Best 5G Home Broadband Router: Embrace… SPEED!

5G is now rolling out in the UK and this changes everything. But what are the best 5G home broadband routers? Let’s investigate the current options…

If you want to get off your current broadband setup, embrace 5G, and potentially save some money in 2020, switching to 5G broadband could be just what the doctor ordered.

5G is NOT just for phones, either.

Because of the speed of 5G, it can (and most likely will) replace traditional broadband in your home.

And this isn’t something that will happen in a few years – it’s already taking place here in the UK.

And in the US, you have services like Verizon FIOS.

And these 5G routers are simple to set up, do not require an engineer to come to your home, and are completely wireless, meaning you can move them (and take them) wherever you like.

Pretty cool, right?

In this post, we’ll take a look at the current, top-rated 5G home broadband routers from the UK’s best networks. We’ll also look at how much data plans cost and which is the best to go for overall.

Best 5G Home Broadband Router

Because 5G is still an emerging standard, your options are fairly limited right now when it comes to wireless home routers.

Mostly, it depends on where you live.

In order to get one of these 5G home broadband routers, you need to be an area that has 5G coverage.

Before signing up for one, you will have to enter your postcode to see whether your area is supported – don’t worry, it takes a couple of seconds.

If you have 5G in your area, you simply progress through to check out.

If you don’t, sign up for updates from the network and be patient – 5G will be pretty much everywhere in the UK soon enough.

Our #1 Picks Right Now

EE 5G Home Broadband★★★★★VIEW LATEST DEALS
Three 5G Home Broadband★★★★VIEW LATEST DEALS
The Best 5G Home Broadband Router Deals

Editor’s Pick

EE 5G Home Broadband – Best For Coverage

Best 5G Home Broadband Router: Embrace… SPEED!Pin

When it comes to 5G coverage, EE, the UK’s largest network, is leading the way. Its 5G home broadband plan is currently our #1 pick for this very reason. With EE, you’re more likely to have coverage in your area and, thanks to the network’s outstanding infrastructure, you’ll get the best possible coverage too.

EE’s 5G broadband plan is really simple too, as there’s just one: it costs £70 a month with a £100 upfront fee. You get 1000GB of data per month, more than enough for even the most hardcore web users, and the plan runs for 18 months.

With EE 5G Broadband, you’re looking at average speeds of 150Mbps inside your home. Impressive when you consider the average speed of UK broadband right now is around 22.4Mbps, according to ISP Review.

EE’s wireless 5G broadband router is also a rather fetching-looking device too. Build from attractive white plastic, it’ll sit anywhere in your home and not look out of place, thanks to its modern, sleek design language.

Built and designed by Huawei, EE’s wireless 5G router is completely wireless. You DO NOT need a phone line to run it, nor does it require an engineer to set it up – just plug it into your mains and you’re done. Simple, right?

On top of this, EE’s 5G broadband will also intelligently switch between 4G and 5G, so if you take the router away with you on holiday, for instance, or on a weekend getaway, you can still use it, even if the area you go to does not support 5G.

EE 5G Broadband PROS:

  • Ultra-Fast 5G Connection – 150Mbps
  • Connect Up To 64 Devices
  • 2X LAN Ports
  • Up To 1000GB of 5G Data Per Month

EE 5G Broadband CONS:

  • It’s Expensive
  • EE Requires Upfront Fee
  • No 12 Month Plans

The Runner Up…

Three 5G Home Broadband – Best For Price & Data Allowance

Best 5G Home Broadband Router: Embrace… SPEED!Pin

The next best option would be Three’s 5G broadband. Three UK is a great network and is currently investing billions in its 5G infrastructure. But it does not have the same level of reach as EE.

This means it is harder to find coverage for Three’s 5G in the UK at the moment. Where Three’s 5G home broadband does shine, however, is to do with its data allowance and pricing: Three does truly unlimited 5G data – and it does it for less than EE.

