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Net10 Wireless Cell Phone Plans Review: Wireless Data & Hotspot Info

Jordan Beaumont
Financial Guru
Updated: 1/2019

NET10 REVIEW
Net10

Net10 Wireless

  • This phone service comes with no contracts, no age limits, and no monthly bills.
  • There is no need to complete a credit check before you can qualify for a phone plan.
  • Net10 Wireless is part of the TracFone Wireless company.
  • It offers great value and excellent coverage.
Try Net10
When taking a look at my phone bill two months ago, I realized that it was time for a chance. Previously, I had been using AT&T as my partner and I were using a family plan, which was alright but felt restricting for a number of reasons. For starters, the price wasn’t the best you can find in the industry and it seemed like there were plenty of areas that were not covered by our AT&T plan. More often than not on road trips we would find ourselves in an area that had no AT&T service, something that can be difficult when traveling frequently in the Northeast of the USA.Net10 Wireless Phone Plans Review

Table of Contents

Background

After we decided we wanted to look for another option, I started searching. I went through the list of carriers I knew: Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, but couldn’t picture myself switching to any of these. Besides, these were the same carriers that we looked at when initially purchasing our phones, and even then we chose AT&T in the end, so it seemed I would have to branch out elsewhere.

Everything seemed to change when I noticed Net10, a carrier that I had not hear of before but that had some interesting reviews. I decided to try it for a month and see how it worked.

Now that I’m at the end of the month, I want to share with you my thoughts in my Net10 Wireless Phone Plans Review:

What is Net10?

Before I go into my review regarding the service, I want to explain to you what Net10 is in the first place. It is a wireless carrier network that is owned by a company called America Movil.

Net10 is also an MVNO, which stands for Mobile Virtual Network Operator and represents a company that does not own the wireless spectrum like the larger companies do, but instead buys bits and pieces of the spectrum for lower rates to sell to their customers.

One of the benefits of working with an MVNO is that there is less precedent for a specific brand, meaning that the price is lower overall. Instead of situations where you pay for a certain mobile plan because the brand name is an equally large part of the price, MVNOs are able to charge you cheaper rates for similar (if not identical) services as the big 4. One other advantage of an MVNO is that their competition is mainly limited to the other MVNOs, meaning that you’re able to get competitive prices that continue lowering in an effort to compete with the other services.

For a consumer, this is a wonderful thing. It is kind of like when you go to a grocery store and buy the off-brand cereals to save money while knowing that you’re getting the same exact thing, if not an identical product. MVNOs are the off-brand cereals of the mobile market, allowing you to get the same service as some of the major phone companies without having to succumb to their high prices and brand loyalty.

 

Net10 Wireless Phone Plans Review

What are the Available Policies With Net10?

Like many MVNOs, Net10 is a prepaid service, allowing you to keep track of your phone bill accurately every month with a flat-rate fee. Smartphone users can find a prepaid unlimited talk and text plan that will give them a good amount of service anywhere they are while also keeping the price affordable. The only downside to the unlimited talk and text plan is that it isn’t the cheapest part of the Net10 service, meaning that those who are looking for a specific deal might want to stay with the pay-as-you-go type of subscription.

On the bright side, though, the prepaid subscriptions work incredibly well. There isn’t really any catch, you simply pay-as-you-go and don’t have to worry too much about your usage in general.

For basic phones, you can pay 10 cents per minute without an unlimited talk/text plan.

Regardless of what plan you have, you can top up the phone by using what are referred to as “airtime cards”, meaning that you can pay $30 for 300 minute increments to be used over the course of 60 days.

The important thing with these plans is that you can go as you please, not having to pay for more than you use at any given time. This is especially helpful for those who travel frequently or might not need their phone all the time, as you can decide when you stop or start your service.

My Thoughts on Net10

My thoughts on Net10 were overwhelmingly positive during the first month of usage. Previously I had only used prepaid/pay-as-you-go phone plans when I lived in Germany due to how frequently I went out of the country. This type of payment plan made it easier for me to have service when I needed it without having to pay for things that were unnecessary.

Though there are definite benefits to having monthly plans linked to a long-term contract (i.e. free phones, upgrade opportunities, family plans), I definitely appreciated the flexibility of Net10’s services. An important thing to note when talking about this, though, is the amount of benefits that don’t get cut as a result of flexibility.

