Alternatives to traditional home broadband internet connections have recently been put in the spotlight. Many people are fed up with their current internet service providers and are excited about new alternatives on the horizon.
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.
One home internet service that is rapidly increasing in popularity is Verizon’s 5G Home Internet plan. Verizon is promising unlimited data for highly disruptive prices. Who should consider making the switch and who should stay put with Spectrum, at least for now?
TL;DR Answer: Is Verizon 5G Home Internet better than Spectrum? No, Spectrum internet is the better option across the board. It offers faster speeds and better reliability. However, Verizon 5G home internet may be a good option for some people.
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. Verizon 5G Home Internet vs Spectrum, which is better in 2022?
Consider Switching to Verizon 5G Home Internet If the Following Applies
- Your internet needs are 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 important to you.
- You are a cord cutter.
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. While the FCC does a good job of licensing frequency bands and minimizing radio frequency conflicts, interference is always a possibility.
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 good choice.
Cell phone coverage is highly variable. If you use Verizon for your cell phone service you would know whether the service in your residence is good or not. You can also run a speed test on your smartphone to get a rough estimate of the speeds you will be getting
. Although in some cases the home internet service will be a bit slower due to data deprioritization. This is not throttling when you reach a certain data limit, but rather giving cell phone customers a higher priority if the tower is heavily congested. This is more likely to be an issue in urban areas.
Overall, if you get good performance on your phone, you are likely going to get good performance out of your Verizon 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 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 home internet service.
If you work from home you may not want to make the switch to Verizon 5G home internet at this time. Performance is very inconsistent and higher latency makes it glitchy 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.
As with gaming, videoconferencing requires a low latency and low jitter connection. With latency spiking to 900+ ms in some cases and jitter as high as 100 ms, 5G home internet is not a good choice for virtual meetings. Connecting to corporate VPNs over 5G cellular internet can also be an issue due to packet loss. If you work from home, a cable / fiber based internet connection is a much better option.
Reliability is also 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 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.
With spectrum you have the option of either using a straight cable modem without router functionality or putting your gateway into true bridge mode. This will pass your public IP address through to your personal router. This results in a properly configured network with just a single device (your personal router) performing NAT.
Spectrum offers a variety of promotions and deals on internet packages. Depending on when you buy and the current promotions offered, you will likely be paying around $55 per month plus taxes and fees for the first year of service. In some cases buying online vs at a Spectrum Store will get you the best pricing.
Often times you can renew the promotional rate, and I highly recommend trying. In same cases your bill can quickly escalate to $75 per month or more, when your promo rate expires. If you opt for a higher service tier you can expect to pay even more. Keep in mind that even the 200 Mbps plan is more than fast enough for most people.
Even if Verizon theoretically offers higher speeds, your speeds with Spectrum will be much more consistent. You will pretty much get the speeds you subscribe to regardless of the time of day or other factors.
Verizon 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 spectrum.
If saving money is your top priority and a difference of $10 – $15 per month is important to you, Verizon 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.
This of course assumes that you do not have cable TV service with spectrum. If you are not a cord cutter or not interested in becoming a cord cutter you have absolutely no financial reason to make the switch. The bundle pricing with spectrum for TV and internet is going to be much less expensive than paying for Spectrum TV and Verizon 5G home internet.
Just be sure to ask spectrum about any current promotions and make sure you are getting the best possible rate. If they do not budge on the price ask for the customer retention department. They often have the most ability to get you the best rate.
Stay With Spectrum If The Following Applies
- You need a highly stable and reliable internet connection.
- You are a gamer.
- Verizon has poor signal at your residence.
- You want to use your own router.
- You want the fastest possible speeds.
With spectrum you will 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 spectrum is generally in the 10 ms – 30 ms range, and jitter is usually less than 2 ms. This means that real time communications such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams will perform optimally. Corporate VPN connections will also be highly stable and free from drops.
If you are a gamer you will want to stick with Spectrum 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 Spectrum 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 largely depends on your proximity to the local cell phone tower and the number of obstructions. Verizon only offers its home internet where it has sufficient tower capacity to support the additional demands.
Of course cell phone carriers are notorious for over estimating their coverage areas. If you have Verizon cell phone service and performance is lacking at your residence, you probably do not want your home broadband internet running off the same towers.
With Spectrum you can be pretty certain that if service is available you will be getting full performance. This is the nature of the technology. Wired communications tend to be more reliable and less susceptible to outside interference.
With Spectrum you get a public IP address and the ability to bridge your public IP address to your own router. There are many reasons you may want to use your own router. These can include better Wi-Fi coverage, faster speeds, or additional security features. If you wish to use your own router, Spectrum will not provide any hoops to jump through.
Last but not least, another reason you may want to stay with Spectrum is if you want the absolute fastest download speeds. With Spectrum you can get internet service up to 1 Gbps in most areas. 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 200 Mbps to 400 Mbps, but if you need and or want the extra speed Spectrum can offer it. Your bandwidth will also be highly consistent and you can expect to get the speeds you are paying for.
Alternatives to traditional home broadband internet connections have recently been put in the spotlight. Many people are fed up with their current internet service provider and are excited about new alternatives on the horizon. Verizon is a newcomer to the 5G home internet market, though they have been offering DSL and Fios home internet for a number of years. For some people Verizon home internet may be a solid option.
For other people Spectrum internet is well worth the additional cost because it offers the consistent reliable performance they need. Whether you make the switch or not, you can’t argue with having more competition in the market. The home broadband market is badly in need of some additional competition both to reduce costs and to drive the innovation of new technology.
No Verizon 5G home internet is not better than Spectrum. The performance and reliability that you get with a cable based internet connection is just vastly superior to anything 5G can offer at this time. Verizon 5G is not better than Spectrum internet.
Verizon 5G home internet is generally not faster than Spectrum. Spectrum offers speeds of up to 1 Gbps. In most cases speeds with Verizon 5G will be 200 Mbps or less. Spectrum offers faster internet than Verizon 5G in most cases. Verizon Fios however is faster than spectrum or any 5G service.
Verizon does not throttle your internet when you exceed a certain amount of data usage. However your data is deprioritized when the cell phone tower is congested. This may reduce your download speeds significantly in some cases. Cell phone users get a higher priority of data. This is also true with other 5G home internet services.
Yes it is unlimited, however your data is deprioritized when the cell phone tower is congested. This may reduce your download speeds significantly in some cases. There is however no data cap and you are not charged based on your usage.
Generally cable is much faster than 5G home internet. Speeds with cable (DOCSIS 3.1) based internet frequently reach 1 Gbps or even higher. Real-world 5G deployments typically max out at about 200 Mbps. In many cases they are much lower than that, especially during peak hours.
No, Verizon 5G Home Internet is not better than Spectrum. Spectrum offers faster downloads speeds, lower latency, and better reliability. However, Verizon 5G Home Internet may still be a good option for some people.