Alternatives to traditional home broadband internet connections have recently garnered the attention of the mass public. Many people are completely fed up with their current internet service provider and looking for a different option. Satellite internet technology utilizing low earth orbit satellites, along with 5th generation cellular technology (5G) are now promising to offer an alternative to traditional wired home internet service providers such as Verizon Fios, AT&T Fiber, Spectrum, and Comcast (Xfinity).
Verizon and T-Mobile are leaning heavily into their 5G coverage areas to provide home broadband internet service at an affordable price. Verizon’s 5G Home Internet service is gaining significant popularity. Verizon is promising unlimited data for very affordable prices.
First and foremost when we talk about Verizon in this article we are talking about their 5G cellular based home internet service and not their fiber to the home service branded as Fios or their DSL service. Verizon 5G Home Internet vs AT&T, which is better in 2022?
Verizon 5G Home Internet offers faster speeds than AT&T DSL (IPBB) internet service in most cases during off peak hours. During peak hours Verizon 5G Home Internet can be a bit slower.
AT&T DSL tends to be much more stable and consistent, while also offering lower latency (ping). AT&T DSL download speeds are more than fast enough for 4K streaming and online gaming.
AT&T Fiber offer the best performance far and above. Verizon 5G Home Internet is not yet competitive with fiber internet services such as AT&T Fiber and Verizon Fios.
About Verizon 5G Home Internet
Verizon 5G home internet is a 100% wireless internet solution that uses Verizon’s 5G cellular network to provide high speed home internet service. Verizon 5G home internet has been rapidly expanding its coverage region in 2022. They are investing heavily into ultrawideband and millimeter wave coverage regions.
About AT&T Home Internet
AT&T home internet is actually 2 different services that are all sold under the umbrella name. AT&T home internet can refer to AT&T DSL internet, or AT&T fiber internet. These are very different services, each has its own unique strengths and weaknesses. AT&T home internet is competitively priced and generally offers good reliable performance.
Consider Switching to Verizon Home Internet If the Following Applies
- Your internet needs are relatively modest.
- You are an existing Verizon customer.
- You are not a gamer.
- You do not work from home.
- You do not care about using your own router.
- Saving money on your internet bill is your top priority.
If your internet needs are relatively modest Verizon 5G home internet may be a good fit for your needs. On the average downloads are fast enough for streaming and other online activities. During peak hours your speeds may be much lower than expected.
This is highly variable and largely depends on how crowded the local cell phone tower is, and many other factors. If you live in a tourist area, you will see significant performance degradation during the peak season
5G is a wireless technology traveling through the air with other radio signals, with wireless comes the possibility for interference.
Data signals traveling as light through fiber optic cables do not have this problem. This is not an issue all of the time and is highly location specific. This is just something to keep in mind if you need consistent speeds at all times especially during peak hours. Overall for the casual internet user with modest needs Verizon 5G home internet is likely a solid option.
Cell phone coverage is varies greatly by location. Even a difference of a few hundred feet can make all the difference. If you use Verizon for your cell phone service you would know whether the signal at your home is good or not. You can also run a speed test on your smartphone to get a rough idea of the bandwidth you will be getting. Although in many cases Verizon 5G home internet service will be slower due to data deprioritization. As with T-Mobile, Verizon deprioritizes its home internet traffic over it cell phone data traffic.
This is not the same as throttling that occurs when you reach a certain data cap, but rather giving cell phone customers a higher priority if the tower is busy. This is more likely to be an issue in urban areas and also in tourist areas during peak months.
Overall, if you get good performance on your phone, you are likely going to get good performance out of your Verizon 5G home internet connection. If you are not satisfied with the performance on your cell phone, you may not have good coverage at your location. If coverage is poor at your residence you do not want to make the switch.
Gaming is a definite weak point for Verizon home internet. Latency, jitter, and packet loss are all issues that face gamers. Verizon home internet struggles with this, as do most 5G internet services. When the tower is congested the problem is especially pronounced. Non of the 5G home internet services we have tested so far have been suitable for gaming.
Over the course of a minute pings can range all the way from 60 ms all the way up to 900+ ms. This makes it completely unsuitable for most forms of online gaming. During the off peak overnight hours performance tends to be better.
In comparison, a typical cable or fiber-based internet connection will offer latencies of 20 ms or less. Even a much slower DSL connection offers latencies in the 30 ms range. Starlink is also much better suited for gaming with latencies in the 40 – 50 ms range.
