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Best 5G Home Internet of 2022
You can choose between three great companies, but your decision may come down to where you live.
The era of truly fast wireless internet is here. 5G technology has changed what we can do with cell phones. But these super-fast networks are also causing a stir in the home internet industry.
5G home internet allows for speeds up to 300 Mbps without requiring any cables or grid connection. There are currently three providers offering the service—T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, and Starry Internet—and all three are relatively affordable.
But 5G internet service is still very limited, so which internet service provider (ISP) you choose may come down to your location. Read on to learn more about the strengths, weaknesses, and availability of the three major 5G home internet companies.
- : Best availability
- : Best speeds
- : Best in select cities
|T-Mobile 5G Home Internet||$50*||3515 Mbps||Unlimited||View Plans|
|Verizon 5G Home Internet with wireless plan||$25-$35/mo.||300–940 Mbps||Unlimited||View Plans|
|Starry Internet||$30–$50||50–200 Mbps||Unlimited||View Plans|
What to look for with 5G home internet
5G home internet is a brand new service to most people, so we’re going to go over some basic features that are important to look at when you're shopping around for an ISP.
- Low-band vs. millimeter wave: There are actually two types of 5G—low-band 5G and millimeter wave Low-band 5G uses the same cell phone towers as older 4G technology, which means it has a longer range but slower speeds. Meanwhile, millimeter wave 5G requires a new kind of 5G dedicated tower. These towers have a much shorter range, but they offer very fast data speeds.
- Equipment: It’s not just the network tower that matters. You also want to make sure you get a plan that comes with a high-quality 5G receiver/modem/router that can connect to all of your home devices. Wi-Fi 6 is the newest technology for wirelessly connecting devices, and you’ll definitely want this in your equipment.
- Price: Currently, all the 5G home internet plans are basically the same price. But there are some bundles and perks that can sweeten the deal. Also, as more providers pop up and the technology advances, expect prices to begin deviating even more.
Want to read more?
For a long time, T-Mobile lagged at the back of the pack when it came to cell phone coverage and performance. But ever since its merger with Sprint in 2020, the carrier has made some major strides, especially in the 5G realm.
This cell phone carrier now has the largest 5G infrastructure in the country. It’s this powerful 5G network that powers the company’s new home internet service. Here’s everything you need to know.
T-Mobile 5G Home Internet plan and pricing
T-Mobile only offers one home internet plan currently. But don’t worry, it’s the only plan you’ll need. It comes with full 5G speeds, no data cap, and it only costs $50 a month.
|T-Mobile 5G Home Internet||$50*||3515 Mbps||Unlimited||View Plan|
At $50 a month, this T-Mobile home internet plan is actually a bit cheaper than many other home internet services that offer comparable speeds. And it’s the same price as the other 5G home internet plans featured in this article.
5G is one of the coolest new internet technologies around. But it’s not your only option. If you want to learn more about the competition check out our roundup of the best ISPs.
T-Mobile 5G Home Internet equipment
One of the things that makes fixed 5G home internet unique is the equipment. Rather than just tethering a computer (or other device) to a cellular network through a phone or dedicated hotspot device, fixed 5G uses a larger modem/router that can handle more connections and faster speeds.
T-Mobile’s fixed 5G router is a gray cylinder that’s about the size of a lamp or a flower vase and looks just as good sitting on your work desk, window sill, or side-table.
Image source: screenshot taken from T-Mobile's website
And did we mention that T-Mobile’s modem/router is free? Yes, you won’t have to pay anything to use the equipment, and right now the company is even offering free installation. Good looking out, T-Mobile.
T-Mobile 5G internet speeds
We talked a little bit about the two kinds of 5G networks above—low-band 5G and millimeter wave 5G. T-Mobile’s 5G network is almost totally low-band.
The biggest downside to choosing T-Mobile 5G home internet? While T-mobile’s network range is much larger (more on that in a moment), it’s speeds are not quite as impressive as we’d like them to be.et.
T-Mobile advertises its average fixed 5G speeds as 35-115 Mbps. This is confirmed by independent data from OpenSignal’s most recent 5G User Experience Report, which shows that T-Mobile users on 5G see an average download speed of 87.5 Mbps.1
While 87.5 Mbps is a respectable speed that will let you stream HD video, play games, and doom scroll through a pandemic without a problem, it could be an issue for households with more than three or four devices going at once. And it simply can’t beat the speeds seen with Verizon’s millimeter wave network.
