongside security system events in the SimpliSafe mobile app.
The Interactive plan also supports video verification through your SimpliSafe cameras.
What is SimpliSafe video verification?
With video verification, the SimpliSafe monitoring reps can temporarily view footage from your SimpliSafe security cameras if someone triggers the alarm. This only happens when someone sets off your alarm system.
SimpliSafe reps can use the cameras to determine if there’s an actual emergency happening (and if so, what kind), or if your kid just forgot the key code again and it’s really a false alarm.
Some cities charge fines for too many false alarms, so this is a useful way to cut down on calling the cops for no reason. And if it is an actual emergency, then SimpliSafe can give first responders more info about the situation.
Fiber vs. cable internet: What’s the difference?
Traditional cable internet uses coaxial cables to send electrical data signals to your cable modem, which in turn connects to your router. Your router then sends a Wi-Fi signal throughout your home. In some cases, homes with cable internet have combination modem-routers (or gateways) that serve both functions.
But it’s becoming increasingly common for people to purchase aftermarket routers in an effort to try and boost their Wi-Fi coverage or to take advantage of additional features like enhanced parental controls, mesh networking, enhanced security, and guest network access.
Fiber internet uses fiber-optic cables instead of coax cables, and these fiber cables are made of thin plastic or glass filaments that can transfer digital data in the form of light. Fiber-optic cables are much more efficient at sending data over long distances, simply because that data is moving as light pulses instead of as electrical signals that are subject to signal interference and distortion. Fiber networks are not only faster, they can also provide symmetrical speeds (the same upload and download speeds) for those who create content or conduct business from home.
So, fiber cables have a faster signal, great. But regardless of how fast that data moves, it’s useless if your devices can’t interpret the signal. This is where an ONT comes into play.
Mint has four plans from $15 to $30 a month
Many major companies, like AT&T and Verizon, charge $70+ for their plans. Some folks (myself included) just don’t want to spend that much. Luckily, with Mint (and other MVNO carriers) you can often get a decent plan for way less.
This chart will show you all of Mint’s plans and prices.
Each of these plans come with unlimited talk and text, access to 5G, and mobile hotspot data.
If you just need a simple cell phone plan with enough data for apps like Google Maps and Facebook, then the 4 GB option is an incredible deal. Meanwhile, the 10–15 GB plans are great options for those who want enough for some TikTok scrolling and casual gaming. All of these limited data plans are perfect for kids, who need some data but shouldn’t be on their phones all day.
If you want an unlimited data plan, then Mint has one of the cheapest plans on the market. A clean $30 a month gets you everything—unlimited talk, text, and data. Though you will have a 35 GB data cap, which means your data can be slowed after using that much.
Do you use your phone as a mobile hotspot?
Big companies, like Verizon and AT&T, will give you mobile hotspot data on their premium plans. But it’s rare to find this perk on discount plans. But, lo and behold, Visible’s Unlimited Data Plan lets you use unlimited hotspot data. Nice.
That means you can use your phone as a mobile internet connection anywhere you have sufficient service. Yep, that could be you streaming an episode of Bridgerton on your laptop during your layover.
There is one catch: your hotspot data speed will be capped at 5 Mbps. That should still be enough speed for basic streaming, but it may not be enough for super-fast gaming or HD video.