Verizon 5G Home Internet: Is It a Viable Option for Your Home’s Broadband?
Fast speeds, unlimited data and no yearly contract make this cellular home internet service an enticing alternative for those with eligible addresses.
Updated Feb. 11, 2024 4:00 a.m. PT
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Ry CristSenior Editor / Reviews - Labs
Originally hailing from Troy, Ohio, Ry Crist is a writer, a text-based adventure connoisseur, a lover of terrible movies and an enthusiastic yet mediocre cook. A CNET editor since 2013, Ry's beats include smart home tech, lighting, appliances, broadband and home networking.
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Unlike fiber, cable, DSL and other common internet modes that get you online with a wired connection, cellular internet plans like Verizon 5G Home Internet take a fixed wireless approach. As the name suggests, your home will wirelessly connect through a receiver that picks up Verizon's signal and broadcasts it as a Wi-Fi network.
Fixed wireless connections like satellite internet and previous-gen 4G LTE internet are typically much slower than what you'll get from a wired cable or fiber connection, but that isn't the case with 5G. In some regions, including parts of Verizon's coverage map, you'll find 5G plans capable of hitting near-gigabit download speeds.
Locating local internet providers
That makes 5G especially interesting if you live in an area without high-speed cable or fiber internet access. Verizon is one of the top names leading the effort to bring the technology to as many homes as possible. With straightforward pricing, no data caps and no contracts, there's much to like about what Verizon is selling.
Here's everything you should know about Verizon 5G Home Internet, including what sort of speeds, prices and terms to expect if you sign up. All prices listed on this page reflect available discounts for setting up paperless billing. If you decide not to go with automatic monthly payments, your price will be higher.
Locating local internet providers
Who can get Verizon 5G Home Internet?
Verizon 5G Home Internet is available in many places, but it's mostly centered on America's largest metro regions, where the development of 5G infrastructure is furthest along. That puts it on a similar trajectory to fiber, with service primarily focused in America's largest cities, where the population density makes expansion more cost-effective.
That said, deploying new cell towers and upgrading existing ones is generally faster than wiring entire regions for fiber, neighborhood by neighborhood. While availability is still somewhat limited, there's room for hope that 5G might be able to bring speedier home internet to underserved parts of the country faster than fiber, cable or other internet types.
Plug in your address to determine Verizon 5G Home Internet availability
Even if Verizon 5G Home Internet is available in your city, there's no guarantee you can get it at your address. Service requires proximity to Verizon's 5G cell towers and a strong, steady signal.
Verizon keeps things pretty simple. There are two options: You can choose between 5G Home at $50 per month or Verizon 5G Home Plus at $70 monthly (plus extra perks). Either way, you can get an additional discount with a qualifying Verizon 5G mobile plan.
Speeds will also vary based on the connection quality at your address and the plan you choose. Verizon says 5G Home customers will get HD video streaming (1080p) and average download speeds between 50 and 300 megabits per second. Those with 5G Home Plus will experience 4K video streaming, with speeds ranging from 85 to 1,000Mbps. As for your uploads, which affect video calls and posting large files to the web, most homes should expect speeds between 5 to 75Mbps.
With Verizon's 4G LTE home internet plan, customers can typically expect download speeds ranging from 25Mbps to 50Mbps, with uploads in the single digits. 5G is much faster than that, and that's because the standard's millimeter-wave technology (aka mmWave) sends signals at much higher frequencies than LTE. Those higher frequencies can deliver gigabit speeds in the right circumstances, but the trade-off is that they don't travel as far and can struggle with obstructions.
5G accounts for those high-speed range limitations by mixing slower mid- and low-band signals that travel farther for better coverage. On those frequencies, you can expect your 5G speeds to dip to around 300Mbps on midband or down to double-digit LTE levels on low-band. That's why your 5G mileage will vary as far as speeds are concerned -- it all comes down to your home's location.
Say goodbye to data caps, contracts or hidden fees
Verizon's terms are about as straightforward as you'll find in the home internet market. The monthly rate includes all taxes and fees, and you won't need to pay an additional equipment fee as you will with many providers.
Additionally, there are no service contracts, early termination fees or data caps. That means you can use your connection as much as you like without fearing overage charges for using too much data. On top of that, Verizon 5G Home Internet doesn't come with a bait-and-switch promo rate, so your bill won't arbitrarily jump after 12 months.
All of that is pretty appealing, and it matches what we see from T-Mobile and Starry, the other two names of note offering 5G home internet plans. Like Verizon, neither enforces contracts, data caps or equipment fees. That seems like a smart strategy for providers hoping to tempt customers into trying something new.
How does Verizon 5G Home Internet fare against competitors?
We mentioned T-Mobile and Starry, two other providers currently offering 5G home internet. AT&T is the notable absence here. The company has its own 5G network and currently offers fixed wireless home internet service, but that service didn't use 5G, at least not at the beginning of 2023.
