The is more competition in the internet service market than ever before. Many people are excited about alternatives to traditional cable, fiber, or DSL services. Satellite internet technology utilizing low earth orbit satellites, and 5th generation cellular technology (5G) are now promising to offer a good alternative to traditional wired home internet service providers such as Verizon Fios, AT&T Fiber, Spectrum, and Xfinity (Comcast).
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. Who should consider making the switch and who should stay put with Xfinity (Comcast), at least for now?
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 Xfinity, which is better in 2022?
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.
- 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.
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 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.
With Xfinity (Comcast) 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.
If you wish to use your own router avoid Verizon 5G home internet.
Xfinity (Comcast) offers a never ending stream of promotions and deals on internet packages. Depending on when you buy and the current promotions offered, you will likely be paying around $50 per month plus taxes and fees for the first year of service. Often times you can renew the promotional rate, but in same cases your bill can escalate to $70 per month or more.
If you opt for a higher service tier you can expect to pay a slightly higher rate. Keep in mind that even the 300 Mbps plan is more than adequate for most people. Even if Verizon theoretically offers higher speeds, your speeds with Xfinity will be much more consistent and stable. You will pretty much get the speeds you subscribe to regardless of the time of day or other factors.
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 Xfinity (Comcast).
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.
This of course assumes that you do not have cable TV service with Xfinity (Comcast). 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 Xfinity for TV and internet is going to be less expensive than paying for Xfinity (Comcast) TV and Verizon 5G home internet.
Just be sure to ask Xfinity 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 Xfinity (Comcast) 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 Xfinity (Comcast) you will get a stable and reliable internet connection with consistent download and upload speeds. This makes it a solid option 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 Xfinity is usually in the 20 ms – 30 ms range, and jitter is usually less than 5 ms. This means that real time communications such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams will perform well. Corporate VPN connections will also be generally stable and free from drops.
If you are a gamer you will likely have no issues using Xfinity 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 Xfinity (Comcast) is a good choice. 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. In many cases a difference of just a few hundred feet can be the difference between good coverage and spotty coverage. Verizon only offers its 5G 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 and their network capacity.
If you have Verizon cell phone service and performance is lacking at your residence, you do certainly not want your home broadband internet running off the same towers. With Xfinity you can be certain that if service is available you, will be getting the speeds you are subscribed to. This is the nature of the DOCSIS 3.1 technology used by Xfinity. Wired communications tend to be more reliable and less susceptible to outside interference.
With Xfinity (Comcast) 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, Xfinity will not provide any hoops to jump through.
Last but not least, another reason you may want to stay with Xfinity is if you want the absolute fastest download speeds. With Xfinity you can get internet service up to 1.2 Gbps (1,200 Mbps) in most areas. 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 Xfinity can offer it at an affordable price. Your bandwidth will also be very consistent and you can expect to get the speeds you are paying for sometimes even more. (Xfinity is known to overprovision their modems by 20%.)
Alternatives to traditional home broadband internet connections have recently been put in the spotlight. Many people are excited about new alternatives on the horizon. Verizon is a newcomer to the home internet market. For many people Verizon 5G home internet may be a decent option.
For other people Xfinty (Comcast) 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.
Is Verizon 5G home internet actually unlimited
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.
Does Verizon slow down its 5G home internet
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.
Is Verizon 5G faster than Xfinity (Comcast)
Verizon is generally not faster than Xfinity (Comcast). Xfinity offers speeds of up to 1 Gbps. In most cases speeds with Verizon 5G will be 300 Mbps or less. Xfinity offers faster internet than Verizon in most cases. Verizon is improving its 5G network all the time.