AT&T Internet Air (5G Home Internet) Review

AT&T Internet Air promises a faster, more affordable alternative to DSL.
AT&T Internet Air
  • Icon Blank
  • pro
  • pro
    No contract
  • con
    Extremely limited availability (for now)

Dave Schafer
Jan 24, 2024
Icon Time To Read6 min read

AT&T Internet Air is the latest iteration of 5G home internet from AT&T. It aims to give AT&T customers in non-fiber markets an alternative to the company’s DSL service. With solid speeds, unlimited data, and a low price ($55 per month), it would seem to live up to that promise.

However, 5G home internet is a competitive market, and other major providers have a lot to offer. How does AT&T Internet Air stack up against the competition? More importantly, is it worth your money? Let’s find out.

Data cap
AT&T Internet Air$55/mo.75—225MbpsUnlimited

*AutoPay and paperless billing required. Monthly State Cost Recovery Charge in TX, OH, NV applies. . Service subj. to Internet Terms of Service at Offers may be modified, or discontinued, at any time without notice. Other conditions may apply to all offers.

How fast is AT&T Internet Air?

Internet Air offers Wi-Fi speeds between 75—225Mbps (well above the FCC’s broadband requirement). That’s very respectable for the price and certainly beats out other satellite plans. 225Mbps is plenty for streaming Netflix, making Zoom calls, or downloading large files. It’s even enough for a multi-device household, although things may feel a bit cramped at times.

That said, these speeds are a fair bit slower than other 5G home internet services. T-Mobile, for example, advertises 72–245Mbps, which is nearly double AT&T’s quoted speeds. Verizon 5G Home Internet advertises up to 1,000Mbps on its higher-tier 5G Home Plus plan, though these are more theoretical maximum speeds—real-world performance is similar to T-Mobile.

Ultimately, while AT&T Internet Air may not be as speedy as competitors, it is definitely a big improvement over AT&T’s DSL service, and that seems to be the goal—to provide a better alternative for customers who don’t have access to AT&T’s excellent fiber service.

AT&T Internet Air price

AT&T Internet Air costs a flat $55 per month. There are no extra fees, no charges for the Wi-Fi router or other equipment, no overage charges—nothing. Even better, if you have a qualifying AT&T cell plan and sign up for automatic payments, you can drop the price down to $35 per month. At that price, Internet Air is an excellent deal.

Unfortunately for AT&T (again), that price is higher than other 5G home internet options. T-Mobile Home Internet is cheaper at $50 per month or $30 with a qualifying plan. Verizon’s regular pricing is higher, at $60–$80 per month, but drops down to $25 or $35 per month depending on the plan you choose (5G Home or 5G Home Plus).

AT&T Internet Air availability

AT&T Internet Air is currently only available in a handful of large cities:

  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Cincinnati, OH
  • Harrisburg-Lancaster-Lebanon, PA
  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Chicago, IL
  • Detroit, MI
  • Flint-Saginaw-Bay City, MI
  • Hartford-New Haven, CT
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN
  • Portland, OR
  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • Seattle-Tacoma, WA
  • Tampa-St. Petersburg, FL

It’s not clear yet how far AT&T intends to expand the Internet Air footprint. The Internet Air page seems to indicate that the service will be coming to additional locations, but it also seems to indicate that AT&T may not want to cut into its existing fiber markets. For the moment, at least, these are the markets we have.

If you’re an existing AT&T cellular customer in one of these areas, then you should definitely check out Internet Air. On the other hand, if you’re not an AT&T customer but are just generally interested in 5G home internet, you’re much more likely to have T-Mobile or Verizon available. T-Mobile, in particular, has coverage in a large number of markets, including many rural areas.

AT&T Internet Air vs. the competition

AT&T Internet Air faces some seriously stiff competition. First, there are the obvious cable and fiber broadband services—since Internet Air is currently only available in large metro areas, there’s a good chance potential customers have several speedy options to choose from. Internet Air’s primary advantages against these competitors are cost and simplicity—you don’t need any special wiring to your home to use it.

As the service expands into more rural areas, it’ll start competing with satellite internet and fixed wireless options like Rise Broadband. Satellite is typically much more widely available. It can also offer the flexibility of being portable, so you could use it in an RV or otherwise take it on the road with you. Of course, the tradeoff is that satellite is expensive.

Fixed wireless is usually relatively affordable but quite a bit slower than 5G. It also often comes with data caps that can be limiting for streamers and other heavy users. Don’t expect to binge-watch a new show every weekend.

However, AT&T Internet Air’s biggest competitors are definitely other 5G home internet services. Verizon and T-Mobile both offer excellent 5G options that are actually more affordable than Internet Air. They also tend to offer faster speeds—T-Mobile advertises over 200Mbps. Finally, both of these services are already available across much of the country.

