Verizon 5G can’t match Google Fiber’s incredible download and upload speeds, but it’s fast enough for many users and significantly cheaper
If you’re one of the lucky people who live in a city where both Google Fiber and Verizon 5G internet are available, you have a tough choice to make.
Here’s our hot take: Google Fiber offers better overall performance, especially for remote workers, gamers, and those who like to stream every playoff game. But Verizon’s 5G service is cheaper, easier to set up, and fast enough for casual internet users.
You’ll have to decide what’s right for you. Read on to get all of the important details about both of these internet service providers (ISPs), from prices and plans to performance and customer service.
Verizon 5G Home Internet vs. Google Fiber plans and pricing
Comparing Verizon 5G Home Internet and Google Fiber’s plans is easy because both companies keep things simple. You can choose between two different plans from Verizon and four from Google. Let’s start by looking at the Verizon plans.
Verizon 5G Home Internet plans
Verizon only has two service plans—300 Mbps and 1,000 Mbps—but there’s different pricing for those who are already Verizon Wireless customers. As you can see, the discount is nothing to sneeze at.
|5G Home Internet with Mobile Plan Premium||$35/mo.*||Up to 300 Mbps||Unlimited||View Plans|
|5G Home Internet Plus with Mobile Plan Premium||$45/mo.*||Up to 1000 Mbps||Unlimited||View Plans|
|5G Home Internet||$50/mo.†||Up to 300 Mbps||Unlimited||View Plans|
|5G Home Internet Plus||$70/mo.†||Up to 1000 Mbps||Unlimited||View Plans|
5G Home Internet: 5G Home plan at $35/mo. or 5G Home Plus plan at $45/mo. when combined with postpaid mobile unlimited plan that includes 5G Ultra Wideband. Auto Pay and paper-free billing req'd. Availability varies. Subject to credit approval. Price Guarantee: 2 yrs for 5G Home, 3 yrs for 5G Home Plus, for new Verizon Home Internet (“VHI”) households who have not subscribed to a VHI service within the last 90 days. Applies only to the then-current base monthly rate exclusive of any other setup and additional equipment charges, discounts or promotions, including the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) and the Verizon Forward Program.
It’s hard to exaggerate how good of a deal this is for existing customers. It cuts the plan price in half! Can you imagine if you could cut your electricity bill or your car payment by half? You’d have a lot more money leftover to buy a Nintendo Switch so you can play The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.
When you compare Verizon’s 5G service to other high-speed internet companies, you can see that its prices (even without a discount) are reasonable. In comparison, Xfinity offers a 400Mbps cable internet plan for $50 a month, and Spectrum has a 300Mbps plan for $49.99 a month.
All of Verizon’s 5G internet plans come with free equipment and installation. Reviews staff writer Tyler Abbott, who signed up for a free Verizon 5G Home Internet trial, said that “it was incredibly easy to set up. It was like magic. Just plugged it in, set up my login info, and there was internet all over my house.”
You won’t have to worry about any annual contracts, pesky fees, or data caps with Verizon 5G. That makes it a great option for those who are renting, in student housing, or staying with their parents while they figure their life out (we’ve all been there).
In short, we think that Verizon 5G Home Internet is the perfect option for:
- Cord cutters who are interested in adopting a new technology
- Renters, young couples, new home buyers, and remote workers who may not be in the same place next year (or the year after)
- Existing Verizon Wireless customers who want an incredible deal on high-speed internet service
Google Fiber internet plans
Google Fiber has four plans, and all of them offer very, very fast speeds. One could be called “Warp Speed,” and the other could be called “Ludicrous Speed,” etc, but they’re actually just named 1 Gig, 2 Gig, 5 Gig, and 8 Gig. Check it out.
|1 Gig||$70/mo.‡||1000 Mbps||1000 Mbps||View Plans|
|2 Gig||$100/mo.‡||2000 Mbps||1000 Mbps||View Plans|
|5 Gig||$125/mo.^||5000 Mbps||5000 Mbps||View Plans|
|8 Gig||$150/mo.^||8000 Mbps||8000 Mbps||View Plans|
Obviously, the big drawback to these plans is the pricing. The prices are significantly higher than Verizon 5G Home Internet plans and most other high-speed internet plans like Spectrum or T-Mobile 5G Home Internet. That said, 1,000 Mbps is easily enough bandwidth to keep a house with dozens of devices going strong.
Google Fiber’s internet performance has another feature that’s important: symmetrical upload speeds. We’ll talk about this more in the section below, but basically, it makes Google internet great for gaming, video conferencing, and uploading large files.
Google usually doesn’t charge installation fees (though we’ve heard reports that there are some fees in certain areas), and it doesn’t require you to sign up for a year-long contract.
In select areas, there is a service called Google Fiber Webpass. This is an internet service that’s installed in specific apartment buildings and other residential occasions, but it isn’t common. You can read more about that in our full Google Fiber review.
