Verizon 5G Home Internet: Plenty Fast for Phones, but What About Your Home?

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Ry Crist
2022-07-04 08:00:20
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First launched in 2018, Verizon 5G Home Internet availability has surged in the last year. Verizon unveiled its 5G Ultra Wideband network this January, making Verizon 5G Home Internet available in approximately 900 cities. While Verizon Fios, the company’s 100% fiber-optic internet service, typically scores well on customer satisfaction studies, it’s only available in the Northeast, so 5G’s wider availability area marks a significant expansion for Verizon’s broadband options.

Unlike fiber, cable, DSL and other common modes of internet 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 get its internet connection wirelessly through a receiver that picks up Verizon’s signal and broadcasts it throughout your home as a Wi-Fi network. 

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Fixed wireless connections like satellite internet and previous-gen 4G LTE internet are typically a lot slower than what you’ll get from a wired cable or fiber connection, but that’s not 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.

That makes 5G especially interesting if you live 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 (all of which seem to be emerging standards across 5G home internet) there’s a lot to like about what Verizon’s selling. Still, it’s a moot point if the service isn’t available at your address. 

Here’s everything you should know about Verizon 5G Home Internet, including what sort of speeds, prices and terms you should expect if you sign up.

Verizon 5G Home Internet coverage map: Where is it available?

Each dot in this Verizon coverage map is a city with access to 5G Ultra Wideband, which Verizon uses to deliver the fastest 5G Home Internet speeds. The dark red regions of the map indicate where Verizon offers 5G for mobile customers — those are the likeliest spots for future 5G Home Internet expansions.


Verizon

Verizon 5G Home Internet availability

Verizon 5G Home Internet is available in many places, but most are centered around America’s largest metro regions, where the development of 5G infrastructure is the furthest along. That puts it on a similar trajectory as 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. So, 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, more common modes of internet.

Check your address to verify Verizon 5G Home Internet serviceability

Even if Verizon 5G Home Internet is available in your city, there’s no guarantee it’s available at your address. Serviceability requires relative proximity to one of Verizon’s 5G cell towers and a strong, steady signal.

Take me, for instance. I live near downtown Louisville, Kentucky, where Verizon’s 5G Home Internet is an option for some. But Verizon can’t offer service at my address yet, even though I have a cell plan with Verizon and service that’s strong enough for my phone to connect over 5G semi-regularly when I’m at home. That lack of availability might change soon (and I’m eager to test the service out and tell you all about it), but for now, all I can do is wait.

Want to see if Verizon 5G Home Internet is available at your address? Here’s the Verizon availability link.

Verizon 5G Home Internet plans, speeds, prices and terms

Verizon keeps things pretty simple. There are two options: you have your choice of whether you want a two-year price guarantee — at $50 a month, including all taxes and fees — or a three-year price lock at $70 per month (plus extra perks), everything included. No matter which of the two options you choose, you can get an additional 50% off if you have a qualifying Verizon 5G mobile plan. 

Speeds will vary based on the connection quality at your address, but Verizon says most customers should expect average download speeds of about 300 megabits per second. In select parts of the coverage map, speeds can get as high as 940Mbps. As for your uploads, which affect video calls and posting large files to the web, most homes should expect to see speeds between 10-50Mbps.

Verizon 5G Home Internet plans

Plan Max speeds Monthly price Equipment fee Data cap Contract Price guarantee
Verizon 5G Home 85-300Mbps download, 10Mbps upload $50 None None None 2 years
Verizon 5G Home Plus 300-1000Mbps download, 50Mbps upload $70 None None None 3 years
verizon-5g-nyc

Verizon’s 5G network is capable of hitting gigabit speeds in select areas.


Eli Blumenthal/CNET

How does Verizon 5G compare to Verizon 4G LTE speeds?

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 tradeoff is 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 down 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 the location of your home.

Verizon 5G Home Internet has no 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 most providers. In December 2021, Verizon announced a new Wi-Fi 6E router available to new Verizon 5G Home Internet customers. 

Additionally, there are no service contracts or early termination fees and no 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 promo rate, so your bill won’t arbitrarily jump up after the first year.

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 of them enforces contracts, data caps or equipment fees. That seems like a smart strategy for providers hoping to tempt customers into trying something new.

Verizon 5G Home Internet vs. the competition

I mentioned T-Mobile and Starry — two other providers currently offering 5G home internet plans. AT&T is the notable absence here. The company has its own 5G network and currently offers fixed wireless home internet service too, but that service doesn’t use 5G, at least not yet.

T-Mobile and Starry offer appealingly straightforward terms just as Verizon does, but the prices and speeds are different. For example, consider Verizon 5G Home vs. T-Moble 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 $50 per month on home internet speeds ranging from 33-182Mbps download to 6-23Mbps upload. 

Starry is more impressive, as $50 per month gets you to download speeds of 200Mbps and upload speeds to 100Mbps. That makes it the only cellular internet provider that gets close to fiber’s symmetrical speeds.

As for each company’s coverage map, T-Mobile offers the most comprehensive availability, with cellular internet service currently available to over 40 million households across the US. Verizon told us in February that it now offers 5G home internet service to 30 million households and targets 50 million by 2025. Starry is the smallest provider of the three and is available in six cities. Still, the company plans to expand access to 30 million homes in new markets by the end of 2022
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Bundling Verizon 5G Home Internet with mobile offers the best value

Verizon could potentially offer the best value if your average speeds are high enough, but it’s difficult to say for sure 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 sit at about 27 cents, assuming you’re routinely hitting those max speeds of 182Mbps. 

As for Verizon, the company says that 5G Home customers should typically expect downloads between 85Mbps to 300Mbps. So, if your average is 193Mbps (the midpoint), you’re paying about 26 cents per Mbps each month. If you have a strong connection and average download speeds are closer to 300Mbps, that cost per Mbps falls to 17 cents, but if the connection is weak and your average sits at around 85Mbps, the number shoots up to 59 cents. Like I said, your mileage may vary.

If you opt for 5G Home Plus, your monthly figures will be slightly different: Verizon’s value figures come out to 11 cents per Mbps for average speeds at 650Mbps, 23 cents at 300Mbps and 7 cents at 1000Mbps. Those numbers dip 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. However, fiber still offers the best value, with most plans typically coming in between 9 and 17 cents per Mbps. If you’re choosing between fiber and 5G, I’d lean toward fiber in most cases.

Verizon 5G Home Internet special offers and deals

Remember how I mentioned that 5G home internet providers are trying to lure customers away 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 current 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 also receive a complimentary SimpliSafe Smart Home Security Bundle. 

5g-verizon-phone-7209

Angela Lang/CNET

The bottom line on Verizon 5G Home Internet

On paper, there’s not much to criticize here. Verizon 5G Home Internet offers some genuinely outstanding terms, and the download speeds could potentially match what you’d expect to see from cable or fiber. And 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. I wish the uploads were faster than 50Mbps, 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 the key to bringing availability to more people and strengthening the signal for Verizon’s existing customers. Suppose Verizon can continue growing its service map at a fast clip, and its simple, straightforward approach to pricing proves popular. In that case, Verizon’s 5G Home Internet service might be a potential game-changer. We’ll continue to watch this space, and I’ll update this post as soon as I can test the service out for myself.


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