If your area is supported, you can pick up a 5G router from Three from £29 a month. Again, you will not need an engineer to come and set it up, and, unlike EE’s, there is no upfront cost.

I know what you’re thinking: this sounds better than EE’s offer. And in some respects, it is – Three’s is cheaper, has a lower setup cost, and offers more data for less money each month.

So why isn’t Three listed as our #1 pick for 5G home broadband? Simple: Three does not have the same level of coverage as EE, so it is harder to get on the network, and EE’s network is faster (150Mbps vs. Three’s 100Mbps).

So while Three’s is cheaper, it is harder to find coverage, my locale is not supported for instance, and even if you do manage to find 5G support from Three in your local area, you will get slower speeds than EE.

Bottom line: where it counts – coverage and overall speeds – EE has Three over a barrel at this point. Now, this could change in the coming weeks and months. But as of right now, the clear victor here is EE. Its network is bigger and faster than Three’s.

Three 5G Broadband PROS:

  • Truly Unlimited 5G Data Plans
  • 100Mbps Speed
  • Connect Up To 64 Devices
  • No Landline Required
  • No Upfront Costs
  • 12 & 24 Month Contracts Available

Three 5G Broadband CONS:

  • Limited UK Coverage For 5G
  • Not As Fast As EE’s Network

How Much 5G Data Do I Need For My Home?

The question of how much data you need for your home will depend on a variety of things. If you have a family of six, made up predominantly of teenagers that are constantly glued to their phones, then, yeah, you’ll probably need more data than somebody who lives by themselves.

The good thing about both of our top-rated 5G broadband plans, however, is that they both provide more than enough data for every conceivable type of user setting – from huge households to smaller families and single people.

Best 5G Home Broadband RouterPin

Three offers truly unlimited 5G data, while EE offers 1000GB (which is basically unlimited because you’ll never use that much).

I work from home, have a small family, and we watch a lot of Netflix. Over the course of a month, I think we burn through around 300 to 400GB of data on our home network.

Having 1000GB, therefore, is more than enough for the average user and/or UK family.

EE 5G Home Broadband★★★★★VIEW LATEST DEALS
Three 5G Home Broadband★★★★VIEW LATEST DEALS
The Best 5G Home Broadband Router Deals

Which Networks Currently Offer 5G?

In the UK, all major networks now offer (or will offer) 5G connections. Three, EE, O2, and Vodafone now all have 5G plans available for phones.

Vodafone also offers a 5G home broadband router; it’s called the GIGACUBE and it was one of the first 5G broadband routers to launch in the UK.

Plans start from as little as £30 a month for 100GB of data and go up to £50 per month for unlimited data.

Why isn’t Vodafone’s GIGACUBE included above? The main reason is that Three and EE’s networks are vastly superior – both for overall connection quality and download speeds. Vodafone is competitive on price but that’s about it in this context.

5G Broadband vs 5G For Your Phone: What’s The Difference?

When most people think of 5G, they think about phones. This is because 5G, like 4G, is a mobile data framework. It works differently from traditional broadband in that it is distributed wirelessly by cell towers and base stations.

With mobile data, you can connect to these base stations and cell towers wherever you are. Hence the name mobile data. Why the push for 5G broadband then? Simple: 5G is A LOT faster than 4G and traditional broadband.

You can buy 4G home broadband now, most major UK networks offer 4G home broadband routers, and they work much the same as 5G home broadband, however, the big difference, again, is speed – 5G is faster.

Best 5G Home Broadband Router: Embrace… SPEED!Pin

The upper limits of 5G’s speeds are utterly bonkers. Most agree that 5G can (and will) hit speeds of 10Gbps – that is around 20X faster than current standards. But that’s where 5G is going. And that is why it will, most likely, win out over traditional forms of broadband.

5G is basically the long-game plan for how data is consumed. By the 2030s, nearly all internet connections will be done via 5G. And by that point, we will probably be approaching those promised 10Gbps speeds.

