How to get a free data plan for your Apple iPad

“I tend to think of tablets as ‘indoor’ devices, used primarily at home or the office — places rife with Wi-Fi,” Rick Broida reports for CNET. “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,” Broida reports. “As it has for a while now, T-Mobile offers a free 200MB-per-month data plan to anyone with a compatible tablet.”

“I don’t mean ‘free if you’re already a T-Mobile customer’ or ‘free with your existing smartphone plan’ or ‘free not including several dollars in taxes and fees, not to mention whatever overage charges you’ll almost certainly incur,'” Broida reports. “I mean free. No strings attached, no credit card required, no b.s.”

more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: Actually, as noted in the full article, it will cost you a total of $20.99 to get a T-Mobile SIM card if you do not have one, but after that you can have 200MB-per-month of data for free.


    1. There are no overages with T-Mobile. There are never overages. That’s the fundamental difference between them and other carriers. You know exactly what you’re paying for.

      For a regular mobile service, it is all-unlimited, all the time. When you hit your 4G monthly quota, data slows down until next month (or until you pay for a larger allotment).

      With this free SIM for iPad, when you use it up, it simply shuts down the data pipe. If you need more 4G data, just by extra, which is fairly cheap (as dougbromac below says).

      I must admit, it has been quite refreshing to not have to fret every month whether I’ll end up paying additional $47 for accidentally going over my data limit, walking out of a WiFi zone while watching HBO…

  1. There’s all kinds of one-off plans when you need some more. I bought my iPad with the T-Mobile SIM in it and got the 200MB.

    There’s 1-day, 7-day, 30-day packages offered in the iPad’s System Prefs.

    More times than I like, I get to a hotel and the WiFi is down. So, pop for 7-day 1GB package for $10 to get me through the hotel’s glitch in the matrix.

  2. It is better than nothing but not by much. I’ve had this plan from T-Mobile with my iPad Air (1) and it seems to only be enough for checking email and reading news at the airport with a connecting flight and return before running out.

  3. 200MB? Yeah, it’s free, then 10 minutes later you go over the limit and start paying overages. Very smart T-Mobile, from a business perspective. Not so smart for the consumer. Kinda like free apps in the App Store with in app purchases.

  4. If your phone is unlocked you can also use personal hotspot. If my wifi ever goes out that’s what I do. Here in Eastern Europe data is so cheap (~$8/month pay-as-you-go) that I never worry about using too much.

  5. Jared, I’m confused: would you please explain this statement?

    “I got a SIM card for FREE at an Apple store by just asking. Saves the $20.99”

    Was this for use on an iPad? I have an older iPhone, and was wondering if this would work on my data plan. If the SIM was for free, I’d take a chance.

    Thanks you in advance for your response 🙂

  6. If you look around, it’s easy to get T-Mobile SIMs much cheaper. I got one for 0.99 and then shortly after, got a second for 0.01.

    For people who have a lot of WiFi access, this plan is great for those times when you are out of WiFi coverage and might want to text or even make a call. I have used this plan and have only hit the cap when traveling extensively throughout the month.

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