4G home broadband is an interesting solution which can help bring internet to a number of houses where traditional broadband deals are unavailable.
At its core, this is a lot like regular broadband. It provides an internet connection throughout your house that you can connect to from multiple devices. However, it operates in a completely different way, giving it some unique features.
4G home broadband runs entirely off 4G signals (what a surprise!). That means you don't need a phone line installed and you don't need to be anchored to a Ethernet location.
These 4G routers can be taken anywhere there is a plug and require absolutely no set-up - perfect for temporary homes, places unable to receive broadband or those who can't get internet due to the on-going pandemic.
So it's portable, flexible and can provide you with the speeds you need around the house...but is it right for you? Read on to find out more about 4G home broadband deals and whether it's the choice you you plump for.
What is 4G home broadband?
In a nutshell, 4G home broadband is where a SIM card is put into a router. This operates in a very similar fashion to the way your phone's data connections work. In this sense, you're connecting via the air rather than cables like with regular internet.
The router helps to amplify the connection allowing you to get faster speeds, better latency and connect far more devices.
4G home broadband deals:
Three Home Broadband with Huawei AI Cube | 24-month contract | FREE upfront | Unlimited data | £25 a month
Of all the available 4G home broadband deals, this feels like the best one out there. It costs £32 a month but provides an unlimited data cap. It comes from the Three network and provides connections for up to 64 devices. Oh...and its a speaker...and a personal assistant (there's a lot going on). You can get a shorter 12 month contract at a higher price.View Deal
EE Mobile Broadband with 4GEE Home Router | 18-month contract | 100GB data | £35 a month
EE has one factor going for it above all the other providers - its speed. As the UK's fastest 4G network, EE is going to supply you with the quickest 4G home broadband. It comes with a massive range of options, ranging well into the 500GB data regions and even 1-month rolling plans.View Deal
O2 Pocket Hotspot Pro Netgear M1 | 36 month contract | 75GB data | £39.84 a month
O2 is by no means the cheapest network on this list but it has a lot of factors going for it. Not only is it one of the fastest options out there, it is also the one with the most customisation available and probably the most high-tech with on-going updates on the screen.View Deal
Vodafone GigaCube | 18 month contract | £50 upfront | Unlimited data | £50 a month
Like Three, Vodafone offers unlimited data caps. You can go for less data at a lower price, get 5G connections or lower your contract length, all depending on how much you're willing to pay. In essence, Vodafone offers a faster but more expensive version of what Three has.View Deal
- See all of the Three broadband deals - from 5G to mobile
How does 4G home broadband compare to regular internet?
These two forms of internet differ quite drastically. With 4G home broadband, there is no installation process, simply requiring you to plug in and go. This means it can be taken anywhere there's a plug or moved around the house.
4G home broadband plans tend to offer more customisation in terms of price, contract length and more. However, what 4G home broadband has in terms of flexibility, it loses in reliability and in speed compared to fibre internet.
Commit to regular broadband deals and you'll have to pay to get it set-up but then you'll experience reliable speeds and connections and in most cases, slightly faster speeds than 4G home broadband.
Obviously there is also the factor that these kind of internet plans can't throw in add-ons like broadband and TV deals or other more enhanced packages.
How much does it cost to install?
Luckily, 4G home broadband skips the installation fee, just leaving you with the actual monthly cost of your new device. However, some retailers will also throw in an upfront cost, but this is more common on shorter contracts, with many longer ones voiding the starting costs altogether.
How fast is 4G internet going to be?
There is no concrete answer to this and it completely depends on a number of variables. However, under a rough estimate, 4G home broadband will come between ADSL and fibre broadband.
It will be enough for working, light gaming, HD streaming and more but may start to struggle when you push up into big downloads and exports. EE does offer the fastest speeds and if you live in a 5G area, this could be the fastest form of internet available, exceeding fibre.
If you live in an area with poor 4G connections, you will see a major decrease in speeds.
Will my internet be capped?
This completely depends on which package you choose to go with. While there is a wide range of unlimited data 4G home broadband plans, not all of them are. Many will offer varying amounts of data.
Three is the stand out option when it comes to unlimited, closely followed by Vodafone and its Gigacube plans. EE and O2 lag behind with pricier options and the best value deals being on lower caps.
Can I get 5G home broadband?
Yes...! If you live in the right area. 5G is still a limited form of connection and is mostly found in larger cities. Whether or not you can get it depends on which network you choose to go with.
Three and Vodafone offer SIM plans that are both 4G and 5G compatible. That means if you go with either of them you're speeds will change depending where you live. EE on the other hand will require buying a specific 5G plan.
Are there any alternatives to 4G home broadband?
If you can't get 4G home broadband or want something more portable, the other great option is to get mobile broadband instead. Both EE and Three offer some great mobile broadband plans which are essentially cheaper, more flexible versions of 4G home broadband.
Another option would be to invest in SIM only deals. With plans going up to unlimited, you can easily use one to tether other devices and gain an internet connection, just don't connect too many devices.
Can I use 4G home broadband without a plug?
Unfortunately...no. Everything you see on this list requires you to plug it in. However, if you need something truly on the go, there are a host of mobile broadband hubs that run off battery, solar or some other portable form of energy.
With these, you are able to stay on the go and get a strong internet connection. Like the above options, these are available from the four main networks:
Will 5G broadband eventually replace regular internet?
For now, it looks unlikely. However, it is highly likely that given a few years when 5G penetrates the country more, this will become the preferred method for most people.
Considering most 4G home broadband deals are also set up to operate on 5G signals, you'll be well prepared for when 5G operates more areas of the UK.
Is 4G home broadband fast enough for Netflix?
For all of the streamers of the world, this will be the crucial question. Yes, 4G home broadband will easily suffice for Netflix. In fact, you will be able to stream HD Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO, Apple TV+ or any other streaming platform with ease.
The only catch, and its a pretty obvious one, is that your router will need to be placed in an area where it is getting good 4G connection otherwise it will struggle to perform.