Verizon 5G Home Internet: Good for Phones, but for Your House Too?

7.2

Verizon 5G Home

Like


  • No data caps or contracts

  • Straightforward pricing

  • Faster download speeds than other fixed wireless services

Don’t like


  • Speeds are not guaranteed and can fluctuate

  • Home customers are second priority to mobile users on the network

  • Upload speeds are comparable to cable but fall short of fiber

Product details

  • range

    $50 – $70 per month (50% off for eligible 5G mobile customers)

  • range

    85 – 1,000Mbps

  • Connection

    Fixed wireless

  • Highlights

    Unlimited data, no contracts, free equipment, 50% discount for qualifying Verizon mobile customers

Since Verizon 5G Home Internet was first launched, in 2018, its availability has surged. Verizon unveiled its 5G Ultra Wideband network in January 2022, making Verizon 5G Home Internet available in approximately 900 cities. Though Verizon Fios, the company’s 100% fiber-optic internet service, typically scores well in customer satisfaction studies, it’s available only in the Northeast. So 5G’s wider availability significantly expands Verizon’s broadband options.

Unlike fiber, cable, DSL and other common modes of the 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 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.

Verizon 5G Home Gateway

Sarah Tew/CNET

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 and availability

Each dot in this Verizon coverage map represents a city with 5G Ultra Wideband access. The red regions of the map indicate where Verizon offers 5G for mobile customers. The dots are likely spots for the strongest 5G Home Internet connections.

Verizon

Verizon 5G Home Internet is available in many places but is mostly centered around America’s largest metro regions, where the development of 5G infrastructure is 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 proximity to 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 and prices

Verizon keeps things pretty simple. There are two options: you can choose 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 your choice of the two options, 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 1,000Mbps. 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 ($25 with qualifying Verizon 5G mobile plans) None None None 2 years
Verizon 5G Home Plus 300-1000Mbps download, 50Mbps upload $70 ($35 with qualifying Verizon 5G mobile plans) None None None 3 years

Phone screen showing 1.2Gbps on a speed test

Verizon’s 5G network can hit 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: 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. 

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 bait-and-switch promo rate, so your bill won’t arbitrarily jump up 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.

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.

When we reached out in January 2023 for the latest, an AT&T spokesperson emailed us, “We’re focused on connecting people using fiber. We’re considering ways our fixed wireless services can fill in pockets … and hard-to-reach areas for some customers, but fiber remains our focus.”

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-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 $50 monthly on home internet speeds ranging from 33-182Mbps download to 6-23Mbps 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 40 million households and targets 50 million by 2025. Starry is the smallest provider of the three and is available in six cities: Boston; Columbus, Ohio; Denver; Los Angeles; New York City; and Washington, DC. 

5g-image-2

Watch this: Verizon 5G speed test vs. 4G

Bundling Verizon 5G Home Internet with mobile offers superb 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 be 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. As 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 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. However, fiber still offers the best value, with most plans typically coming in between 9 and 17 cents per Mbps. If you have a choice between fiber and 5G, I’d lean toward fiber in most cases.

Verizon 5G Home Internet: Deals and offers

Remember 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 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. 

Additionally, Verizon 5G Home Plus customers will score their choice of an Xbox Series S or a $200 Home Depot gift card.

Here’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 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.

Verizon 5G Home Internet FAQs

Where can you get Verizon 5G Home?

While Verizon Fios is only offered 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 plug in your address using Verizon’s Check Availability tool.

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 the precise speed and performance you experience will depend on your location. But generally speaking, Verizon says customers should expect typical download speeds of 85-300Mbps and up to 1Gbps in select areas. 

What’s the difference between Verizon Fios and Verizon 5G Home?

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 across the country. Finally, Verizon Fios offers symmetrical download and upload speeds of 300, 500 and 940Mbps, while Verizon 5G Home has download speeds that vary between 85-300Mbps (but up to 1Gbps in some areas) and upload speeds that max out at 50Mbps.  


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