TextNow's new plan offers free unlimited talk, text, and Essential data

TextNow app shown on iPhone
(Image credit: Future)

Unlimited talk and text is included in most cheap cell phone plans these days. Unlimited data, however, will cost you. That is, unless you're on TextNow. 

The hybrid, cloud-based carrier just launched its Free Essential Data plan, which includes free unlimited talk, text, and select data access for must-have apps, such as Waze, Lyft, Uber, Gmail, and Google Maps, to name a few. 

TextNow: free Essential Data @ TextNow

TextNow: free Essential Data @ TextNow
TextNow offers unlimited nationwide talk and text service for $0/month. The company recently launched its free Essential Data plan, which adds free data access for must-have apps, such as Waze, Lyft, Uber, Gmail, and Google Maps, to name a few. The plan is aimed at users who prioritize calling/texting with modest high-speed data needs. The plan is ad-supported. 

TextNow works by blending together Wi-Fi and cellular networks to let you communicate with your friends via voice or text. It doesn't operate its own cellular network, but instead uses the nation's largest 5G network. The service is free and supported by ads. 

It's worth noting that TextNow's Free Essential data consists of 1GB of free data per month for use with select mobile apps. (You can see the full list here). Additional data is available for purchase via TextNow's flexible data plans, which start at $0.99 for an hour pass, $4.99 for a day pass, or $39.99 for a month pass. Speed isn't guaranteed and high-usage users may be de-prioritized during times of congestion. 

Louis Ramirez

As deals editor-in-chief at Tom’s Guide, Louis is constantly looking for ways to avoid paying full price for the latest gadgets, appliances, and apparel. With over 10 years of deals-hunting experience, Louis price checks against multiple retailers and searches high and low for the best deals to bring readers. He's also always on the look out for the best coupon codes to use when shopping. A born-and-bred New Yorker, Louis is also an avid swimmer and marathoner. His work has appeared on Gizmodo, CNET, and Time Out New York.