How 5G Home Internet Stacks Up To Wired Broadband

It doesn’t take much to get the tech world buzzing these days. New technology really becomes a big thing on a grander scale, however, when it’s conveniently and affordably accessible to the average consumer. This is what’s happening right now with 5G, referring to the fifth generation mobile network. It’s a technology with a wide range of appealing possibilities, including internet service.

While there are many options with home internet today, but wired broadband is still a common connection source. In some cases, there aren’t many other viable or affordable options beyond wired broadband providers. However, some providers are now offering a new way of getting connected for residential customers – wireless 5G home internet. As the 5G roll-out continues it’s a perfect time to take a closer look at how this newer home internet option stacks up to wired broadband.

How Does 5G Home Internet Work?

Wired broadband is delivered through a cable into your home and distributed to various devices on your network with a router. 5G home internet works by delivering the connection via the air – like what happens when you get connected on a remote device like an iPad or smartphone, but a router is still needed and it’s not exactly the same as the Wi-Fi on your phone, but more on that later. Two of the top options right now with 5G home internet are:

• T-Mobile Home Internet
• Verizon 5G Home Internet

With 5G home internet, you’ll still get a router, as we just said. It’s used to create a local wireless network and to improve the reliability of the connection. In other words, you can use it for more data-demanding tasks like TV streaming or making video calls.

How Does It Compare Quality-Wise?

Cellular wireless isn’t a new thing. What’s different, though, is 5G is making this type of internet more accessible, especially in under-served or rural areas. The quality is a lot better with 5G home internet based on assessments from actual users and service testers. In fact, internet delivered this way is pretty much on-par with wired broadband in terms of quality.

What about Signing Up?

Wired broadband is still available in many more places than what’s common with 5G-based internet service. This being said, both T-Mobile and Verizon have expressed a commitment to expanding 5G coverage, so it should become available in more parts of the country. T-Mobile, for instance, is now offering its 5G home internet service in roughly 600 locations in the United States. In early 2022, Verizon stated its 5G service was available in approximately 900 cities throughout the U.S., which means somewhere around 20 million households have access to this service.

How about Cost?

The costs are generally reasonable with 5G home internet, and even a bit lower in some instances than what you would pay for comparable wired broadband service. According to, the average monthly cost for basic home internet is around $60, and a bit higher if you prefer more data and faster speeds. Now, let’s look at T-Mobile and Verizon to give you an idea of costs involved with 5G home internet:


With 5G, T-Mobile is charging $50 per month if you opt for auto-pay. It’s an extra $5 otherwise, which still isn’t bad.


Verizon offers two pricing options for its 5G home internet service. The standard plan is $50 if you go the auto-pay route; and an extra ten bucks if you don’t. However, there are discounts that apply if you already have other Verizon plans. A 5G Home Plus plan is available as well.

Other service perks and bundling options are offered by both T-Mobile and Verizon. So, take some time to check out what’s currently available and included as you sort through your options. Plus, if you already use either one of these providers for your mobile service you should be able to snag some good deals by combining services.

OK, What’s Going on with Hardware?

Continuing with T-Mobile and Verizon as an example for 5G home internet, the only hardware required is a router. You’ll also need an electrical connection in your home. The routers from both providers include two Ethernet ports. With wired broadband, you’ll also use a router and you need a cable connection. So, there’s not much difference with hardware, but there is a bit more flexibility with 5G option as far a router placement goes.

Alright, What Happens with Setup?

As we mentioned, setup is fairly simple. With wired broadband, you’ll need to set things up on your PC or laptop to establish an internet link after you set up your router. For 5G home internet, setup involves:

• Finding a place for your router
• Plugging it into an outlet
• Logging into your Wi-Fi network via your mobile device

Both of the 5G providers we’ve been using as examples also have handy apps that help with setup. You’ll also get web portals with the routers for the hardware settings.

What’s the Verdict on Performance?

Download speed is a good way to judge performance with internet service. With wired broadband, somewhere around 100 Mbps is about average in most areas. With 5G, at least with the two providers we’ve been referring to, download speeds tend to average higher. Verizon, for instance, regularly gets around or above 250 Mbps. The caveat here is download speeds with cellular connections tend to vary widely at different times. With uploads, the 5G options from T-Mobile and Verizon generally have higher upload speeds than what’s typical with wired broadband. However, this can vary based on service and provider.

On a side note, fiber internet will give you similar download and upload speeds. This is all fine and well, but fiber does require having access to fiber connections, which means more wires. Network coverage is also generally pretty good with 5G home internet, so it’s also right up there with what’s common with wired broadband.

Final Thoughts

It’s worth noting 5G home internet isn’t the same as internet service you access from your phone, which can be used anywhere. With 5G home internet, the service is linked to the user’s postal address, meaning the expectation is it will be used only around your home. Now, you can actually unplug the router and plug in it somewhere else and everything should still work fine. However, this is technically a terms of service violation, and it could result in termination of your service.

As for how 5G home internet stacks up to wired broadband, the final word is very well. Depending on your needs and what’s available in your area, it’s safe to say you could switch over to 5G service for home internet and you’ll still likely have a good experience.