Long story short, we think Google Fiber would be right for:
Verizon 5G Home Internet vs. Google Fiber Speeds
5G mobile technology has unlocked a new level of wireless data speed. It’s what enables Verizon to give you home internet speeds of over 300Mbps. We'll give Verizon props for its millimeter wave 5G, making it faster than T-Mobile's 5G Home Internet, but it will still never really be able to catch up to the good ol' fashioned wires.
Google Fiber’s internet service uses—you guessed it—fiber-optic technology! Fiber infrastructure not only allows Google to give you outrageously fast download speeds of 1,000Mbps, but it’s also more reliable than 5G and gets incredible upload speeds. Here’s a little comparison.
There’s really no contest when comparing Verizon and Google’s upload speeds. But what’s the big deal? Who really needs upload speeds anyways?
Essentially, upload speeds are important for any activity where your device needs to send a lot of information back to the network. Unlike streaming a movie, where most of the information is coming to you, activities like video conferencing, online gaming, and uploading files require a lot of bandwidth going the other way.
Tyler, our beloved colleague, told us this: “My download/upload speeds with Verizon 5G Home Internet were not as good as my Google Fiber speeds, so I ended up keeping Google Fiber. I still had solid download speeds with Verizon 5G (like 120ish download speeds, 30 upload speeds), but my Google Fiber is like 400Mbps and 100Mbps.”
Verizon 5G Home Internet vs. Google Fiber Availability
Verizon’s 5G Home Internet service is available in over 900 cities now. That’s a significant expansion from when it was launched just a few years ago, but it’s still relatively small compared to some other ISPs, like Comcast Xfinity.
You can see a decent map of Verizon’s availability on this map. The red dots are locations where the service is available.
Verizon 5G Home Internet coverage map
Image source: Verizon.com
Google Fiber, on the other hand, is only available in a little over a dozen locations. There’s no need to give you a map when we can just list them out:
- Atlanta, Georgia
- Austin, Texas
- Carrboro, North Carolina
- Chapel Hill, North Carolina
- Charlotte, North Carolina
- Chicago, Illinois
- Denver, Colorado
- Des Moines, Iowa
- Huntsville, Alabama
- Irvine, California
- Kansas City, Missouri
- Kansas City, Kansas
- Mesa, Arizona
- Miami, Florida
- Nashville, Tennessee
- North Salt Lake, Utah
- Oakland, California
- Huntington Beach, California
- Provo, Utah
- Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina
- Salt Lake City, Utah
- San Antonio, Texas
- San Diego, California
- Sandy, Utah
- San Francisco, California
- Seattle, Washington
Google has talked about expanding to other parts of Idaho, Nevada, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Colorado in the next year or two.
Verizon 5G Home Internet and Google Fiber have a lot of overlap in major cities, like San Francisco, San Diego, Salt Lake City, and Nashville. In those places, customers will have a hard choice to make. You may even consider trying out both (check for free trial runs with Verizon).
Verizon 5G Home Internet vs. Google Fiber customer service
Internet service providers aren’t really known for their great customer service *cough* CenturyLink *cough*, but Google and Verizon actually do a decent job of picking up the phone.
Verizon 5G Home Internet isn’t actually listed in the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), which ranks telecommunications companies based on customer feedback. But both Verizon Wireless and Verizon’s other internet service, Fios, are listed. In both cases, the company is leading the pack with high scores.
Verizon American Customer Satisfaction Index score
Google Fiber is also not listed in the survey (it’s too small of a provider). However, Google did collaborate with the ACSI in 2020, and it claims that it ranked first in value, security, and other categories. Anecdotally, when I lived in Salt Lake City and used Google Fiber for about four years, I had no problems with customer service.
Recap: Which is better for you?
That’s it for our in-depth review. Now it’s up to you to decide. Here’s a quick recap to help you remember all of the brilliant things we wrote.
- Plans and prices: Verizon offers two high-speed plans that are very affordable, especially if you’re an existing Verizon Wireless customer. Google’s plans are significantly more expensive but also much faster.
- Speeds: Google’s fiber-optic network offers unbeatable download and upload speeds, making it ideal for big families, gamers, and remote workers. But Verizon’s 5G speeds will be fine for casual internet users.
- Availability: Google Fiber is still only available in about a dozen places, while Verizon 5G Home Internet has expanded to over 900 cities.
- Our Takeaway: Both ISPs are great, so it all boils down to price vs. performance. Verizon is cheaper, and Google is faster. Take your pick.
Still unsure about Google Fiber or Verizon 5G Home Internet? We can help you explore other services with our comparison reviews of Google Fiber vs. T-Mobile, Google Fiber vs. Optimum Internet, and Verizon 5G Home Internet vs. Optimum Internet.
We began working on this comparison between Verizon 5G Home Internet and Google Fiber with a whole lot of research. We looked at every single plan that each service offers, we read independent analyses, we looked at customer reviews, and we even interviewed our co-worker who used both.
After the research phase, we put the data side-by-side to see which ISP offers better prices, perks, performance, availability, and customer service. We made our final recommendations based on the utility that we think the providers will give to different kinds of internet users.
Thank you for reading, and please let us know (using the Contact Us button below) if you have any questions or concerns.