T-Mobile 5G Home Internet Review

T-Mobile’s relatively new 5G service is a lifesaver if you’re fed up with confusing cable plans and sluggish DSL.

T-Mobile 5G Home Internet at a glance
T-Mobile 5G Home Internet
Overall Quality ⁃ 3.8/5
bullet 3.5/5 - Speed and reliability
bullet 3.7/5 - Dollar value
bullet 4.2/5 - Customer experience
man popping out of a laptop with a speech bubbles with Wi-Fi, thumbs up, piggy bank
Peter Holslin
Brenna Elieson
Jun 10, 2024
Icon Time To Read11 min read

T-Mobile 5G Home Internet is the ultimate backup plan for folks who are fed up with their current internet service. The cellular carrier’s relatively new 5G service uses fixed wireless connections to offer solid speeds for a respectable price. T-Mobile’s simple pricing model eschews data caps, extra fees, and contracts and includes discounts for mobile subscribers—all of which makes 5G home internet a cost-effective alternative to cable internet.

But is it faster than cable? Customers who use the service tell Reviews.org that it’s not the most reliable thing in the world—but it still gets the job done. “It’s worked pretty well for me. The speeds feel a little up and down sometimes, but it generally does everything I need it to,” says Rick Francis, a physical therapist in Charlottesville, North Carolina.

“Sometimes [when I’m] streaming NBA games at night, the picture looks a little fuzzy.” -Rick Francis, T-Mobile 5G home internet customer

Our writers spoke with half a dozen T-Mobile 5G Home Internet customers, looked at speed test results, and reviewed some surprisingly positive results from national customer satisfaction surveys to put together this comprehensive review. Read on to see if T-Mobile 5G Home Internet is right for you.

Tyler Abbott contributed research for this review.

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Get to know T-Mobile 5G: Plans and pricing

Plan
Price
Speed
Details
T-Mobile 5G Home Internet Unlimited$50/mo.*72-245 Mbps
T-Mobile 5G Home Internet Plus$70/mo.72-245 Mbps
* w/ Auto Pay. Regulatory fees included in monthly price for qualified accounts. See full terms.

T-Mobile offers two 5G Home Internet plans for $50–$70 a month and delivers download speeds between 72Mbps and 245Mbps. The plans don't impose extra fees for installation or equipment, and you get unlimited data each month. You get a $10 discount when you enroll in AutoPay and have an existing T-Mobile cell phone plan. You can get up to $20 off with the flagship unlimited plans: Go5G Next, Go5G Plus, or Magenta MAX.

Instead of using a hardwired internet connection, T-Mobile 5G Home Internet uses a cellular connection to provide Wi-Fi for your home. It’s the same network your smartphone connects to, so you should expect speeds to be slightly more unstable than what you get from a cable or fiber internet provider. That said, T-Mobile 5G Home Internet is still a solid deal, especially if you’ve grown weary of the unpredictable pricing from cable internet providers. Considering its similar price, it's also a great option if you live in an area where sluggish DSL or satellite internet are the only other options. 

T-Mobile 5G Home Internet fees for modem and installation

T-Mobile 5G Wi-Fi router

Included

Self-installation kit

Free

Professional installation

None

Early termination fee

None

Data overage fee

None

What makes this review legit?

Our review is based on interviews with internet customers from across the country, which help us understand how internet services hold up against diverse needs and challenges.

To put together this review, we spoke directly with five customers and chatted with several others on Reddit. We let their experiences guide our research and shape our conclusions. We have personally used T-Mobile 5G Home Internet on a free trial period to help inform our conclusions, and we looked closely at customer satisfaction surveys and speed test data to get additional data points on whether 5G delivers what customers need.

On top of all that, we’ve been following the wider discussion around 5G for years, so we have a deep knowledge about the ins and outs of this new cellular technology and the potential it offers for home internet connections and other use cases.

how we review products and services

The rundown: T-Mobile 5G Home Internet by our criteria

Our team at Reviews.org gives internet providers a rating based on three main criteria: Connection quality, dollar value, and customer experience. We then average the three ratings to make an overall score. See the details for T-Mobile 5G Home Internet below.

Connection quality

internet speed
3.5/5.0

T-Mobile 5G Home Internet doesn’t boast the fastest speeds in the world, but it still offers a reliable way to stream, game, and work remotely over Wi-Fi. The provider advertises speeds ranging between 72Mbps and 245Mbps, which is plenty for two or three users, but it may not be ideal for a household of four people or more.

As for reliability, T-Mobile can get the job done fine for most internet tasks, but it may be a dealbreaker for things like livestreaming and VR gaming. Instead of channeling internet data through cables buried underground—like fiber or cable internet—T-Mobile’s service relies on wireless cellular transmitters placed around neighborhoods and cities. It’s the same infrastructure T-Mobile uses to connect smartphones.