This is why networks are now scrambling to get their networks up and running. They know 5G is going to be a massive deal in the future, so they want to get consumers locked in nice and early.

5G broadband and 5G on your phone work exactly the same and you will get similar speeds. The only difference with 5G broadband is that it runs natively inside a router and can connect to multiple devices in your home – like your TV, your tablet, your Kindle, your PC, and more.

Eventually, 5G will be in everything – from your car to your fridge. It will also be deployed on smart motorways and used to deploy information via marketing materials on signage and billboards. All of this is coming; it’s just a matter of time.

Frequently Asked Questions (5G FAQ)

Is 5G Dangerous?

There is A LOT of crazy theories about the dangers of 5G circulating online. And they range from relatively sensible to downright insane. As with any new technology standard, there are always concerns. But you needn’t worry; 5G, like 4G, is perfectly safe.

The International Commission on Non‐Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) recently confirmed that the type of 5G used in the UK poses no harm to humans.

“The radio frequencies 5G uses in the UK are similar to those that have been used for mobile telephones since 1998,” reports The Guardian, “when ICNIRP published its first set of guidelines for EMF exposure.”

Which Network Has Fastest 5G Speeds?

The fastest 5G speed recorded to date by a network was 478Mbps – this was achieved by Three in London. However, these speeds are NOT representative of overall speeds on the network. Three’s average speed is around 100Mbps – or, around 50Mbps slower than EE’s

  • Three: 478.1Mbps
  • EE: 388.4Mbps in London
  • Vodafone: 402.2Mbps in London
  • O2: 146.4Mbps in London

Interestingly, EE did manage to get its network up to 500Mbps, still a fraction of 5G’s potential speed, but this was done in experimental settings and, again, is NOT reflective of what you’d get should you install 5G in your home.

Will 5G Broadband Replace Traditional Broadband?

Potentially. But not for a good long while. And the reason for this is simple: you cannot get 5G in most places in the UK. If you live in a city, Manchester or London, for instance, you’ll be able to get 5G and unlock its speeds.

If you live anywhere else, meaning outside a major city, 5G broadband simply will not be available to you right now. As we move into 2020 and beyond, this situation will obviously change as 5G becomes more prevalent.

By the mid-2020s, the number of 5G broadband users will have dramatically increased, however, traditional forms of broadband – the type you get from BT, Sky, and Virgin – will still be what the vast majority of users have installed in their homes.

Richard Goodwin

Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He has written for Den of Geek, Fortean Times, IT PRO, PC Pro, ALPHR, and many other technology sites. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.

