One of the challenges with cruising full-time has been finding a cost-effective way to have internet service. What we were looking for was something similar to what we would get at home – unlimited data with no throttling for a reasonable price. You’d think we were trying to find the holy grail. From what we’ve read it’s readily available in other countries, but the United States isn’t exactly consumer friendly when it comes to the cost of cell phone plans and data.
For the first six months that we lived on the boat we had a T-Mobile plan on our cell phones for $90/month (for 2 lines) with unlimited data, and an unlimited data plan on our iPad through AT&T for $30/month (which recently increased to $35/month). Using T-Mobile was o.k., but hotspot data was capped which was problematic because that was our laptop internet connection (the iPad plan didn’t include tethering).
When we went to the Bahamas we tried to use the T-Mobile data on our phones, but it was incredibly slow. No matter what we tried it felt almost as slow as dial-up from the old days.