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Published Dec 26, 21
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Verizon offers by far the most coverage in the country. If you constantly find yourself without a signal, Verizon will be your best friend. Verizon covers 70% 4G service across the country. 1 On average, Verizon users report getting 4G coverage 95. 9% of the time while using Verizon’s network.

The only pockets of America you need to worry about are more rural areas in the Southwest, Midwest, and Northwest. If you live close to any big cities in those areas, you should expect super reliable coverage. We know that Verizon offers the best service, but what about the network’s data speeds? Unsurprisingly, Verizon boasts some of the best data speeds in the country, clocking in around 25.

You’ll notice we didn’t say *the* best data speeds—T-Mobile currently owns the fastest data speeds, but Verizon is a close second. Instagram stories, You, Tube videos, and online gaming apps should all pull up quickly and smoothly on Verizon’s network. Wouldn’t it be great if Verizon somehow managed to have the best coverage and cheap prices at the same time? Well, it doesn’t.

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Since Verizon serves up the most reliable coverage in the country, getting on its network feels pricey. It’s kind of like eating at the fanciest restaurant in town—you have to pay an arm and a leg, but damn it if the food’s not delicious. Here’s how the pricing breaks down for Verizon data plans: Verizon plans get expensive fast, jumping up to $90 for its Get More Unlimited plan.

If Verizon’s plans cost a little too much, you can always get on Verizon’s network through an MVNO. An MVNO basically feels kind of like getting the cheap seats at a really expensive concert—you get to see the show, but you don’t always get the best view. You can use an MVNO mobile provider that works on Verizon’s network, but you’ll occasionally run into deprioritization.

Our favorite Verizon MVNO is easily Visible Wireless, which offers an unlimited plan for $40 on Verizon’s network. But really, you can’t go wrong with any of the Verizon MVNOs on the table below.

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If you want the best of the best, period, look no further Pros Fastest data speeds, Truly unlimited data, Best 5G network Cons Pricey Spotty rural coverage T-Mobile has, quite simply, jumped ahead of the pack to become the more powerful carrier in the industry. While some of its previous issues persist—specifically poor 4G coverage in rural areas—it has managed to outperform the competition where it matters most: data speeds, data allotments, and 5G coverage.

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Here’s everything we love about T-Mobile’s premier Magenta MAX plan. Best 4G and 5G data performance If you want lightning fast speeds for streaming, gaming, scrolling, posting, and everything else, T-Mobile is clearly the best carrier. According to our proprietary data, which we collected from over 100,000 mobile customers, T-Mobile has the fastest 4G speeds.

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But 4G is going the way of dial-up internet and VHS tapes. 5G is the new technology in town, and T-Mobile is also dominating the 5G performance categories. When it comes to 5G speeds, Open, Signal’s latest 5G User Experience Report says, “for the first time, T-Mobile wins Opensignal's award for 5G Download Speed.

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1 Mbps ahead of AT&T's score of 53. 8 Mbps and Verizon on 47. 4 Mbps.”1 Here’s a dirty little secret about the mobile industry: unlimited doesn’t really mean unlimited most of the time. Most unlimited plans actually have a data cap, and once you hit that cap your data speeds can (and will) be drastically reduced.

No deprioritization, no throttling, no data caps. The only other plan that we know of that offers this is AT&T’s Unlimited Elite plan. How much mobile data do you actually need? Pretty much everything you do on your phone these days uses data. So, make sure you have enough to satisfy your streaming, scrolling, gaming, and working needs by reading this handy data guide.

It also has the largest 5G network. According to Open, Signal, T-Mobile users in 16 states were connected to 5G networks 35% of the time. That might not sound like much, but it’s far more than AT&T customers, who were only connected to a 5G network 25% of the time (in just six states) and Verizon users, who were connected just 17% of the time (in just one state).

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Obviously, we’re pretty impressed with T-Mobile right now. But that doesn’t mean we are blind to its faults. Here are the things we don’t love about the Magenta MAX plan. T-Mobile is actually the cheapest of the Big Three. Its prices are generally about $5 cheaper than comparable plans from AT&T and Verizon.