Packet loss and jitter are also common problems with Verizon 5G home internet which makes it a poor choice for gaming or any real time communications such as VoIP. Packet loss with Verizon 5G home internet is often in the 3%+ range.
Another huge downside of using Verizon 5G Home Internet for gaming is the use of carrier grade network address translation (CGNAT). Like most cell phone carriers, Verizon uses CGNAT to assign IP addresses to subscribers. This is generally okay for web browsing and watching Netflix or Hulu. For gaming CGNAT is not preferable.
The issue with CGNAT primarily affects people that are looking to get an “Open NAT Type” within games. With CGNAT it is not possible to get an Open NAT Type in most cases. Generally CGNAT will result in an automatic “Strict NAT Type”. This is because CGNAT creates a double NAT environment.
You will not be able to forward ports to a gaming device such as a PS5 or Xbox Series X. If you are a gamer. just avoid all 5G internet services including Verizon’s 5G home internet service and T-Mobile’s 5G home internet service.
If you work from home you probably do not want to make the switch to Verizon 5g home internet at this time. Performance is inconsistent at times and higher latency makes it less than ideal for virtual meetings. If you rely on Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or other any videoconferencing platform you will want to stick with a traditional wired home broadband internet connection such as Xfinity (Comcast) or Verizon Fios.
As with gaming, videoconferencing requires a low latency and low jitter connection. With latency spiking to 900+ ms in many cases and jitter as high as 100 ms, 5G home internet is not ideal for virtual meetings.
Connecting to corporate VPNs over 5G cellular internet can also be difficult to packet loss. You may get frequent disconnects from your corporate VPN. If you work from home, a cable / fiber based internet connection is your best option hands down.
Reliability is paramount, although no internet connection is truly bulletproof, 5G connections are much more variable in their connection speed and quality. If there is a local event in the region and the local cell tower is crowded, your internet may suffer. If you work from home this could be an issue.
Verizon 5G Home Internet uses CGNAT and their gateway offers no bridge mode or passthrough mode. This means that if you connect your own router you will have a triple NAT environment.
This is far from ideal. The first layer of NAT is happening on the Verizon network via CGNAT, the second layer of NAT is happening on the Verizon 5G gateway, and the third layer of NAT is happening on your personal router. Triple NAT can create a variety of issues ranging from performance to connectivity.
If you wish to use your own router avoid Verizon 5G home internet.
Verizon 5G home internet currently costs $50 per month with all taxes and fees included when using auto pay. This is likely less than you will pay for even the most basic internet package with AT&T.
If saving money is your top priority and a difference of $10 – $15 per month is important to you, Verizon 5G home internet is likely of interest to you. In some cases if you have a select smartphone plan with with Verizon you may be able to get their 5G home internet service for as low as $25 per month.
Verizon 5G Home Internet vs AT&T DSL
AT&T DSL has been around the longest and has the widest service availability. AT&T DSL is also slower than AT&T fiber or Verizon 5G Home Internet. Download speeds with AT&T DSL max out at 100 Mbps and Upload speeds max out at 20 Mbps. This is significantly faster than Verizon’s DSL service which tops out at 15 Mbps download speed.
Most people will see slightly lower speeds, especially if they are located farther away from the central office. Latency is in the 25 – 40 millisecond range with AT&T DSL.
AT&T DSL is more stable than Verizon 5G Home Internet home internet at the present time. If you need absolute stability for VoIP or virtual meetings, AT&T DSL is going to be a much better option.
AT&T DSL is also going to be much better for online gaming. Latency is lower, ping is much more stable, and latency spikes are less common. AT&T DSL also provides a public IP address rather than a CGNAT private IP that Verizon 5G Home Internet provides. This is useful for gaming, especially if you want to do port forwarding or get an open NAT type.
However download speeds with Verizon 5G Home Internet tend to be faster than with AT&T DSL. This makes download larger files faster. Both services are fast enough to stream 4K video without buffering. This is primarily true during off peak hours. During peak hours download speeds tend to be similar or even better for AT&T DSL in some cases.
Uploads are very similar in speed. If you use cloud storage services such as Dropbox, OneDrive, or Google Drive, upload speed is of high importance. Verizon has slightly more raw upload speed, whereas AT&T DSL offers more consistent upload speeds.
The better option really depends on whether raw speed or stable performance is more important to you. Verizon 5G Home Internet offers a higher raw download speed / upload speed, whereas AT&T DSL offers lower latency, better stability. and more consistent download speeds. We think the later is more important.
