Total Wireless review November 2018 | finder.com

Total Wireless review November 2018

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Unlimited talk and text comes with no contracts or hidden fees.

When digital upstarts came to the wireless market offering no contracts and no hidden fees, major carriers responded by relaxing their stance on contractual obligations. Still, these plans aren’t so easy to find or understand, especially if you stick with the “big four” providers.

This is where Total Wireless shines. It specializes in no-contract plans and no hidden fees, making it easier to know exactly what you’re getting at signup.

  • A cheaper option for data using Verizon's network
  • Transparent costs and no contracts

    Pros

      • No contract. Pay as you go through a prepaid plan.
      • No credit check. Because you prepay with Total Wireless, your credit score is irrelevant.
      • Savings over major carriers. Talk, text and data are typically cheaper than the “big four” and other carriers.

    Cons

      • Limited speeds. While download and upload speeds aren’t throttled, they are limited to 5 Mbps and 2 Mbps, respectively.
      • No data rollovers. Data add-ons will roll over, but not your regular plan.

    What is Total Wireless?

    Total Wireless is a pay-as-you-go wireless provider offering prepaid service without the long-term contracts that are all but standard in the industry. Signup comes with no credit checks, no activation fees, no monthly bills (it’s all prepaid) and no age limits on service. And you can do it online or through your local Walmart store.

    Total Wireless offers good value and solid coverage. Bring your own device or choose from plans that include phones — and all plans come with unlimited talk and text.

    Total Wireless maintains a few notable, global relationships with major manufacturers, such as Motorola and LG, enabling them to offer high-quality devices and features that most new customers are looking for at decent prices. Phones purchased for use with Total Wireless plans range from $9.99 to $399.99.

    What services does Total Wireless offer?

    Total Wireless offers both single-line plans and shared family plans.

    Single-Line Plans

    • $25 a month for unlimited talk and text
    • $35 a month for unlimited talk and text plus 5GB data

    Shared Family Plans

    • $60 a month for unlimited talk and text plus 8GB data shared on up to 2 devices or lines
    • $85 a month for unlimited talk and text plus 12GB data shared on up to 3 devices or lines
    • $100 a month for unlimited talk and text plus 15GB data shared on up to 4 devices or lines

    Take 5% off any plan’s pricing by enrolling in autopay.

    Are there any other features I should know about?

    Customize your Total Wireless to your specific needs with add-ons, accessories and other features.

    • Add-on cards available. Add-On Carryover Data Cards and $10 Global Calling cards can extend your data or combine international calling.
    • Autopay discount. Get 5% off your monthly charges by enrolling in automatic refills.
    • Mobile Hotspots. Get Internet on the go in specific ZIP codes.
    • Total Wireless uses Verizon’s network
    • Bring your own device. Select from high-quality devices for purchase, or check the compatibility of your current one for further savings.

    What to watch out for

    Pay-as-you-go providers effectively resell the talk, text and data of big carriers — which comes with a few key differences.

    • Limited speeds. Total Wireless is an MVNO that uses Verizon’s network, so don’t be surprised by typical speeds of 5 Mbps for downloads and 2 Mbps for uploads.
    • No international texting. Total Wireless does not support this service.

    What is an MVNO?

    Short for mobile virtual network operator, an MVNO is a smaller companies without its own wireless network. Instead, it buys talk, text and data wholesale from big-name carriers to resell under its brand to customers. MVNOs are effectively one of the “big four” carriers — AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile or Verizon — running under a different name.

    Nearly all prepaid plans and providers are offered through an MVNO.

    How do I sign up for Total Wireless?

    Buy a service plan with Total Wireless online or at a participating Walmart location. You can check the compatibility of your current phone and add on features as part of signup.

    Bottom line

    Total Wireless may be your cheapest option for data on Verizon’s network — among the most trusted networks for solid coverage. Plans come with transparent costs and no contracts with the option of adding a few “extras” typical of major carriers.

    Common questions about Total Wireless

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    Compare cell phone plan providers

    Rates last updated November 18th, 2018
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