Best 5G Home Internet of 2023 – Forbes Home

Best 5G Home Internet of 2023 – Forbes Home

Choosing the best 5G home internet provider can be a complex decision and may depend on a number of key factors.

Coverage area

One of the first decisions to make before diving into the 5G market is whether you’re in the coverage area of ​​any 5G home internet provider you might be considering. While some ISPs’ 5G infrastructure is relatively widely available across the country, others’ networks are only just reaching smaller cities and towns.

Although Verizon is known to have one of the broadest cellular networks in the US, T-Mobile now has the largest and most widespread 5G infrastructure in the country, which is great for 5G home internet users. Starry Internet uses a larger, faster band than 5G, so it’s only available in select cities (although there it is, it’s one of the options, if not the best option, for 5G home internet).

Costs and discounts

As with any technology (especially with new ones), cost remains a major factor in choosing a 5G home internet service provider. So, how much does 5G home internet cost? T-Mobile offers a flat rate of $50 per month For supposedly “unlimited” 5G download speeds with no data cap. In fact, their speeds are closer to 3000Mbps (which is still super fast at a very low price). Verizon’s standard internet plan is, too $50 per monthbut maxes out at around 300Mbps while its Plus plan sees speeds of up to 940Mbps with $70 per month price.

Plans are discounted by 50% for existing Verizon wireless cellular customers. Starry Internet is one of the cheapest options, especially for those looking for the faster data speeds associated with millimeter wave 5G (see differences below). Starry currently only advertises speeds of up to 200Mbps $30 and $50 per month. For high-speed “Gigabit” plans, expect to pay $80 per month.

Contracts, equipment and fees

All three of the 5G home internet companies we’ve featured offer connections without annual requirements, hidden fees, or price hikes. This makes it easy to trust your 5G home internet company, as you can start or stop service at any time.

Unlike some 5G home internet services that use a tethered computer or other device connected to a cellular network, fixed 5G carriers including Verizon, T-Mobile, and Starry offer a dedicated modem/router that can handle more connections and faster speeds. All three companies manufacture the devices, although Verizon and T-Mobile currently offer professional installation at no additional cost.

Sub-6 vs mmWave 5G

Depending on your service area or the ISP company you choose, 5G Home Internet providers will use two different types of 5G technology. Sub-6 5G has been rapidly deployed by providers like T-Mobile and Verizon because it requires only small upgrades to existing cell towers, while millimeter wave 5G (or mmWave) requires larger infrastructure changes.

Sub-6 5G refers to the area of ​​radio spectrum used for the network. Sub-6 uses frequencies below 6 GHz (GHz). Note: 3G, 4G, and 5G refer to “generations” of data networks, not the gigahertz frequency used as part of the transmission. While Sub-6 5G is certainly faster than 4G or 3G networks because it uses radio waves that travel faster, it is only a slight step up and is mostly an improvement in data speeds for semi-urban areas.

Additionally, mmWave 5G refers to data networks that broadcast at frequencies between 30 and 300 GHz. These are called millimeter waves because the radio waves are literally one to 10 millimeters long compared to the lower gigahertz waves used by Sub-6 5G, which are centimeters long. The important point here is that millimeter waves are smaller and have a shorter range, but are generally faster. This means your data connection will be faster, but the towers sending the data must be closer to your home. Adding new transmission towers to infrastructure takes time, so mmWave 5G is currently only available in denser urban areas where demand is higher and where 5G transmitters can be added to high-rise buildings.

Starry Internet only uses mmWave 5G technology, so although it offers some of the best home internet speeds, it’s only available in select cities. Verizon offers both mmWave and Sub-6 5G depending on location, and T-Mobile currently only offers Sub-6 5G.

Download speeds vs upload speeds

The type of 5G each ISP uses will reveal the speeds you can expect. We know that mmWave 5G will provide faster internet compared to Sub-6, which has slower speeds. Each company will also advertise and offer a variety of different download and upload speeds, which may differ from the theoretical limits and capabilities of each technology. The basic 5G home internet plans from the three companies we showed offer around 200 or 300 Mbps of download speed. For most customers, this should include more than just streaming HD content and other web browsing. For gamers – or those who download or upload large amounts of data – 300Mbps is the minimum. If fast download and/or upload speeds are important to you, be sure to check to see what types of speeds are offered by any company you’re considering.

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