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T-Mobile Wifi Pros and Cons: How their 5G Wireless Compares

By
Shayla Burke
March 9, 2024

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In today’s world, reliable fast home internet is a must. Staying connected via your phone, computer, and now newer Smart TV’s, you could almost even say that having an internet service that provides you with fast connection is the golden goose of the digital age. There’s a lot of home internet providers competing to reach the top of the proverbial food chain and T-Mobile has thrown its own hat into the ring.

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You’ll mainly know T-Mobile as being a part of the “big three” wireless services in the country along with Verizon and AT&T. Overall T-Mobile ranks third in 4G LTE coverage compared to the other two, but first in 5G LTE which is a huge plus for those with 5G capable phones and are in 5G areas. When you’re connecting your phone to wireless you want the best and since 5G is the best, T-Mobile is definitely a solid option to pick. 

But today we aren’t here to discuss T-Mobile’s phone wireless services, no, today we’re here to discuss T-Mobile’s Home Internet. We’ll be breaking down how it works, what you can expect, and of course T-Mobile Wifi pros and cons to signing up.

  • How does T-Mobile Home Internet work?
  • T-Mobile Wifi Coverage
  • T-Mobile Home Internet Plans
  • T-Mobile Wifi Pros and Cons
The official logo of T-Mobile Home Internet
The official logo of T-Mobile Home Internet. Image courtesy of T-Mobile.

How does T-Mobile Home Internet work?

Normally when you set up wifi in your home it’s a wired connection with wires connecting all throughout the home depending on where your modem is. But with T-Mobile Home Internet they rely on a wireless connection using their own 5G signal to provide your home with wifi. 

It’s “built on a series of cell sites that use radio waves to send and receive dataas per the T-Mobile website. This will allow you to use the 5G signal that’s in your area and basically “turn the signal into wifi” all wirelessly- and for people who are tired of wires then you’re probably already raising your eyebrows intrigued. 

But it is good to note that you probably won’t experience the greatest all time fast internet speeds compared to the more traditional wired broadband connections as T-Mobile Wifi is relying on their own 5G network which can experience fluctuations like normal wired wifi connections but at a wider rate. 

Though if you think you can get by with “33-182 Mbps” download speeds and “6-23 Mbps” upload speeds- (which is stated on the T-Mobile website as the typical norm of their home internet) then this might be a good option for you to look into.

  • You can look into comparing your current home internet speeds by running a “speed test” by typing “wifi speed test” on Google which has an in-browser speed test or by going on the official SpeedTest website.

If you think T-Mobile Home Internet is a good fit you’ll end up buying the “5G Gateway Device” which combines a router and modem in one. And it’s portable which means you can put the Gateway Device anywhere in your home. Though it is recommended by T-Mobile that you either place the device near a window or up high to get the best possible signal in your home.

They have a whole page detailing out a video tutorial showing you the most “ideal” locations for your device which you can find here.

  • Important Info: As with any wireless service, it’s good to make sure that the area you’re in is covered by the provider so you get the most of your money and are able to use the strong capabilities of the 5G network connection. You can check your eligibility for T-Mobile home internet via their Eligibility page.

But how complicated is the set up?

Compared to your regular wired router and modem set up, T-Mobile’s wireless set up is a pretty solid selling point, especially for those who haven't the foggiest on how all this stuff works in the first place.

  1. Download the T-Mobile Internet app on your phone’s app store.
  2. Click open the app and select “Setup device” which will give you a guide on where best to put the Gateway Device and any additional set up steps.
  3. You’ll plug in the Gateway Device and the mini LED screen will light up on the device which will prompt you to set up your connection.
  4. You need to then connect your Gateway Device to the T-Mobile internet app via the QR code on the back of the device or enter the “Administrator Password” located on the back of the device.
  5. Then you can customize your wifi name and password or keep it the same as your old one for ease of connecting your devices.

There is no contract or any hidden fees with T-Mobile wifi, and the fact that all you have to do is plug it in and connect through the T-Mobile Home Internet app makes it so you don’t have to hire anyone to come set it up for you which is a money saver. 

T-Mobile Wifi Coverage

As we said before, T-Mobile Home Internet and Wifi comes from the same signal you get from the T-Mobile wireless phone service. 

A screenshot of the T-Mobile network coverage map.
A screenshot of the T-Mobile network coverage map. Screenshot courtesy of T-Mobile.

