Best 4G LTE Home Internet for Rural Areas

There's more than one way to get internet in the country. If you have cell phone service at your place, 4G LTE home internet can deliver faster speeds—and more data—than satellite.

  • Lowest price
    $40–$60/mo.*
    Unlimited data
    View plans
  • Most flexible
    $100/mo.
    Unlimited data
    View plans
  • Best customer service
    $99/mo. & up
    Portable (good for RVs)
    View plans
  • Lowest fees
    $60/mo.**
    No equipment cost
    View plans

What is 4G LTE home internet?

4G home internet is high-speed internet delivered via cell phone towers and mobile networks, usually using 4G LTE. If you live in a rural area with good cell phone reception but limited internet service options, 4G internet might be a great 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 so it can 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 offers way more data than you can get with satellite 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), which are mobile carriers 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 offering just cellular service, some MVNOs take it a step further and offer home internet service using cellular data.

Usually, the price for 4G home internet 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 satellite. However, you’ll have to buy your equipment up front to get 4G home internet, which costs $200 or more. Also, some areas don’t get good reception without a signal booster or extender.

Data effective 4/8/2021. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

*Verizon internet is $60/mo. alone or $40/mo. when bundled with a mobile plan, with auto-pay and paperless billing discount. Service currently available in select locations only.

**Price with autopay

4G LTE internet challenges

One thing we’ve noticed about 4G home internet companies is that they tend to be small and lean. Routers often go out of stock for a few months at a time. Waiting lists are common.

Also, 4G home internet providers have a limit on how many customers they can have in any given area. So, you might have to check with a few 4G LTE home internet companies to find one that’s currently accepting new customers in your area.

Direct from mobile 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 only available in select areas of the country. So, even though you might have Verizon cellular service in your area, you don’t necessarily have Verizon LTE Home Internet yet in your area.

As T-Mobile and Verizon roll out wider 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’t 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 portable service, we recommend you check out these plans first. 

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Direct-from-carrier LTE home internet plans

ProviderPriceHighlights Get it
Verizon LTE Home Internet$40–$60/mo.*• Fixed location only
• Limited availability
• Unlimited data
View plans
T-Mobile Home Internet$60/mo.• Unlimited data
• No equipment cost
• No contract
• Limited availability
View plans

Data effective 4/9/2021. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

*Verizon internet is $60/mo. alone or $40/mo. when bundled with a mobile plan, with auto-pay and paperless billing discount. Service currently available in select locations only.

Thumbs Up Pros

  • Affordable price
  • Reliable network

Thumbs Down Cons

  • Somewhat limited availability (parts of 48 states)
  • Fixed location only (cannot use while traveling)

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

View plans

*Prices as of 4/8/2021. Prices listed include $10/month discount for being enrolled in Auto Pay and paper-free billing.

Last summer, Verizon launched its 4G LTE home internet service as an affordable option 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 truly 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 available 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’t, add your name to Verizon’s waiting list and check out other 4G options below.

Thumbs Up Pros

  • No contracts
  • No price hikes
  • Low price for unlimited data

Thumbs Down Cons

  • Limited availability (waiting list in some areas)
  • Fixed location only (can’t travel with it)

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

View plans

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

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, although, like other LTE providers, your actual speeds 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, visit the T-Mobile website

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. Bear in mind that you don’t have roaming privileges on these plans—if your stray outside your coverage area you can’t 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 strongest in your area.  

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ProviderPriceHighlights Get it
Unlimitedville$149–$249/mo.• Portable
• Choose from AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon network
• Nationwide availability
View plans
Ladybug Wireless$99.99–$219.99/mo.• Portable
• Nationwide availability
• AT&T and T-Mobile network
• Mobile phone bundling options
View plans
UbiFi$99.99/mo.• Portable
• Nationwide availability
• AT&T network
View plans
Nomad Internet$129–$149/mo.• Portable
• Nationwide availability
• T-Mobile or Verizon network
View plans

Data effective 4/9/2021. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Thumbs Up Pros

  • Portable (take it with you anywhere)
  • Good for streaming (unlimited data included)
  • Choice of AT&T, Verizon, or AT&T network

Thumbs Down Cons

  • Pricey set up costs

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

View plans

Unlimitedville is the most flexible 4G LTE provider because you can choose your data network from any of the big 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 in to an electrical outlet). If you choose 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, UbiFi is a better choice than satellite internet for many rural residents.

Thumbs Up Pros

  • Portability (take it with you anywhere)
  • Excellent customer service
  • BYOD option

Thumbs Down Cons

  • Setup/equipment fees (if you choose to purchase the modem)

Ladybug Wireless 4G home internet

  • Price: $99.99–129.99/mo. (varies by plan and network)
  • Setup: $429.98 (includes first month of service and router/modem with SIM card)
  • Contract: No
  • Guarantee/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)

View plans

Ladybug Wireless got our vote for the best customer service. Ladybug Wireless is an easy to use 4G LTE home internet service for rural areas. Like other 4G services, there’s an option to buy the fully set up modem/router upfront, but Ladybug’s sign-up package (which is $429.98) does include the first 30 days of service.