T-Mobile 5G Home Internet availability
T-Mobile’s mobile 5G network is the largest in the United States right now. This means that T-Mobile also has the furthest reach as a fixed 5G ISP.
The list of available cities for T-Mobile internet is long. It ranges from Huntsville, Alabama to Maysville, Kentucky. From Jesup, Georgia to Hilo, Hawaii. From Laconia, New Hampshire to. . . you get the idea.
If you want to see if the service is available in your area, go to T-Mobile’s website. Or, you can get a better idea of T-Mobile’s 5G coverage by using the map below (just be sure to only click the “5G” box).
Is T-Mobile 5G home internet good?
T-Mobile’s fixed 5G home internet service is great for those who want relatively fast, affordable, and easy internet in metropolitan and suburban areas. It has the best coverage area of all the fixed 5G options on the market right now.
The big drawback for some customers will be the data speeds, which just aren’t as fast as those offered by the competition.
Verizon 5G Home Internet: Best speeds
We won’t bore you with an introduction to Verizon, which is already well known for its Fios internet and cell phone services. Instead, we’ll cut right to the chase—Verizon’s 5G home internet service is the best in the industry, if it’s available where you live.
It turns out, that’s a big if. Read on to learn more about where the service is available and what it’s like to have 300+ Mbps data speeds!
Verizon 5G home internet plans and pricing
Verizon’s fixed 5G service is a one-size-fits-all sort of affair. But there are a couple of price tiers for its single plan, depending on whether you’re an existing Verizon customer or not.
The plan that Verizon offers comes with unlimited data at amazing speeds (more on that in a minute). It will cost you $25 a month for the 5G Home plan and $35 a month for the 5G Home Plus plan.
Even if you’re not bundling your wireless phone service, Verizon’s price tag isn’t unreasonable for the service it’s offering. It’s on par—in both performance and price—with the fastest ISPs in the industry.
Fixed 5G home internet is here—or, at least it’s somewhere. But it’s definitely not everywhere. If you’re looking for internet that can reach you whether you live in the middle of the desert or high on a mountaintop, then satellite internet is probably your best bet. Here’s a review of our favorite satellite internet ISPs.
Verizon 5G home internet equipment
The actual equipment that makes Verizon’s 5G home internet possible is easy to set up and comes free with your plan. You’ll get an indoor and/or outdoor receiver and a modem/router combo.
A technician from Verizon (actually, probably from a subcontracted company called Asurion) will install the receiver and set up your modem/router for you. It takes just a couple of hours, and should be placed in the area of your home with the strongest 5G signal.
Image source: Verizon.com
Verizon 5G home internet speeds
All of the wireless providers are talking a big game when it comes to 5G. But if you want to see the true power of this new technology, then go with Verizon. It’s millimeter-wave 5G network is really fast. You can expect speeds up to 940 Mbps! That’s about as much as you’d get with a wired fiber-optic connection.
The key to this speed is a tight mesh of 5G towers. If the network is operational in your area, then you’ve probably seen the thick black monoliths. If you’re within the (short) range of these towers then, in the words of Ray Arnold from Jurassic park, “hold on to your butts,” because your data speeds could give you whiplash.
Verizon 5G home internet availability
Verizon 5G’s biggest asset is also its curse. Millimeter wave 5G towers have a tiny range, which means that Verizon has to build a lot of infrastructure before its network is up and running. This means that the company’s fixed 5G internet service is only available in 33 cities.
So far, these are the cities that support the service:
- Arlington, TX
- Anaheim, CA
- Atlanta, GA
- Charlotte, NC
- Chicago, IL
- Cincinnati, OH
- Cleveland, OH
- Dallas, TX
- Denver, CO
- Detroit, MI
- Hartford, TX
- Houston, TX
- Indianapolis, IN
- Kansas City, KS
- Las Vegas, NV
- Los Angeles, CA
- Louisville, KY
- Memphis, TN
- Miami, FL
- Milwaukee, WI
- Minneapolis, MN
- Omaha, NE
- Phoenix, AZ
- Riverside, CA
- Sacramento, CA
- Salt Lake City, UT
- San Antonio, TX
- San Diego, CA
- San Francisco, CA
- San Jose, CA
- Louis, MO
- Paul, MN
- Tampa, FL
If you don’t live in one of these cities then, well, you’re outta’ luck. You can wait for Verizon to build a 5G network nearby, or just go with T-Mobile, which is available in many more areas.