For example, when I used to live in Germany and had an O2 prepaid SIM card, I frequently found myself frustrated with the fact that the data I was getting for my pay-as-you-go phone plan was not as strong as the plans my friends had who were on long-term contracts. This is why I was a bit cautious when switching over to Net10 in the first place, as I was worried that it would be the same situation.

I was relieved to find out that not only was this not the case (the options for unlimited data and texting you can have on Net10 negate service limits), but the internet service you get is quite good and fast, making it easier to not worry about being in a place that doesn’t have good enough service.

Another benefit of Net10’s service is the ability to see the amount of minutes and data you’ve used displayed right on your phone, allowing you to keep track of your usage without having to call a number or go on the web.

The minutes you don’t use also roll over, meaning that you don’t have to feel pressured to use everything you pay for because they’ll expire for good.

Is it Reliable?

Throughout my month of testing Net10, I would say it’s a very reliable service. I do not know which carrier my service was running off of, but I could find reliable coverage in areas where it was previously difficult to do so, something that was a huge bonus for me. I also felt confident about the quality of the service itself, as I didn’t have a dropped call the entire month and the data was pretty consistent itself. There were also no daily airtime fees which was a huge bonus for me as somebody who rarely uses my phone in the evening/nighttime.

 

Net10 Wireless Phone Plans Review

Are There Any Negative Things?

Unfortunately, yes; one of the biggest issues I had with Net10 was that if I had any questions, I couldn’t necessarily count on the customer service line to get me a quick response or give helpful advice. Thankfully, I didn’t have many questions during my service as it was pretty intuitive throughout, but I feel it’s worth mentioning in the event that somebody considering Net10 is also somebody who requires quality customer service.

Still a Great Deal

Despite all of these thoughts, I was incredibly happy during the month that I tried using Net10. It provides you with good service and quality connections that are similar (if not the exact same) rates as the major phone companies. The main draw for Net10 is definitely the price, which is incredibly affordable and helped me cut my phone bill quite literally in half.

Because I’m not somebody who needs an unlimited plan, I found Net10 incredibly helpful for only having me pay for what I use. Unlike with other plans with which I felt like I was paying for service that I wasn’t truly using, Net10 allowed me to feel confident in my purchase.

Final Thoughts

When I realized that it was time to switch my phone plan from AT&T, I didn’t know exactly what I was getting into. I had read about the many different types of plans one can get, but I didn’t know if it would be exactly beneficial for me to invest a whole lot in finding another plan from a service I wasn’t exactly familiar with. However, Net10 ended up easing that anxiety with its flexible prepaid plans. I was able to not feel like my investment was huge, something that I definitely worry about whenever I sign a long-term contract with a provider.

Through this sense of security I was able to enjoy Net10’s service for what it truly is: high-quality and affordable. Though I am somebody who does not need a lot of data or minutes to feel comfortable in my phone plan, I didn’t feel limited at all within the data and minutes that Net10 gave me. In fact, I didn’t even really notice the limits that they gave me, as I never went over them or near them. With my 300 minutes for $30 I was able to pay for two phones over half the amount that I would have paid with AT&T, a reason alone for me to continue using Net10.

Like I mentioned earlier, the only downside is the customer service, which feels almost nonexistent. That can be a huge deterrent for those who are reliant on those things or who don’t always have the easiest time with understanding phones, but for me it wasn’t much of a problem. Perhaps that’s just what you get when you’re not paying for a name brand service that gives you a stronger customer service network, but it’s a small price for me so I didn’t mind at all.

Overall, I’m glad I took the month to check out Net10’s features and I recommend you look into it if you’re looking for a flexible phone plan that lets you adapt without sacrificing quality service.

FAQ

Mobile Virtual Network Operators are growing in numbers. One of the earliest MVNO is Net10. These MVNOs provide the minimum services at a very low cost to consumers. The services are usually cheaper than those offered by large telecommunications companies. MVNOs can offer these services at low cost because they have lower overhead, and almost no inventory.

The Company

When choosing a telecommunications company, the price is a big consideration. However, even if its free, you would not want to signup without first knowing something about the service provider. Net10 is a MVNO with a large footprint and consumers want to know how the company came to be. The following are some questions which customers ask:

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Who Owns Net10?

