A cheap plan with great coverage and flexibility
Ting Mobile Cell Phone Plans Review
Ting’s Flex cell phone plan is cheap, simple, and allows you to only pay for the data that you use. That way, you don’t end up stuck with a high phone bill when finances are tight.
This Flex plan is the real selling point for Ting because, sadly, the company’s unlimited data plans are just not as good (or as cheap) as the competition.
Read on for more details on the Flex plan and everything else you need to know before signing up with Ting.
Ting mobile plans
- Flexible plans
- Amazing coverage
- Mobile hotspot data
- Pricey unlimited plan
- Data deprioritization
What we like
Ting is a relatively small mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) that uses the T-Mobile and Verizon networks. It’s probably never going to be a huge player in the market. But for a small slice of the population it might be “bang on” (as they say in the Great British Baking Show).
So, what does Ting do right? Let’s review.
There you are, living your life, and then … well … life happens. Your paycheck is less than you thought it would be, you have to pay for an unexpected bill, a global pandemic ruins everything. You know the drill.
So, it can be really nice to have a phone bill that rolls with the punches, too. With Ting’s Flex plan, you won’t have to worry about being locked into a pricey unlimited data plan. You can use as much (or as little) data as you like each month and only pay for what you use.
Each month you’ll pay a base rate of $10 for unlimited talk and text. Then you’ll pay $5 extra for every GB of data you use beyond that.
Of course, $5 per GB can start to add up if you use a lot of data. This is why Ting mobile has some other plans available, like a $25 a month 5GB plan and a $35 a month 12 GB plan.
Ting Mobile is definitely among the best providers for those who don’t know what next week holds, let alone next month.
We’ll talk more about specific coverage and performance measures for these two networks below. But, for now, we’ll just say that Verizon gives you the best nationwide coverage and T-Mobile wins the data speeds race.
Hotspot data included
You may have noticed that cheaper mobile carriers, like Ting, tend to skimp on the perks and extra features. You usually won’t find free international calling, subscriptions to service, and other party favors with these plans.
One of the freebies that tends to be left out of these plans is mobile hotspot data. But Ting is an exception to that rule. All of Ting’s plans let you use your data as hotspot data.
With the Flex plan and Set 5GB Plan you can use all of your data as hotspot data. With the Unlimited plan you get 22 GB and the Unlimited Pro plan gives you a whopping 35 GB (!) of hotspot data. Nice. Very nice.
What we don’t like
Ting gives you flexibility, decent prices, and a great network. But you might find other parts of the company’s service to be irritaTING or aggravaTING (haha, get it? Yeah, we’re sorry about that one).
Pricier unlimited data plans
Ting’s cheap Flex plan is a pretty sweet deal. But once you start stacking more data onto your plan, the prices go up rapidly. For example, the Unlimited Pro Plan will set you back $55 a month. Check it out.
For that chunk of change you’ll get “unlimited data,” which actually means 35 GB of full-speed data. After you hit that 35 GB cap, your data speeds will go way down.
Compared to other companies, like Visible Wireless (which offers a $40 unlimited data plan without a cap), Ting’s unlimited plans don’t seem like a great deal at all.
You might be wondering, how does Ting offer cheap plans using another company’s network? Well, we’ve got the answer: It’s because they essentially rent bandwidth from T-Mobile and Verizon, but don’t bear the costs of maintaining and expanding all that infrastructure.
So, what’s the catch? Well, the owners of the network can (and will) prioritize the data speeds of their own customers over those on MVNO plans. In other words: Ting customers will get worse network performance than Verizon and T-Mobile customers.
We call this data deprioritization, and it means you might have trouble streaming video, playing online games, and scrolling through Tik Tok during times of “peak use”.
How do Ting’s plans compare?
No review would be complete without taking a gander at the competition. How do Ting’s plans stack up against the competition? This chart shows some other affordable cell phone plan options.
Ting family plans
- Add as many lines as you want
- Same flexible plans
- No discounts on additional lines
What we like
If you’re thinking of ordering a Ting Mobile SIM card for yourself, why not pick up SIM cards for the whole family? It’s a lot easier to manage the family phone bills when everyone is on a single account.
Here are the benefits of going with a family plan from Ting Mobile.
Add as many lines as you want
Go ahead, add all of the kids to your Ting plan. Throw on a few cousins, an uncle, and your own parents while you’re at it. In fact, you can add an unlimited number of lines to your account with Ting.
This can make it easier to manage your bills, enact parental controls, and see how much data you have left.
Same flexible plans
Ting’s family plans are exactly the same as its individual plans. Every line will get unlimited talk and text, and then you’ll all share from the same pot of data.
