What is 4G LTE home internet?

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4G home internet is high-speed internet delivered via cell phone towers and mobile networks, usually using 4G LTE unlimited internet. If you get good cell phone reception but limited internet service options, 4G internet might be an excellent solution for you.

For example, if your choice is between satellite internet, slow DSL service (5 Mbps or slower), and 4G home internet service, go with 4G home internet. 4G home internet offers more data and lower prices than satellite internet service and faster speeds than 5 Mbps, although the upfront equipment costs can be expensive.

4G home internet doesn’t require any cable or wired networks to be more accessible to folks who live in rural areas. The speeds can’t compare to cable or fiber networks, but 4G offers download speeds around 25 Mbps (on average) and much less latency than satellite internet. Plus, 4G home internet provides way more data than you can get with satellite internet.

4g lite unlimited internet

Verizon and T-Mobile are the only mobile carriers to offer LTE home internet plans to select areas. Most 4G home internet companies are MVNOs (Mobile Virtual Network Operators), mobile pages that offer budget-priced cell phone plans by buying leftover bandwidth from one of the big three mobile carriers: AT&T, Verizon, or T-Mobile. But instead of providing just cellular service, some MVNOs take it a step further and offer home internet service using cellular data.

Usually, the 4G home internet price is more affordable than satellite internet plans (most 4G home internet plans cost about $100 per month), and 4G home internet almost always offers much more data than you can ever get from the satellite. However, you’ll have to buy your equipment upfront to get 4G home internet, which costs $200 or more. Also, some areas don’t get good reception without a signal booster or extender.

Best 4G LTE home internet providers

There are dozens of 4G LTE internet providers sprinkled across the country, and most offer service anywhere you can get a mobile phone signal.

You can get 4G internet from dozens of companies across the country, but our research pointed to four top providers: Verizon, UbiFi, Ladybug Wireless, and T-Mobile.

To get 4G home internet service, you’ll need a 4G home internet plan (sometimes called 4G LTE or cellular internet for home). You’ll also need a compatible modem/router (usually the one offered by the service provider).

In most cases, you have to buy the equipment upfront, which is perhaps the biggest downside to 4G home internet. It’s expensive to get set up, but it can give you much better service than you can get from other rural internet providers. T-Mobile is the only provider that has no charge for equipment. (Let’sLet’s hear it for T-Mobile!)

We’ve researched 4G services and even tested some to develop a list of the best 4G home internet providers.

Direct-from-carrier LTE home internet plans

The LTE home internet plans offered by T-Mobile and Verizon are the lowest-priced LTE plans out there. They offer unlimited 4G and 5G data for people in many rural areas, but they’re available only in select country areas. So, even though you might have Verizon cellular service in your area, you don’t necessarily have Verizon LTE Home Internet.

As T-Mobile and Verizon roll out more expansive capacity in their 4G and 5G networks, more people will be able to get these plans. Currently, MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) plans are more widely available, so if you can get Verizon or T-Mobile LTE home internet, check out the MVNO plans.

Direct-from-carrier LTE plans are tied to your service address, so they aren’t portable like some MVNO plans are. But they are less than half the price and offer priority data unless you’re planning on using your internet in an RV or at multiple locations and need mobile service.

Verizon LTE Home Internet

  • Price: $40-60/mo.
  • Setup: $240 for router/modem or $10/mo. for 24 months 
  • Contract: Yes
  • Guarantee/return policy: 30-day trial period, although all returns require a 15% restocking fee
  • Data: Unlimited

Last summer, Verizon launched its 4G LTE home internet service as an affordable alternative to hard-wired or satellite service. By October 2020, Verizon expanded service into parts of 189 areas, with more expansion expected over the next few years. Coverage is far from universal—it isn’t available everywhere you can get Verizon mobile service yet, but it’s growing steadily.

Verizon offers the best prices on 4G home internet—$40 per month when bundled with a Verizon phone plan or $60 per month on its own. You can self-install without tools or technical expertise, and you’ll get genuinely unlimited data at steady speeds that will support streaming or video conferencing.

The biggest drawback to Verizon LTE Home Internet is its limited availability. Although it’s available in parts of 48 states, that doesn’t mean it’s known all over the country. Coverage area has spread from the initial launch of five metro areas, but it’s still quite limited. The bottom line is that if you can get Verizon LTE Home Internet, go for it because it’s a great deal. And if you can, add your name to Verizon’s waiting list and check out the other 4G options below.

