FreedomPop Review

FreedomPop Samsung Galaxy J3 PhoneFreedomPop offers cell phone and wireless internet plans starting at $0 a month. Their standard free phone plan comes with 200 minutes of calls, 500 texts and 500 MB of data each month. Their free wireless internet plan provides for 500 MB of data. For some people, this is all they need. For other who need a higher level of calling or data, they can choose to upgrade to paid plans.

Compared to low cost brands like TracFone or Simple Mobile, FreedomPop offers the benefit of free plans. Their cost structure is different, since their service is based on voice over internet or VoIP calls, rather than the traditional cellular voice network. With the speed and efficacy of internet connections these days, FreedomPop’s voice calls work well.

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Looking for free mobile hotspot service? Click here to get started on FreedomPop Wireless Internet

Pros

  • Free FreedomPop phone plan with 200 minutes of calls, 500 texts, and 500MB of data. It’s hard to beat free!
  • Flexible premium plans with unlimited talk, text and 1 – 4 GB of high-speed data. (Plans subject to change with time. Please check current offers and availability.)
  • Main cell phone services based on Sprint LTE data network. Premium Voice service routes calls through the Sprint LTE cellular phone network when data signals are weak.
  • US GSM SIM card that can be used with unlocked phones to access FreedomPop phone services. Global SIM card for international travellers.
  • Free wifi hotspot plan for internet access available. See offer.
  • Wifi calling and texting app. This works with both tablets and smartphones. Turn a Freedompop tablet into a phone.
  • No contract.
  • Free international calling to many countries worldwide.
  • Great as a backup phone, a 2nd phone line, wifi hotspot or backup internet option.
  • Well-written customer support pages and active community of users who share their tips.
  • Earn rewards by adding friends and/or completing partner offers.

Cons

  • Although Freedompop offers free basic services, they have a full menu of paid add-ons and premium plans. To be sure that you will not be paying for anything, you need to downgrade your plan to the free option. Some cellphone users find this to be a hassle. An alternative service to compare this with is TracFone (paid service).
  • Voice calls are normally routed using the internet (VoIP), not through a cellular voice network. Access to their cellular voice network requires adding on the Premium Voice feature.
  • Some customers report slow or unhelpful experiences with customer support.

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FreedomPop Detailed Review

What is FreedomPop?

FreedomPop is a company that offers mobile wireless and mobile VoIP phone services. The Los Angeles-based company was established by Stephen Stokols and Steven Sesar in July 2011. FreedomPop distinguishes itself by offering free basic phone and wifi hotspot services, something competitors find difficult to match. For higher usage beyond what their free plans offer, customers need to subscribe to FreedomPop’s premium services and add-on features.

FreedomPop works with major and reliable telecommunications networks in the US. Freedompop’s service operates mainly on Sprint’s 4G LTE data network, with some usage of Sprint’s cellular voice network for its premium voice subscribers.

Besides their core phone and wireless internet service and device packages (through Sprint’s network), FreedomPop has more recently expanded into offering service for unlocked phones. They currently have SIM cards, based on AT&T’s GSM data network, that can be used on unlocked phones. One works in the US only while another is a Global SIM card that roams in a number of countries out of the US.

Freedom Pop’s services are made available all over the US. It is a postpaid service, but they do not bind their customers to contracts. Customers are allowed to cancel their subscription anytime they want to with no termination fees required.

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The company is a developing success story. As of 2017, they have raised over $100 million in venture capital and boasts around 2 million customers. Their plans work nationwide in the US. They also operate UK and Spain subsidiaries.

The company operates on what is commonly referred to as the “freemium” business model. They sign up customers offering a free service and then try to upgrade them to paid services. According to an Los Angeles Times report in Aug 2017, about 50% of their users are on the free plan, while the other 50% are on upgraded plans.

