Best 4G LTE Home Internet Providers

Get rural home internet that can deliver faster speeds and more data than satellite internet.
Lowest price
Verizon
Verizon
  • Icon Cons  Light
    Not portable
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Unlimited data
  • Icon Pros  Light
    No contracts
  • Icon Yes  Light
    $40.00–$60.00/mo.
Most flexible
Unlimitedville
Unlimitedville
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Portable
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Unlimited data
  • Icon Pros  Light
    No contracts
  • Icon Yes  Light
    $149.00–$249.00/mo.
Best customer service
Ladybug Wireless
Ladybug Wireless
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Portable
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Data up to 750 GB
  • Icon Pros  Light
    No contracts
  • Icon Yes  Light
    $99.00 and up
Lowest fees
T Mobile
T-Mobile
  • Icon Cons  Light
    Not portable
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Unlimited data
  • Icon Pros  Light
    No contracts
  • Icon Yes  Light
    $60.00/mo.

Data effective 9/28/21. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.


Peter Christiansen
Researcher & Writer
Read More
Published on November 04, 2021

Our pick: Which 4G Internet is best?

Verizon is the best 4G home internet service if you just need a wireless internet connection for your home. Verizon has the best cellular network and the pricing on its unlimited 4G home internet is excellent.

If you’re looking for portable 4G internet, Unlimitedville is best. Unlimitedville is user-friendly, offers unlimited data, and you can choose a plan with any of the major cellular networks.

Best 4G LTE internet providers

Service
Price*
Advertised speed**
Portable
Data cap
Get it
Lowest price
VerizonVerizon
$40.00–$60.00/mo.25–50 Mbps
Icon No  DarkNo
Unlimited
Most flexible
UnlimitedvilleUnlimitedville
$149.00–$249.00/mo.Carrier dependent
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Unlimited
Best customer service
Ladybug WirelessLadybug Wireless
$99.00 and up60 Mbps
Icon Yes  DarkYes
300–750 GB
Lowest fees
T-Mobile
$60.00/mo100 Mbps
Icon No  DarkNo
Unlimited
Best for travelers
Nomad InternetNomad Internet
$129.00–$149.00/mo1–150 Mbps
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Unlimited
Budget portable option
UbiFiUbiFi
$99.99/mo.Location dependent
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Unlimited

*Price at time of writing
**4G LTE speeds depend on location. The same service could be faster in some places and quite slow in others.

What should you look for in a 4G LTE internet plan?

Whether you’re looking for a home 4G plan or a portable 4G service that you can take with you, the first thing to consider is the cellular network that works best for where you want to use it. Verizon and T-Mobile sell their home internet service only in specific locations.

If you’re looking for portable 4G internet, most providers offer a choice of plans that use different cellular networks: either Verizon, AT&T, or T-Mobile. Verizon has the strongest network overall, meaning that it will have better speed and reliability in more places—but it’s usually the most expensive. On the other end, T-Mobile plans tend to be the cheapest, but aren’t the best coverage. However, if you are using the service in places that get good coverage from a cheaper plan, you’ll save a lot of money.

Pro tip
Info

Most portable 4G carriers aren’t allowed to advertise the specific cellular network their plans use, so they typically refer to Verizon as the “red network,” AT&T as the “blue network,” and T-Mobile as the “pink network.”

The 6 best 4G internet providers

Lowest price—Verizon

Lowest price
Verizon

Specs

  • Not portable
  • 25–50 Mbps
  • Unlimited data
  • No contracts
  • $40.00–$60.00/mo.
Pros
Pro Bullet Low monthly cost
Pro Bullet Reliable network
Pro Bullet Unlimited data
Cons
Con Bullet No portability
Con Bullet Low speeds
Con Bullet Limited availability

Verizon has been leading the way in 4G LTE home internet over the last few years, and that effort shows. Its current generation of equipment offers a much more stable connection and easier installation than most other home 4G LTE providers.

Verizon’s biggest advantage for customers comes if you bundle your home internet with Verizon’s phone service, which drops its price considerably lower than T-Mobile.

