What Is 5G Home Internet? Here’s Everything You Need to Know (2024)

Sick of slow, expensive, or unreliable internet service? You probably are. Internet service providers (ISPs) came second to last in a study of customer satisfaction by industry in the US last year. For most folks, internet service comes into the house via cable, and choices are limited. But with mobile carriers rolling out fast, low-latency 5G networks, that is changing.

For some people, 5G home internet could be a viable alternative to traditional broadband. Carriers are starting to offer 5G home internet packages as they look to recoup the costs of upgraded networks, and that could finally mean some real competition for ISPs. If you’re wondering what 5G home internet is, how it compares to broadband, and whether it might be for you, we have all the answers you seek.

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What Does 5G Mean?

5G is a global wireless standard, and it stands for fifth generation. Mobile carriers have been rolling out the fifth generation of cellular networks over the past few years. Compared with the previous generation (4G), 5G opens up unused radio frequencies at the high end of the spectrum. You can read our guide to 5G to learn more, but in simple terms, 5G is faster, has lower latency, and can handle more connected devices.

What Is 5G Home Internet?

5G home internet is an alternative to traditional broadband. Instead of running a cable into your home to connect to the internet, you connect to the 5G cellular network wirelessly with a fixed receiver inside or outside your home. You will use a SIM card and have a service contract, just like you do for your phone. You'll still need a modem and router to convert the incoming signal into Wi-Fi and spread it around your home.

What About 4G Home Internet?

Some carriers already offer 4G LTE home internet, and some offer a mix of 4G and 5G. Both work the same way and require a receiver, but 5G allows faster speeds and lower latency. Theoretical speeds go beyond 10 Gbps with 1 millisecond of latency, but real-world performance around 1 Gbps is more common. A gigabit is enough for 5G to compete with broadband. 4G LTE typically maxes out at 100 Mbps but is often slower in the real world.

Is 5G Home Internet Better Than Broadband?

The short answer is no. The longer answer is that it depends. If you have fiber optic cable to your house, you can enjoy super fast wired internet, but if you rely on copper cable, your internet speed will be limited. The proximity of an exchange and internet demand in your area will also impact the speeds you get. Some folks lack a cable connection, but remote areas typically don’t have great 5G coverage. If you have solid 5G coverage in your area but internet service is poor or expensive, 5G home internet might be a better choice.

What Are the Advantages of 5G Home Internet?

5G home internet has a few advantages over wired broadband, but there are three big ones:

  • Since there is no need for a physical cable, installation of 5G home internet tends to be much easier, and you can likely set it up yourself without an engineer visit.
  • If you have good 5G coverage in your area, you can likely enjoy fast speeds, certainly much faster than old copper cables can provide.
  • 5G home internet service might be cheaper than wired internet. Some carriers offer discounts and incentives to add 5G home internet service to your existing mobile plan.

What Are the Disadvantages?

There are pros and cons to everything. Here are some of the possible cons of 5G home internet:

  • Coverage is limited and is likely to be best in cities. If you don’t have good 5G coverage in your area, 5G home internet is not for you.
  • You will need a receiver with a good line of sight to a 5G cell site or tower for the best results. This may mean attaching an antenna to the outside of your home because 5G signals are not very good at penetrating through walls and can be prone to interference.
  • As 5G adoption grows and networks expand, you may find your 5G home internet service is impacted. When 5G networks get busier, your home internet may slow down or suffer interruptions.

Can I Get 5G Home Internet?

It depends on where you live and what 5G coverage is like in your area. This coverage map from nPerf allows you to select by carrier to see coverage and download speeds. You can also check with your preferred carrier (most have coverage maps on their websites), but most only offer 5G home internet service in specific areas (big cities for now).

Who Offers 5G Home Internet?

There are several options for folks looking to get 5G home internet service, but make sure you read the small print. Most carriers offer a blend of 4G LTE and 5G. You are likely to get the best deals from carriers you take multiple services from, so if you already have cell service, your carrier will likely offer a discount on home internet. Here’s an alphabetical list of US options to start with, but new services are rolling out all the time:

  1. AT&T Internet Air
  2. Starry Home Internet
  3. T-Mobile 5G Home Internet
  4. US Cellular Home Internet
  5. Verizon 5G Home Internet

If you’re in the UK, here are your options:

  1. EE 4G and 5G Mobile Broadband
  2. National Broadband 5G
  3. Three 4G and 5G Home Broadband
  4. Vodafone 5G and 4G Broadband

Is 5G Home Internet Expensive?

5G home internet prices are not hugely different from wired internet service. It may even be cheaper for some folks. 5G home internet plans start from as little as $15 a month (Starry), but most cost between $30 a month and $80 a month, depending on the speed and service you want. Many carriers offer discounts for existing customers and other incentives. Because they are keen to attract new customers, many 5G home internet services offer unlimited data, no fixed contracts, and no equipment fees. Just make sure you understand all of the conditions before you sign up.