Keep Reading

Explore more →
[ss_click_to_tweet tweet="From 1G in the 1980s to INSANELY fast 5G in 2019, mobile data has changed massively over the past few decades. Here, we take an in-depth look at how mobile data has evolved since the dawn of the smartphone... " content="From 1G in the 1980s to INSANELY fast 5G in 2019, mobile data has changed massively over the past few decades. Here, we take an in-depth look at how mobile data has evolved since the dawn of the smartphone... " style="default"] What Is Mobile Data? The Basics (In Layman’s Terms) Mobile data lets you connect to the internet when you’re away from your home WiFi network. Mobile networks are powered by cell towers; these towers are dotted around the country and are collectively known as a “cell” – they power your phone, both for calls and internet connectivity. These cell towers – often referred to as base stations – are IP-based (Internet Protocol) networks, meaning they use standard communication protocols to send and receive data in packets. The cell tower is a conduit, essentially, and your phone is the source.   In its simplest form, these base stations are radio systems. They “broadcast” data – both voice and data on 4G LTE – to handsets inside their vicinity. This is why it is important for networks to have towers all over the country, as individual towers only have a certain range. For instance, say you start your day in New York. When you leave your apartment, you’ll connect to a local base station. You then get in your car and drive to Chicago. During your drive across state lines, you’ll move through several or more base station zones, potentially, swapping from one to the next so as to ensure your phone is constantly connected to the web. And that’s it, basically. I mean, you can get super-complicated if you like – there are plenty of engineering sites that go into way more depth. But for a layman’s overview of how mobile data works, that’s pretty much it in a nutshell! Mobile Data is Now More Important Than Call Functionality… Mobile data is important too. You need it to use your phone when you're in a city, on the road, or traveling. In fact, there is 33 times more demand for mobile data than there is for calls, meaning people surf the web more than they talk these days. And that figure is constantly increasing. This is why we now have 4G and 5G networks; older 2G and 3G networks were crumbling under the demands placed on them by millions of people attempting to access the internet at the same time. This is why HSPA and HSPA+ happened. And then 4G LTE. It’s a constant evolution to tackle the ever-increasing demand for mobile data. Networks and ISPs (Internet Service Providers) are constantly updating their infrastructure to make it more efficient and faster. This costs millions of dollars and is a never-ending process, as the goalposts keep moving – like with the advent of 5G. Most phones now run on LTE (4G), but from about 2022, 5G will take over, bringing with it huge uplifts to download speeds. Different Types of Mobile Data – 1G to 5G To understand how we get got to where we are, you have to understand how the industry, as well as consumer habits, have changed over the years. Back in the early-2000s, demand for mobile data was small. By 2010, it was enormous, following the release of the first true smartphones – Apple’s iPhone and Google’s first run on Android phones. Prior to this, we had WAP internet – an incredibly slow form of mobile data that anyone over the age of 30 will remember. Fancy new phones like the iPhone and Google’s first run of Android-powered devices caused a change in the way we use mobile devices. For the first time, data became more important that call and texts, a first since the dawn of mobile comms in the 1970s. The Evolution of Mobile Data (1G to 5G) 1G & 2G – 1G isn’t actually the correct term to use here; it was never known as that. But it works for our needs in this post. Launched in the 1980s, 1G allowed for calls to be made over networks. It was simple, but so were phones, so it was THE standard up until 2003, when 2G happened, bringing with it GSM, GPRS and EDGE – a means of sending data and calls over the same network. Speeds were appalling, however (30-110 kbps) 3G – 3G was the first BIG evolution of mobile networks, as it allowed for faster data delivery (2mbps) with support for calls, texts, email, and the internet inside a single packet. 3G was a direct response to the rise of smartphones and represents the first time we actually got a fit-for-purpose mobile internet. Without 3G, none of the things you do today on your phone would be possible. 4G – Building on from 3G, 4G introduced even faster mobile data speeds – up to 100mbps. Based on standards outline by the International Mobile Telecommunications-Advanced (IMT-Advanced), 4G was complex to integrate into existing networks. This is why it took a while to get going. LTE came shortly after and was designed to simplify network architecture for the express purpose of rolling out faster and faster internet speeds. 