T-Mobile 5G Home Internet
By Joe Supan Last updated: March 1, 2023
T-Mobile is a flat $50/mo. with taxes included and no price hikes or hidden fees. And while its download speeds aren’t as consistently high as many cable or fiber internet plans, they’re still a huge step up from what many rural households are getting.
- Check with T-Mobile
Plans starting at*
*Pricing per month plus taxes for length of contract. Additional fees and terms may apply. Pricing varies by location and availability. All prices subject to change at any time. May or may not be available based on service address. Speeds may vary. As of 02/23/23.
T-Mobile Home Internet review
T-Mobile’s 5G Home Internet service is one of the most affordable internet plans available at just $50/mo. with AutoPay, with taxes included. T-Mobile has just one plan and no price hikes or fees. Speeds are more erratic than traditional broadband connections because your speed largely depends on your proximity to a 5G tower, but it should be plenty for most households.
What we like
Simple pricing – All-in-one price with equipment included and no hidden fees.
No contracts – You can cancel anytime and T-Mobile won’t raise prices after the first year.
No data caps – You won’t have to worry about getting charged for going over your data limit.
Things to consider
Inconsistent speeds – Speeds are more erratic than cable and fiber optic internet connections.
Location – The quality of your connection will depend on how close you are to a T-Mobile tower.
No TV – You won’t be able to save money by bundling with TV service.
T-Mobile Home internet rating
3.70 / out of 5 stars
This score is based off of the 1 plans T-Mobile Home has available
4.38 / 5
3.20 / 5
2.78 / 5
4.60 / 5
T-Mobile Home Internet plans and pricing
One of the biggest draws of T-Mobile’s 5G Home Internet service is its simplistic pricing. While most internet providers include a slew of hidden fees that make your first bill a surprise no matter what, T-Mobile’s plan is appealingly inclusive: $50/mo., all taxes and fees included. (Well, almost — that price does include a $10/mo. autopay discount.) What’s more, your price won’t ever go up. T-Mobile locks you into whatever you’re paying when you sign up.
With T-Mobile 5G you’ll get download speeds up to 182 Mbps and upload speeds up to 23 Mbps. Keep in mind that these are max speeds, so they will likely vary based on your location.
|Price after 12 mos.||$50/mo.*|
|Max download speed||Up to 182 Mbps|
|Max upload speed||23 Mbps|
*With AutoPay. Regularly $60/mo. That’s a savings of $10/mo. via bill credits for the life of your new Home Internet line. Updated 02/23/23.
T-Mobile contracts, equipment and fees
T-Mobile’s Gateway device took about 10 minutes to set up, and was extremely simple. This is one of the biggest appeals of T-Mobile internet compared to a traditional provider: You won’t have to worry about scheduling an appointment with a technician or expensive installation fees.
The Gateway device is a gray cylinder about 8.5 inches tall with a small touchscreen on the top. It has two LAN ports, a USB-C port, a power jack, a port for UPS devices and an RJ-11 port for landline telephones. Oddly, T-Mobile says the UPS and RJ-11 ports don’t work. To set up internet, you download the app on your phone, which walks you through creating your Wi-Fi network.
Contracts and fees
T-Mobile 5G Home Internet has no hidden fees or contracts. You won’t be hit with early termination fees.
T-Mobile Home Internet vs. top competitors
T-Mobile home internet is generally cheaper than plans from competitors — but its competitors provide faster speeds. Spectrum, for example, charges less than T-Mobile at $49.99 for faster speeds of 300 Mbps.
