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4G Home Broadband: Who offers it and why would you want it?

4G Home Broadband

You probably have conventional broadband at home. You know, the kind that requires a landline you probably never use. But there are alternatives, as you can also get 4G home broadband.

What is 4G Home Broadband?

4G home broadband is a home internet service that uses 4G rather than a fixed line (such as a phone line or fibre optic cable). Conventional broadband service is wired all the way to your router, 4G home broadband is wireless in the same way as getting mobile data on your phone is wireless. Except rather than the data coming to your phone, it’s coming to a router that then sends it to your devices.

Advantages of 4G Home Broadband

No landline

No need to pay for a fixed line you don't use

No engineer visit

No need to wait for an engineer visit

Portable

Take it anywhere with a mains socket

Shorter contracts

12 and 1-month contracts, and even PAYG plans

Unlimited data plans

Never worry about running out of data again

Speeds up to 300Mbps

Faster than standard fibre (up to 37Mb/s)

What offers 4G Home Broadband deals?

4G Home Broadband is currently available on Three, Vodafone and EE.

A range of different devices are available on a number of different plans, including Pay Monthly and Pay As You Go.

1. Three 4G Home Broadband

Three currently offer the best value Home Broadband plans and they come with truly unlimited data with no speed restrictions. They are also the only network currently offering Home Broadband devices on Pay As You Go plans.

Three HomeFi

4G Home broadband router that shares internet with up to 32 devices over WiFi. Supports speeds up to 150Mbps and has an ethernet port.

 

Huawei HomeFi

Unlimited data

24-month contract

Three Logo

£21 a month

No upfront cost

See Deal

Huawei HomeFi

Unlimited data

12-month contract

Three Logo

£26 a month

£29 upfront

See Deal

Huawei HomeFi

Pay As You Go

Three Logo

From £59.99

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Huawei B535

4G Home broadband router that shares internet with up to 64 devices over WiFi. Supports speeds up to 300Mbps and has 4 ethernet ports.

 

Huawei B535

Unlimited data

24-month contract

Three Logo

£23 a month

No upfront cost

See Deal

Huawei B535

Unlimited data

12-month contract

Three Logo

£28 a month

£29 upfront

See Deal

Huawei B535

Unlimited data

1-month contract

Three Logo

£30 a month

£59 upfront

See Deal

Huawei AI Cube

4G Home broadband router with Alexa speaker that shares internet with up to 64 devices over WiFi. Supports speeds up to 300Mbps and has an ethernet port.

 

Huawei AI Cube

Unlimited data

24-month contract

Three Logo

£25 a month

No upfront cost

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Huawei AI Cube

Unlimited data

12-month contract

Three Logo

£32 a month

£49 upfront

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Huawei AI Cube

Pay As You Go

Three Logo

From £209.99

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2. Vodafone 4G Home Broadband

Vodafone also offer unlimited 4G Home Broadband plans with no speed restrictions, but they are more expensive than Three. However, they do offer 1 month rolling plans offering more flexibility, but that does mean paying an upfront cost for the router itself.

Vodafone Gigacube

4G Home broadband router that shares internet with up to 20 devices over WiFi. Supports speeds up to 300Mbps and has an ethernet port.

 

18-Month Contracts

Vodafone Gigacube

Unlimited data

18-month contract

Vodafone Logo

£50 a month

No upfront cost

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Vodafone Gigacube

200GB data

18-month contract

Vodafone Logo

£40 a month

No upfront cost

See Deal

Vodafone Gigacube

100GB data

18-month contract

Vodafone Logo

£30 a month

No upfront cost

See Deal

30-day Contracts

Vodafone Gigacube

Unlimited data

30-day contract

Vodafone Logo

£50 a month

£100 upfront

See Deal

Vodafone Gigacube

200GB data

30-day contract

Vodafone Logo

£40 a month

£100 upfront

See Deal

Vodafone Gigacube

100GB data

30-day contract

Vodafone Logo

£30 a month

£100 upfront

See Deal

3. EE 4G Home Broadband

EE offer 4G Home Broadband on 18-month and 30-day contracts with the highest data allowance being 500GB per month. They are also the most expensive of the networks offering home broadband, but they do have the best network coverage in the UK.

4GEE Home Router

4G Home broadband router that shares internet with up to 32 devices over WiFi. Supports speeds up to 300Mbps and has an ethernet port.