As for T-Mobile and Starry, they offer appealingly straightforward terms, just as Verizon does, but the prices and speeds are different. For example, consider Verizon 5G Home vs. T-Mobile Home Internet. T-Mobile uses a mix of 5G and 4G LTE signals and is slower than Verizon but a bit less expensive than the 5G Home Plus option. You'll spend $60 monthly on home internet speeds ranging from 72 to 245Mbps download to 15 to 31Mbps upload.
Starry is more impressive, as $50 per month gets you download speeds of 200Mbps and upload speeds of 100Mbps. That makes it the only cellular internet provider close to fiber's symmetrical speeds.
As for each company's coverage map, T-Mobile offers the most availability, with cellular internet service currently available to more than 50 million households across the US. Verizon now offers 5G home internet service to over 40 million households and targets 50 million by 2025. Starry is the smallest provider of the three and is available only in five cities: Boston, Denver, Los Angeles, New York City and Washington, D.C.
Bundling Verizon 5G Home Internet with mobile nets nice savings
Are you already a Verizon mobile customer? Those with select 5G phone plans can snag an additional $15-$25 off their monthly bill when combining their cellphone plan with Verizon 5G Home Internet. That's a nice incentive to give Verizon a try.
Even without that discount, Verizon could offer solid value if your average speeds are high enough. It's difficult to say with such a wide range of possibilities. With Starry, $50 per month for speeds of 200Mbps comes to about 25 cents per Mbps. With T-Mobile, your average cost per Mbps would be approximately 25 cents, assuming you're routinely hitting those maximum speeds of 245Mbps.
As for Verizon, the company says that 5G Home customers should typically expect downloads between 50Mbps and 300Mbps. If your average is 193Mbps, you're paying about 26 cents per Mbps monthly. If you have a strong connection and average download speeds are closer to 300Mbps, that cost per Mbps falls to 17 cents. If the connection is weak, and your average is around 85Mbps, the number shoots up to 59 cents. As we said, your mileage may vary.
If you opt for 5G Home Plus, your monthly figures will be slightly different: Verizon's figures come out to 11 cents per Mbps for average speeds at 650Mbps, 23 cents at 300Mbps and 7 cents at 1,000Mbps. Those numbers dip even lower if you apply the Verizon mobile plan discount.
That stacks up pretty well with the top cable providers, who typically charge at least 25 cents per Mbps. Fiber still offers the best value, with most plans typically coming in between 9 and 17 cents per Mbps. If there's a choice between fiber and 5G, we'll often lean toward fiber.
Perks and promotions with Verizon 5G Home Internet
Remember how we mentioned that 5G home internet providers are trying to lure customers from other ISPs? That's certainly the case with Verizon. The company currently offers many sweeteners for anyone thinking about making the switch.
If your provider charges an early termination fee for ditching it before your contract ends, Verizon will cover that cost when you switch (up to $500). On top of that, new Verizon 5G Home Internet customers get a 30-day satisfaction guarantee: If you're not happy with your service, you can get a full refund.
Verizon 5G Home Plus customers will score a $200 Target gift card and Verizon Cloud Unlimited.
What's the bottom line on Verizon 5G Home Internet?
On paper, there's not much to criticize. Verizon 5G Home Internet offers some genuinely outstanding terms, and the download speeds could potentially match what you'd expect from cable or fiber. Don't forget that Verizon is consistently ranked as a top ISP for customer satisfaction by organizations like the American Customer Satisfaction Index and J.D. Power. We wish the uploads were faster than 75Mbps, especially given that Starry promises uploads as high as 100Mbps, but that might also indicate that there's room for Verizon to improve over time as its 5G network expands.
That expansion of 5G infrastructure will be key to bringing availability to more people and strengthening the signal for Verizon's existing customers. If Verizon can continue growing its service map at a fast clip, and its simple, straightforward pricing proves popular, Verizon's 5G Home Internet service might be a game-changer.
Verizon 5G Home Internet FAQs
How fast is Verizon 5G Home?
On average, Verizon 5G Home is faster than satellite internet service and boasts better download speeds than T-Mobile Home Internet. The biggest caveat is that the precise speed and performance you experience will depend on your location. Generally speaking, Verizon says customers should expect typical download speeds of 50-300Mbps and up to 1Gbps in select areas.
Where can you get Verizon 5G Home?
While Verizon Fios is offered only in the northeast, Verizon 5G Home is available nationwide to approximately 40 million customers. That said, most of its footprint falls around cities and metro areas. To determine if your location qualifies for service, you must use Verizon's Check Availability tool to plug in your address.
What's the difference between Verizon Fios and Verizon 5G Home Internet?
One of the biggest differences is that Verizon Fios is a fixed, wired internet service (a 100% fiber-optic internet network), while Verizon 5G Home is a fixed wireless internet service. Verizon Fios is only offered in eight states (and Washington, DC), while Verizon 5G Home is available to select addresses nationwide. Finally, Verizon Fios offers symmetrical download and upload speeds of 300, 500 and 940Mbps, while Verizon 5G Home has download speeds that vary between 50 and 300Mbps (up to 1Gbps in some areas) and upload speeds that max out at 75Mbps.