Verizon’s speed is low compared to other wireless internet providers, but is still a step up when compared to satellite internet, especially when comparing latency. Its home 4G LTE internet is also not yet available in all areas of Verizon’s cellular network. While its availability is still limited, Verizon recently doubled its 4G LTE Home Internet coverage, so it’s catching up to the other competitors quickly.1

Most flexible—Unlimitedville

Most flexible
Unlimitedville

Specs

  • Portable
  • Carrier-dependent speeds
  • Unlimited data
  • No contracts
  • $149.00–$249.00/mo.
Pros
Pro Bullet Portable
Pro Bullet Choice of AT&T, Verizon, or AT&T network
Pro Bullet Unlimited data
Pro Bullet Easy setup
Cons
Con Bullet High monthly cost
Con Bullet High setup fee ($249.00)

Unlimitedville gives customers a lot of flexibility, including the option of three different mobile carriers, giving Unlimitedville a massive coverage range. The monthly price of the plan depends on which network you’re using, with T-Mobile costing $149 per month, AT&T costing $199 per month, and Verizon costing $249 per month. If multiple carriers have coverage in your area, make sure you go with the least expensive, as the difference in cost is pretty substantial.

Along with high monthly costs, new customers also have to pay their first month upfront in addition to a one-time membership fee of $249. That membership fee covers the cost of the hotspot, so the trade-off is that there are no monthly costs for equipment. This makes switching to Unlimitedville a pretty hefty upfront investment, but worth it for people who want a lot of flexibility in their internet plan. It’s a great portable option because it sets up in new locations in a matter of seconds.

Best customer service—Ladybug Wireless

Best customer service
Ladybug Wireless

Specs

  • Portable
  • 60 Mbps
  • 300–750 GB
  • No contracts
  • $99.00 and up
Pros
Pro Bullet Portability
Pro Bullet Excellent customer service
Pro Bullet Bring-your-own device option
Cons
Con Bullet Data caps
Con Bullet No equipment rental

Ladybug Wireless is a smaller provider that offers mobile hotspot service. It places a lot of emphasis on offering customer service and technical support, assisting with a wide range of issues from updating your device’s firmware to changing your password. This makes it a good choice for people who are interested in switching to a mobile hotspot, but might be nervous about dealing with new technical issues.

Ladybug Wireless has a wide variety of plans, as well as the option to operate on several different nationwide networks. Plan pricing depends on both the network you connect to as well as the amount of data you get per month, which can mean a lot of variability in price. Its starter packages also include the purchase of a modem, making for some very high upfront costs.

Ladybug Wireless does have a BYOD (bring your own device) option, which provides a way to get around these upfront costs, provided your device is compatible with the network you want. Check out our list of the best mobile hotspots for help picking out your own equipment.

One of the biggest downsides to Ladybug Mobile when compared to other 4G LTE providers is the limited data on its plans. That said, its data caps are still considerably higher than those offered by satellite providers like HughesNet and Viasat, so many internet users will never have to worry about hitting them. If you use video streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, however, you can burn through data surprisingly quickly.

Lowest fees—T-Mobile Home Internet

Lowest fees
T Mobile

Specs

  • Not portable
  • 100 Mbps
  • Unlimited data
  • No contracts
  • $60.00/mo.
Pros
Pro Bullet No contracts
Pro Bullet No price hikes
Pro Bullet Good speeds
Pro Bullet Low price for unlimited data
Cons
Con Bullet No portability
Con Bullet Limited availability

Somewhat of a newcomer to the wireless home internet game, T-Mobile has been one of the major cell phone providers in the US for years and is leveraging its extensive 4G LTE network to rapidly expand the reach of its home internet service. As with Verizon, T-Mobile’s home 4G service isn’t available in every area with 4G cellular service, but this availability is increasing as T-Mobile continues to invest in its 4G infrastructure.

One of the biggest differences between T-Mobile and other 4G providers is the lack of upfront costs. There’s no equipment rental or registration fee for new customers, which can be a huge relief, especially for rural customers used to satellite internet costs. There are also no price hikes or contracts with T-Mobile’s home internet plan, so you don’t have to worry about unexpected fees down the road either.