Is Verizon 5G home internet good?
Starry Internet: Best in select cities
Starry Internet is by far the least well known ISP on this list. Unlike T-Mobile and Verizon, Starry isn’t a phone carrier. The company was started in 2016 with a unique model of delivering wireless home internet through antennas (a sort of proto-5G).
Starry Internet has seen a lot of success, though it’s coverage is limited (currently only in Boston, New York, LA, Denver, and Washington DC). But if you live in one of these cities it might be the best 5G internet around. Read on for a more in-depth look at the company’s plans, prices, and availability.
Starry Internet plans and pricing
Like the other ISPs in this review, Starry internet only offers one plan. And yes, like T-Mobile and Verizon’s plans, it costs $50 a month and comes with unlimited data.
This $50 plan is a pretty darn good deal for 200 Mbps speeds. Plus, Starry is throwing in a free router and installation right now.
Starry Internet equipment
Starry’s service works a lot like Verizon’s millimeter 5G network. It has high-powered antennas placed strategically throughout the city. These towers connect with a router in your home, which you can use to connect your computer, TV, and other devices to the internet.
While it doesn’t really affect your internet performance, it’s worth mentioning that Starry’s routers look straight out of Star Trek, and would be a pretty sweet addition to any work desk or side table.
Image scourge: Starry.com
Starry Internet speeds
Starry Internet uses the same basic technology as millimeter wave 5G mobile networks, meaning you can expect reliably fast speeds. Starry says that its speeds reach 200 Mbps or more, and customer reviews generally back this claim up.
200 Mbps is plenty of speed for streaming your favorite show in high-def, playing the newest online video games, and doing pretty much anything else. However, households with more than four or five devices connected at once may notice some lag.
Starry Internet availability
Starry’s Achilles heel (and the reason it’s last on our list) is its limited availability. The service is currently available in just five cities: Boston, New York City, Los Angeles, Denver, and Washington, DC. Starry announced this year that it is expanding to Columbus, OH, but it is not widely available there yet.
If you happen to live in one of the cities where Starry is available, then it should be near the top of your list for ISPs. If not, then don’t wait around. Unlike T-Mobile and Verizon, Starry isn’t a huge telecommunications company, and it’s service isn’t likely to spread to new cities very fast.
Is Starry Internet good?
Starry offers reliable, fast, and affordable 5G internet, which seems to be quite popular with its existing customers. If you happen to live in one of the cities where it's available, then yes, it’s a great ISP!
Recap: Which 5G Home Internet Company Is Right for You?
- T-Mobile Home Internet: T-Mobile has the best availability of all the 5G internet providers, covering over 30 million households. It’s data speeds are respectable (at around 100 Mbps), but they’re slower than the competition’s.
- Verizon 5G Home Internet: Verizon is the true powerhouse in the 5G home internet market. With its millimeter wave technology, the company gives you speeds of 300+ Mbps. But it’s only available in a few cities right now.
- Starry Internet: Starry is a smaller ISP, operating in just five cities. But if you live in one of them, the company’s fast, affordable internet may be your best choice.
That’s all we’ve got to say about 5G home internet, for now. The infrastructure and technology are still pretty new, so we expect a lot of developments in the future. Check back for updates, and shoot us a comment down below if you’ve got a question!
We’ve been researching and writing about 5G since it was just a rumor in the backchannels of the cell phone industry. Now that it’s here for real, we know how to analyse which carriers are offering the best service. Here’s what we looked at for this 5G home internet review.
- Network technology: We looked into the different types of network technology that each carrier used (low-band vs. millimeter wave) to determine the performance and capacity of each network.
- Data speed: We look at our own proprietary data from over 100,000 cell phone customers, and data from third parties like OpenSignal, to evaluate the network speeds of the top 5G providers.
- Price: We used plan information from different ISPs and from third-party sites, like WhistleOut, to determine which companies are offering the best deals on 5G home internet.
Thank you for trusting us to help you choose your next internet service provider!