The wireless nature of the service means you’re more likely to experience fluctuating speeds throughout the day—or even the occasional outage.

“Sometimes [when I’m] streaming NBA games at night, the picture looks a little fuzzy. But that might be due to me living in a slightly more rural part of North Carolina,” says Rick Francis, the T-Mobile customer in North Carolina.

A 5G internet connection might not be the best way to go if you live in an area with poor or unreliable cellular service—like a suburban subdivision on the outskirts of town or a city that gets harsh winds during certain times of year. It’s also possible that your T-Mobile speeds could slow down during peak usage periods (like in the evenings). But you’ll likely be just fine if you live in an area where you get reliable phone service on a consistent basis.

Dollar value

dollar value
3.7/5.0

This service’s biggest selling point is the price. T-Mobile 5G Home Internet gives you a simple, fixed rate with a lot of extra perks—including unlimited data and a $10 monthly discount when you bundle the service with a T-Mobile cellular plan. This competitive pricing model stands in stark contrast to the sometimes-confusing billing practices of cable internet providers, which tend to lure customers in with promotional prices only to hit them with hefty price hikes after a year or two. 

Still, T-Mobile doesn’t offer the best deal you can get. You’re still going to get much more bang for your buck from a fiber internet provider if one is available in your area. Verizon Fios and AT&T offer faster speeds for lower rates: Verizon’s 300Mbps plan costs $49.99 a month, while AT&T’s 300Mbps plan is $55 a month. Fiber providers in general are able to offer much faster speeds than T-Mobile on a much more consistent basis. You also get symmetrical upload speeds that are a game changer for content creation, video calls, and remote work.

T-Mobile recently introduced its new $70 Home Internet Plus 5G service—and the new rate makes the carrier lose some of its edge against its cable competition as well. You can certainly find cheaper deals from a lot of cable internet providers, although, again, cable internet comes with price hikes and other hidden surprises that bring down the overall value of your service.

Customer experience

customer experience
4.2/5.0

Considering it’s a new service, T-Mobile 5G Home Internet has performed remarkably well in customer satisfaction surveys. The provider swept to the top of HighSpeedInternet.com’s 2023 customer satisfaction survey with leading scores in overall satisfaction and customer experience—in the process beating out major contenders like Xfinity and Verizon. T-Mobile also swept to the top in the 2022-2023 ACSI Telecommunications Study, taking the highest rating among non-fiber internet providers.

The rave reviews likely have a lot to do with the fact that T-Mobile makes the customer experience a breeze from the moment you sign up. The 5G Gateway device you use to get the Wi-Fi flowing is basically a fixed wireless modem and router, and it comes at no extra cost. Setup is super easy—you literally just plug it in, download the T-Mobile app, and follow the instruction prompts from the app. Customers tell Reviews.org that it’s simple to get in touch with customer service, and technical issues can be resolved in a timely fashion. 

“It’s always been easy to get to a real person on the phone when I call T-Mobile,” says Steve Abbott, who recently got set up with a 5G Home Internet plan to replace his dusty old DSL service that was available in his retirement community. “I had some questions when I first set up my home internet connection, and the agent I talked to had no problem answering them.”

We called T-Mobile’s customer service line to test how long it takes to talk to an actual person. On a Wednesday morning, the wait time to talk to an agent was about three minutes. The chat function is also useful. Although it starts out as a Virtual Assistant, you quickly get connected to a real person who is able to answer questions in a timely and straightforward manner.

Overall quality

overall quality
3.8/5.0

T-Mobile Home Internet isn’t for everybody—big households and power users aren’t going to be fans of the service’s occasionally spotty, fixed wireless connection. But this is an excellent service for regular folks looking for a simple and affordable way to get Wi-Fi in their homes. The service can withstand even heavy duty gaming and streaming if you live in an area with reliable cell service. And you can’t beat the price (except in cases when you can get fiber in your area).

T-Mobile 5G Home Internet: What deals and promotions can you get?

You can get a $200 prepaid Mastercard when you sign up for T-Mobile 5G Home Internet and keep the plan active for 10 weeks.

You also get a $10 monthly discount on your plan when you combine T-Mobile 5G Home Internet with a T-Mobile cell phone plan. (In some cases, you can get up to a $20 monthly discount when you have one of the flagship unlimited plans—Go5G Next, Go5G Plus, or Magenta MAX.)

deals badge
Get up to $10 off per month

Sign up for T-Mobile 5G Home Internet and add on a qualifying T-Mobile phone plan to get this gobstopper of a discount.

T-Mobile add-ons and perks


Free trial

Try 5G Home Internet for 15 days, and get your money back if you decide not to sign up.


