Free cellular service… It sounds way too good to be true, but it is a reality for many people in the US thanks to FreedomPop. Instead of spending $400, 500 or even $1000 a year on their personal cellular service, people are taking that money straight to the bank and cutting their bill to zero. While FreedomPop initially suffered from the network choices of their partners in the past, today’s FreedomPop breaks free from those issues with higher speed data, more consistent connections and more powerful hardware that can multitask like never before. While the system may appear simple on the outside, sometimes, getting completely downgraded to the free service can be a bit tough, and that’s why you need to read this guide to getting the most for your free service from FreedomPop.
Purchasing Your Phone
Starting out, you will want to choose the best plan for you. FreedomPop offers two, but we are going to focus on the best offering right up front. The FreedomPop LTE SIM offering works with any unlocked GSM handset. For the best results, you will want to use a device that has the band 12 and band 30 LTE radios. These are commonly known as AT&T’s frequencies in the US. Some of your best options for handsets are the popular Moto G series, or various handsets from Asus, Huawei or BLU. No matter what handset you go with for the FreedomPop LTE plan, just make sure that it is running Android 4.0 or newer, though a device running 6.0 or newer will give you more bang for the buck as you will not need to replace it in the near future. These phones also should feature more up to date specs to help the system run smoother. It’s also recommended to find a device that has at least 2GB or RAM and 16GB of storage, though 32GB of storage is preferred. Once you have your handset picked out, you can order your FreedomPop LTE SIM card.
Purchasing Your SIM Card
Placing your order in the FreedomPop system couldn’t be easier. Hit the FreedomPop page by hitting any of the links in this post or at the end of this post. Once you enter your zip code and email address, you will see if service is available for you. If your location qualifies, it will pass you on to step two. Enter your street address and you will be whisked off to the billing screen. Now it’s important to enter the correct billing information as this is where they will ship your SIM card. One of the biggest issues that users encounter with the FreedomPop system is when their SIM card is sent to the wrong address or the wrong billing number. Once you have the billing address filled in, select super saver shipping, which may take up to two weeks to arrive, but the wait and the savings will be worth it.
Downgrading Your Services To Free
After you receive the notification that your SIM has shipped, there are a few little details to take care of right away to make sure you are never charged more than a $5.00 top off fee with FreedomPop. Your SIM order will include a a free trial to some premium services and a larger 2GB data allotment. After your SIM ships, you can visit https://www.freedompop.com/home.htm and see your account details. From there, you will immediately click on the “My Account” tab and select the “Plan” tab. Click on the details and plan management link and select downgrade on the following page. This link is located at the bottom of the plan management page. Once you downgrade, refuse the offers that come up and you will automatically be downgraded to the free plan. You will not have an opportunity to select it, it will just be automatically downgraded to the free plan.
When the plan downgrade is complete, you will want to downgrade the premium services that are offered with your introductory offer as well. These will cost you $7.99 to $9.99 a month depending on the plan that is included. Downgrading the services is done in the same way as the plan downgrade. Click the services tab, then select the view details link next to the premium service you are subscribed to. At the bottom of the details page, you will see another downgrade or unsubscribe link to deactivate the services. This should eliminate any monthly charges from your bill as soon as you have it confirmed.
The final step in setting up your 100% free service is to turn off the auto-top up feature. If your balance falls below $2.00, FreedomPop will place a $15.00 charge onto your card that you have on file to cover data overages or services that are charged to your line. Once you disable the top up feature, you will be asked to pay a $5.00 credit to your account to cover any overages. This is a one time charge and will not be done again until you purchase additional amount of credit to keep your account in good standing. Be aware that data will become suspended under this system when your data usage comes within 100MB of your actual cap. More on this in the next section, but setting a data limit on your device and keeping the auto-top up feature engaged is how we tend to set up our usage.
Using Your Services
Honestly, once you have the SIM inserted, configured and the Messaging App installed, using FreedomPop works just like any other cellular service. Something you will want to do is change a few Apps out on the home screen of your device. Remove the icon for your stock text messaging App and replace it with the FreedomPop one. Make sure you also make a call from the FreedomPop dialer as well, as this will override the phone App on your device as well. Once that is done, you simply use the messaging App for everything on your phone. From there, calls will be routed seamlessly through the FreedomPop network and you will not see any difference in the performance of the device. Again, text messages must be sent through the FreedomPop messaging App, but that’s a small sacrifice to make for a free bill every month. For those that worry that 500 messages may not be enough, you can supplement your usage with Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp or even Google Voice/Hangouts if you need to.
From there, everything is all set. You can visit your FreedomPop account page to verify you plan and billing information any time you need to, but you can skip that step for checking your usage though, the FreedomPop Messaging App as that feature built right into the device menu. You can also make many plan changes and additions via the App as well. There are a few things to keep in mind when using FreedomPop. First, many ‘standard’ features are not included with the service. Picture messaging, voice mail and additional options like data rollover all cost a bit extra, but if you can get by without them, you can stick with a zero cost plan every month. It only took a small amount of time and a bit of creativity to completely replace my $80 a month bill with a freebie from FreedomPop. Stay tuned for a few more tips and tricks to getting even more from your FreedomPop free plan.
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