Net10 is one of the services offered by Tracfone, Mexico’s largest telecommunications company. Net10 is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) and it uses the existing infrastructure of other networks. Tracfone is a subsidiary of America Movil.

What Towers Does Net10 Use?

Net10 is an MVNO and does not have its own network of towers. It uses the towers of Sprint,, AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile, depending on the location and the phone they use. Piggybacking on other networks allows Net10 to offer lower priced plans.

What Network Does Net10 Use?

Net10 uses the same networks which its parent company, Tracfone uses. These include Verizon, Sprint, AT&T and T-mobile. The use of multiple networks allows Net 10 a wider reach, and a larger market.

Is Net10 GSM?

Yes, Net10 uses GSM. For its BYOP program it only allows GSM phones. Net10 SIM cards only work with phones from AT&T mobile or T-mobile compatible phones, as well as unlocked phones.

Is Net10 Part of TracFone?

Yes, Net10 is a subsidiary of TracFone. Tracfone has several other brands and services on offer. TracFone is an MVNO operating in the United States, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. It is owned by America Movil, a Mexican telecommunications company.

Does Net10 Have Good Service?

Net10 runs on the AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-mobile networks. It has a good network coverage because it can switch between these networks. However, customers report that it has disappointing customer support.

What Cell Towers Does Net10 Use?

Net10 is a MVNO, and as such does not have towers of its own. Instead, it uses the towers of its partners, including Sprint, T-mobile, Verizon and AT&T. This gives Net10 an ample coverage nationwide.

Is Net10 the Same as Straight Talk?

No, Net10 and Straight Talk are not the same. They are owned by TracFone, but operated independently. Straight Talk is a collaboration with Walmart and is only available from them. Net10 has different plans as well, and is available in other retailers.

Does Net10 Work in Hawaii?

Yes, it uses the networks of Sprint, Verizon, AT&T and T-mobile, which all offer coverage to Hawaii. The service is dependent on what device you use and your location at the time you activated your phone.

What Service Provider Does Net10 Use?

Net10 uses the services of Sprint, Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile. Net10 is a MVNO and does not have its own network. It piggybacks on the services of other phone companies to deliver services to its customers.

What Network is Net10 Using?

Net10 is a MVNO and it uses the networks and towers of Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T. It does not have its own network. The network used depends on the type of phone and the network used when it is activated.

How to Contact Net10 Customer Service?

The Net10 Call the Net10 customer service number 1-877-TEN-CENT (1-877-836-2368). Other numbers are 1-855-333-CELL (1-855-333-2355) for Bring Your Own Phone customers, 1-800-299-7280 for Home Phone customers, and 1-888-442-5107 for Hotspot or Bring Your Own Tablet customers.

Is Net10 Still in Business?

Yes, Net10 is still in business. It uses the networks of Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T which helps it have nationwide coverage. It services the United States, including Hawaii and Puerto Rico.

Does Net10 Have Unlimited Internet?

Yes, Net10 has unlimited internet. The budget data plan runs on 4G/LTE for the initial 4GB. After the cap is reached, it switches from LTE to 2G speeds. This resets at the start of the next 30 day cycle.

Does Net10 Work in My Area?

If you have coverage by Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile or AT&T, then Net10 should work in your area. Net10 uses the network infrastructure of these large telecom companies. Net10 service extends to their area of coverage.

How Does Net10 Internet Work?

Net10 uses GSM technology for its internet connection. It piggybacks on Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T and uses their LTE/3G/2G networks. The user has unlimited data usage up to a certain cap. When he reaches that volume, the internet speed slows down. This reverts back to the old speed when the 30 day monthly cycle starts again.

Is Net10 Prepaid?

Yes, it is a prepaid phone and internet service. It has no contracts, no credit checks, no monthly bills, no activation fees and no age limits. It is part of TracFone Wireless along with Straight Talk. It uses the network capabilities of Sprint, Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile.

Who is Net10 Associated With?

Net10 is owned by TracFone Wireless. Other wireless services owned by TracFone include Straight Talk, SafeLink Wireless, SIMPLE Mobile and Walmart Family Mobile. TracFone is owned by America Movil.

Is Net10 CDMA or GSM?

Net10 is a MVNO which runs through the Sprint, Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile network. The phones can be either CDMA or GSM, based on the model purchased and the network it is attached to.

