Ultra Home Internet is a fixed wireless home internet service that run on the T-Mobile network. Ultra Home Internet is a service offering from Ultra Mobile. Ultra Mobile is an mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), founded in 2011. They provide service in the United States and specialize in low-cost prepaid mobile phone services. Ultra Mobile is especially known for their unlimited international calling and texting plans.
Ultra Home Internet is designed to tap into the same T-Mobile infrastructure that Ultra Mobile uses. However the Ultra Home Internet plans are data only and tied to a fixed service address. Some of their main competitors include T-Mobile Home Internet and Verizon 5G Home Internet. They also indirectly compete with various cable, DSL, and fiber internet service providers such as Xfinity, Spectrum, Verizon Fios, and Fidium. In some rural areas they also directly compete with satellite internet service such as HughesNet, Viasat, and Starlink.
Ultra Home Internet covers all 50 states and almost 300 million Americans. Of course there are some gaps in coverage and service is entirely dependent on the T-Mobile network. As with most internet service providers (ISPs), Ultra Home Internet has both its fair share of loyal customers and harsh critics. This is not unlike Comcast, Spectrum, Verizon, AT&T, and most other providers.
Pros of Ultra Home Internet
- Wide availability across the United States.
- Uses the T-Mobile Network which is rapidly expanding and adding more 5G coverage.
- Prices are transparent and include all taxes and fees.
- 5G Speeds are fastest enough for HD video streaming in most cases.
- Simple plug and play DIY installation.
Cons of Ultra Home Internet
- Tiered data plans of 25 GB, 50 GB, and 75GB.
- Unlimited data plan costs $144.99 per month.
- 5G coverage not available in all areas, 4G coverage is more widespread.
- Speeds up to 182 Mbps will vary wildly based on location and time of day.
- Latency (ping) is 200+ ms and will spike to 1,000 + ms every few seconds.
- Virtually unusable for gaming or remote working using video conferencing.
- Pricing is not competitive with other 5G options.
- CGNAT IP address with no option for a static IP.
- Double NAT network configuration makes port forwarding impossible.
|Data Allowance||25 GB||50GB||75GB||Unlimited|
|Price Per Month||$54.99||$79.99||$119.99||$144.99|
As you can see, the pricing is simply not very competitive with the industry norms. With Verizon 5G home internet or T-Mobile home internet you can get unlimited data for less than $70 per month. Comcast (Xfinity) plans came with a 1.2 TB (1,200 GB) data cap and start at less than $60 per month.
Starlink satellite internet cost $110 per month for unlimited data. Providers such as Verizon Fios, Spectrum, and AT&T Fiber all include unlimited data in all of their plans, including some that cost less than $50 per month.
Ultra Home Internet pricing is more inline with legacy satellite internet providers such as HughesNet or Viasat. However, with Starlink publicly available and Amazon’s Project Kuiper set to launch its first satellites this year, legacy satellite providers days may be numbered.
Bottom Line: Ultra Home Internet is not a great value for most people. Especially when you consider that T-Mobile has a home internet plan running on the same infrastructure for half the cost and includes unlimited data.
Ultra Mobile advertises that their home internet plans all include speeds of up to 182 Mbps. This would be good if most people actually got speeds close to these numbers. As with all things cellular, speeds vary greatly based on your distance from the cell tower, the number of people using the tower at the same time, wireless interference, and many other factors.
Most people using Ultra Home Internet reports max download speeds of between 20 Mbps and 75 Mbps. Keep in mind that this is peak, and not consistent. With any 5G / 4G LTE home internet service speeds will drop off sharply during peak hours when the cell tower is congested.
In our survey we found that 45% of customers reported that HD streaming was next to impossible during the evening hours. This is significantly higher than the industry average. It important to note that as with T-Mobile’s own home internet service, your data is deprioritized behind that of cell phone users. This is the sad truth about 5G home internet. Verizon does the same thing as well with their 5G home internet service customers.
|Advertised Speed||Average Speed Reported (Off Peak Hours)||Averaged Speed Reported (Peak Hours)|
|Up To 182 Mbps||62 Mbps||28 Mbps|
Bottom Line: Ultra Home Internet does not offer the fastest of download speeds, especially during peak hours when it likely matters to you the most. There are better options available to most people that have faster real world download performance at much lower pricing, potentially with unlimited data.