However, one major detail you should know before you’d potentially make the leap over to T-Mobile Home Internet is data deprioritization. 

Data deprioritization is the temporary slowing of data speeds due to high traffic areas, an overage of your current data allotment, or network congestion. 

So why does this matter?

Well, T-Mobile is prioritizing Heavy Data Users that have a direct phone plan with the company over those with T-Mobile Home Internet. According to T-Mobile, “As of January 18, 2024, new T-Mobile Home Internet customers who exceed 1.2TB of data usage for the current billing cycle will be prioritized last on the network.” But don’t worry too much as when your next bill cycle starts you will no longer be “deprioritized” and go back to your usual speeds. 

Besides that your location is a big part of getting the fastest wifi speeds, so if you’re in a more urban area you can expect faster connection speeds, while those in more rural areas will have a longer time to wait.

There also is no data cap on the unlimited T-Mobile Home Internet service except for T-Mobile Home Internet Lite users which we will cover in our next section. 

It’s a good thing for potential customers to note before signing up.

T-Mobile Home Internet Plans

T-Mobile has three main Home Internet plans. Two for T-Mobile customers and one for new customers. Let’s go over them in detail:

T-Mobile Home Internet Plans

T-Mobile is all about bundling and saving and with these plans along with your regular T-Mobile wireless plan you can save a pretty good chunk of money along with some sweet perks that we love to see. While new customers who only get T-Mobile Home Internet will have to spend $60 a month with AutoPay which still isn’t that bad comparatively. 

What’s T-Mobile Home Internet Lite?

Not all homes are going to qualify for the 5G internet service, it’s sadly just a fact. But T-Mobile does have a solution for customers who aren’t eligible and that’s T-Mobile Home Internet Lite. They offer “bucketed plans” starting at 100GB that can be used on T-Mobile 4G LTE network along with 5G.

We’re gonna be honest, it was a bit confusing figuring out what plans T-Mobile Home Internet Lite offers, we had to scroll down through their Frequent Asked Questions tab where we got this info:

  • T-Mobile Internet Lite - 100GB - $65 OR $60 w/ AutoPay and eligible payment method
  • T-Mobile Internet Lite - 150GB - $90 OR $85 w/ AutoPay and eligible payment method
  • T-Mobile Internet Lite - 200GB - $115 OR $110 w/ AutoPay and eligible payment method
    T-Mobile Internet Lite - 300GB - $165 OR $160 w/ AutoPay and eligible payment method

It seems like the way to sign up for a T-Mobile Internet Lite plan is all through availability. When you check your availability, you’ll find out if you are qualified for T-Mobile Home Internet or T-Mobile Home Internet Lite.

If you qualify for Lite then you will then be put on a waitlist of sorts. Then through email you will get notified via the T-Mobile Home Internet app when you become eligible for 5G home internet which you then can upgrade for free.

Free A Person in Pink Pants Sitting on the Couch while Holding a Mobile Phone Stock Photo
Connect up to 64 devices on T-Mobile Home Internet.

T-Mobile Wifi Pros and Cons

When it comes to anything internet related you can expect there to be some pros and cons and T-Mobile Wifi is no different, so let’s discuss what we think are some of the positives and negatives of this service.

Pros:

  • Easy to Set Up
  • No Hidden Costs
  • Affordable Home Internet
  • Perks for T-Mobile Members

Easy to Set Up

If you’ve been through the “home internet” rodeo before then you know things can get…stressful. Especially when you’ve got a router, modem, and wires to configure when all you want to do is binge the latest trending show. But with T-Mobile Home Internet all you have to do is unbox, plug in once, connect through the app, and you’re done! It makes for a relatively hassle-free experience which we really appreciate.

No Hidden Costs

There’s no need to wonder if you’re going to end up paying for more than you think because with T-Mobile Home Internet there are no hidden costs to worry about. You don’t have to pay for the Gateway Device, that comes when you start your plan. They even make it so if you aren’t satisfied with the product if you return it within 15 days with their T-Mobile 15 Day Test Drive where you’ll get your money back via a one time bill credit.

Affordable Home Internet

Wifi can get expensive, and when you’re factoring in your end of the year expenses those numbers can add up in a way you’re not too fond of. With existing T-Mobile customers getting deals for $40 and $50 a month along with new customers at $60 a month it’s a pretty darn good deal in the long run for home internet.