The company started off offering by free wifi hotspot data services. Data remains the backbone of their services, whether it is for voice calling (through voice over IP) or access to the internet. Customers download either an iPhone or Android app to make calls routed through data, rather than the standard cellular voice network.

How To Get Started With FreedomPop

freedompop coverage map

FreedomPop Free Phone & Plan

To get started, the first step is to verify that service is available your area. You input your zip code and a valid email address through the link below. Once service availability is verified, you will be able to sign up for a complete package that includes a Freedompop free phone, FreedomPop service and activation. Their starter packages give new users all they need to get started.

At the time of this writing, the package costs $29.99 (check current offer). To get started, click on the link below to verify service and view FreedomPop’s coverage map:

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If you prefer a premium phone (eg. iPhone or Samsung Galaxy S series phone), you can Click Here to Visit the Official FreedomPop Shop. Through this shop, you can purchase a FreedomPop cellular phone package that include a premium phone and FreedomPop service.

Unlocked GSM Phone

If you already have an unlocked GSM phone, or are planning to get one, then you can get a FreedomPop SIM card to access their service. This SIM card is based on AT&T’s network. Verify service eligibility and get started here: Year-End Deal 2017 $0.01 4G LTE Sim w/ FREE Unlimited Talk, Text, 2GB Trial + FREE 500MB Bonus

Wireless Internet

If you are looking for wireless internet service, FreedomPop offers a free hotspot device and service package for a one-time activation fee of $19.99. That gives you all you need to establish a working hotspot with mobile internet. To get started, the first step is to input you Zip Code: Click Here to Verify Wireless Internet Service Availability

For more wifi hotspot and modem choices, Click Here to Visit the Official FreedomPop Shop. Select the relevant category: Hotspots.

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Tablet Plan

If you prefer a larger device like a tablet, here is one that works with FreedomPop’s free service: $39.99 Sprint Slate Tablet (WiFi + LTE) + 100% Free Talk, Text & Data – FreedomPop

For more tablet choices, Click Here to Visit the Official FreedomPop Shop. Select the relevant category: Tablets or iPads or Android Tablets.

Important User Tip: When you first get started, you will probably be set-up on a paid plan. If you just want to be on the free plan, that’s available to you. Once your profile is set-up online, check your account information and downgrade your plan if necessary.

FreedomPop Phone Service

Freedom Pop’s phone services are based on Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology. Instead of routing calls through a cellular voice network, their FreedomPop app enables voice calls through Sprint’s LTE data network and wifi data. If the Premium Voice service is activated, Sprint’s cellular voice network is also be used when the data and wifi signals are weak.

Although some people may balk at the idea of using VoIP rather than the more traditional voice network, VoIP calls are very high quality these days. Most users have no problems with the quality of their connections. For those who are unsure, consider testing it out first as a second or backup cell phone service.

When customers make or receive calls through the FreedomPop app, the data used for voice calls are not applied against their monthly allotment of data. However, any minutes used for voice calls do count towards their voice calling service allotment. For example, a 10 minute call using the app results in 10 minutes being deducted from a customer’s monthly voice calling allotment of minutes.

FreedomPop Plans

FreedomPop Phone Plans

The basic FreedomPop free phone plan offers 200 minutes of calls, 500 texts, and 500MB of data powered by 4G/LTE. During the first month, the customer typically receives an additional 2 GB of data. The starter package also includes a free phone (complete with accessories like battery, charger, and setup guide.) All these can be put in place for a one-time activation fee of $29.99. Customers have the freedom to get started with more advanced cell phones listed on the Freedompop website.

Also, customers can have the option of keeping their own numbers so that they can save themselves the trouble of telling their friends the new one. Freedom Pop offers free shipping for those who ordered online, and if customers are not satisfied or have received a defective model, the company offers risk-free returns for 30 days.