When comparing prices below, keep in mind that T-Mobile internet includes all taxes and fees in its price. In most cases, you can expect to pay around $10-15 more per month than what’s listed from most providers for equipment fees and taxes.
|Provider||Allconnect score||Starting price||Download speed||Upload speed||Data cap|
|T-Mobile||3.70/5||$50/mo.*||Up to 182 Mbps||23 Mbps||None|
|AT&T||4.05/5||$55/mo.||300 Mbps||300 Mbps||None|
|AT&T DSL||2.80/5||$55/mo.||100 Mbps||20 Mbps||1,000GB|
|Optimum||3.61/5||$39.99/mo.||300 Mbps||35 Mbps||None|
|Spectrum||3.50/5||$49.99/mo.||300 Mbps**||10 Mbps**||None|
|Verizon||4.02/5||$49.99/mo.||200 Mbps||200 Mbps||None|
*With AutoPay. Regularly $60/mo. That’s a savings of $10/mo. via bill credits for the life of your new Home Internet line.
Pricing per month plus taxes for length of contract. Additional fees and terms may apply. Pricing varies by location and availability. All prices subject to change at any time. May or may not be available based on service address. As of 02/23/23.
**Wireless speeds may vary.
T-Mobile Home Internet availability
T-Mobile’s 5G network is one of the most widely available fixed wireless networks with availability stretching across all 50 states. Right now, T-Mobile 5G serves 98% of Americans and is still expanding.
My experience with T-Mobile Home Internet
T-Mobile sent me its Wi-Fi Gateway device soon after it launched in early April 2021, and I began testing it soon after. In addition to running dozens of speed tests daily, I logged onto Zoom meetings, streamed live TV and connected my smart home devices — in short, everything I’d normally use the internet for.
There were a couple of bumpy moments. Two Zoom meetings glitched bad enough that I had to frantically switch back to my cable internet connection after it started — something that’s never happened with my cable internet. But aside from those two hiccups, I had no issues over my three weeks of testing the service.
Major caveat: I live alone and don’t do a ton of bandwidth-intensive activities like online gaming and 4K streaming. T-Mobile’s Home Internet was enough speed for me, but if you have a few people using the internet at once, it might not cut it.
Download speed varied wildly, but it was usually enough
On its site, T-Mobile says it “anticipates” download speeds over 100 Mbps for some customers – up to 182 Mbps, but no household should see anything below 25 Mbps consistently.
This was largely true. Over our three weeks of testing, I only saw download speeds dip below that 25 Mbps threshold a few times, and the lowest download speed I recorded was 19.5 Mbps.
The T-Mobile home internet speed was more up and down than my Xfinity cable internet connection. I recorded download speeds between 19.5 Mbps and 135 Mbps with T-Mobile, while Xfinity stayed between 41 and 119 Mbps. Xfinity’s speeds were a lot more consistent, usually hovering around 115 Mbps, while T-Mobile’s often jumped up or down by 40 Mbps every half hour.
Upload speeds were consistently phenomenal
While download speeds were all over the map, T-Mobile’s upload speeds were consistently great. They averaged 54 Mbps over my three weeks of testing — 10 times higher than what I was getting with my cable internet in the same period. If you’re going to be uploading data from multiple devices at once, T-Mobile might be worth the price of admission for that alone.
Generally low lag
The ping rate for T-Mobile 5G Home Internet averaged around 30 ms — a serviceable number, but higher than the 12 ms I got from my cable internet. That said, some gamers have reported worse experiences in T-Mobile forums. Again, your experience will likely depend on how close you are to one of T-Mobile’s cell towers.
No data caps
Unlike a lot of fixed wireless providers, T-Mobile internet doesn’t have any data caps on its plan. The company also says it won’t be throttling service after you reach a certain amount of data, so you shouldn’t have to worry about watching your usage.
Router lacks advanced features
One complaint about the T-Mobile Wi-Fi Gateway is that it lacks some of the advanced features you’ll find on many higher-end wireless routers. You can choose between 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks, but there are no clear parental controls, port forwarding or VPN options. That said, you can disconnect devices from the Gateway, and even schedule them to disconnect automatically at certain times.
You can’t take it on the go
The T-Mobile Gateway has a 5,000 mAh battery, which might lead you to believe it’s designed for mobile use. But unfortunately, Wi-Fi and Ethernet are disabled while using the battery.
