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A quick guide to 5G Home Broadband

5G illustration

What is 5G Home Broadband?

No doubt you’ve wondered whether you can get 5G data with your mobile phone. But did you know there are also dedicated devices and broadband plans to allow you to use 5G at home? You might even end up with a faster connection than you can get with a fibre broadband package!

In this guide, we’re going to explore 5G home broadband and look into whether it’s good enough to replace a fixed-line home broadband service. We’ll also show you how to find out whether you can get 5G where you live.

5G Home Broadband: the key points

  • You can connect all your internet-enabled devices to a 5G Home Broadband router.
  • You don't need a landline with a 5G connection - but you’ll need to make sure you have a decent signal.
  • 5G speeds are fast enough to stream, play online games and take video calls.
  • 5G home broadband plans tend to be pricier than a fibre broadband package.
  • You can sign up to a 5G Home Broadband connection on a rolling monthly contract.
  • What does 5G stand for?

    5G is the next generation of wireless mobile network technology. It follows 3G, which was the first standard to offer mobile broadband internet, and 4G, which provided much quicker speeds.

    5G is the latest mobile network standard. The ‘G’ in 5G stands for ‘generation’, hence, 5G is the fifth generation of mobile network technology.

What are 5G Home Broadband Deals?

When you sign up to a 5G Home Broadband deal, you’ll be sent a dedicated router (also known as a hub). This will have a 5G SIM card embedded into it that allows you to receive a 5G signal.

With a 5G hub, you can connect all your internet-enabled devices such as your mobile phones, laptops, smartphones and tablets. Unlike a mobile broadband dongle, you’ll need to make sure your 5G router is connected to a power source. This means you won’t be able to walk around with it, or take it out with you, but you also won’t need to stay connected to your landline. This makes it much more flexible than being reliant on a fibre optic cable for your internet connection.

But, you do need to make sure you have a decent 5G signal in your area to make sure you can get a reliable broadband service. You can do this easily by checking O2, Three and Vodafone’s UK coverage map, and we strongly recommend researching before you part with any money.

The 5G rollout is still ongoing across the UK, and it’s not available everywhere. You’re most likely to be able to get a strong 5G network signal in cities and built-up areas.

The Genie

The Genie says...

Unlike with many fixed line broadband deals, you’re unlikely to be given a speed guarantee with a 5G Home Broadband service.

How much are 5G Mobile Broadband deals?

Because there’s less competition between broadband providers with a 5G Home Broadband deal, you’ll find the monthly price is a little higher than with fibre broadband options. You may also have to pay an upfront cost to pay for your 5G hub.

But that's not always the case and these deals are getting increasingly cheaper. You can often get a good reward offer too.

Three 5G Home Broadband

  • Average speed - 150Mb

For example, the Three 5G Hub is available on either a 24-month or 1-month rolling contracts and comes with unlimited data. For this, you could receive an average download speed of 150Mb. Expect to pay around £25 per month. At the time of writing, it was possible to get the first 6 months half price.

See also:

EE 5G Home Broadband

  • Average speed - 146Mb

Meanwhile, you can also sign up to a couple of different EE 5G Home Broadband Deals. You may have to pay up to £100 set-up fee upfront for an EE 5G Hub, but there are flexible options ranging from £21-£45 per month, depending on your contract length and data allowance choice.

Vodafone 5G Home Broadband

  • Average speed - 150Mb

Vodafone offers both a 30-day or 24-month 5G plan. The Vodafone Gigacube is available on both an unlimited plan or with a 200GB allowance, with prices ranging from £40-£60 per month, depending on your contract length and data plan.

Upfront fees are free for its largest package, but on others, expect to pay between £50-£175 for the Gigacube hub.

Add your address into our deals checker to see if these are available at your home, before using a 5G internet coverage checker for extra peace of mind.

Broadband Genie deals checker

How do I know if I can get 5G broadband in my area?

To find out whether you can get a 4G or 5G connection in your area, you can use these coverage checkers:

If you can’t get onto a 5G deal, you could opt for a 4G home broadband deal instead. Providers are normally open to allowing you to upgrade to a package with faster speeds without signing up to a new contract, if the rollout means your area gets improved network coverage.

Dynamic deal panel

What are the benefits of 5G Home Internet?