Price Lock guarantee

Get your last month of service for free if you get a price hike on your bill.


Get streaming

Sign up for 5G Home Internet to get a free trial of the following streaming services:

  • ViX Premium for 1 year
  • SiriusXM Streaming for 6 mos.
  • Pandora Premium for 4 mos.

T-Mobile Tuesdays

Download the T-Mobile Tuesdays app to get the scoop on regular deals related to food, gas, entertainment.


What do customers think of T-Mobile 5G Home Internet?

Internet providers used to operate as monopolies in American cities—there would be one cable provider in town that everyone had to stick with. If you didn’t like the speeds or prices, you could take a walk. That situation has shifted a bit in recent years, and now T-Mobile 5G Home Internet stands as a sparkly alternative to the looming grasp of Big Internet.

Steve Abbott, a T-Mobile 5G Home Internet customer in Mission Viejo, California, tells Reviews.org in an interview that he and his wife were previously stuck with a DSL plan before their son set them up with T-Mobile Home Internet. DSL is an outdated connection type that runs over landline telephone cabling. Its bandwidth hits a max of 100Mbps, and users’ speeds are often much slower.

“Overall it’s pretty solid… But online gaming is rough.” —Jordan Rivera, a T-Mobile customer in Las Vegas

“We could barely stream Lakers and Dodger games, let alone shows on Netflix,” Abbott recalls. He calls 5G Home Internet a “get out of jail free card” because it vaulted his home Wi-Fi out of the DSL dungeon. “Took us from low-quality streaming on a single TV to being able to stream two different shows in two different rooms with high definition,” he says.

Austin Aguirre, a staff writer at HighSpeedInternet.com, subscribes to T-Mobile 5G Home Internet while also maintaining a cable internet connection at his home in Tucson, Arizona. He and his partner both work from home, so they mostly rely on T-Mobile as a backup plan in case their main connection goes out.

But his 5G connection has worked so well that he ended up connecting his XBox and PlayStation 5 permanently to his home T-Mobile network. “I've never experienced latency woes or lag outside of the norm while using T-Mobile as a primary gaming connection,” Aguirre says.

5G performance still patchy for some

T-Mobile 5G Home Internet isn’t a cakewalk for everybody. The service relies on a cellular connection that broadcasts over 5G transmitters, and the wireless setup means speeds can fluctuate unpredictably, especially in areas where a user’s cell service isn’t as strong.

“I honestly gave up trying to game on this internet,” says Jordan Rivera, a T-Mobile 5G Home Internet customer in Las Vegas, Nevada. He lives close to a 5G tower, but he consistently gets high ping spikes in Apex Legends. “I would die before knowing anything hit me. I mostly play single player games now, ha.”

“Overall it’s pretty solid, especially if you don’t have other options,” Rivera adds. “But online gaming is rough.” 

Dani Ruiz, a former T-Mobile Home Internet customer in Southern California, used the service briefly while she and her partner were waiting for fiber lines to be installed on their block. They got great performance out of the 5G setup, but they recently switched to a Google Fiber plan, which delivers significantly faster speeds and a more reliable connection for just $10 more a month.

“T-Mobile was great as an in-between option,” Ruiz says, “but once we got fiber lines installed, it made more sense to go with Google Fiber.”

Need to contact T-Mobile for customer service or tech support?

  • You can chat with customer service anytime.
  • For sales support, call 1-844-897-4265.
  • For tech support, call 1-855-849-7314.

Digging deeper: How does 5G Home Internet work?

T-Mobile broke into the internet game in March 2019 when it released an invitation-only pilot program using 4G LTE. In December, T-Mobile officially announced the availability of T-Mobile 5G Home Internet for the public.

By leveraging its cellular towers to establish fixed wireless connections, T-Mobile takes a unique approach to home internet compared to cable and fiber internet providers. The service is a bit nimbler than older, better-established providers—5G internet doesn’t require a massive buildup of underground infrastructure. And setup is easy for customers as well because all you need to get it working is a Wi-Fi gateway that you plug into the wall.

That nimbleness and simplicity has been a big selling point since its original launch. As part of its marketing strategy, T-Mobile has in particular sought to pull customers away from cable internet providers like Xfinity and Spectrum by offering competitive prices and doing away with cumbersome terms like installation fees and data caps. The service is also helpful for users in rural areas, who may have limited access to traditional internet connections.

“We launched T-Mobile 5G Home Internet to bring a reliable, affordable alternative to traditional broadband—and largely, to give people choice,” Katie Brinton, a T-Mobile spokesperson, tells Reviews.org. “Internet is relied on for so much, yet many people have limited choices for internet providers, or even no choice at all.”

