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FreedomPop’s 100% Free Internet: Review and Tips

FreedomPop is a company with a mission to deliver free and fast mobile services to all Americans. Wait, did I just say free? Yes, free! …To a point. Let me tell you my experiences of owning one of their mobile 4G hotspots.

FreedomPop offers hotspots (among other devices from their website) that give you free data every month at no additional charge. You only need to purchase one of these hotspots a single time, after which you can simply continue to receive free monthly data. However, it can be difficult trying to gather all of the necessary information from FreedomPop that you need to make an educated purchase. The following is my experience dealing with FreedomPop and suggestions on how to utilize the free options concerning their 4G hotspots.

Plans and Services

With the purchase of a portable hotspot from FreedomPop you get 500MB of free data a month. If you go over this limit, you will be charged. However, if 500MB isn’t enough, you can permanently get an additional 50MB of data per a “Freedom Friend” associated with your account–for a maximum of an extra 500MB a month. These “Freedom Friends” can easily be found if you just do a quick Google search. Not only do you get free data from having friends, but friends can send or request additional data from each other for free, which is great if it looks like you may run out of data before the end of the month. If you are still running short on data, you can earn even more for the month by completing additional offers like surveys and app downloads through the FreedomPop mobile app.

Now, it should be noted that your unused data does not roll over to each month unless you pay for the “FreedomPop Rollover Service” for $3.99 a month. This brings me to some of the things you need to be aware of.

  • When you set up your account with FreedomPop, they will try to sign you up for trial plans that charge you after one month. If you don’t want to pay, make sure you are only signed up for the “Free 500MB” plan.
  • If you are trying to use FreedomPop for free, you will want to disable “Automatic Top-Up” under billing settings, which is enabled by default. If “Automatic Top-Up” is left enabled it will automatically charge your account $10 if you reach 400MB of usage in a month. However, even with this disabled, you will need to make sure you do not exceed your monthly data allocation to avoid being charged.

The HotSpot

Now as far as the device goes, I managed to pick up a FreedomPop Overdrive during a sale of FreedomPop’s for $25. Keep in mind though that they don’t have them on sale for this cheap very often. Although I was happy with the price I paid, the shipping time for this product was much longer than expected. It took 22 days from the day I ordered the device to the day it arrived at my doorstep. Shipping times this long are common with FreedomPop products, so if you need your device right now, you may want to look for something else. The device itself was very easy to set up, change the password on, etc. The device does run off the Sprint network, so speeds are good as long as you are in a sufficient Sprint coverage area.

Conclusion

All in all, a FreedomPop hotspot is a fantastic device to keep on hand. However, it is not for the faint hearted. You will need to diligently watch your data usage and set it up properly if you don’t want to pay anything extra. While it probably won’t cover all your data usage, it is fairly convenient to keep in your laptop bag, purse, or car as an emergency hotspot if you cannot find a trusted public network.

Have any questions or experiences you would like to share? Tell us about them in the comments below.