Verizon Wireless Review

If you’re after the fastest 4G speeds on the market, Verizon is the best wireless service around. With download speeds reaching up to 12 Mbps and upload speeds maxing out around 5 Mbps, Verizon is the best choice for people who want enough speed to stream high-quality video content without any frustrating glitches. And with coverage in over 500 markets, Verizon boasts the largest 4G network in the country.

The Claim

Verizon isn’t shy about crowning itself as the “most awarded” network in the country.

Is it true?

Yes. While there is some fine print at work, Verizon’s principal claim is true. For starters, no other 4G carrier offers speeds as fast or coverage as wide. It’s the top cell phone carrier, frequently citing the controlled network testing firm RootMetrics, which named Verizon No. 1 in overall network performance in the second half of 2018. Verizon also received high praise from Opensignal, a company specializing in wireless coverage mapping, with a No. 1 rating in 4G availability, upload speed, and video experience. On top of this, Nielsen ranked Verizon as No. 1 in video quality, video start time, and video reliability, and J.D. Power ranked the company No. 1 in network quality in the U.S.

However, while it’s true that Verizon’s download speeds are an impressive 12 Mbps, speeds won’t be as fast as advertised for its Go Unlimited plan during times of congestion. The pricier Beyond Unlimited plan provides some more peace of mind; your data will only be slowed down after you use 22 GB per line in a month, a pretty generous number considering the average Verizon user only uses 2 GB per month. If you want even more data with your unlimited plan, you can always opt for its highest tier, Above Unlimited, which gives you 75 GB of data before slowing speeds.

Product Overview

Best for

Heavy internet users who want the fastest speeds

Not for

Those seeking hefty group discounts for unlimited plans

Features

Price per individual line $35-$95/mo.
Available plans 500 MB
2 GB
4 GB
5 GB
8 GB
Go Unlimited
Beyond Unlimited
Above Unlimited
Data range 2 GB-Unlimited
Data caps for unlimited plans 22 GB on Beyond Unlimited
75 GB on Above Unlimited
Number of markets served 500
Standout features Verizon Up Rewards
5 TravelPasses per month in 130 countries (with Above Unlimited)
Unlimited mobile hotspot
500 GB of Verizon Cloud (with Above Unlimited)
Carryover data on data plans
RootMetrics overall performance score 94.4

No. 1 wireless carrier in the country

If you want the best 4G LTE mobile service provider in the country, look no further than Verizon Wireless. It’s consistently ranked the best thanks to its impressive speeds, coverage, and reliability. Not only does RootMetrics rate it as No. 1, Verizon also earned a five out of five Power Circle Rating from J.D. Power. With such an impressive track record, you won’t need to worry about Verizon’s dependability.

Variety of data and unlimited plans

Verizon Wireless has a plan to fit most people’s needs. Whether you need talk and text with just a little bit of data, or unlimited data plus some travel features, it’s likely that you’ll find a plan that works for your lifestyle. Verizon has five data plans, plus cheap data plans specifically for tablets, wearables, and hotspots. It also has three unlimited plans and a prepaid unlimited plan that doesn’t include an annual contract.

75 GB of data with Above Unlimited

Most unlimited data plans aren’t truly unlimited, with carriers slowing speeds after a certain data threshold is met. Verizon’s Above Unlimited plan offers one of the highest data caps around and won’t throttle speeds until you hit 75 GB. That’s huge when compared to its Beyond Unlimited plan, which slows speeds at 22 GB. AT&T also slows speeds at 22 GB for both of its unlimited plans. Sprint and T-Mobile won’t start throttling speeds until you hit 50 GB — impressive, but even that pales in comparison to Verizon’s 75 GB. If you’re a heavy user and need the fastest speeds, Above Unlimited is the plan for you.

Possible drawbacks

Expensive

One of the biggest choices you’ll have to make regarding Verizon Wireless’ 4G services is if the increased speeds are worth the price. Verizon carries a higher price tag than many of its competitors, which may put it out of the running if you’re looking for cell phone service on a budget. That said, Verizon also offers some of the fastest speeds and highest data limits in the industry, and to some, these services may be worth paying extra for.