What Is 5G Home Internet? Here’s Everything You Need to Know (2024)


What are the downsides of 5G home internet? ›

Here are some of the possible cons of 5G home internet: Coverage is limited and is likely to be best in cities. If you don't have good 5G coverage in your area, 5G home internet is not for you. You will need a receiver with a good line of sight to a 5G cell site or tower for the best results.

What does 5G mean for home internet? ›

5G Home Internet is a "fixed wireless" service that uses an indoor or outdoor 5G antenna to access the cell tower. The gateway provided by the carrier becomes the home's wireless router and creates the Wi-Fi hotspot. Depending on the traffic or time of day, the transmission may throttle down to 4G LTE.

Is it worth getting 5G home internet? ›

Because it still has a very limited availability, 5G home internet is best suited for people living in areas with strong cell service and 5G coverage. In these situations, it can offer reliable connectivity with few outages (depending on the ISP) and robust speeds at a low price.

What equipment is needed for 5G home internet? ›

You can also set up a 5G network yourself. You'll need a 5G router (such as the Netgear Nighthawk M6, at a hefty $800) and a 5G SIM with a data plan attached. Just make sure to check with your provider if the SIM card you want will work with a router rather than a phone.

Does bad weather affect 5G home internet? ›

Wireless internet, like 5G home internet and fixed wireless connections, uses radio waves to transmit data between access points and devices, similar to cell phone services. Unfortunately, weather can affect wireless internet in a few ways. Mainly by disrupting the pathways of the radio waves.

Do you need a phone line for 5G home internet? ›

5G Home Internet brings internet directly to your home using the mobile network. No landline or technical skills required – just plug in your modem, and you're online. 5G Home Internet availability can vary based on your location.

Is 5G home internet better than Wi-Fi? ›

Though 5G is typically the fastest mobile Internet connection, reliability can be a challenge. WiFi offers a faster, more reliable Internet connection when combined with a reliable router and a reliable Internet plan.

Can you stream with 5G internet? ›

5G Home - Wireless home internet, powered by 5G Ultra Wideband. Play, stream and connect, free from annual contracts, extra fees and complicated setup. 5G Home Plus - Unleash the power of 5G Ultra Wideband, with extra peace of mind.

Is 5G home internet better than fiber? ›

Compared to 5G, fiber has the lowest latency at around 1ms. These faster data transmission response times make fiber the most reliable internet for high-precision applications. As 5G home internet uses radio frequencies, the distances the signals can travel is limited.

How many devices can Verizon 5G home internet handle? ›

The LTE Home Internet supports up to 10 devices on 2.4 Ghz WIFI and up to 30 devices on 5 Ghz WIFI.

What is the monthly cost of Verizon 5G home internet? ›

How much is Verizon 5G Home Internet? Verizon keeps things pretty simple. There are two options: You can choose between 5G Home at $50 per month or Verizon 5G Home Plus at $70 monthly (plus extra perks). Either way, you can get an additional discount with a qualifying Verizon 5G mobile plan.

How fast is T-Mobile 5G home internet? ›

T-Mobile 5G Home Internet and Home Internet Plus customers receive consistent speeds of at least 25 Mbps and see typical download speeds between 72 – 245 Mbps, which is great speed for streaming video, surfing the web, working from home and most types of online gaming.

Where is the best place to put a 5G router? ›

How to Choose the Best Place to Put Your Router
  1. Choose a Central Location. ...
  2. Raise Your Router off the Floor. ...
  3. Don't Put Your Router in a Corner. ...
  4. Avoid the Kitchen At All Costs. ...
  5. Avoid Placing the Router Near Your Microwave Oven and Other Electronics. ...
  6. Keep Your Router Away From Walls. ...
  7. Pay Attention to Nearby Windows.

Do you need a special modem for 5G? ›

A DSL modem connects your home to the internet via a phone line, while a 5G modem connects via a wireless signal and therefore does not require a physical connection to a cable or phone line. Because different types of internet connections require different modems, they are not interchangeable.

Where should I place my 5G modem? ›

A clear, elevated space near a window is ideal. Avoid direct sunlight as this can cause your modem to overheat. Placing the modem on the floor or in a cupboard may cause a weak signal. You don't have to use the same spot as your old modem for NBN or other broadband services.

Is 5G home internet better than Wi fi? ›

Though 5G is typically the fastest mobile Internet connection, reliability can be a challenge. WiFi offers a faster, more reliable Internet connection when combined with a reliable router and a reliable Internet plan.

Is 5G home internet slow? ›

On average, 5G home internet providers typically offer download speeds of 40 – 300 Mbps and upload speeds of 10 – 50 Mbps. These speeds are subject to location and availability.

Is 5G safer than home WiFi? ›

Wi-Fi is sufficiently secure for office and home use. But 5G addresses a much larger security issue, accounting for end-to-end security and global identity management. This can largely be explained by the specific way in which 5G is designed.

Is wired internet better than 5G? ›

5G has revolutionized mobile network technology. However, WiFi from wired connections such as fiber and cable provides a more consistent connection for internet than WiFi from 5G home internet, which can be prone to network congestion and outages.


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