H2O Wireless Review

By: Carl Laron on January 12, 2017

Bottom Line

If you use data, look elsewhere, but for basic talk and text, H20 Wireless is pretty tough to beat in terms of value and performance. It rides on the nationwide AT&T network, so coverage will reach places where other carriers sometimes fail.

Pros

  • Cheap per minute and per text rates
  • Nationwide coverage
  • International calling available
  • Long expiration date with roll over

Cons

  • Data rates are expensive
  • Limited line up of phones
Our Analysis
Specs

Breaking it down

Plans and flexibility

Cheap rates for calls and texts. While H2O Wireless offers unlimited monthly plans, the best value looks to lie with its pay-as-you-go offerings. Calls and texts are billed at a flat 5 cents per minute each under most plans. You can buy time in $10, $20, or $30 blocks that are good for 90 days, or a $100 block that's good for a year. Prices are reduced by 10 percent if you elect to auto-recharge your account, and funds roll over as long as you top up before time expires. For those who call other countries frequently, calls to more than 50 destinations are billed at the same rate as domestic calls. A special $25 plan bills calls at just 2.5 cents each, and includes a $5 International Talk credit, but those funds expire in 30 days; it can be rolled over if renewed, but the International Talk credit does not roll over. Things aren't as rosy for data users, however. MMS messages are billed at 10 cents each, and data at a relatively high rate of 10 cents per megabyte, making it a terrible option for anything beyond the lightest of data use.

Performance

Uses AT&T. H2O Wireless is an MVNO that resells capacity on the AT&T network. That network is widely regarded as providing terrific nationwide coverage, so calls and texts should go through regardless of whether you are in the heart of the city, on the highway, or on the family farm. If you choose to use data, AT&T network performance is much improved in recent years, finishing a close second to Verizon's in independent testing.

Customer service

Good support. H2O Wireless doesn't surface in any large surveys that measure user satisfaction. However, Dan Tennant at TopTenReviews.com describes support as "excellent, with easy access to friendly customer service online, by email and over the phone," though support via social media is more iffy. Feedback at some user forums, such as HowardForums.com, isn't the best we've seen, but is anecdotal, and not much worse (or better) than comments we see regarding other prepaid carriers.

Our Sources

Dan Tennant, Jan. 6, 2017

H2O Wireless is the second highest rated prepaid carrier at TopTenReviews.com, good for the site's Silver award. It's praised for its affordability, plus the strength of the AT&T network it uses.

Dennis Bournique, Oct. 17, 2016

Dennis Bournique says that while unlimited plans are the most cost effective option for heavy users, for those that need less than 500 to 1,000 combined texts and call minutes, per month, pay-as-you-go can be a better deal. Here, he lists H2O Wireless among the best pay-as-you-go deals for talk and text only users that want access to the AT&T network.

Dave Andersen, Aug. 22, 2016

While H2O is not directly addressed here, RootMetrics names AT&T the second best nationwide network, beaten by Verizon by only a tiny margin. RootMetrics ratings are based on comprehensive testing in cities, rural areas, and on the highway.

Contributors to HowardForums.com, As of January 2017

H2O Wireless doesn't get as much feedback as some other prepaid carriers, but still earns its own subforum at HowardForums.com. As is typical in user forums such as this, lots of complaints surface, though other users chime in to say most issues are not unusual when it comes to prepaid providers.

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