How Fast is 5G Home Internet?
You get solid speeds on this hot, new fixed wireless internet service.
5G home internet commonly gives you speeds around 100–300 Mbps. But 5G internet speeds can reach up to 1,000 Mbps, depending on the plan and quality of cell service in your area.
Since it works over a fixed wireless internet connection, 5G can be a little unpredictable—your 5G signal can be impacted by a range of factors that don’t come into play with wired internet types. But 5G internet is still fast and effective for many users. Here’s a guide to 5G home internet speeds and how they compare to fiber and cable internet.
What is 5G home internet?
5G home internet is a relatively new type of internet service that gets you Wi-Fi access over a fixed wireless connection drawing from 5G mobile networks.
The term “5G” means it’s the fifth generation of wireless technology. 5G is most often used for cell phones, but 5G internet carriers like Verizon, T-Mobile, and Starry have also developed services that deliver 5G broadband internet competitive with what you get from more traditional internet providers.
Although 5G coverage is mostly limited to major cities and urban areas (for now at least), 5G internet is growing in popularity among netizens in hundreds of major cities because of its solid 5G speeds and lower costs than many cable internet and fiber-optic internet options. It also does away with the price-gouging tactics commonly associated with more traditional internet providers—no need to worry about confusing promo prices, extra fees, or annual contracts.
Does 5G mean 5 GHz?
5G does not mean 5 GHz—these terms refer to two different things.
Many Wi-Fi routers come equipped with 5 GHz radio bands, which you can use to get a Wi-Fi signal for computers, tablets, phones, and other devices. On the other hand, 5G refers to a much larger array of wireless technologies, radio frequencies, and public infrastructure designed to propagate cellular signals on a wide scale.
What speeds can you get from 5G home internet?
|Plan||Download speeds||Upload speeds||Price||Order online|
|Verizon 5G Home Internet||Up to 300 Mpbs (5G Home), up to 1,000 Mbps (5G Home Plus)||Up to 50 Mbps||$25.00–$70.00/mo.|
|T-Mobile 5G Home Internet||35–115 Mbps||8–24 Mbps||$50.00/mo. ($30.00/mo. w/ Magenta Max phone plan)||View Plans|
|Starry Internet||Up to 200 Mbps||Up to 100 Mbps||$30.00–$50.00/mo.||View Plans|
|Ultra Home Internet||25–115 Mbps||Up to 24 Mbps||$54.99–$144.99/mo.||View Plans|
Depending on the type of 5G home internet, speeds range anywhere from 25 Mbps to 1,000 Mbps.
Most 5G home internet plans have speeds equivalent to what you get on an average cable internet plan. On a Verizon 5G Home Internet plan, for example, you can get typical download speeds of around 250 Mbps and upload speeds of around 25 Mbps.
What’s the fastest 5G home internet plan?
Verizon 5G Home Internet Plus is the fastest 5G internet plan you can get. It has download speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps, which is excellent for large households and heavy-bandwidth activities like 4K streaming and downloading large files.
Can you get gigabit speeds on 5G home internet?
You can get gigabit speeds—or something close to it—on Verizon’s 5G Home Internet Plus plan, which according to Verizon, tops out at download speeds of 1,000 Mbps. However, it’s more common to get 5G speeds of 100–300 Mbps over a home broadband setup.
Can you get symmetrical upload and download speeds on 5G home internet?
Symmetrical upload speeds aren’t typically available on 5G internet. On all of the 5G internet plans we’ve researched, upload speeds are considerably slower than download speeds, similar to what you get from a cable internet plan. Starry Internet has the fastest advertised upload speeds, but even those speeds aren’t on par with fiber internet.
If you want symmetrical uploads and downloads, we recommend looking for a fiber internet provider. Still, the upload speeds you get on 5G internet are going to be perfectly suitable for most users, supplying enough bandwidth to support routine Zoom calls, modest- to large-sized media uploads, and social media.
Is 5G home internet as good as cable or fiber internet?
When it comes to pricing, 5G home internet service is way better than cable internet and pretty much as good as fiber. As for speed, 5G internet is pretty much equivalent to what you get from cable, with fast download speeds and slower upload speeds.
However, 5G internet has some technical drawbacks that you don’t find with cable or fiber internet.
How 5G internet is different from cable and fiber
- Connection is wireless rather than wired
- The 5G carrier provides equipment—you can’t buy your own modem or router
- Prices come at a fixed rate, with no promo pricings or extra fees
- Monthly fees are heavily discounted when you bundle with a cell phone plan
Unlike the usual fixed broadband internet types, 5G internet depends on cellular networks rather than wired networks of buried cables. Verizon uses its Ultra Wideband 5G network to provide service over millimeter-wave and C-band airwaves, making it capable of delivering really fast speeds and lowering latency. T-Mobile uses mostly mid-band 5G frequencies with slightly slower speeds but wider availability nationwide.
Speeds are generally consistent and fast over 5G, but the reliability of your connection depends a lot on the cell service and 5G signal strength in your area. In some areas, a 5G internet user’s speeds may slow down or speed up slightly throughout the week as the 5G network adjusts to factors like geographical landmarks, weather patterns, and network congestion across the neighborhood.
If you need 5G internet for travel or remote work, look into getting a 5G hotspot instead of 5G home internet. Hotspots give you mobile broadband wherever you go, and 5G devices are much more powerful than your phone’s hotspot.
Author - Peter Holslin
Peter Holslin has more than a decade of experience working as a writer and freelance journalist. He graduated with a BA in liberal arts and journalism from New York City’s The New School University in 2008 and went on to contribute to publications like Rolling Stone, VICE, BuzzFeed, and countless others. At HighSpeedInternet.com, he focuses on covering 5G, nerding out about frequency bands and virtual RAN, and producing reviews on emerging services like 5G home internet. He also writes about internet providers and packages, hotspots, VPNs, and Wi-Fi troubleshooting.
Editor - Rebecca Lee Armstrong
Rebecca Lee Armstrong has more than six years of experience writing about tech and the internet, with a specialty in hands-on testing. She started writing tech product and service reviews while finishing her BFA in creative writing at the University of Evansville and has found her niche writing about home networking, routers, and internet access at HighSpeedInternet.com. Her work has also been featured on Top Ten Reviews, MacSources, Windows Central, Android Central, Best Company, TechnoFAQ, and iMore.