T-Mobile 4G LTE home internet offers a combination of high download speeds and unlimited data that make it an especially good choice for those that want to stream video from places like Netflix without worrying about hitting data caps. You can get some of the highest 4G speeds for the lowest monthly cost.

Best for travelers—Nomad Internet

Best for travelers
Nomad Internet

Specs

  • Mobile hotspot
  • 1 Mbps–150 Mbps
  • Unlimited data
  • No contracts
  • $129.00–$149.00/mo.
Pros
Pro Bullet Portability
Pro Bullet Unlimited data
Pro Bullet Choice of Verizon or T-Mobile network
Cons
Con Bullet Inconsistent speeds
Con Bullet Limited tech support
Con Bullet No AT&T Network option

Nomad Internet is designed for people in rural areas, especially for those who travel frequently or don’t have a fixed location—the digital nomads.

New Nomad Internet customers have their choice of Verizon or T-Mobile 4G networks when they sign up for their membership plan. Nomad Internet doesn’t offer access to AT&T’s network, so be aware of which networks cover the areas you spend the most time in.

Nomad Internet has unlimited data, which is important for its target audience of digital nomads that need the flexibility to work from any location. The biggest snag in this scenario is the high variability in speed. Nomad Internet doesn’t actually advertise a set speed or even an average speed for its plans, but rather points out that customers have reported speeds as slow as 1 Mbps and as high as 150 Mbps. This poses a significant problem for people who need consistent speeds for video conferencing and other job-related tasks.

Best budget portable option—UbiFi

Best budget option
UbiFi

Specs

  • Mobile hotspot
  • Carrier-dependent speeds
  • Unlimited data
  • No contracts
  • $99.00/mo.
Pros
Pro Bullet Low monthly cost
Pro Bullet No contracts
Cons
Con Bullet High setup cost
Con Bullet No battery option for portable equipment

UbiFi has wide availability in rural areas in the US and provides service for a low monthly price. In this way, UbiFi lowers the barriers for rural customers who need low-latency connections for activities like playing online games or using video chat. 

Although UbiFi is portable, its equipment doesn’t come with a battery option, so while you can take it with you, you can’t wander far from an outlet. It uses AT&T’s 4G network, which is one of the largest nationwide networks, but it doesn’t come with any other network options.

One major pitfall in UbiFi’s otherwise affordable plan is the hefty initial setup cost of $314.99. This cost includes the purchase of a router/modem and SIM card, so you don’t have to worry about equipment fees later on, but this can be a major hurdle for those looking to UbiFi as a budget option.

4G LTE internet specs and features

4G LTE internet providers come in two distinct flavors: direct-from-carrier plans and mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) plans.

Pro tip:
Bullhorn

4G is the fourth generation of cellular technology and its associated requirements. 4G LTE (long-term evolution) refers to networks that use 4G technology but are still working toward meeting the speed requirements for 4G. Most 4G networks still fall into the category of 4G LTE.

Direct-from-carrier plans like those offered by T-Mobile and Verizon are offered through the provider that owns the network infrastructure. This means that these providers can offer plans at lower prices and higher speeds.

MVNOs buy data from the big carriers (AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile) and resell it to their customers. This usually means higher and more variable prices, but it also means that a single MVNO carrier can offer service on several different networks, giving MVNOs a much wider footprint.

Portability

Portability is one of the main differences between direct-from-carrier plans and MVNOs. Carriers are able to offer lower prices because home 4G plans are tied to your home address, allowing them to manage traffic on their networks more easily. Home 4G equipment can also be placed in the part of your home with the best signal, providing a more reliable connection.

MVNOs, on the other hand, generally offer mobile internet hotspots that you can take with you in an RV or set up in a hotel on a business trip. Since these plans are typically more expensive, we suggest that you choose a home 4G plan unless portability is important enough for you to justify the additional cost.

Additionally, all portable internet is not created equal. Providers that offer equipment that can run on batteries make it much easier to take your internet on the road with you. Some providers also offer a variety of devices or the option for you to buy your own device, allowing you to fit your equipment to your specific needs.