But what is 5G? It’s the fifth generation of wireless technology, first launched in 2018. It initially received a ton of hype. Industry experts and media outlets claimed that it would be able to offer speeds 100 times faster than 4G and latency of 5ms or lower—enabling a futuristic level of worldwide connectivity.

Once launched, however, many mobile 5G users were unimpressed, reporting stagnant speeds and underperformance. Indeed, 5G has yet to power self-driving cars and automated factories as was originally promised. But 5G internet has been a hit, with T-Mobile and Verizon both getting rave reviews for their 5G internet services. The rise of 5G has clearly shaken its cable competitors too, prompting a PR battle that culminated in this year’s Spectrum Super Bowl ad, which mocked 5G for its comparatively slower speeds and technical limitations.

Email
Have thoughts about home internet?

We’re eager to hear from internet customers about their experiences with their home Wi-Fi. Contact us at info@reviews.org to share your thoughts, recommendations, and hot tips.

Where is T-Mobile 5G Home Internet available?

T-Mobile 5G Home Internet is available in all 50 states, including Alaska and Hawaii. Currently, T-Mobile offers the service on a city-by-city basis, but you can enter your zip code below to see if your city qualifies.

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Run a search to see if you can get T-Mobile 5G Home Internet

T-Mobile 5G Home Internet vs. the competition

Provider
Plan
Monthly price
Download speed
Data cap
Details
AT&T Internet AirAT&T Internet Air$55/mo.225 Mbps-2 Mbps
T-Mobile T-Mobile 5G Home Internet Unlimited$50/mo.*72-245 MbpsUnlimited
T-Mobile T-Mobile 5G Home Internet Plus$70/mo.72-245 MbpsUnlimited
Verizon 5G Home Internet5G Home Internet$50/mo.Up to 300 MbpsUnlimited
Google Fiber1 Gig$70/mo.^1000 MbpsUnlimited
Cox InternetGo Faster$40/mo.°250 Mbps1280 Mbps
AutoPay and paperless billing required. Monthly State Cost Recovery Charge in TX, OH, NV applies. . Service subj. to Internet Terms of Service at att.com/internet-terms. Offers may be modified, or discontinued, at any time without notice. Other conditions may apply to all offers. Speeds based on wired connection. Actual speeds may vary. For more info, go to www.att.com/speed101.
* w/ Auto Pay. Regulatory fees included in monthly price for qualified accounts. See full terms.
w/ Auto Pay. Available in select areas.
^ Plus taxes and fees. Upload/download speed and device streaming claims are based on maximum wired speeds. Actual Internet speeds are not guaranteed and may vary based on factors such as hardware and software limitations, latency, packet loss, etc.
° Available in select markets only. No annual contract or cancellation fees.

The big question you want to ask with T-Mobile is whether it can top any of the better-established internet brands available where you live. Simply put, the 5G home internet service can’t hold a candle to fiber internet. AT&T, Verizon, Google Fiber, and the like are capable of delivering much more bandwidth (including gigabit and even multi-gig speeds), while the prices are equal or even lesser than what you pay for T-Mobile 5G Home Internet. Fiber internet providers also tend to offer similar perks to T-Mobile, such as unlimited data and no fees for installation or equipment.

T-Mobile fares better against cable internet providers. Although prices for Xfinity or Spectrum may look cheaper up front, you also have to factor in extra fees for equipment and installation and price hikes that pop up like an angry Jack in the Box after a year or two when your promotional rates expire. You can get much simpler service from T-Mobile, with quicker setup and easier pricing terms.

As for rural services like DSL and satellite internet, well, T-Mobile 5G Home Internet is obviously the better pick. It’s also a better option than many rural fixed wireless providers, which essentially use the same technology but may have higher prices and stricter data limitations. 5G is mostly available in cities and metropolitan areas, but if you can get T-Mobile 5G Home Internet in a small town or rural region, it’s well worth trying. 

Want T-Mobile 5G Home Internet? Find it in your area

T-Mobile 5G Home Internet is available all over the country. Enter your zip code below to make sure that you can get T-Mobile 5G in your area.

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Search your zip code to get T-Mobile 5G Home Internet at your home
Peter Holslin
Written by
Peter Holslin
Peter is a journalist and editor who has been covering tech, culture, and music since the late 2000s. Prior to joining the Reviews.org team, he was the senior staff writer at HighSpeedInternet.com, where he covered 5G, mobile hotspots, and internet services. As a freelancer, he’s also written for Rolling Stone, VICE, BuzzFeed, Pitchfork, LA Weekly, and many other publications. He studied writing and journalism at The New School University in New York City and got his start in the media industry as the music editor of the California alt-weekly San Diego CityBeat. He’s also a musician and DJ and owns too many vinyl records for his own good.

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