If you prefer, you can also use your own equipment like your own modem or 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 own equipment could save you a big chunk of money in sign-up cost, although your equipment may not deliver as strong a signal as the recommended equipment.

The company also offers a full 100% refund within 7 days of service activation, and there’s no contract required for service.

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—under 400 GB per month.

Thumbs Up Pros

  • Portable (take it with you anywhere)
  • Good for streaming (unlimited data included)
  • Contract-free

Thumbs Down Cons

  • Expensive set up costs
  • Limited access to tech support

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

View plans

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. UbiFi also offers minimal latency and can be used for moderate online gaming. And since it offers unlimited data, UbiFi is a better choice than satellite internet for many rural residents.

UbiFi 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, which is $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 key 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.

Thumbs Up Pros

  • Portable (take it with you anywhere)
  • Good for streaming (unlimited data included)
  • Contract-free
  • T-Mobile or Verizon network

Thumbs Down Cons

  • Limited access to tech support (business hours only)
  • No AT&T network option

Nomad Internet

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

View plans

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 the way 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 that 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 speeds.

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’ll also need a compatible modem/router (usually the one offered by the MVNO).

You have to buy the equipment up front, 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.

BYOD 4G internet plans

Most 4G LTE internet plans require that you use their modem/router setup they send to you. But that’s not the only way to go. If 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 one that’s provided by 4G LTE providers.

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 a good 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 potentially 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 just won’t work. Your best bet is satellite internet in that case, which reaches areas 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.

Find out if you can get Verizon 4G Home Internet.

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4G LTE internet FAQ

What is 4G home internet?

4G home internet is an internet connection delivered with 4G LTE (or cell phone) data. It isn’t the same as a mobile hotspot or a cell phone plan because it’s designed to be used as a dedicated internet connection for an entire household. You can get 4G home internet with 400 GB or more of data per month.

Where is Verizon 4G LTE home internet available?

Verizon LTE home internet is currently available in parts of Missouri, Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia, and Kentucky.

Is 4G wireless internet the same as a hotspot?

No, 4G wireless internet is not the same as a hotspot, even though it also operates using cell phone data. A mobile hotspot device is a portable modem and router with small data plans, designed to be used occasionally when the need for Wi-Fi away from home arises. Mobile hotspot devices are good for weekend RV trips and business travel. But if you try to use them as a dedicated home internet connection, you’ll have to pay a lot for data. 4G home internet plans give you 400 GB or more of data each month and can connect up to 20 devices.

Where is 4G LTE internet available?

If you live in a rural area and you can get cell phone reception, you can probably get 4G LTE home wireless internet service at your home. 4G LTE internet service connects your home devices to the internet using nearby cell phone towers. And 4G LTE can be the easiest home internet installation you’ll find anywhere (although it will cost you).

How much does 4G home internet cost?

You can get a 4G home internet plan for $40 to $100 per month, depending on the carrier. Although data amounts vary, most offer 400 GB or more per month. Since the average US household uses about 344 GB per month in 2020, 400 GB should be plenty for most folks.

Is 4G home internet any good?

Yes, 4G home internet is a good option for folks who live in rural areas and don’t have access to cable or fiber internet. If you have cable or fiber available in your area, or high-speed DSL, we’d recommend checking those options out first because they may be faster and less expensive. But if you’re comparing 4G home internet with satellite internet, 4G internet gives you much more data each month than any satellite plan, making it a good choice for people who live in rural areas.

Are 4G home internet and fixed-wireless internet the same thing?

No, 4G home internet is not the same as fixed-wireless internet. Both rely on mobile phone towers for data at least partially, but fixed-wireless also uses radio waves. With fixed-wireless internet, you need a radio antenna attached to your house, which sends and receives signals from the nearest cell phone tower via radio waves. With 4G a home internet, you are getting a straight shot of cell phone data without other technologies mixed in. 4G home internet doesn’t require an antenna; you just need a modem that can send and receive 4G LTE data.

Is 4G internet a good option for rural areas?

Yes, 4G home internet is a good choice for rural areas that aren’t wired for cable, fiber, or DSL internet. You can get a lot of data and a steady connection that works for streaming, video conferencing, and even gaming. But the caveat is that you need cell phone reception at your home or you won’t get a signal for 4G LTE home internet. T-Mobile and Verizon offer great home internet plans for $40 to $60 per month—with unlimited data. That’s miles ahead of most rural options, so check them out if you’re looking for reliable internet in the country.

Is 4G home internet as fast as regular broadband?

A 4G home internet connection offers download speeds averaging 25 Mbps, although providers will not be able to give you a set speed because your speed will be affected by your proximity to cell phone towers and geological features. Actual download speeds range from 10 Mbps to 60 Mbps. A good 4G LTE internet provider will ascertain whether you need a booster or extender to get a good signal in your area.

Can I use 4G LTE home internet in my RV?

Yes, some 4G LTE home internet providers are portable and can travel with you in an RV. As long as you’re staying in an area with cell phone service, you can use Ladybug Wireless, Wahoo, or UbiFi anywhere. But Verizon’s LTE Home Internet plan and T-Mobile’s Home Internet are not portable (service is tied to your home address).

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