Google Fi’s New “bill Protection” Is Ideal If You Sometimes Need Unlimited Data
For the past few years, Google Fi has existed as a good and cheap alternative to mainstream carriers thanks to its $ 10 per gigabyte pay-as-you-go pricing scheme. But with the return of unlimited data in 2017 , Google Fi looks a lot less attractive. Now the company is finally firing back.
On Wednesday, Google announced Bill Protection , a new feature that combines unlimited data with the best that Fi has to offer. Here’s what you need to know about the service and how it compares to the competition.
How Google Fi Bill Protection works
Bill Protection, which is now rolling out to all Google Fi customers, takes an existing service and builds on it. You will still pay $ 10 for every gigabyte of data you use (plus $ 20 per month for Fi Basics), but once you hit 6GB, the monthly price will automatically capped at $ 80. Then you get unlimited high speed data for free.
The only catch is that Google will cap your data, dramatically reducing speed once you hit 15GB. However, the company says that only 1% of its current customers will be affected, and if this is indeed an issue, you can go back to paying $ 10 per GB once you hit that limit.
Compared to other unlimited tariffs
In terms of price, Google’s new system doesn’t come cheap. By comparison, Sprint’s unlimited data plans start at $ 60 per month . AT&T has the same, with the cheaper $ 60 unlimited plan and the more expensive $ 90 AT&T Plus. T-Mobile is slightly more expensive but still cheaper than Google, starting at $ 70 for unlimited data, and Verizon starting at $ 75 a month or $ 85 for the premium version.
Other operators are also more generous when it comes to speed reduction. T-Mobile won’t slow down your connection until you’re using 50GB of data this month (that’s more than three times what Google Fi offers). Meanwhile, AT&T and Verizon caps at 22GB, while Sprint is starting to cut speeds from 23GB.
Who is it for
Considering these numbers, Google Fi Bill Protection doesn’t look very good. At $ 80, it’s pretty expensive, and Google isn’t quite as generous as the competition when it comes to throttling. However, there is one area where Fi excels over other carriers: flexibility.
If you’re like me, you probably only use a few gigabytes of data most months. In this case, Google Fi charges a small portion from competitors. So if you don’t use data on your phone that often, but need a lot from time to time – perhaps you travel for work several times a year – then Bill Protection is perfect for you. But if you plan on using a ton of data every month, you’re probably better off with a regular carrier plan.