No entertainment perks

Carriers like AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile all include additional features like Netflix or Hulu subscriptions to entice cord-cutting customers. Verizon doesn’t offer entertainment add-ons, which makes it feel more expensive than competitors. However, it does include Verizon Up, a rewards program across all standard monthly plans that lets you earn rewards on “every $300 you spend on your Verizon Wireless products and services on monthly bills.” Rewards include concert tickets, 1 GB of bonus data, and gift cards.

The Competition

Verizon Wireless
AT&T
Sprint
T-Mobile
Our review
Our review
Our review

Price per single line

$35-$95/mo.
$50-$190/mo.

$60-$80/mo.

$55-$160/mo.

Available plans
500 MB
2 GB
4 GB
5 GB
8 GB
Go Unlimited
Beyond Unlimited
Above Unlimited
Mobile Share Plus 3 GB
Mobile Share Plus 9 GB
Unlimited & More
Unlimited & More Premium
Unlimited Basic
Unlimited Plus
Unlimited Premium
T-Mobile ONE
T-Mobile ONE Essentials
T-Mobile ONE Prepaid
T-Mobile ONE No Credit Check
T-Mobile ONE Plus
T-Mobile ONE Plus International
T-Mobile ONE Voice
T-Mobile ONE Military
T-Mobile ONE Unlimited 55+

Data range

2 GB-Unlimited
3 GB-Unlimited
4 GB-Unlimited

Unlimited

Data caps
22 GB on Beyond Unlimited
75 GB on Above Unlimited
22 GB on unlimited plans

50 GB on unlimited plans

50 GB on unlimited plans

Streaming/
entertainment service included
N/A
AT&T WatchTV (with both unlimited plans)
Choice of additional subscription service (with Unlimited & More Premium)

Hulu subscription (with both unlimited plans)
Tidal subscription (with Unlimited Plus)

Netflix subscription (with at least two lines on T-Mobile One)

States served
50

50

48

44

RootMetrics overall performance score
94.4
92.6
85.7
86.9

Unlimited talk and text

Verizon Wireless vs. AT&T Wireless

A close second behind Verizon Wireless, AT&T is a good choice for those who want similarly fast speeds, but with added perks like an included live streaming service. Verizon is still the best in the country and a better option if you’re a heavy user who wants to stream video, music, and games, but if you’re fine with slightly slower speeds and reliability, AT&T has some great added benefits that can make up for performance.

Verizon Wireless vs. Sprint

If you’re a cord-cutter looking to get your streaming fix, Sprint has you covered. Sprint includes Hulu subscriptions with its Unlimited Basic plan and both Hulu and Tidal subscriptions with its Unlimited Plus plan. Sprint’s reliability isn’t as consistent as Verizon’s (even in cities), but it’s worth considering as a budget option.

Verizon Wireless vs. T-Mobile

With slightly cheaper and slower plans than Verizon, T-Mobile is a great choice for people living in cities, as that’s where its coverage is strongest. It’s been known to struggle in rural areas, but even that is changing. As PC Mag reported in June 2017, “Our studies show that you don't need to worry about that anymore, unless you're in Wyoming or a few other rural areas.” The addition of a free Netflix subscription and tons of other impressive features like in-flight text and data are an added bonus. If you don’t need the fastest plan, T-Mobile is a good alternative.

Verizon Wireless FAQ

How much is the Verizon unlimited data plan?

There are three tiers of unlimited plans offered by Verizon:

These prices are for a single line. You are able to add additional lines with Unlimited, which causes the price per-line to drop.

Does Verizon Wireless have military discounts?

Yes. Verizon Wireless offers three discounts for service members, veterans, and their families. You can get up to $40 off all unlimited plans with three or more phone lines, 15% off per month on other plans, and 25% off per month on select accessories. For more information on the military discounts Verizon offers on phone plans, check here.

What is a Verizon TravelPass?

TravelPass is Verizon’s international allowance of talk, text, and data. It can be used in more than 185 countries, but it will cost a daily rate. TravelPass is $5 per day for Mexico and Canada (waived for Verizon’s unlimited plans) and $10 per day for other eligible countries (Above Unlimited includes five TravelPass days each month).

The Bottom Line

Verizon remains the best cell phone service for blazing-fast 4G speeds and nationwide coverage. You will have to pay a bit more and it doesn’t come with many entertainment add-ons, but you’ll get a reliability that’s unmatched in the industry.

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