There are plenty of good reasons why you might decide signing up to a 5G broadband deal is better for you than a fibre broadband package.

Here’s a list of the pros and cons.

Pros Cons
  • Easy to set up: you won’t need an engineer visit or access to fibre optic cables
  • Good broadband speeds: you can expect an average download speed of more than 100Mb
  • Good for large homes: you’ll be able to connect a large number of devices at once
  • Portability: as long as you have a fixed power socket, you can use your 5G home broadband device
  • Flexibility: rolling monthly deals are available as well as longer-term contracts
  • Good as a back-up: you can use 5G home broadband on top of an existing home broadband service. This could be good if you’re living in a shared house or HMO.
  • Limited availability: you’ll need to make sure you have access to a decent 5G signal
  • Expensive: few providers offer 5G, so prices are less competitive

Is it easy to set up a 5G broadband hub?

It’s simple to set up a 5G broadband hub at home. It’s just a case of ‘plug-and-play’.

As with any Wi-Fi signal, you’ll need to pay attention to where this is placed in your home to receive the best reception. This is even more important to crack than a standard router. You may have to experiment a little, as the signal could be slowed down by thick walls or different levels in a home. You could carry out a speed test in various spots around your home. Once you’ve found a good spot to get a decent 5G connection, you’ll just need to keep it secure and make sure you have a power socket nearby.

For more help with this, you can read our guide: 'where's the best place to put a Wi-Fi router?'

What speeds can you on 5G broadband?

Expect to be able to get an average download speed of more than 100Mb with 5G Broadband. You might even get speedier results!

Three gives an estimated maximum speed of 3.8Gb and an upload speed of 542Mb on its 5G network.

Here’s a fun fact for you! 5G technology actually has a theoretical top speed of 50Gb. But don’t get too excited. We’re not likely to experience that kind of performance any time soon, as it would need significant network upgrades.

5G should give you an improvement over the speeds you’d get on a superfast broadband package over a phone line. But probably not quite as reliable or quick as you’d get with a gigabit, full fibre broadband deal.

Is 5G Wi-Fi safe?

Anxiety about radiation from mobile devices isn't new, but 5G has brought these fears back into the mainstream. However, there is no evidence that 5G or any other cell phone technology is harmful.

Studies are being done all the time and the advice may change in the future, but for now, there is no link between mobile phones and cancer, or any other disease.

Frequently asked questions about 5G Home Broadband

  • Can I use 5G for streaming?

    As long as you have a decent 5G signal, you should be able to stream without any problems or buffering. The only thing to bear in mind is that you have a generous or unlimited data plan. It’s easy to use up a lot of data when streaming, and using data out of contract can end up expensive.

  • What is a 5G dongle, and how is it different to a 5G router?

    A 5G dongle is a mobile device containing a SIM card that you can plug into a computer or laptop via a USB socket in order to connect to the internet. Dongles are pocket sized and they’re extremely portable.

    A 5G Home broadband router is a more permanent, larger device that requires a power socket. It’s more portable than a home broadband router, as it doesn’t need to be connected to a phone socket. If you move between homes in the week, you could easily take a 5G Hub with you. You can connect many devices to a 5G Home Broadband router.

Expert Summary

A 5G Home Broadband plan is a good option if you need a more flexible solution for getting a Wi-Fi connection set up in your home, or if you don’t have access to a decent fibre broadband network.

5G Home Broadband plans are available from several providers, including Vodafone, EE and Three and tend to be available on both pay monthly and longer contracts up to two years. At the moment, Three are generally the best option when it comes to price, in our opinion.

5G is a fast service that’s suitable for most home internet tasks such as streaming and video calling. However, the speeds you’ll receive will depend on whether you have access to a network and good reception at home.

Not everyone in the UK has access to a 5G network. The rollout of 5G is still ongoing. Because of this, it’s crucial to use a 5G home broadband checker before you sign a contract. You might also want to consider trialling a rolling monthly deal using a 5G hub to check it works well for you, before you commit to a lengthier contract.

Meet the author:

Online Editor

Broadband Genie's Editor, Emma Davenport, has been contributing to the site since 2007. She has 20 years of experience writing articles, guides and tutorials on consumer technology for magazines and online.

Specialist subject: Broadband advice for vulnerable people

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