Phones and SIMs

As a phone and wireless service company, Net10 is in a rapidly changing industry. Consumers want to know what phones the company uses, or sells. At the same time, consumer want to know that the company has up to date technology. Here are some questions the public sometime asks:

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Where to Buy Net10 Phones?

You can buy Net10 phones from Walmart, Target, Family Dollar and Best Buy. You can also buy compatible phones from the Net10 website. You can use other phones with their BYOP program. The phones have to be activated to run on the Net10.

Where Can I Buy A Net10 Phone?

You can buy a Net10 phone from a retailer or from the Net10 website. Retailers include Walmart, Target, Family Dollar and Best Buy. The Net10 website also sells phones. You can also use your own phone with Net10. These have be activated before use.

Who Sells Net10 Phones Near Me?

Check out Walmart, Family Dollar, Target and Best Buy. These usually carry Net10 phones. The Net10 website has a utility which shows retailers which carry their phones. These include authorized and national retailers, as well as exclusive locations.

How Much is A Net10 SIM Card?

Net10 SIM kits and SIM cards are on sale at retailers for $0.99. You have to choose what network is prevalent in your area, and what model phone you have.

Where Can I Buy A Net10 Micro SIM Card?

You can buy a Net10 Micro SIM card at any authorized retailer, nationwide retailer. You can also buy these online through the Net10 store or on Amazon. The SIM cards are pre-cut to fit regular, micro and nano SIM slots.

Will My Phone Work With Net10?

There are several conditions for your phone to work with Net10. It should be an unlocked GSM phone, or a phone compatible with AT&T or T-Mobile. You will need a Net10 BYOP SIM which needs to be activated to run on the Net10 lines. A CDMA compatible LTE phone will also need a SIM to access the LTE.

Does Net10 Work with an iPhone?

Yes, Net10 works with an iPhone. These include the iPhone 5 series, 4-series and the 3GS phones. You would need to use the activation pack as well as a the airtime pack to start using the iPhone with Net10.

Will A Net10 Phone Work With a AT&T SIM Card?

Yes, a Net10 GSM phone will work with an AT&T SIM card. However, you need to configure the phone in order to use it. This is easier on an Android phone, compared to a Windows Phone or iOS.

What Phones Are Compatible With Net10 SIM Card?

Only AT&T and T-mobile compatible phones or unlocked GSM phones will work with the Net10 SIM card. The Net10 service is unlike other service providers and it requires a specific phone in order to work.

What is My Net10 PIN Number?

The Net10 PIN number is the MEID or IMEI serial number of the phone. If you are using a BYOP SIM card, it will the last 15 digits of the SIM card number.

Can I Switch My Net10 Number to Straight Talk?

Yes, you can switch from Net10 to Straight talk. Straight Talk and Net10 are both owned by TracFone. It is easy to switch from one to the other. You only need the phone number and the serial number to switch.

How to Activate A Net10 Prepaid Phone?

Go to the Net10 website, http://www.net10wireless.com, and click on the “Activate” tab. Follow instructions to activate your phone. You can also call the Net10 support number via a landline and request for activation of your phone.

Do Net10 Phones Come With SIM Cards?

Yes, when you buy a Net10 prepaid phone, it will come with a SIM card. It will also be preloaded with 300 minutes of calls. The Net10 prepaid phone will have to be activated before it can be used. You can have it activated via the Net10 website or call the Net10 support number and a customer representative will activate it for you.

Do All Net10 Phones Use SIM Cards?

Yes, Net10 phones use SIM cards for unlocked GSM phones or compatible phones from AT&T or T-Mobile. To use Net10, the phone must use the SIM card and then activated online or through a call to the Net10 customer support.

Can I Use My Net10 SIM Card in Another Phone?

Yes, you can use the Net10 SIM card on another unlocked GSM phone. You have to buy the Net10 SIM card separately, and have it activated either through the Net10 website or with a call to the Net10 customer support number.

Can You Bring Your Own Phone to Net10?

Yes, you can bring an unlocked GSM phone to Net10. Preferably, the phone should be LTE capable. You need to buy a Net10 SIM, and buy additional minutes. Additionally, you need to activate the phone or SIM before using.

Are Net10 Phones locked?

