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Should you use your own router with 5G home internet?


Best answer: No, most people find the Wi-Fi 6 routers provided by T-Mobile and Verizon more than fast enough for their internet speeds. If more coverage is needed, a mesh system can come in handy due to 5G routers needing to be near the window for optimal coverage.

T-Mobile and Verizon include free Wi-Fi 6 routers

For the first time in years, competition in the home internet market is heating up, and there’s a good chance that you’ve started to see ads for newly available 5G home internet in your area. The problem is that 5G networks and the devices that utilize them evolved since they were introduced, ranging from mmWave to low-band and, more recently, mid-band and C-band. So how do you know what equipment you should buy? And do you need your own router with 5G home internet?

Keep in mind that most routers have a 5GHz mode often displayed as your Wi-Fi name with “5G” at the end. This is not the same as 5G home internet.

Luckily, the leading providers of 5G home internet in the U.S. provide 5G routers for free when you sign up for the service. And this isn’t a temporary offer with bill credits either. In addition, many ISPs stepped up their base routers to support Wi-Fi 6, and T-Mobile and Verizon are no different with reasonably capable Wi-Fi 6 routers bundled in with the service.


As we saw in our T-Mobile Home Internet review, 5G performance can be a bit unpredictable in rural areas, but for many, it provides an excellent unlimited broadband option. T-Mobile’s 5G router may even be a bit overkill with a tri-band Wi-Fi 6 connection. While it only supports 80MHz bands, it still has plenty of power to keep up with T-Mobile’s 5G network, even in areas with a strong signal. Verizon’s router is also Wi-Fi 6 and should have no trouble keeping up with the 5G connection in your home.

If you live in a dense area and want to use a Wi-Fi 6E router to avoid 5GHz congestion or if you have a Wi-Fi 6 mesh network already deployed at home, you can still use it by connecting your T-Mobile or Verizon router to the WAN port on your existing router.

5G on the go

If you use a mobile hotspot with 5G or are looking for a solution for a mobile home like an RV, a 5G hotspot may be one of your best bets for reliable connectivity. Many of these hotspots support fast 5G connections with Wi-Fi 6 built-in to eliminate any bottlenecks between your device and your content.

For the most part, hotspots are standalone devices. Still, some, like the Netgear Nighthawk M5 available from AT&T and unlocked, have an Ethernet port built-in to connect it to a faster router, so you don’t have to compromise local network connectivity for a mobile connection.

Plenty for most people

T-Mobile Home Internet


$50/mo. at T-Mobile

The power of mid-band 5G

T-Mobile’s potent combination of low-band and mid-band 5G gives it a coverage edge for providing 5G home internet to those with limited broadband access.

Fiber-like speeds on mmWave

Verizon 5G Home


From $50/mo. at Verizon

Get another 50% off if you’re a wireless customer

Verizon 5G Home uses Verizon’s growing mmWave network with internet speeds competing with the fastest consumer ISPs in the country.