Visible Wireless vs. AT&T Wireless Review 2021

We compared Visible's and AT&T Wireless's cell phone plans and networks. Visible is best for unlimited data, while AT&T is best for high-speed data.
  • Best for Unlimited Data
    Read Full Review
    4 out of 5 overall
    Amazing $40 unlimited plan
    Deprioritization
  • Best for High-Speed Data
    Read Full Review
    3.75 out of 5 overall
    Lots of unlimited plan options
    Can be pricey

In this article we’re going to compare two of the top cell phone companies: AT&T and Visible. One is part of the old guard, while the other is a new carrier that’s trying to shake up the industry. But before we dive into all the details, let’s answer the big question.

Which is better, Visible or AT&T? The answer really comes down to data and cost.

Visible offers a cheaper unlimited data plan, but your data speeds will not be the fastest.

AT&T costs more, but your data speeds will probably be faster.

How to choose a cell phone plan

Deciding which cell phone plan is the perfect one for you isn’t easy. But in our years of reviewing plans, we’ve come up with some guidelines to help you figure it out. Be sure to consider the following:

  • Data: You should know how much data you need each month, but also how much data speed you need. People who game, stream, upload, or work on their phones a lot will want to opt for faster data speeds.
  • Price: Don’t overpay. There are a bunch of new discount providers in the market that may offer the same thing for less.
  • Coverage: There are three major networks in the country—AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon. Check coverage maps to see which has the best reach in your area.
  • Performance: There are all kinds of perks and features—like mobile hotspot data—that will affect your mobile experience. Get the ones you want, but don’t pay for the ones you don’t use.

Visible vs. AT&T unlimited plans and pricing

AT&T gives you super speeds, Visible gives you super savings

Both Visible and AT&T offer powerful unlimited data plans. But there are some important differences between them. Here’s everything you need to know.

(Note: AT&T does offer a 4 GB limited-data plan with unlimited talk and text, but it’s overpriced and underpowered, so we’re not going to really talk about it in this review.)

Visible’s unlimited data plan

Talking about Visible’s cell phone plans is relatively simple because the company only offers one. Yep, just one. It’s an unlimited talk, text, and data plan that costs a slim $40 a month. Take a look.

Visible unlimited data plan

You might expect a $40 plan to lack oomph, but this plan actually comes with a bunch of features:

  • Unlimited talk, text, and data
  • Access to 5G networks where available (and with a 5G capable device)
  • Coverage on Verizon’s huge network
  • Unlimited hotspot data
  • Deals on the newest phones

These plentiful features are why we’ve dubbed this plan one of the best on the market. It can easily go toe-to-toe with plans that cost twice as much.

But, of course, every rose has its thorn …

Data deprioritization

Your 4G LTE data speeds will be capped at 5–12 Mbps (5G data will also be throttled, but it will be more like a whopping 200 Mbps). Those speeds are plenty for most users who just want to stream music, standard definition video, and use social media apps, but those who do serious gaming or work on their phone may have some issues.

You may also notice data slowdowns when the network is congested. That means you may have a hard time livestreaming when you’re in a crowded stadium or during peak hours.

AT&T’s unlimited data plans

AT&T is one of the original telecommunications companies. It can trace its history all the way back to 1877! But this dinosaur is staying relevant. In fact, the company offers the best 4G LTE data speeds on the market.

Here’s a look at AT&T’s data plans that will get you a slice of that lightning-fast data.

AT&T cell phone plans

These three plans all come with unlimited talk, text, and data, plus access to AT&T’s rapidly expanding 5G network. But in other respects, the plans differ from each other.

Here are the main differences between AT&T’s unlimited data plans:

Unlimited Starter comes with deprioritized data speeds, like Visible’s plan. That means AT&T can slow down your data whenever it wants. Also, your video streams are capped at 1.5 Mbps, and you don’t get any hotspot data.

Unlimited Extra has a soft data cap of 50 GB. Once you reach your cap, your data can be slowed down. This plan also caps your video streams at 1.5 Mbps. It comes with 15 GB of hotspot data.

Unlimited Elite has a lofty 100 GB data cap. If you manage to (somehow) use more than that, your data speeds can be slowed down. You’ll get HD video streaming, 30 GB of mobile hotspot data, and a free subscription to HBO Max.

So, if you just want a bare bones unlimited data plan, go with Visible. It gives you more than AT&T’s Unlimited Starter plan but for less money.

But if you want more speed and better perks, then the Unlimited Elite plan is the way to go, if you can afford it.

Which brings us to our next point: AT&T’s prices aren’t the cheapest.