Network availability

Although carriers like T-Mobile and Verizon have extensive 4G cellular networks, 4G home internet is not offered in every area that has cellular reception.  As carriers continue to upgrade their infrastructure, the availability of home 4G is expanding.

Mobile 4G plans offered through MVNOs generally have much wider availability, but it’s important to make sure your plan uses the network that’s most widely available in areas where you travel. For example, if your provider offers the option of both Verizon and T-Mobile networks in your home area, but you regularly travel to areas where T-Mobile doesn’t have coverage, you might want to sign up for the plan that uses Verizon’s network instead.

It’s important to remember that the price of MVNO plans generally varies depending on which carrier’s network it uses. We recommend going with the least expensive option available in your area.

Speed

Most 4G LTE internet providers advertise speeds from 25–100 Mbps. Home 4G LTE internet plans generally offer faster speeds and more reliable connections. Mobile 4G hotspots often have slower speeds that depend on their current location and carrier network.

Data caps

The two biggest reasons to go with 4G LTE internet instead of satellite internet is to save money on the lower monthly cost (in most cases) and to avoid restrictive data caps. Most 4G plans offer unlimited data, and those that do have data caps give you considerably more than satellite.

For customers switching over from satellite and suddenly having 30 times your usual monthly data allowance, it might seem like a never-ending supply. Still, it’s surprisingly easy to burn through data if you’re watching a lot of video.

With any plan that offers unlimited data, it’s always important to read the fine print. Unlimited data usually means no restrictions on data at any point—no throttling, no downgrading, no deprioritizing. Some 4G providers that advertise as being technically unlimited will start putting restrictions on your connection speed after a certain amount of data use, with some even downgrading your connection to 3G.

We always prefer providers that are upfront with their data restrictions and won’t hit you with hidden fees or unexpected service interruptions. Truly unlimited data is still the safest bet. But if you have a good handle on your monthly data use, you can still get by on the amount of data most 4G providers offer.

Our verdict: Go with 4G LTE home internet if it’s available

A 4G LTE home internet plan from T-Mobile or Verizon is a great option for rural locations that can get cell service but can’t get a wired connection like cable. 4G LTE home internet provides a reliable connection without the harsh data limits and high cost of satellite internet.

Portable 4G internet is a good choice for people who want to ensure a good wireless internet connection for traveling or for use between multiple homes. The prices are significantly higher for portable 4G internet than for the non-portable home internet options, but the portable services are another option for your home if Verizon and T-Mobile home internet aren’t available where you live.

For those who just need home internet but don’t have 4G LTE home internet service in their area, mobile hotspots can still be a more affordable alternative to satellite internet as long as you have a strong enough 4G signal at home.

4G LTE internet FAQ

How fast is 4G LTE internet?

Advertised internet speeds for 4G LTE internet are typically between 25 Mbps and 100 Mbps. You’re more likely to receive those faster speeds from home (non-portable) 4G internet providers like Verizon and T-Mobile, while portable 4G providers may struggle to meet the 25 Mbps threshold.

How much does 4G LTE internet cost?

Home 4G LTE internet plans usually cost $40.00 to $60.00 per month. Mobile 4G hotspot plans cost $100.00 to $150.00 per month and often have larger upfront costs for equipment.

What’s the difference between 4G and 4G LTE?

4G is the fourth generation of cellular technology. To advertise a network as 4G, it must meet certain technical requirements, including minimum standards for speed. Networks that use 4G technology but are still working toward meeting the speed requirements for 4G are labeled “4G LTE.”

Sources

  1. Verizon News Center, “Verizon Expands Internet Options for Customers,” July 12, 2021. Accessed September 10, 2021.
  2. Nomad Internet. “What Are the Average Speeds of Your Hotspots?“ Accessed September 10, 2021.
Peter Christiansen
Written by
Peter Christiansen
Peter Christiansen is a writer at HighSpeedInternet.com, where he writes about satellite internet, rural connectivity, livestreaming, and parental controls. Peter holds a PhD in communication from the University of Utah and has worked as a computer programmer, game developer, filmmaker, and writer. His writing has been praised by outlets like Wired, Digital Humanities Now, and the New Statesman.