Here is a list of paid FreedomPop phone service plans:

  • Premium 500, which has unlimited call, texts, and 500MB of data, all at $10.99 a month;
  • Premium 1GB, with unlimited calls, texts, plus 1GB worth of data, available at $19.99 a month;
  • Premium 2GB, that has unlimited calls, texts, and 2GB worth of data at $24.99 per month;
  • Premium 3GB, which has unlimited calls, texts, plus 3GB worth of data, available at $29.99 per month; and
  • Premium 4GB, with unlimited calls, texts, and 4GB of data, all at $34.99 per month.

Offer and pricing is subject to change without notice, so please check their current offers.

SIM Card Plans for Unlocked Phones

SIM card plans for unlocked phones are slightly different, so please check the current SIM card plans here.

Automatic Top Up

When the monthly data usage depletes to around 100 MB of data, automatic top-up kicks in. Automatic top-up is a feature that ensures that phone service will continue on when a user need to exceed his or her data limit. FreedomPop will charge customers $15 in credits for future data use at a rate of 1.5 cents (with paid plans) or 2 cents (with free plan) per MB.

The Auto Top-Up feature can be disabled, but a $5 deposit is required. For an explanation and more details, please check their support page.

Other Notes

Customers can terminate their plans OR change them anytime. The text messages and calls for the Free Basic Plan do not carryover to the next billing period. Any remaining number of texts and calls were not used within that month will lapse. The usage allotment would be refreshed every month.

Data can roll over if you purchase one of FreedomPop’s Data Rollover plans. The Data Rollover plans have maximum limits on how much data you can roll over. A ballpark example is $3.99/mo for a plan that lets you rollover 500 MB a month of your plan allotment, up to 20 GB total. Please check with the company directly for current details and specifications.

Premium Voice

In some areas, the data connections may be weak. Rather than risk dropped calls or missed calls, Premium Voice is a feature that will route calls via a cellular voice network when the system finds that data connections are weak.

According to feedback from some users, the cost to them is $3.99 a month. For current pricing and further inquiries on this service, please contact Freedompop directly.

FreedomPop Family Plans

FreedomPop does not only cater to the needs of individuals in terms of their own mobile services. They also have plans tailor-made for families. These offer unlimited calls and texts every month plus up to 25 GB worth of data connection to be shared by the whole family.

Offer and pricing is subject to change without notice, so please check what’s available currently: FreedomPop Family Plan offer.

FreedomPop Wireless Internet/ Mobile Wi-Fi Plans

FreedomPop includes a free wireless internet plan in its roster of services. The basic plan includes 500 MB of data at 4G only (no LTE). Customers have a free trial for their premium 2GB and 8GB hotspot plans for the first month, plus a free hotspot device.

For a one-time $19.99 activation fee (check current pricing), FreedomPop will provide all that you need to get on mobile wireless – a mobile hotspot device and one month’s trial 2 MB of data. Initially, if you just want the free wifi plan, you will probably need to downgrade after you sign up to the Free 500 MB 4G only plan.

Just like their cell phone plans, FreedomPop wireless internet also has premium services beyond the free plan.

  • 500MB 4G LTE/3G plan at $3.99 per month
  • 2GB 4G LTE/3G plan at $19.99 per month
  • 3GB 4G LTE/3G plan at $28.99 per month
  • 4GB 4G LTE/3G plan at $34.99 per month
  • 5GB 4G LTE/3G plan at $39.99 per month
  • 10GB 4G LTE/3G plan at $74.99 per month

Offer and pricing is subject to change without notice, so please check their current wireless internet plans.

Free shipping is given for customers who purchase their products and services online, and a 30-day money back guarantee is made for customers who may not like the basic plan. There are no termination feess.

FreedomPop Phones and Devices

The company offers their services with different cell phones, including the latest models. While browsing their FreedomPop Shop, we found that they offer Apple iPhone models and Samsung Galaxy phones. Aside from these two big smartphone companies, Freedompop offers LG, Motorola, Alcatel, and Huawei smartphones, among others, to choose from. Clients can scan the list of smartphones they offer plus the prices here.