Pricing will depend on which plan you choose with AT&T. The faster plans generally cost more. With Verizon 5G home internet the price will vary depending on whether you have a Verizon cell phone on your plan as well. On The average Verizon 5G home internet is slightly less expensive, especially when you consider that all taxes and fees are included in the advertised price.
Given the unstable performance of the Verizon 5G home internet service, our pick goes to the AT&T DSL.
Winner: AT&T DSL (Unless Price Is Your Top Concern)
Verizon 5G Home Internet vs AT&T Fiber
AT&T fiber is an established player in the market with a relatively small but still somewhat sizable service area. AT&T fiber is fast and reliable, with speeds of 1 Gbps available in most areas. AT&T fiber uses fiber to the home technology to deliver symmetric download and upload speeds of 1 Gbps.
Verizon 5g home internet is not really competitive with AT&T fiber. Performance with Verizon 5G home internet is just too unstable. Even when it is working well it is not truly competitive with fiber or even cable internet service.
If you happen to live in a AT&T fiber coverage region AT&T fiber is a great choice. Generally fiber internet has the absolutely lowest latency and the highest download / upload speeds. AT&T fiber is no exception here.
With AT&T fiber you will generally get a highly reliable internet connection with consistent download and upload speeds. This makes it a great choice if you rely on your internet connection for critical tasks. This could include working from home, running a small business, or using VoIP services.
latency with AT&T fiber is usually in the 5 ms – 25 ms range, and jitter is usually less than 3 ms. This means that real-time communication platforms such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams will perform well. Corporate VPN connections will also be highly stable and free from drops.
If you are a gamer you will be well suited to using AT&T fiber internet. The low latency offered and lack of CGNAT makes it an ideal choice for gaming. If you want an open NAT type in games AT&T fiber is a great option. You get a public IP address that you can use to set up port forwarding.
The quality of service you will get from Verizon 5G home internet largely depends on how many users are active on your local cell phone tower. With AT&T fiber you can be pretty certain that if service is available you will be getting max performance. This is the nature of the technology. Fiber communications tend to be more reliable and less susceptible to outside interference.
Verizon home internet experiences ping spikes to 600+ milliseconds frequently during peak hours. If you need a highly stable internet connection Verizon 5G home internet is not going to be a great option for you.
Last but not least, another reason you may want to choose AT&T fiber is if you want the absolute fastest download speeds and upload speeds. With AT&T fiber you can get internet service of 1 Gbps. A 1 gigabit internet connection will net about 950 Mbps of download speed due to packet overhead.
This is ideal if you do a lot of downloading of large files or have multiple users sharing the internet connection. Most people would be perfectly fine with 100 Mbps to 400 Mbps, but if you need and or want the extra speed AT&T fiber can offer it.
Your bandwidth will also be highly consistent and you can expect to get the bandwidth you are paying for most of the time. Upload speeds with AT&T fiber are also symmetrical. This is great for people who work from home or use cloud storage services.
Winner: AT&T fiber (By a Landslide)
AT&T home internet varies greatly in price depending on when you sign up and what promotions are offered. Generally you can expect to pay between $30 and $110 per month for service. Generally the lower speed tiers cost less within each service type. AT&T does not charge any equipment fees.
Verizon 5G home internet currently costs about $50 per month for service. This will depend on whether you enroll in autopay and whether you have a Verizon cell phone on the account as well. This price also includes all taxes and fees.
Verizon 5G home internet vs AT&T internet? Which is the better home internet service?
Verizon 5G home internet offers the best pricing in the industry and could save you $15 per month or so on your internet bill, especially if you are already a Verizon cell phone customer. Verizon 5G home internet performance is a very inconsistent. Downloads are fast enough most of the time, upload speeds are generally acceptable, but stability and reliability is poor. For this reason we have a hard time recommending it to most people, especially outside of Verizon’s millimeter wave coverage areas.
AT&T DSL is much more reliable than Verizon 5G home internet, and offers lower latency (ping). Download speeds are fast enough for streaming 4k video and for working from home. Gaming performance is good and you get a proper public IP address rather than a CGNAT IP address. AT&T DSL is a viable option for most people. However, if cable or fiber internet was available at our location, we would probably skip the DSL.
AT&T fiber blows Verizon 5G home internet out of the water in terms of performance. If AT&T fiber is available to you, just pass on Verizon 5G home internet. Fiber internet is king and that is unlikely to change anytime soon. If AT&T fiber is not available check out our comparison of Verizon 5g home internet vs Xfinity, Spectrum, and Verizon Fios.