DATA DOCTORS

Can home 5G options replace cable internet?

Jun 3, 2023, 5:00 AM

(Pexels photo)...

(Pexels photo)

(Pexels photo)

Q: Are the home 5G options fast enough for me to get rid of my expensive cable Internet service?

A: In the past, most households were limited to one or two wired Internet service options (DSL or Cable) based on where you lived.

As 5G coverage continues to grow, switching to a fixed wireless service from Verizon or T-Mobile may be a viable cost-saving alternative to traditional wired Internet service providers.

Most of the plans are $50 or less per month with no long-term contracts.

There are a variety of factors that will ultimately determine if switching makes sense for your specific situation.

Service Availability

Even though the 5G coverage maps are growing, home 5G isn’t available everywhere just yet.

The first thing to check is to see if your address qualifies for service with either of the carriers.

You can check Verizon’s availability here and T-Mobile’s availability here.

Your Needs

Once you’ve determined if the service is available, your next step is to evaluate your current usage.

If you are a single user on a network with a handful of devices, it’s highly likely that this option will work just fine for you.

If you have many family members that all stream lots of high-definition content or are hard-core gamers, it could be a bit too much for this type of service.

Consistency Issues

Home 5G devices use the same cellular network as your smartphone does, so congestion and wireless interference can impact your speeds, especially during peak usage times.

Home 5G users are generally deprioritized on cellular networks which prioritize mobile users over fixed wireless.

This potential issue can vary greatly depending on where you live and how much bandwidth you need, but there’s no way to know if it will work for you without trying it.

No Contracts, No Caps

The good news with these services is that if you try them, you aren’t committing to a long-term contract as they’re currently offered as a month-to-month service with no data caps.

This means you can try it for a month before you cancel service with your existing provider just to make sure it works for all your needs.

You don’t have to have a cellphone contract with either of the carriers to use their home 5G service, but you may be eligible for discounts if you do.

Easy Setup

Another great feature of these services is that there’s very little to getting them up and running. You simply plug it in and turn it on because the box contains both the modem and the router that provides you with a Wi-Fi signal.

The only adjustment you may have to make is to move the box around your house to provide the best Wi-Fi coverage and get maximum signal strength.

In order to test the service, you’ll have to reconnect all your devices to the new Wi-Fi signal or turn off your old router and change the home 5G router to your existing SSID and password.

Trial Offers

Verizon is currently offering a 30-day Satisfaction Guarantee and may even help cover early termination fees from your existing service and T-Mobile offers a 15-day Test Drive so you can try before you commit.

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Can home 5G options replace cable internet?