FreedomPop’s range of products does not end with smartphones. They have expanded their services with tablets like iPad and Samsung tablets. With the FreedomPop VoIP calling app, you can turn your Freedompop tablet into a phone.

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Wifi Calling and Texting

Besides data, wifi offers another way to connect to the internet and make VoIP calls. FreedomPop’s apps – FreedomPop Messaging (Android) or FreedomPop Free Talk and Text (iOS) – app allows customers to make and receive calls through their data connection and/or through wifi. If needed it will switch from cellular data to wifi during a call.

The routing of calls through wifi when possible allows FreedomPop to keep their service costs low, and therefore continue to offer free monthly phone plans to customers. It also broadens the area from which calls can be made or received.

For example, if Freedompop’s data signals is weak in a certain location, the customer could still look to wifi connections as an alternative to enable a call. If the customer travels out of the country, he or she can use their Freedompop Messaging phone app to call and text family and friends back in the US by connecting at free wifi hotspots.

When wifi calling is used instead of data, the call minutes and text messages are deducted from the monthly allotment of the plan in place.

As for the callers who would like to call their friends and families who are also Freedom Pop users, the app allows them to do it for free.

International Calling

Freedom Pop offers a free basic plan for 100 minutes of international calls called Global Free 100. This free add-on is available for US Freedom Pop subscribers who want to call non-US phone numbers. If a customer needs more minutes for international calling, there are upgrade plans available. According to this list (updated as of Oct 2017), the Global Free 100 offer covers 21 countries like Canada, China, India and UK for both landline and mobile and 30 countries for landline only.

Another way to call a family member or friend who is outside the country is through the FreedomPop app. A call from one Freedom Pop to another Freedom Pop mobile user in any part of the world. For this to work, the cell phone app of both users must be able to access wifi or cellular data.

Freedom Pop allows you to get a local number in select countries for $4.99 a month. This is called a Virtual Number. This number allows the user to give out a local phone number to family and friends. The Virtual Number user will receive calls as if the he or she is living in that country as well.

What about using your Freedompop phone while abroad? Although there is no roaming to other data networks outside the US, as long as they can connect to a Wifi network while abroad (eg. at a café or hotel), customers can still use their Freedompop calling app as if they are in the US. This is because the FreedomPop messaging app works through wifi.


Global SIM Card

To make access roaming to other networks while out of the US, you may want to take a look at Freedom Pop’s Global SIM card. Roaming allows a cellular data connection to be established when traveling in another country through an affiliated local network.

Outside of the US, most countries’ cellular networks operate on GSM bands, which is different from the CDMA (Sprint is CDMA). In 2016, Freedom Pop introduced a new global SIM data card that accesses AT&T’s GSM network and roams on GSM networks in a handful of countries worldwide.

Their Global GSM SIM product is expected to help FreedomPop acquire more US customers who frequently travel abroad, and eventually more international customers from around the world as they expand into new countries.

Click Here to Visit the Official FreedomPop Shop For It’s Global SIM Kit Product. For phone service, select the Global SIM Kit – Voice/Data Bundle

International Texting

Unfortunately, international texting to non-US numbers is not available for Freedom Pop users from the US who would like to. For now, users can avail of the International Calling Plans (mentioned earlier) or use other messaging application like WhatsApp or Skype. Again, these are for texts that are to be sent outside the US soil.

In Summary

FreedomPop distinguishes itself by offering free phone and wireless internet services. Although the use VoIP technology, the quality of calls is good. Their free service offers (with reasonable one-time activation fees) make it easy to test them out before deciding to switch over. Their wifi calling app makes it easy to stay in touch with family and friends while traveling abroad.

If you are looking for a low cost phone service, a second phone number, or a backup internet connection, FreedomPop is worth a good look into.

Disclosure: This site receives referral compensation for purchases by linking to other websites. Learn More

Need wireless internet? Click here to get started on FreedomPop Wireless Internet

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