AT&T’s prices are pretty steep

At $65 a month, AT&T’s cheapest unlimited data plan is still $25 more than Visible’s, and it offers basically the same service (minus the hotspot data). If you want to spring for the pricier plans, they’ll cost you $75 and $85 respectively.

Money icon
Why stop with cell phone service?
If you like what AT&T is offering, you might want to check out other services from the company, like TV service and home internet.

Visible vs. AT&T family plans

Both Visible and AT&T have great options for adding lines

If you’re into saving money, simplifying your bills, and watching out for your kids, then ask your doctor if a family plan is right for you (don’t actually ask your doctor, just sign up).

In all seriousness, family plans can save you a ton of dough. Here’s a deeper look at AT&T and Visible’s multi-line plan deals.

Visible Wireless family plan

Visible Wireless has something called Party Pay, which is a family plan in everything but name. It allows you to have up to four different lines on a single account. And it can save you a boatload of cash (a small boat, but still).

For each line you add, your price goes down. So while one line costs $40 a month, two lines costs just $70. Once you make it up to four lines, it’s $100 a month. That’s just $25 per line for unlimited talk, text, and data. Check it out.

Visible Wireless unlimited data plan with four lines

It’s not just the cost savings that make this plan great. Party Pay also allows anyone to get on your plan, even if they’re not really in your family. You can split your cell phone bill with your roommate, ex-boyfriend, second cousin, or random person you just met on the street. And each person can manage and pay their Visible bill separately.

AT&T family plans

Full disclosure: my family has been on an AT&T unlimited data family plan for a decade, and we love it. Why do we love it? The generous hotspot data, the unbeatable speeds, the great coverage, the … you get the idea.

But you don’t have to take my word for it. Take a gander at these plans to see what’s on offer.

AT&T Wireless unlimited data plan with four lines

AT&T’s family plans aren’t much different from the company’s standard unlimited data offerings. But they are quite a bit cheaper, which is good for you and your family. You can get the Unlimited Extra plan with four lines for just $160, which is the same price that you’d pay for just two lines if you signed up for them individually.

You may also notice a plan called Unlimited Your Way. This is a plan that lets you add up to ten lines to a single account. Each line can be on a different unlimited data plan, allowing you savings and flexibility. Nice.

Visible vs. AT&T network coverage and speed

Two great networks to choose from—you can’t go wrong

What good is a bunch of 4G LTE data if you only get one bar of service in your neighborhood or if your downloads are slow? That’s right, it’s no good at all.

So let’s talk network coverage and speed.

Network coverage

So, which company has better coverage, Visible or AT&T? They’re both great in general, but it can help to zoom in on your specific area. You can use these coverage maps to see how each company’s network looks on the granular level.

AT&T coverage map

Visible coverage map

You may have noticed that we put Verizon’s coverage map above to represent Visible’s coverage. That’s because Visible is actually a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), which means that it uses another company’s network (in this case, Verizon’s) to cover its customers.

Network speed

When it comes to download and upload speeds, Visible (using Verizon’s network) has AT&T beat. But of course, Visible’s speeds will be affected by the deprioritization we’ve already mentioned, so we still think AT&T is a better bet for high-speed data in this case.

An infographic ranking wireless networks by speed: #1 T-Mobile, #2 Verizon, #3 AT&T, Sprint unranked because it was acquired by T-Mobile in 2020

Visible vs. AT&T phones and devices

Both carriers offer the latest flagship smartphones

The best time to score a great deal on a new phone is when you’re signing up with a new carrier. Companies tend to offer steep discounts and easy payment plans for new customers.

Both Visible and AT&T sell the newest flagship devices from companies like Apple, Samsung, and Google. Take a look at some of the most popular deals from each company below.

Visible Wireless phones

AT&T Wireless phones

Recap: Which carrier is right for you?

So we’ve gone through each carrier with a fine toothed comb. But let’s do a quick recap for the TL;DR crowd.

  • Plans: Visible’s one plan is an affordable unlimited talk, text, and data plan that has some limits on data speed. AT&T offers three different unlimited plans, some of which offer better speeds and perks, but they’re pricier.
  • Family plans: Both Visible and AT&T give sizable discounts to those who add additional lines to their accounts. Again, Visible’s prices are a bit better but AT&T offers more features and better data speeds.
  • Coverage and performance: AT&T runs a great nationwide network with the best data speeds in the industry. Visible runs on Verizon’s network, which means amazing coverage, but there’s a risk of data deprioritization.

We hope that this article has helped you decide which carrier is better for you. If you’re still on the fence, check out some other contenders in our best unlimited data plan lineup.

Methodology

We take our reviews very seriously, which means we do our own in-depth research before we make comparisons or recommendations. Our writers look at customer reviews, hands-on product testing results, and our own proprietary data from over 100,000 cell phone users to inform our reviews.