Perks for T-Mobile Members

Those who are signed up through T-Mobile with a phone plan know all the cool perks they get access to when they sign up and that’s the same with T-Mobile Home Internet! Get access to select streaming services, T-Mobile Tuesdays, an included Gateway Device, and more through their plans.

Cons:

  • Data Deprioritization
  • Speeds May Vary
  • Not Accessible to All

Data Deprioritization

Slow data and wifi speeds aren’t fun, especially when you’re at home and not out and about where it can be expected. When you’re a T-Mobile Home Internet customer your speeds will be deprioritized compared to other High Data Users which can feel like a real bummer. You’ll also experience slower speeds when you use over 1.2TB in one billing cycle.

Speeds May Vary

T-Mobile Home Internet is almost a double-edged sword in some ways. It’s great that it doesn’t require a wired connection other than plugging the Gateway Device into one outlet, but it is unfortunate that it is wireless because although it’s running on T-Mobile’s widespread network, in some areas you might not get the speeds you can get with wired broadband internet.

Not Accessible to All

Not everyone qualifies for T-Mobile Home Internet, though there is T-Mobile Home Internet Lite which is the lesser version running on the network’s 4G LTE coverage, it still isn’t the 5G signal, which many can attest to being better than the latter. Since T-Mobile doesn’t have spotless coverage everywhere in the country, that goes the same for their home internet. We’ll say it is nice they offer a version of their home internet for customers who aren’t currently eligible, but constantly keeping an eye on whether you do become eligible isn’t fun.

Overall we’d say T-Mobile Home Internet and T-Mobile Wifi is a pretty good fit if you’re in an area with prime coverage. With their 5G being the best on the market you can expect some pretty good signals for your home’s internet all through a wireless connection. If your area isn’t in a spot with good coverage you might want to look into a wired broadband connection instead.

If you want to compare and contrast T-Mobile to over 1,200 other phone plans so you know you’re getting the service that’s right for you, then make sure to check out the REALLY compare page which allows you to look at pricing, coverage, what phone plans are available, current deals and steals, and how you can make the most of your potential phone bill.

Frequently Asked Questions - Wrap Up!

Let’s summarize what info we learned in a three FAQ wrap up.

Do you have to have a T-Mobile phone plan to get T-Mobile Wifi?

No! With their “The $60/mo “Internet Only” Plan” you can get access to their 5G wireless speeds and not be signed up for a T-Mobile phone plan. If you want to bundle and save however, you will have to get one of their phone plans that’s connected to the T-Mobile Home Internet bundles which you can find here.

Does T-Mobile Home Internet use the same network as a T-Mobile phone plan?

Yes, currently T-Mobile Home Internet users can take advantage of the widespread coverage T-Mobile offers in their own home as wifi. There is a deprioritization which comes with it though so keep an eye out. While T-Mobile Home Internet Lite users get access to their 4G LTE coverage.

Do I need to hire someone to install T-Mobile Home Internet?

No! T-Mobile Home Internet is very user friendly, all you need to do is download the T-Mobile Home Internet app from your respective app store, unbox your Gateway Device, plug it in, put it up high or by a window, turn it on, and start connecting! For full detail on how to set up your Gateway Device look at the “How To: Finding The Best Place For Your T-Mobile Gateway” video on Youtube.

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your questions,
answered

does this phone service work everywhere?

Yep, we offer premium wireless service on the the nation’s largest and fastest 5G network. If you are in our dewi coverage areas, you’ll also get access to our decentralized phone network powered by the people which will give you even faster speeds and better coverage.

is there a contract?

Nope, it’s pay as you go.

is this prepaid?

yep! You put your card on file and prepay each month so that you never experience any disruption.

does my phone need to be unlocked?

Yep, but it’s super easy to unlock your device as long as it’s paid off. Chat with us and a real human can help you here.

what if I want a new phone?

We have some recommendations on what we think you should get, from iPhones to Droids. Check out our list here which includes affordable places online to get a good deal.

what does decentralized wireless (dewi) mean?

It means we are building a phone network that is powered by the people. Your neighbors put small radios on their roof and help extend the phone network to cover deadzones™ and get even faster speeds. Right now our DeWi network is available in Austin, but we’ll be expanding to other cities REALLY soon. Learn more about DeWi here.

can I keep my phone number?

yup! you can port your current number in a snap. need help? hit up your VIP concierge.