Upload speeds with Ultra Home Internet are on par with other 5G home internet options. usually in the 5 Mbps – 20 Mbps range. This is comparable to many lower tier cable-based internet connections, but much lower than typical for a fiber based connection. It is also 10 – 20 times as fast as DSL for uploads.
Upload speeds are not nearly as high as with most upper tier cable plans that cost less than what Ultra Home Internet costs. Fiber internet offers upload speeds 100 times faster or more than what you get with Ultra Home Internet.
Bottom Line: Upload performance is on par with other 5G home internet options, similar to Starlink Internet, and faster than DSL. Performance is significantly lower than a decent cable or fiber based internet connection.
Latency is the time that it takes to request a data packet and have it return to you. Anyone who plays online multiplayer games certainly knows all too well what happens when your latency (ping) suddenly spikes. Latency is also critical for real-time VoIP applications such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Etc.
Unfortunately latency is an area where Ultra Home Internet falls flat for on its face. Over the course of a minute ping can range all the way from 70 ms all the way up to 1000+ ms. This makes it completely unsuitable for gaming. During the off peak overnight hours performance can be better but still far from great. From 4 PM to 10 PM every day latency is in the 100+ ms range with huge spikes and jitter of 50+ ms.
As a point of reference, a typical cable or fiber-based internet connection will offer latencies of 20 ms or less. Even a slower DSL connection offers latencies in the 40 ms range.
Packet loss and dropped packets are also issues that face Ultra Home Internet and all other 5G home internet services. Reliability and consistency are currently weak points for all 5G home internet options. If you play online games, use VoIP, or work from home, you should probably avoid Ultra Home Internet.
Bottom Line: Latency (ping) is far to high for optimal internet performance. Web browsing and video streaming will work acceptably. Gaming, VoIP, and working from home are not really possible using Ultra Home Internet. If you need lower latency, a wired internet option is a better option.
Like most cell phone carriers, Ultra Mobile uses CGNAT to assign IP addresses to subscribers. This is generally okay for web browsing and watching Netflix. For gaming CGNAT is not preferable. Verizon 5g home internet and Starlink internet also use CGNAT.
The issue is for people that are looking to get an “Open NAT Type” on a PlayStation or Xbox console. With CGNAT it is not possible to get an Open NAT Type without using a VPN service. In most cases CGNAT will result in an automatic “Strict NAT Type”. This just something to be aware of.
If you wish to get an Open NAT Type using Ultra 5G home internet, your best option is using a quality VPN provider. The VPN provider that in my experience works best for gaming is ExpressVPN. They offer servers in North America for optimal performance and also offer servers globally which can be used to access geo-restricted content. ExpressVPN also offers a 30 risk free money back guarantee. If you are not satisfied you do not pay.
Another VPN option that works well at bypassing CGNAT and is less expensive is NordVPN. Much like ExpressVPN they also offer a 30 day money back guarantee. If you do not like the service, you do not pay anything at all. Another benefit to NordVPN is that they offer servers globally which can be used to access geo-restricted content. If you wish to access for example region specific streaming services NordVPN is a great option.
Ultra Home Internet is a fixed wireless home internet service that run on the T-Mobile network. They offer similar performance to T-Mobile’s own home internet offering. However, the tiered data plans and higher pricing make it difficult to recommend Ultra Home Internet for most people.
5G home internet is not the best option at this time in general. Ultra Home Internet makes it even less desirable with their severely limited data buckets. 25 GB of data for a home internet connection is not enough for most people. Ultra does offer a unlimited plan, however at $144.99 per month there are far cheaper options, which also offer better performance.
Overall Rating of Ultra Home Internet 1.5 / 5 stars.