But before you dive in head-first to the mobile-only internet life, you'll want to keep in mind the limitations of mobile hotspots.
- Data: Most people will run out of data. Mobile plans offer 10–20 GB per month for hotspotting, but the average household uses 344 GB per month.
- Slowing: Some mobile carriers will slow your connection to dial up speeds once you use 10–20 GB of data in a month while hotspotting.
- Risk of termination: Some mobile carriers will flag you for data overage and/or terminate your service.
Data limits are the biggest problem with using your mobile phone for home internet.
For example, it takes just 20 hours of Netflix streaming to use up an entire month of Verizon’s hotspot data. And after you hit those 20 hours of streaming (which, let’s be real here, it will probably happen on the first rainy weekend you try this), you will be stuck with speeds of 600 Kbps for the rest of the month. Google search is about all you can do with speeds that slow.
Let’s take a look at which cellular plans will work best as a substitute home internet plan. We’ll also cover some additional internet options that might work better for you.
So, should I rely on my hotspot for WiFi?
Using cellular data for home internet as hotspot wifi can work in a pinch, like when you're moving or traveling. It can also be a solution for some really low data use. But a better long-term option is combining your hotspot with a home internet plan from a cell phone provider or a plan without a phone line.
Yup, that’s a thing now! If you can get a mobile phone signal, there’s a good chance you can get a home plan that delivers a connection using cellular data.
T-Mobile, Verizon, and many smaller carriers offer fixed wireless or even portable internet plans outside of their mobile hotspot wifi plans. Check out our recommended favorites below.