 

18 Month Contracts

4GEE Home Router

500GB data

18-month contract

EE Logo

£50 a month

No upfront cost

See Deal

4GEE Home Router

300GB data

18-month contract

EE Logo

£45 a month

No upfront cost

See Deal

4GEE Home Router

200GB data

18-month contract

EE Logo

£40 a month

No upfront cost

See Deal

4GEE Home Router

100GB data

18-month contract

EE Logo

£35 a month

No upfront cost

See Deal

30-day Contracts

4GEE Home Router

500GB data

30-day contract

EE Logo

£50 a month

£100 upfront

See Deal

4GEE Home Router

300GB data

30-day contract

EE Logo

£45 a month

£100 upfront

See Deal

4GEE Home Router

200GB data

30-day contract

EE Logo

£40 a month

£100 upfront

See Deal

4GEE Home Router

100GB data

30-day contract

EE Logo

£35 a month

£100 upfront

See Deal

How does 4G home broadband compare to fixed line broadband?

4G home broadband

Fixed line broadband

No landline required

Landline required

Simple setup with no engineer visits

Engineer visit required

Short-term, flexible contracts

Longer term contracts

Portable can take anywhere with mains supply and coverage

Not portable as wired to house

Higher Latency ~ 50ms

Lower Latency ~ 20ms

Lower maximum speeds ~ 40Mbps

Higher maximum speeds ~ 300Mbps

There are many potential benefits of using 4G for your home broadband rather than a fixed line connection.

For one thing, while you’re typically tied into a fixed line contract for twelve months or more, with 4G home broadband you can often get plans that are as short as 30 days.

So if you’re staying somewhere short term or even just want a temporary way to get online before your fixed line broadband is installed, 4G home broadband can be an ideal option. But there are longer term plans available too, which can save you money if you’re happy to commit.

4G home broadband is also typically plug and play, meaning it’s very quick and easy to get up and running, with no engineer visit required. As such, it’s also usually somewhat portable if you ever want to move it.

Being wireless, there’s also no need for a landline with 4G home broadband, which can make it cheaper than typical home broadband. And if you’re in an area where the broadband is slow then 4G home broadband has the potential to be faster – though that will depend on the strength and availability of 4G in the area.

Things to consider

However, while there are lots of upsides to 4G home broadband, there are also some downsides. Before you even consider it, you should check whether you have good 4G coverage from the relevant network in your area, because if you don’t then it might be slow or unreliable.

Even if you do have good coverage, the speeds you get won’t match or even come close to the fastest fibre broadband speeds. So if these services are available to you and super high speeds matter then 4G home broadband might not before you.

Plus, some 4G home broadband plans come with restrictive data limits (though there are also unlimited data options) and the 4G router you get may be more restrictive in terms of simultaneous connections than some conventional routers.

How is 4G home broadband different to 4G mobile broadband?

4G home broadband

4G mobile broadband

Improved WiFi Range

Less WiFi range

Can connect more devices at once (up to 64)

Can connect less devices at once (up to 10)

Advanced network management features

Less advanced network management features

Requires mains power

Battery powered

In terms of how they’re meant to be used, the difference is that 4G home broadband is meant to be set up permanently in a home or office, while 4G mobile broadband is a mobile Wi-Fi connection that you can enable when out and about.

In practice, the difference is not always clear-cut, but a 4G home broadband service will typically involve a router that you plug in at your home, just like with conventional broadband.

4G mobile broadband meanwhile will use devices that have batteries, so they can be used anywhere without plugging them in. Alternatively, some 4G mobile broadband devices are ‘dongles’ which are essentially USB sticks that you can plug into a single device to get it online.

A dongle would be useless for home broadband as you’d only be able to get one device online at once and only one with a USB port. Having a battery meanwhile wouldn’t serve much purpose since you don’t need your home broadband to be portable.

Often – although not always – you’ll find that 4G home broadband routers support more simultaneous connections than mobile broadband devices too. The latter often top out at 5 or 10, while home broadband ones can typically reach over 30 – enough for a house full of web-connected gizmos.

Finally, data limits on 4G home broadband plans and devices are often higher, since there’s an expectation that you’ll need more data for your home internet connection than for a mobile one.

All that said, technically you can use a 4G mobile broadband service for your home broadband connection, it’s just rarely ideal, for the reasons outlined above. As such, this article will be focusing specifically on devices and services that are designed to offer home broadband.

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