FreedomPop - Free Mobile Cell Phone and Free Hotspot Internet Review and Tips
If you're already using FreedomPop, here are a few FreedomPop data savings / bandwidth reduction tips.
Free FreedomPop Mobile Service and Freedom Friends Overview
FreedomPop is great as a backup Internet device, but phone calls can be frustrating with built-in app but tolerable with Google Hangouts (Google Voice) or MagicJack app. The downside is this requires you to have a second phone number, not just the assigned FreedomPop number, if you want to use the FreedomPop service without hard-to-hear calls.
(I must acknowledge that I am both a FreedomPop customer and a FreedomPop affiliate.)
The phone itself is not free, but it comes with a 90 day warranty and has no contract or cancellation fee.
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FreedomPop Free Data Details
✓ As an Internet device, for surfing and social media apps, it's great for free service. The free plan includes 500MB (about half a gig) and you can add an extra 500MB (total) by adding at least 10 Freedom Friends, which is just other people using the FreedomPop services. So basically, once you get all your "Friends" linked (at least 10 friends), which can be done very quickly with online forums and Facebook groups, you'll be getting 1000MB of free data per month (just slightly under one gig).
If you need to do video streaming like YouTube or music streaming like Spotify this is not a good service to do it on. You'll use up your data allocation extremely quickly.
Tip: Deactivate top-ups in the Billing Settings screen. Then the device will simply stop working when you max out your data-no additional charges.
Avoiding Unwanted Monthly FreedomPop Charges
If your promo purchase comes with a Premium service, you'll want to cancel that before the end of the first billing cycle from the Services area, using the "deactivate" link. There are some useful features of the $5.99 package like Visual Voicemail and Tethering, but if you're not going to use them, don't pay for it. You will still get to keep the free 500MB plus any extra friends data.
If your promo purchase comes with a data trial, such as the $19.99 per month 1GB plan, you'll want to cancel that at least a week before the end of your billing cycle unless you need that extra data. This is very easy to do via email support, just send them a quick note that you want your phone plan downgraded to "free/500 mb."
If you decide to keep a paid data plan, such as the 2GB for 4GB plan, you can still add up to 500MB extra by adding friends. So with 10+ friends, the 2GB plan would be about 2.5GB and the 4GB plan would be about 4.5GB.
I've seen reports of unwanted charges, but I've followed the following steps to avoid unwanted charges.
- Immediately turn off automatic top-ups from the Billing Settings.
- Remove any extra services from the Services page by using the deactivate link
- Ensure that you are back to the free/500 mb plan before your first billing cycle is up.
- Add this page to your Bookmarks/Favorites to ensure you go through these steps.
Warning About Adding a Hotspot Device with Free Data
If you want to add an Internet hotspot device, it's easy to do using the same e-mail address. It also includes 500mb free, but FreedomPop charges you $3.99 a month if you want to use the hotspot where there is only 3G service. If you're not willing to pay the $3.99 a month, it might not be that worthwhile purchase the extra hotspot. If you do get a hotspot, remember to send an email to downgrade it to "free/500 mb" unless you are going to use the extra data.
If you add a hotspot device, please make sure you disable automatic top-up from Billing Settings. It won't automatically turn it off.
So in conclusion, at this time, the FreedomPop phone service is great as a data device, but still needs some improvements before I can recommend it as your main cell phone. The hotspot device with 500MB is great if you're in an LTE coverage area with an LTE device.