5G – LTE (Long Term Evolution) eventually gave birth to 5G, bringing us up to the present day. 5G is here now, but it isn’t true 5G. True 5G will deliver speeds of 10gbps! The current standard is around 1Gbps, so we have quite a ways to go before we’re topping out at the sharp-end of 5G’s evolution. The framework, however, is in place. By 2025, most users in the western world will likely be experiencing mobile data speeds in and around 10gbps. Why We Use Mobile Data Remember that fact from earlier? The one that said demand for mobile data is 33 TIMES greater than demands for calls? That’s why we need mobile data. On top of this, 60% of Google searches are now done on phones (and a large percentage of that will be on mobile data). Mobile data is the backbone of our modern society. Without it, things would crumble to a standstill. Think about it: how many times a day do you check your phone? Do you ever wonder if it will have reception? Do you worry that you won’t be able to access the Internet? No. Unless you live in a rural area, your phone – wherever you go – will be connected to the web. This is why data demands are so high in our modern society – there are no limits on connectivity any more. And this is addictive. Technology companies know this too. That’s why you’re addicted to browsing Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat. You’re not doing it for anything important, you just do it because you can and you’re bored. What did people do before? They read a book/newspaper or thought about stuff. Nowadays, people that do that are the minority. Look around you next time you’re on a train or the underground; everyone is connected, plugged in, consuming. And they’re all doing it on mobile data. This is why companies like Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat are worth billions: mobile data opened the flood gates to more revenue, more opportunities, and near constant, round-the-clock engagement. Video is the big one though. The amount of data used to watch a YouTube video, by 2009 standards, is insane. Back in 2009, watching Netflix or your favorite YouTuber on mobile data would have been next to impossible. But now you can, more or less anywhere. This is great. But it means more demand for data – and more demand means more strain on networks. And that is why the next phase of LTE (5G) happened. Are You A Light, Medium, or Heavy Phone User? How you use your phone is specific to you, like your fingerprint. However, there are things that we all do – we all connect to the internet using mobile data most days; we all use smartphones; we all have a near-constant desire for new, engaging information; and, finally, we all love our phones and cannot be without them for prolonged periods of time (even if some won’t admit it). Me personally? I’m a pretty heavy user. I’m usually on Reddit or reading posts from my RSS reader app. I made a conscious decision to remove Facebook and Instagram from my phone a couple of years ago because I despise what these platforms have become (spoiler: they’re just data collection tools for marketers). And I don’t use Twitter. But I am still what I would consider a heavy user. Generally speaking, though, I am very much in the minority here. Most people LOVE social media. According to data from HootSuite and We Are Social, there were over 3.4 BILLION active social media users in 2019 – up 9% from 2018. In addition, 52% of the earth’s population now use smartphones as well, thanks to huge growth in developing countries like India and Africa. From 2014, upwards of 1.9 billion people have started using mobile data. Apps That Use The Most Data OK, so we now know how mobile data works. But do you know what applications on your phone use the most data? If you’re on a limited data plan, it pays to know exactly which apps are using the most data. Right now, these types of application use the highest amount of mobile data: Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat – social networks are now 100% focussed on video. Why? Simple: video is more engaging. However, video costs more (in terms of data), so constantly checking your social media accounts while connected to mobile data is likely the #1 reason you keep going over your monthly data limits. YouTube, Netflix, Hulu – streaming video is INSANELY bad for your data allowances. The sheer amount of data required to stream a 30-minute TV show in 1080p is enough to wipe out 10% of your monthly data allowance. Unless you have unlimited data, you’ll want to avoid streaming video on mobile data. Spotify/Apple Music/Tidal – streaming music isn’t as data-intensive as streaming video content, but it still takes its toll. If you’re on a low data plan, your best bet is saving music offline for when you’re out an about. If you’re on higher data plans, 10GB and above, you can almost certainly get away with streaming as much as you want. Ditto for those on Unlimited Data Plans. Should You Go For An Unlimited Data Plan? Given everything we’ve discussed, you’re probably thinking unlimited data is the answer to all your problems, right? In most instances, it is – unlimited data gives you the freedom to pretty do whatever you want on a mobile data connection. For instance, I used mine for an entire week to power my home computer when my home broadband was on the fritz. How much did I use? Around 126GB! I’ve always had unlimited data. The reason? I use my phone ALL the time, and I don’t like limits. I also don’t mind paying for unlimited data either, as it is super-useful to have – especially if you travel a lot. Most people, however, will be fine on plans with 10GB of data. That’s a lot of data, even for heavy users, so don’t get too upset if your current network doesn’t offer unlimited data – just go with the highest possible allowance you can. What Networks/Carriers Do Unlimited Data Plans? In the UK and US, you have quite a few options when it comes to unlimited data plans. I’ve outlined the best networks and carriers for unlimited data below in the table: Best Unlimited Data Carriers & Networks [ninja_tables id="95309"]
What is 5G WiFi Broadband_
Snapdragon 768G
Scroll to Top