New Data for Old Devices

‘Tis the season for new gadgets.

Before you trash that old tablet or smartphone you might consider breathing new life into it with some free connectivity. Yes, free… as in absolutely free!

FreedomPop SIM Card
You can order a SIM card online or pick one up at Target.

FreedomPop is a mobile service provider that offers a variety of talk and data plans. Like most virtual network providers they do not own their own network (think Cricket, Boost, Consumer Cellular). Instead they resell bandwidth from other providers-in this case Sprint and AT&T.

But what sets FreedomPop apart from those other reseller guys is their free program. Simply put, you can plug their SIM card into your device and enjoy free service. The free calling plan offers 200 minutes of talk, 500 text messages and 500 meg of data. All you need is their 4G LTE Voice & Data 3-in-1 SIM Kit to get started.

They also offer a 200 meg data-only plan that is perfect for tablets, Chromebooks, iPads or connected cars. Order the LTE SIM Kit Data-Only bundle to get started. Do you have an old Android phone laying around? Turn it into a home security monitor with the free Haven app. Or combine it with a cheap Bluetooth OBDII reader and use Torque to diagnose and reset engine trouble codes. Data connectivity allows you to search for trouble codes or send alerts without WiFi. Or you could opt for the calling plan and use it as… a phone.

I use the FreedomPop data plan in my Audi to replace the expensive Audi Connect feature originally installed in the car (my 2016 has a removable SIM). After plugging in the FreedomPop data SIM I can search for destinations, send Google Maps locations from my phone or computer, enable satellite view on the nav screen and provide my passengers with rolling WiFi. Ironic Twist: the FreedomPop SIM uses the same AT&T network as the original Audi Connect. Of course 200 meg ain’t much, so I ask my guests to refrain from streaming Netflix while on the WiFi!

The Catch

If this all sounds too good to be true… well, you’re right to be skeptical. Exceeding your free data limit will result in charges. No surprise there, but it’s not catastrophic. My data plan will charge me $0.025 for each meg I use over 200.

Obviously these plans are not for everyone. Phone plans require you install the FreedomPop app. If you burn through data you should probably look elsewhere. And signing up can be a little tricky with all the special offers and freebies they promote.

Here’s my advice:

  • Use Paypal since you have to provide a form of payment in case you exceed the limits of their free plans. Instead of providing a credit card I use my Paypal account.
  • Downgrade because you’ll probably receive free services initially, which you’ll need to disable to stay on the free plan.
  • No Features as there are several add-on services offered, but most result in a monthly fee.

So don’t throw it away!
If you need data connectivity for a spare device or consider yourself a “light user,” go sign up for a free trial with FreedomPop and see how you like it: shop.freedompop.com

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