Best 5G Home Internet of 2022 – Forbes Advisor

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

Coverage area

One of the first decisions to make before diving too deep into the 5G market is whether you’re within the coverage area of ​​any 5G home internet provider you might be considering. While some ISP companies’ 5G infrastructure is relatively widely available nationwide, others’ networks are only just beginning to arrive in smaller towns.

Although Verizon is known for having one of the most extensive cellular networks in the United States, T-Mobile now has the largest and most widespread 5G infrastructure in the country, ideal for 5G home internet users. . Starry Internet uses a wider and faster 5G band, so it’s only available in select cities (although where it exists it’s one of the best, if not the best, options for 5G home internet) .

Costs and discounts

As with any technology (and especially with new technologies), cost remains a major factor in choosing a 5G home internet service provider. T-Mobile offers a flat rate of $50 per month for supposedly “unlimited” 5G download speeds with no data caps. In fact, its speeds are closer to 3,000 Mbps (which is still super fast speed at an extremely low price). Verizon’s standard internet plan is also $50 per monthbut peaks at around 300Mbps while its Plus plan sees speeds of up to 940Mbps with a $70 per month the price.

Plans are 50% off for existing Verizon wireless cellular customers. Starry Internet is one of the cheaper options, especially for those looking for the faster data speeds associated with mmWave 5G (see differences below). Starry currently only advertises speeds of up to 200 Mbps for between $30 and $50 per month. For its “Gigabit” broadband plans, expect to pay $80 per month.

Contracts, equipment and fees

The three 5G home internet companies we featured offer contact with no annual requirements, hidden fees, or price hikes. This makes it easier to trust your home 5G internet business, since you can start or stop the service at any time.

Unlike some 5G home internet services that use a tethered computer or other device connected to a cellular network, landline 5G companies including Verizon, T-Mobile, and Starry all offer a dedicated modem/router that can handle more connections and higher speeds. All three companies make devices, though 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 service providers will use two different types of 5G technology. Sub-6 5G was quickly rolled out by vendors such as T-Mobile and Verizon because it required only small upgrades to existing cell towers, while millimeter wave (or mmWave) 5G required hardware changes. more important infrastructure.

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

Moreover, mmWave 5G refers to data networks broadcasting at frequencies between 30 and 300 Ghz. These are called millimeter waves because 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 finding here is that millimeter waves are smaller and have a shorter range, but are faster overall. This means that your data connection will be faster, but the towers transmitting should 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 towers. high-rise buildings.

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

Download and upload speeds

The type of 5G used by each ISP will reveal the speed you can expect. We know mmWave 5G will bring faster internet compared to Sub-6 which has slower speeds. Each company will also advertise and offer a variety of different upload and download speeds, which may differ from the theoretical limits and capabilities of each technology. The basic 5G home internet plans from the three companies we featured all offer download speeds of around 200 or 300 Mbps. For most customers, this should more than cover streaming HD content and other web browsing. For gamers – or those uploading or downloading large amounts of data – 300 Mbps is on the lower end. If high download and/or upload speeds are important to you, be sure to check out the types of speeds offered by any company you are considering.

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