Here’s what a T-Mobile rep told us: “The gateway may be used on battery power during setup to help you find a location with the best signal strength, but it is not designed to support a Wi-Fi or Ethernet connection on battery power only.”
It is still much easier to move around than a traditional modem/router combo. If you’re going to be working in another room of the house, for example, you can simply unplug the power adapter and take it wherever you need.
T-Mobile Home Internet takeaway
How well T-Mobile’s 5G Home Internet service works for you largely depends on your proximity to its cell towers, and whether you have anything obstructing its signal around your home. In many cities, fiber and cable internet providers will still provide a more reliable connection, but they’re also usually more expensive than T-Mobile’s $50/mo. flat rate with AutoPay.
Where T-Mobile 5G Home Internet can really be an upgrade is in rural areas where broadband isn’t as readily available. Compared to DSL or satellite internet, T-Mobile is an absolute game changer. It should provide enough speed for streaming, gaming and working from home in most areas, and you won’t have to worry about data caps or contracts.
Unfortunately, because fixed wireless internet is so location-dependent, the only way to really know what kind of speed and reliability you’re going to get is to try out T-Mobile 5G Home Internet for yourself. With no installation fees or contracts, the only thing you have to lose is the time it takes to order and set up.
T-Mobile 5G Home Internet FAQs
Does T-Mobile Home Internet offer TV service?
No, you won’t be able to bundle TV and internet service with T-Mobile, but it is currently partnering with YouTube TV to get you $10 off the live TV streaming service each month for as long as you’re a T-Mobile subscriber. You’ll get more than 85 channels with YouTube TV, including almost all of the popular news, sports and entertainment networks. But if you’d rather keep TV and internet all under one bill, you might be better off with a more traditional provider.
Where is T-Mobile 5G Home Internet available?
In April 2021, T-Mobile launched its 5G Home Internet service to 634 metro areas around the U.S., providing coverage to over 30 million homes — immediately making it one of the largest internet service providers by service area in the country. T-Mobile also says 10 million of these homes are in rural areas, which often don’t have access to the high speeds that 5G promises.
You can see a full PDF list of cities or check your address on T-Mobile’s website to see if your home has access. In general, if T-Mobile’s 5G wireless network is available in your area, you’ll probably be able to get its home internet service, too.
There is one streaming service you won’t be able to use with T-Mobile’s home internet plan: Hulu + Live TV. The on-demand version of Hulu still works, but not Hulu + Live TV. There’s no word from T-Mobile or Hulu on when this might change.
How Does T-Mobile 5G Home Internet work?
Where most home internet connections in the U.S. utilize wired infrastructure, T-Mobile’s is what’s called fixed wireless. These connections are usually much slower than fiber and cable internet, and you often have to deal with stingy data caps. But with its investment in the latest 5G technology, T-Mobile home internet speed is about what you’d get through traditional broadband providers.
While it’s not a huge step up from these connections — and in our testing it was a little less consistent than cable — it could be a big difference maker in rural areas. In these communities, slower DSL and satellite internet providers are often the only options. Compared to these, T-Mobile’s new service is an enormous upgrade.
Unfortunately, T-Mobile internet speed varies a ton depending on where you live, so the only way to know how well it works is to try it — something that most internet users probably aren’t thrilled to do.
How fast is T-Mobile 5G internet?
T-Mobile 5G Home Internet offers download speeds up to 182 Mbps and upload speeds up to 23 Mbps. The speed you receive with T-Mobile will largely depend on your proximity to a 5G tower, so you should expect speeds to vary.
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Written by:Joe Supan
Principal Writer, Broadband Content
Joe Supan is a principal writer for CNET and Allconnect. He has helped build the proprietary metrics used on Allconnect’s review pages, utilizing thousands of data points to help readers navigate these complex… Read more
Edited by:Robin Layton
Editor, Broadband Content
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