Yes, Net10 phones are locked. These cell phones are branded for use with only Net10. When you bring an unlocked phone or an AT&T or T-Mobile phone for use in Net10, these are not locked with Net10.

What is the Best Net10 Phone?

The best Net10 phones available on their website include a Sony Experia XA, 16GB black model, an RCA Q1 4G LTE 16GB dual SIM, and an Alcatel OneTouch Ideal 4G LTE 8GB. Net10 sells relatively low end or older model phones at a low price.

What is the APN for Net10?

Net10 uses several Access Point Names (APN) depending on the network it connects to. For AT&T, the APN are tfdata, wap.tracfone, and RESELLER. Net10 on T-Mobile uses wap.tracfone as APN. For Verizon Net10 uses TRACFONE.VZWENTP.

Will A Net10 SIM Card Work in An Unlocked Phone?

Yes, the Net10 SIM card will work on an unlocked phone. It should be a GSM phone, preferably LTE capable. After inserting the SIM, you need to activate the phone. You can go to the website to activate the phone. You can also call the customer service for them to activate it.

Can Net10 Phones Be Unlocked?

Yes, Net10 phones can be unlocked. There is an unlock code with the phone. You need to contact Net10 to obtain the unlock code for your device. There are also other ways to unlock the phone, including using a software downloaded from the net.

Affordability and Usage

MVNOs are noted for selling older or cheaper phone models. At the same time, they also offer different plans to cater to different needs of the market. Here are some questions the public asks about Net10 products.

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How to Activate a Net10 Phone for Free?

You can activate a Net10 phone by calling the Net10 support via a landline telephone. Alternatively, you can activate it online. Go to the Net10 website, and choose the “Activate” tab located at the top of the page.

Who Sells Net10 Phone Cards?

There are local retailers and national chains which sell Net10 phone cards. These include Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, Target, Family Dollar and Best Buy. You can also buy the phone cards online through Amazon or the Net10 website.

How Much is Net10 Unlimited plan?

Net10 has Unlimited Talk and Text plus data plan. It starts at $35 per month with a 4GB data cap. The other Unlimited Talk and Text plans are $40 for 8GB, $50 with 10GB data, and $60 with 12GB data.

Where to Buy Net10 Unlimited Phones?

You can buy Net10 unlimited phones online through the Net10 website, or through Amazon. You can also buy them from national and local retail chains like Walgreens, Walmart, CVS, Family Dollar, Target and Best Buy.

Where to Buy Net10 Activation Kit?

You can buy a Net10 Activation Kit from national and local retailers. These include Walgreens, Walmart, CVS, Family Dollar, Target and Best Buy. You can also buy the Activation Kit online from the Net10 website or from Amazon.

Can I Pay My Net10 Phone Bill Online?

Yes, you can pay your Net10 bill online. Go to the Net10 website. Click on Refill, and choose “Use Credit or Debit Card”, enter your phone, SIM or serial number. Or you can pay with “Use a Service Plan Card” by entering your phone, SIM or serial number and the service plan PIN.

Can You Add More Data to Net10?

Yes, you can add more data to Net10. The plans have a data cap, and when this is reached, the data service does not stop, but the bandwidth becomes slower. Purchasing more data keeps the bandwidth going at the faster LTE speed.

Does Net10 Allow Tethering?

No, Net10 plans do not allow tethering. Tethering makes the phone a hotspot which shares its data connection to other users. This is not allowed under the Net10 terms and conditions of service.

Does Net10 Throttle Data?

Yes, Net10 throttles data. The unlimited plans use high speed data using LTE up to 2.5GB. Once it reaches this point, the bandwidth is throttled to 2G speeds. The speed reverts back to LTE at the start of the new 30-day renewal cycle.

How to Cancel Net10?

Call the Net10 customer service number 1-877-TEN-CENT (1-877-836-2368) using a different phone. Tell the customer representative that you want to cancel your Net10 phone. You will need to provide your Net10 account number, current billing address, your birthdate and the last four digits of your social security number.

Jordan Beaumont

Jordan Beaumont

Financial Guru

Jordan's work focuses on helping people reach their financial goals so they can spend more time with family and friends and less time worrying about their budget. After finishing college with a degree in Accounting and Communication, he realized that these are the most important things in life and that people shouldn’t miss out because of money.

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