T-Mobile Home Internet

  • Price: $50/mo.
  • Setup: $0 (no equipment rental or registration fee)
  • Contract: No
  • Available in parts of 28 states; waiting list in some areas
  • Data: Unlimited

T-Mobile Home Internet service is available in parts of 28 states. That’s not a pretty nationwide service yet, but it’s overgrowing. Plus, at $50 per month, it’s a great bargain on unlimited data in rural areas. T-mobile’s-Mobile’s network is not the widest-reaching in the nation, though—there are some rural areas that just can’t get a signal, AT&T or Verizon covers them. 

But there’s a lot to like about T-Mobile LTE Home Internet. You don’t have to sign a contract to get T-Mobile Home Internet service, and your price won’t go up. And, as a final bonus, equipment rental is free, which takes the sting out of signing up for a new service. (Many rural internet providers require hefty equipment purchase costs.)

T-Mobile internet is a 4G LTE home internet provider offering residential service to rural customers in 450 cities and towns across the US. T-Mobile says customers can expect speeds around 25 Mbps. However, like other LTE providers, your actual rates will vary based on your proximity to the nearest cell phone tower and other variables. 

With T-Mobile Home Internet, you’ll get unlimited data, which is just what we all need these days. There’s limited availability, though, and there is a waiting list. To check to see if T-Mobile Home Internet is available in your area. 

MVNO LTE home internet plans

Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) buy data from one of the big three carriers and resell it. Pricing for MVNO LTE plans varies based on the network carrier. Some providers offer data packages from one or two networks, and a few offer a selection between all three networks. Remember that you don’t have roaming privileges on these plans—if you stray outside your coverage area, you can hop onto another carrier’s plan.

If you’re looking at MVNO plans, Verizon data is the most expensive, AT&T is in the middle, and T-Mobile data is the cheapest. You’ll need to choose the carrier based on which has the strongest signal in your area, not by price alone. Most of these LTE home internet providers can help you determine which network is most vital in your area. 

Unlimitedville 4G LTE Home Internet

  • Price: $149–$249/mo.
  • Setup fee: $249
  • Contract: No
  • Guarantee/return policy: 14-day no-risk return policy
  • Data: Unlimited

Unlimited Ville is the most flexible 4G LTE provider because you can choose your data network from any extensive three networks. An unlimited plan on the T-Mobile network is $149 per month, AT&T is $199 per month, and Verizon is $249 per month. 

When you sign up, you can also choose between a battery-operated mobile hotspot-type modem or a home modem/router (which needs to be plugged into an electrical outlet). If you select the mobile hotspot modem, you can take your internet anywhere while you travel, and it will work in areas with cellular coverage on the network you choose. The home modem/router has built-in antennas that enhance signal quality.

You can get Unlimitedville LTE home internet in many rural parts of the 48 contiguous states. Download speeds vary based on how close you are to the cell phone towers but generally hover around 12 to 25 Mbps. Like other LTE providers, Unlimitedville also offers minimal latency and can be used for moderate online gaming. And since it offers unlimited data with all of its plans, Unlimitedville is a better choice than satellite internet for many rural residents.

Ladybug Wireless 4G home internet

  • Price: $99.99–129.99/mo. (varies by plan and network)
  • Setup: $429.98 (includes the first month of service and router/modem with SIM card)
  • Contract: No
  • Return policy: 7-day full money-back guarantee
  • Integrated 3G/4G modem with built-in router maximizes signals in rural areas
  • Data: 300–750 GB/mo. (varies by plan)

After testing this LTE internet service, we gave Ladybug Wireless our vote for the best customer service. Service comes with a 7-day 100% full refund policy, and self-installation is easy and super quick. Pricing varies based on which data network you select (AT&T or T-Mobile) and how much data you’ll be using each month.

Ladybug Wireless is an easy-to-use LTE home internet service for rural areas that delivers a steady internet connection in areas with 3G and 4G coverage. It’sIt’s portable and contract-free. You can use your hotspot device or get the Ladybug Wireless setup. The plug-and-play modem/router with the sign-up package comes with a full 100% refund within seven days of service activation.

If you prefer, you can also use your equipment, such as an unlocked mobile hotspot. There are a few caveats, like if you use a NETGEAR mobile hotspot, it’ll only work with an AT&T plan (even if the device is unlocked). But using your equipment could save you a bit in sign-up costs, although your equipment may not deliver as strong a signal as the recommended equipment.

Unlike Verizon’s LTE Home Internet service (which is tied to your location) Ladybug Wireless is portable, so you can take it with you while traveling or in an RV. This can be helpful for folks who travel frequently or who have cabins or vacation homes they visit throughout the year. As long as you are in an area with mobile coverage, your Ladybug Wireless connection will work.

