T-Mobile vs. Verizon: Which 5G Home Internet Service Is Best?

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T-Mobile and Verizon offer 5G home internet services that are stealing away customers from cable, but which is best for you?

For the past few months, I’ve put both of these services to the test.

Comparing Verizon and T-Mobile’s 5G Home Internet Services

I started looking into 5G home internet providers because of the pricing.

Internet services from T-Mobile and Verizon start at $50 a month, but some wireless customers pay even less.

In addition, there are other reasons to like these services:

  • No annual contracts
  • No data caps
  • Equipment included

My testing hasn’t focused on whether these services are better than fiber or cable internet. In many cases, they’re not.

For the average user, T-Mobile and Verizon’s 5G home internet services may offer reliable internet service at a more affordable price than other available options.

Since I have access to both 5G services, I used the Speedtest app to compare their performance.

At the top of every hour for 10 hours in a row, I tested Verizon’s service and then T-Mobile’s service. That’s a total of 20 tests. All of them were conducted from my South Florida home.

I recorded three pieces of information: download speeds, upload speeds and ping.

During these tests, a similar pattern emerged that I’ve noticed over the past few months. I’ll explain as I share the speed test results.

Let’s dive in!

Download Speeds

For my testing, Verizon Home Internet’s average download speed was 198.2 Mbps (megabits per second). That was almost twice as fast as T-Mobile Home Internet, which averaged 103.9 Mbps.

These averages were within the ranges that Verizon and T-Mobile advertise:

The average download speeds I recorded are more than adequate for streaming video and browsing the web.

However, you’ll notice that T-Mobile’s service slowed down later in the day. In fact, I recorded a download speed of only 26.1 Mbps at 8 p.m. — below T-Mobile’s advertised range.

During times of congestion, T-Mobile says it prioritizes wireless customers over home internet users.

This has rarely been a problem for me, but deprioritization has temporarily affected my experience a few times. These slowdowns all happened late at night or early in the morning.

So far, I have not experienced any extreme slowdowns using Verizon’s 5G home internet service.

Verizon 5G Home InternetT-Mobile 5G Home Internet
11:00 AM247 Mbps 134 Mbps
12:00 PM201 Mbps 145 Mbps
1:00 PM185 Mbps 102 Mbps
2:00 PM220 Mbps 159 Mbps
3:00 PM255 Mbps 113 Mbps
4:00 PM252 Mbps 129 Mbps
5:00 PM192 Mbps 132 Mbps
6:00 PM173 Mbps 47.4 Mbps
7:00 PM160 Mbps 51.1 Mbps
8:00 PM96.6 Mbps 26.1 Mbps
AVERAGE198.2 Mbps103.9 Mbps

Upload Speeds

If you upload large files to the internet, you may notice a difference with 5G home internet services.

I had AT&T Fiber before I began testing Verizon and T-Mobile’s services. Fiber offers a symmetrical internet connection, so download and upload speeds are the same.

That’s a huge plus for content creators like me who upload video files to YouTube and other platforms.

From my testing of Verizon and T-Mobile’s 5G home internet services, upload speeds are much slower than download speeds. Expect upload speeds around 10 Mbps.

For me, that just means it takes a few minutes longer to upload my videos to YouTube. No big deal.

Verizon 5G Home InternetT-Mobile 5G Home Internet
11:00 AM15.0 Mbps 5.96 Mbps
12:00 PM14.1 Mbps 10.9 Mbps
1:00 PM18.1 Mbps 11.1 Mbps
2:00 PM19.3 Mbps 10.9 Mbps
3:00 PM19.6 Mbps 8.68 Mbps
4:00 PM9.41 Mbps 8.30 Mbps
5:00 PM16.0 Mbps 9.46 Mbps
6:00 PM16.0 Mbps 9.19 Mbps
7:00 PM20.1 Mbps 11.6 Mbps
8:00 PM17.2 Mbps 7.50 Mbps
AVERAGE16.48 Mbps 9.36 Mbps

Ping

The ping rate matters for households that do a lot of online gaming. In this case, a lower ping (measured in milliseconds) is best to avoid latency or lag.

From my testing, Verizon averaged 29.5 ms and T-Mobile averaged 43.3 ms.

These numbers aren’t too bad, but AT&T Fiber’s ping rate was usually less than 20 ms. If you’re a heavy gamer, I would recommend fiber internet if it’s available where you live.

The reviews from gamers who’ve tried Verizon and T-Mobile’s 5G home internet services are mixed.

Verizon 5G Home InternetT-Mobile 5G Home Internet
11:00 AM20 ms 55 ms
12:00 PM21 ms 29 ms
1:00 PM23 ms 44 ms
2:00 PM26 ms 22 ms
3:00 PM20 ms 48 ms
4:00 PM28 ms 28 ms
5:00 PM23 ms 22 ms
6:00 PM65 ms 78 ms
7:00 PM38 ms 49 ms
8:00 PM31 ms 58 ms
AVERAGE29.5 ms 43.3 ms

Final Thoughts

Verizon and T-Mobile’s 5G home internet services are bringing much-needed competition to the marketplace. They’re not claiming to be the best — because they’re not!

If you want the best performance, get fiber internet. Just know it’s probably going to be more expensive.

I canceled AT&T Fiber about a month ago to rely solely on Verizon and T-Mobile’s services. Although I did notice a difference in upload speeds, I had no issues with download speeds.

Based on my experience with both services over several months, I give the slight advantage to Verizon 5G Home Internet.

I see Verizon and T-Mobile’s services as good options for price-sensitive customers who are tired of the pricing games that other internet providers play with their customers.

Best of all, they both offer risk-free trial periods so you can test the performance where you live.

If you decide to sign up for either 5G home internet service, keep your existing internet provider during that testing period to make sure the new plan is a good fit.

See my separate reviews of Verizon Home Internet and T-Mobile Home Internet to continue your research.


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3 thoughts on “T-Mobile vs. Verizon: Which 5G Home Internet Service Is Best?”

  1. Great article, really helpful when deciding which service is better. Trying to save money and my current fiber internet is great, but expensive. I think I may try to test these out to see how these work for uploading videos and playing online games. Thanks Michael!

    Reply
  2. For a parent on a fixed income, DirecTV satellite just keeps getting too expensive.
    What would you think of T-Mobile Home Internet with DirecTV stream or YouTube TV?
    Would she run out of data, experience buffering, etc.,?

    Reply

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