(KTLA) – Home Internet as simple as plug and play. That’s the promise of new 5G wireless home internet options from Verizon and T-Mobile.
It’s like the Internet on your phone, but for your whole house.
To test it, we tried Verizon’s 5G Home Internet at home — where we couldn’t get the best signal for the service, which is 5G UW. We also tried it out in places you could shoot UW, including a San Francisco hotel room and KTLA’s Los Angeles studios.
The service couldn’t be easier to set up – you just plug in a cube, wait for it to connect to a cellular signal, then it spits out a WiFi signal that you can connect your devices to.
This service can potentially replace the wired Internet connection you are used to getting from a cable provider or telephone company.
“So far, it’s really good if you can get it,” said Sascha Segan, a network testing guru at PCMag.com.
One of the problems with this home internet is that not all addresses are ready for it, and even if they are, a lot of the quality of service depends on the signal you can get back home. It is recommended to place the receiver near a window to get the best signal.
“The changing wireless network conditions around you tend to cause speeds to fluctuate much more than they do, especially with fiber,” Segan said.
But if all you need is the internet for basic day-to-day tasks like watching Netflix, surfing the web, and making Zoom calls, these services could save you a lot of money.
Plans start at $25 for Verizon’s 5G home internet and have no data caps. However, you’ll need to be a Verizon Wireless customer to get the best prices.
T-Mobile’s service, which we didn’t test, costs $50 per month.
It’s hard to believe that a cell phone signal can deliver internet to your entire home, but 5G offers speeds and bandwidth far beyond what LTE could offer, which is why you’re seeing these services suddenly appear.
The speed you will get is the biggest question mark. You might want to do a speed test with your phone inside your house to see what kind of speed is available. Keep in mind that the phone you’re using must be on the network you’re considering for home internet (Verizon or T-Mobile) and your existing WiFi must be off so you can get a speed that measures cellular signal not your Wi-Fi connection.
But at the end of the day, if you can get good speed at home, and the price of 5G internet is cheaper than what you’re paying for, it’s worth considering.
“If you have really overpriced cable service that is seriously unreliable, this gives you a great alternative,” Segan concluded.