How to get a free data plan for your tablet

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    I tend to think of tablets as “indoor” devices, used primarily at home or the office — places rife with Wi-Fi. But what happens when you go out into the world and need connectivity? Now you have to pay for a 4G plan, right?

    Not necessarily. Both Freedompop and T-Mobile offer a limited amount of free data for tablet users. Let’s take a look at the two services and what you should expect from each.

    Freedompop

    Yep. Free! The real deal. Just make sure to bypass Freedompop’s numerous upsell attempts.


    Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

    Last year, Freedompop added a new option to its long (and, frankly, confusing) roster of services: Totally free global phone service and messaging. That comes courtesy of a global
    SIM card
    and WhatsApp, but the deal also includes 200MB of data per month.

    The SIM card will run you about $12, and you’ll want to make sure to opt out of other offers during the checkout process. (Freedompop works hard to upsell you along the way.) Although the deal doesn’t specifically reference tablets, the company’s blog says you can plug the SIM into your “Android or iOS device.” Take note, however, that only unlocked GSM tablets are compatible.

    If yours is a Sprint-based CDMA device, check out Freedompop’s Bring-Your-Own-Device plan, There’s a one-time $19.99 activation fee, but you end up with 500MB of free data per month instead of just 200MB.

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