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What is Verizon Visible and is it a good deal?

Verizon's prepaid service costs just $40 per month for unlimited service -- and the speed cap is gone (for now).

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New and existing Verizon Visible customers can now free themselves of the carrier's speed cap. But the offer to do so is for a limited time.

John Falcone/CNET

Big news today: Verizon Visible just removed the data speed cap from its unlimited plan, making an already pretty good deal even better. Ah, but how good is pretty good, and how much better is it now? Let's dive into this Verizon option that surprisingly few people know about.

Read more: The best phones you can buy right now

Visible is a $40 unlimited plan -- now with fewer limits

With no contract required and a $40-per-month payment -- taxes and fees included -- you get unlimited calls, texts and data, all on Verizon's 4G VoLTE network. There's no cap on the amount of data you can use, and thankfully there's no longer a cap on speed, either. Instead of being limited to 5 Mbps, as before, you'll now enjoy Verizon to the max.

There is one exception: Mobile hotspot (included with the plan) will still top out at 5 Mbps. You can read more about this on the Visible FAQ page.

It's compatible with select Android phones and iPhones

Initially an iPhone-only service, Visible now works with a handful of Android models as well: The Galaxy S9 ( $600 at Walmart) and S9 Plus, Pixel 3 ( $625 at Walmart) and 3 XL, and a ZTE-made Visible R2. In the coming weeks, the carrier will add the Pixel 3a ( $399 at Walmart) and Moto G7 Power to the lineup.

To make absolutely sure your phone will work, use Visible's phone-compatibility checker.

How you pay for Visible

This is another big departure from Verizon proper. Sign-up and payment are both handled within the Visible app. There's no online portal, no in-store sign-up option. And although you can pay for Visible with a standard credit card, you can also use PayPal and even Venmo.

As noted earlier, this is a contract-free prepaid service, so you can cancel at any time without penalty.

What are the alternatives?

Visible isn't the only low-cost alternative to Verizon. The other Big Four carriers have offshoot options as well. AT&T-powered Cricket Wireless, for example, offers a $40 plan ($35 with auto-pay) that's also unlimited, though with only 5GB of high-speed data.

Sprint, meanwhile, offers prepaid service from the likes of Boost and Tello, while T-Mobile is available in more affordable flavors from Metro and Mint Mobile.

All that being said, Verizon continues to score top marks when it comes to network speed and coverage, and Visible lets you reap most of the carrier's benefits for a flat, affordable monthly rate. What do you think? With Verizon's network behind it and some decidedly competitive pricing, is Visible on your radar?

Read more: 9 things to consider when choosing a low-cost carrier

Read more: Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T and Sprint unlimited plans compared

Originally published on May 11, 2018.
Update, June 26, 2019: Added new information.

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