Like many other 4G service providers, Ladybug Wireless requires customers to keep data usage within a moderate range. You can choose from a plan that gives you 300 GB of data per month or 750 GB per month. The average American household uses 344 GB of data per month, so unless you’re a heavy internet user or you’re trying to share your connection with neighbors illegally, Ladybug Wireless will feel like unlimited internet.

Nomad Internet

  • Price: $129–$149/mo.
  • Setup: $199
  • Contract: No
  • Guarantee/return policy: 14-day no-risk trial period
  • Data: Unlimited 4G LTE

Nomad Internet is a 4G LTE home internet service designed for people who travel or live in rural areas. You won’t find 5G support with this plan, but if you’re in a rural area, you know that 5G isn’t really an option yet anyway.

We like how Nomad Internet lets you choose your equipment based on how you want to use the service. When you sign up, you’ll choose between getting a modem/router plugs into an electrical outlet or a battery-operated “Travel WiFi Router” that’s essentially a powerful mobile hotspot device with unlimited data. The travel router might deliver slower speeds because it doesn’t have the external antennas of the plug-in version, but of course, the travel router is handy because it’s pocket-sized, and you can take it with you everywhere.

Nomad Internet offers a 14-day no-risk guarantee, which is helpful because it’s never a sure bet that 4G LTE service will deliver the speeds you need. Your proximity to cell phone towers and local geography will determine your actual rates.

UbiFi 4G LTE home internet

  • Price: $99.99/mo.
  • Setup: $314.99 (router/modem with SIM card)
  • Contract: No
  • Guarantee/return policy: 30-day trial period, although all returns require a 15% restocking fee
  • Data: “Unlimited” with “fair use” provisions

You can get UbiFi in many rural parts of the 48 contiguous states. Download speeds vary based on how close you are to the cell phone towers but generally hover around 12 to 25 Mbps. Like other 4G services, the UbiFi service has relatively low latency and can moderate online gaming. 

Ubi is technically portable, except that you need to plug your modem in to get service. Other mobile internet providers offer the choice of using a battery-operated hotspot modem that makes it easier to bring your internet service with you on the road. 

Ubi 4G unlimited home internet is competitively priced at $99.99 per month, but getting it set up is rather expensive. You have to buy a modem/router (MoFi SIM4 Gateway) to start service, $314.99. Plus, it can be hard to get tech support since UbiFi has limited customer service hours (Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. CST, and Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. CST). 

But UbiFi does offer a 30-day service trial, which is a crucial benefit with 4G service providers since speeds vary based on your proximity to the nearest AT&T cell tower. If you have to return your equipment, you’ll be charged a 15% restocking fee, but the rest is refundable.

What you need to get 4G LTE internet

To get 4G home internet service, you’ll need a 4G home internet plan (sometimes called 4G LTE or cellular internet for home). You’llYou’ll also need a compatible modem/router (usually the one offered by the MVNO).

You have to buy the equipment upfront, perhaps the biggest downside to 4G home internet. It’sIt’s expensive to get set up, but it can give you much better service than you can get from other rural internet providers.

BYOD 4G internet plans

Most 4G LTE internet plans require using the modem/router setup they send to you. But that is not the only way to go. If you’re, you’re up to the task of selecting your own modem/router and doing all the setup, a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) 4G home internet plan could work for you. These plans send you a SIM card. You won’t necessarily save on monthly plan prices, but you might get your equipment cheaper. Or you could go big and get a more powerful modem/router setup than the 4G LTE providers provide.

Companies like Infinite LTE Data and spark services are the BYOD type of 4G internet providers—they don’t provide any equipment. Instead, they send you a SIM card that you can insert into your device—whether it’s a mobile hotspot device, a mobile phone, or a router/modem. Of course, the disadvantage to getting BYOD 4G internet service is that there’s no tech support available for setup. If you can’t figure it out on your own, you could be out the price of your equipment and a month’s worth of service.

Our verdict: Get 4G LTE if you use a lot of data.

4G LTE home internet is an excellent alternative to satellite internet for households that use a lot of data. If you live in an area with mobile phone service, we recommend looking into 4G home internet. Although it can save you money on data overage charges, you still need to be prepared for expensive setup costs. Verizon’s 4G home internet service is the best deal of the lot—you can add it to an existing cell phone plan for as little as $40 per month. If it’s available in your area, it’s a win-win.

But if you live in a remote area without mobile phone service, 4G internet won’t work. Your best bet is satellite internet in that case, which reaches locations without cell phone service. And although we know satellite internet can be a bit slow and stingy with data, next-generation satellite internet is just around the corner. SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet is now available in some select areas for beta use for $99 per month (although the $499 equipment fee is a bit of a downer). And, coming up next year, additional options like Amazon’s Project Kuiper could cheer things up even more in the rural internet community.

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