Cricket Wireless Mobile Hotspot Add-ons
Cricket Wireless phone plans don’t come with a mobile hotspot, but those on unlimited data plans have the option of adding a 10GB high-speed mobile hotspot for an extra $10/month. If you exceed your allotted 10GB data, your hotspot speeds will be reduced until the next billing cycle. Customers on a limited data plan are not eligible to add Cricket hotspot to their cell phone plan.
Cricket Hotspot Vs AT&T Hotspot
Since Cricket Wireless is a subsidiary of AT&T, we decided to compare their mobile hotspot features.
Cricket Wireless Hotspot
In order to use Cricket’s mobile hotspot feature, you must first own an eligible Cricket phone, such as the iPhone 5S or newer, LG Stylo 4, or the Samsung Galaxy S9 or S10. Check out Cricket’s website for a full list of eligible devices.
Once you’ve confirmed that you have an eligible phone, you’ll need to make sure that you are signed up for a qualifying service plan. You can only add on the mobile hotspot feature if you are currently on one of Cricket’s unlimited data plans.
Cricket’s two unlimited data plans include:
- Unlimited Plan (with Auto Pay): $50/month at 3Mbps speeds, which is closer to 3G. Users of more than 22GB may notice reduced speeds.
- Unlimited Extra Plan (with Auto Pay): $55/month at 4G LTE speeds. Users may notice reduced speeds at times of congestion.
It costs $10/month to add 10GB of mobile hotspot to either one of Cricket’s unlimited data plans. After 10GB, your data speeds will slow to 128Kbps, which is only good for very basic functions like web browsing—and even then, you may notice a delay in loading.
It’s important to note that the 10GB of mobile hotspot data usage is included in the 22GB data threshold for the Unlimited Plan.
A nice perk about Cricket is that they allow you to check your mobile hotspot data usage separate from your phone’s data usage so you can keep track of how much hotspot data you have left for the month. This is especially useful if you’re using mobile hotspot in lieu of home internet.
Naturally, you’ll only be able to use your mobile hotspot where Cricket Wireless has data coverage. Since Cricket operates on AT&T’s network, though, you’re likely to receive the same solid coverage that you would on an AT&T plan.
AT&T Mobile Hotspot
Unlike Cricket Wireless, certain AT&T phone plans come with mobile hotspot already included:
- AT&T Unlimited & More Premium: $80/month, 15GB/month mobile hotspot per line.
- AT&T Mobile Share Plus 9GB: $60/month, mobile hotspot capability
- AT&T Mobile Share Plus 3GB: $50/month, mobile hotspot capability
Unlike Cricket Wireless, AT&T doesn’t allow you to track how much hotspot data you’ve used each month. Instead, they lump your hotspot data usage together with your cellular data usage. This isn’t a big deal unless you’re intentionally trying to track how much mobile hotspot data you use on other devices, such as your laptop.
Cricket Wireless Hotspot Vs Other AT&T MVNOs
When it comes to the mobile hotspot feature, Cricket Wireless beats out most of the other AT&T MVNOs, many of which don’t offer a mobile hotspot at all. Although Cricket Wireless’ service plans don’t already include mobile hotspot, it’s extremely easy to add 10GB of hotspot on for $10/month. Considering their budget-friendly phone plan prices, you can get high-speed unlimited talk, text, and data plus 10GB of hotspot for only $65/month.
Other small carriers that operate on AT&T’s network, like FreeUp, offer what they call “unlimited hotspot WiFi,” which means that you can connect to various free hotspots throughout the country, but you cannot turn your smartphone into a mobile hotspot that other devices can connect to.
Plans through carriers like Straight Talk and Net10 Wireless don’t come with mobile hotspot nor do they have the option to add one on for an additional fee. Instead, they sell separate mobile hotspot devices that work like portable modems and provide WiFi connections for up to 10 WiFi-enabled devices. You pay the upfront cost for the device and then you purchase a mobile hotspot data plan.
For example, the Straight Talk hotspot plans range from 1GB to 7GB of hotspot allowance per month. The 7GB hotspot option costs $75/month, which is expensive considering the relatively small data allowance, while the Ultimate Unlimited phone plan is only $50/month (for three months, with Auto-Refill).
Red Pocket phone plans technically include tethering and hotspot capabilities, but there are a number of caveats. Since Red Pocket operates on all four of the Big Four networks—Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint—they give customers the option of choosing between the following networks.
For GSMA, tethering and hotspot services are supported exclusively on Android phones while hotspot capabilities are available on all iOS devices for CDMA. As for the GSMT/CDMAS networks, tethering is supported on both iOS and Android devices. As you can see, ensuring that your plan includes hotspot with a Red Pocket plan can get kind of complicated.
If mobile hotspot tethering on an affordable phone plan is a priority for you, Cricket Wireless is an excellent option.
How to Set Up Your Cricket Wireless Hotspot
Now that you’ve signed up for a mobile hotspot add-on through Cricket Wireless, you’ll want to know how to start using it. You can turn on your hotspot through your smartphone’s settings. Depending on the phone brand and operating system, your phone may refer to hotspot as any of the following:
- Personal Hotspot
- Mobile Hotspot
- WiFi Hotspot
- Internet Sharing
Your phone should provide you with a list of steps to take once you find the hotspot feature in your settings. For instance, the iPhone XR lists the following for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and USB:
To Connect Using Wi-Fi
- Choose “Phone Name” from the Wi-Fi settings on your computer or other device.
- Enter the password when prompted.
To Connect Using Bluetooth
- Pair iPhone with your computer.
- On iPhone, tap Pair or enter the code displayed on your computer.
- Connect to iPhone from computer.
To Connect Using USB
- Plug iPhone into your computer.
- Choose iPhone from the list of network services in your settings.
Cricket’s mobile hotspot feature allows customers to tether up to six devices at once, but keep in mind that the more devices you tether, the more hotspot data you use.