So if you had three lines on the Flex plan it would run you $30 a month, base rate. Then you would pay for the data that each line used. It’s a good deal for families that don’t use a ton of data.
What we don’t like
The drawbacks of Ting’s family plans are similar to those of its individual plans. They lack data, your speeds can be deprioritized, and the unlimited plans are relatively pricey. But we need to add one more issue to the list: they aren’t actually any cheaper than buying separate individual plans.
Usually the draw of a family plan is that it gives you a better deal when you bundle multiple lines together. For example, Visible Wireless will give you three lines on its unlimited data family plan for just $90, well below what it would cost to buy each line separately.
But with Ting you’ll see no such savings. *Sad trombone.* So the only real benefit of going with a family plan is the ease of managing bills and parental controls on a single account instead of several different accounts.
How do Ting’s family plans compare?
Ting’s family plans might not save you a ton of money. But there are plenty of other MVNOs that do offer discounts on multiple lines. Here’s a look at a few of our favorite ones.
Ting Mobile coverage
Ting’s coverage is, to put it simply, the best. This MVNO uses both Verizon's and T-Mobile’s networks to give you service. Just take a look at how much of the country is covered by these two networks.
That’s an impressive amount of purple on those maps. But coverage isn’t just about how large your network is. It’s also about how fast your network is. So, how does Ting do?
Ting’s has fast speeds—sometimes
The two networks that Ting uses—T-Mobile and Verizon—both offer fast 4G LTE speeds. Check out this data we collected from over 100,000 wireless customers.
The only problem is that Ting customers won’t always see the full power of the networks they're using. That’s because of the deprioritization we discussed earlier. Ting customers will often see their speeds slowed down during times of “network congestion.”
Ting Mobile cell phones and devices
Wintertime blues setting in? Maybe it's time to treat yourself to a brand new phone. And there’s no better time to catch a deal on a new device than when you’re signing up for a new plan.
Here’s a look at the top devices that Ting sells.
Ting customer service
Unlike bigger carriers, Ting doesn’t have brick and mortar stores. That means your customer service experience will be over the phone, in online chats, and internet forums. So, how does the company do?
Our customer service experience with Ting was definitely easy. You can reach Ting over the phone (1-855-846-4389) or through its online chat system, which is what we did. The chat agent responded within one minute and was friendly and helpful.
Unfortunately, the company’s mobile apps might not be quite as helpful. Ting’s app maintains an average of just below three stars on the Google Play store. It does about the same in the Apple App Store, with a 3.2 average rating.
Recap: Is Total Wireless right for you?
Now that we’ve told you everything we know about Total Wireless, it’s up to you. Is this the right discount MVNO for you (and your fam)? Maybe a quick recap will help you decide.
- Individual plans: Total Wireless’s individual plans are relatively cheap and offer great coverage using Verizon’s network. However, the lack of full-speed data and the possibility of slowdowns will be a deal breaker for many people.
- Family plans: Total’s family plans are a step up from its individual plans. The prices are significantly cheaper than buying single lines, and these plans come with more data (including mobile hotspot data).
- Performance: Verizon’s network, which powers Total Wireless, offers unparalleled coverage and super fast data speeds (at least, when you’re not being deprioritized).
Ultimately, we think Ting's plans are worth it for those who don't need a ton of data and are looking to avoid a contract. And its Set 5 and Set 12 plans are great for individuals looking to save some money without sacrificing all their data. And don't forget, you can always pay for more data as you go.
Other ways to save money on your bills
Ting can help you cut your phone bill in half. But why stop there? You could save money on other services, like home internet and security.
Cheap home security options
We’ve rounded up the best affordable home security providers because keeping your family safe shouldn’t be a luxury for the well-to-do. Take a look at these cheaper options.
Recommended internet plans
Having a fast and consistent home internet service is more important than ever before. But that doesn’t mean you have to be paying $100 a month to get it. Here’s a peak at the best affordable home internet companies.
|Xfinity Internet||$19.99-$120*||75-2000 Mbps||1200 Mbps||View Plans|
|AT&T Fiber||$55-$250†||300-5000 Mbps||Unlimited||View Plans|
|Verizon Fios Home Internet||$49.99-$89.99‡||300-2300 Mbps||Unlimited||View Plans|
|CenturyLink Internet||$50-$75^||100-940 Mbps||Unlimited||View Plans|
|Viasat Internet||$69.99-$299.99°||12-100 Mbps||Unlimited||View Plans|
|Spectrum Internet®||$19.99-$89.99||30-1000 Mbps**||Unlimited||View Plans|