AT&T Internet Air$55.00/mo.*● Unlimited data
● Affordable pricing
● Simple setup
T-Mobile Home Internet$40.00–$50.00/mo.**● Unlimited data
● Fast speeds
● Wide availability
Verizon 5G Home InternetStarts at $35.00–$70.00/mo.***● Unlimited data
● Excellent pricing for Verizon customers
● Two plans to choose from
HughesnetStarts at $49.99/mo.†● Nationwide availability
● No up-front equipment costs
StarlinkStarts at $120.00/mo.‡● Faster than other satellite providers
● Unlimited data

*AutoPay and paperless billing required. Monthly State Cost Recovery Charge in TX, OH, NV applies. . Service subj. to Internet Terms of Service at Offers may be modified, or discontinued, at any time without notice. Other conditions may apply to all offers. **w/ Auto Pay and qualifying mobile plan. Regulatory fees included in monthly price for qualified accounts. See full terms. ***w/ Auto Pay. Available in select areas. †Pricing for the first 6 months. Service plans require a 24-month commitment. Pricing not available in all areas. ‡Plus hardware, shipping & handling fees, and tax. Fully refundable. Depending on location, some orders may take 2 weeks or more to fulfill.

Pros and cons of AT&T Internet Air

pro No contracts or price hikes
pro Affordable pricing, especially with an AT&T cell plan
pro No equipment costs
pro Good speeds, especially for the price
pro Unlimited data at no additional cost
pro Easy setup process
con Very limited availability
con Restricted to mostly large urban centers
con Slower than other 5G providers
con Slightly more expensive than other 5G providers

Who should get AT&T Internet Air?

AT&T’s 5G home internet service is best suited to existing AT&T cellular customers who want moderately speedy internet at a very affordable price. If you don’t have AT&T cell service, the price becomes a bit high for what you get, and the service alone isn’t worth switching to AT&T for phone service (in our opinion).

This last point is even more true when the other major cell providers, T-Mobile and Verizon, both offer arguably better 5G home internet services of their own. T-Mobile and Verizon give you faster and more affordable service than Internet Air, making it a tough sell for non-AT&T customers.

AT&T Internet Air customer service

If you have additional questions about AT&T Internet Air or need assistance with your service, you can contact AT&T customer service for help:

  • The AT&T support site has helpful content on a variety of topics, from internet speed to billing questions.
  • You can call 1-800-288-2020 for 24/7 assistance with internet or home phone service.
  • The AT&T support site also has a live chat option available in the bottom right corner of most pages.

The final take: AT&T Internet Air works well for AT&T cellular customers

AT&T Internet Air is the latest evolution of AT&T 225Mbps) and unlimited data at an excellent price—as low as $35 per month with a qualifying AT&T cell plan.

Internet Air is currently only available in a handful of major metropolitan areas, but AT&T will likely expand the service further, particularly in markets that don’t have access to its fiber service. In these areas, Internet Air could be an excellent option—even more so if you’re an AT&T cellular customer and can take advantage of the discounted price.

That said, AT&T faces tough competition in this space. Verizon 5G Home Internet and T-Mobile Home Internet both offer 5G services with better pricing, wider availability, and potentially faster speeds. For now, we’d recommend checking out one of these two services—at least until AT&T has a chance to grow Internet Air a bit more.

FAQs about AT&T Internet Air

How fast is AT&T Internet Air?

AT&T Internet Air should offer speeds between 75—225Mbps. This makes it faster than DSL services and most satellite providers, including the basic Starlink Residential plan.

However, it’s not as fast as other 5G home internet services from providers like T-Mobile and Verizon. These providers offer speeds well over 200Mbps.

How does Internet Air work?

Internet Air is powered by 5G—the same 5G that likely provides internet access to your smartphone. This is the fifth generation of wireless technology (hence the name), replacing 4G LTE.

The AT&T Internet Air router picks up the 5G signal from a nearby tower and then rebroadcasts it as a standard Wi-Fi network that any of your devices can connect to. The advantage of this is that you don’t need any special infrastructure in your home—you just need to be near a tower.

The setup process is extremely simple too. AT&T claims you can be “up and running in less than 15 minutes.” It doesn’t get much easier than that.

Is 5G internet better than AT&T fiber?

No, 5G internet is not likely to be better than fiber. Fiber, by its nature, provides some of the fastest internet speeds. That said, 5G home internet is an extremely good value, and so it might win from the standpoint of pure cost-effectiveness. It’s hard to argue with 225Mbps for $55, and especially $35 if you have an AT&T phone plan already.

Is AT&T Internet Air good for streaming?

Internet Air offers enough speed to support HD or 4K streaming. Netflix recommends a minimum of 15Mbps, for example, which is much less than the 75—225Mbps offered by Internet Air.