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  • No landline or engineer visit required
  • Router shares internet with up to 64 devices
  • Unlimited data plans available
Recommended
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FREE

Three 4G Hub

Unlimited Data
£23.00 a month 24 month contract Three See Deal
With a 32" LG TV worth £249.
Recommended
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FREE

Three 5G Hub

Unlimited Data
£30.00 a month 24 month contract Three See Deal
With a 43" LG TV worth £499. 5G
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FREE

Three 4G Hub

Unlimited Data
£22.00 a month 24 month contract Three See Deal
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FREE

Three 4G Hub

Unlimited Data
£25.00 a month 12 month contract Three See Deal
Free gift worth up to £89.99
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FREE

Three 5G Hub

Unlimited Data
£29.00 a month 24 month contract Three See Deal
5G
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£325.00

Vodafone GigaCube

100GB Data
£30.00 a month 1 month contract Vodafone See Deal
5G Plan 5G
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£100.00

Vodafone GigaCube

100GB Data
£30.00 a month 24 month contract Vodafone See Deal
5G Plan 5G
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FREE

Vodafone GigaCube

100GB Data
£30.00 a month 24 month contract Vodafone See Deal
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£100.00

Vodafone GigaCube

100GB Data
£30.00 a month 1 month contract Vodafone See Deal
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FREE

Three 5G Hub

Unlimited Data
£34.00 a month 12 month contract Three See Deal
Free gift worth up to £89.99 5G
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£50.00

EE 4GEE Home Router 2

100GB Data
£35.00 a month 18 month contract EE See Deal
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£99.00

4G Internet Router

Unlimited Data
£39.99 a month 12 month contract 4G National Broadband See Deal
Great for rural areas
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Three 4G Hub
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EE 4GEE Home Router 2
Three 5G Hub

Table of Contents

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). A conventional broadband service is wired all the way to your router, whereas 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)

5G Home Broadband – which we’ll talk more about further down – has all the same benefits, but offers even higher speeds.

How does it work?

With 4G home broadband, your router connects to a 4G signal, much like a smartphone would. That means there are no cables required between the mobile mast (which sends out the signal) and your router (which receives it). In turn, that also means you don’t need a landline with 4G home broadband.

Once your router picks up a mobile signal it then blankets your home in it, so all of your devices can get online. So the only real difference from fibre broadband in terms of how it works, is the lack of cables between the router and the source of the signal (though in most cases you’ll still need the router to be plugged in for power).

That lack of cables can both save you money (since you won’t need a landline) and make setup simpler (since you won’t need an engineer). It also means there’s no requirement for your property to have fibre cables running to it, making 4G broadband a potentially good option for isolated and rural locations.

How does it differ to mobile broadband?

4G Home Broadband vs 4G Mobile Broadband

4G home broadband

4G mobile broadband

Improved Wi-Fi Range

Less Wi-Fi range

Can connect more devices at once (up to 64)

Can connect less devices at once (usually up to 20)

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 10 or 20, while home broadband ones can often reach up to 64 – 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 is focusing specifically on devices and services that are designed to offer home broadband.

How fast is 4G broadband?

4G home broadband offers average download speeds of 25Mbps according to Opensignal data, which is easily enough to stream 1080p content and just hits the recommended for 4K UHD (25Mbps). Traditional fibre broadband is significantly faster with average speeds of 63-67Mbps for Fibre to the Cabinet services according to Which, while some Fibre to the Home services offer speeds of up to 1Gbps – though this isn’t available to most properties. 5G home broadband also offers higher speeds, more in line with fibre.

Related reading: How fast is 4G?

What networks offer 4G home broadband?

4G Home Broadband is currently available on Three, Vodafone, EE, and 4G National Broadband. A range of different devices are available on a number of different plans.

The other UK networks, including O2, don't currently offer home broadband.

EE

EE Home Broadband Routers

4GEE Home Router 2

4GEE Home Router 2

Max Download Speeds

Up to 300Mbps

Max Upload Speeds

Up to 100Mbps

Maximum Connected devices

64

Wi-Fi 

Dual Band 802.11ac

(2.4GHz and 5GHz)

Ethernet Ports

4

External Antenna 

Yes (sold separately)

Power

Mains Power

 

4GEE Home Router 2 Review

EE offer 4G home broadband on 18-month and 30-day contracts with up to unlimited data 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.

They currently offer the 4GEE Home Router 2, which supports faster speeds and more devices than its predecessors.

Three

Three Home Broadband Routers

 

Three 4G Hub

Three 4G Hub

(or ZTE  MF286D)

Three 5G Hub

Three 5G Hub

(or Huawei 5G CPE Pro)

Max Download Speeds

Up to 600Mbps

Up to 2.33Gbps

Max Upload Speeds

Up to 150Mbps

Up to 1.25Gbps

Maximum Connected devices

64

64

Wi-Fi 

Dual Band 802.11ac

(2.4GHz and 5GHz)

Dual-band 802.11ax/ac/a/n  4 x 4 MIMO

(2.4GHz and 5GHz)

Ethernet Ports

4

2

External Antenna 

Yes x2 (sold separately)

Yes x2 (sold separately)

Power

Mains Power

Mains Power

 

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Three 5G Hub Review

Three currently offer the best value home broadband plans and they come with truly unlimited data with no speed restrictions.

At the time of writing there’s only one 4G router available on Three – the Three 4G Hub.

This is a top 4G home broadband option, with support for up to 64 simultaneous connections (so you can get your whole house online), plus 4 Ethernet ports for wired connections, and high speeds (a theoretical max of 600Mbps, though real world speeds are typically a lot lower but still high).

Three also offer 5G home broadband with the Three 5G Hub, which brings breakneck speeds. However, you will need to check coverage first to make sure 5G is available in your area.

Three also offer 5G Home Broadband with the Three 5G Hub, which brings breakneck speeds. However, you will need to check coverage first to make sure 5G is available in your area.

Vodafone

Vodafone Home Broadband Routers

 

Vodafone GigaCube

Vodafone 4G Gigacube

Vodafone GigaCube 5G

Vodafone 5G Gigacube

Max Download Speeds

Up to 300Mbps

Up to 2.33Gbps

Max Upload Speeds

Up to 50Mbps

Up to 1.25Gbps

Maximum Connected devices

20

64

Wi-Fi

Dual Band 802.11b/g/n/ac

(2.4GHz and 5GHz)

Dual-band  802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax

4 x 4 MIMO

(2.4GHz and 5GHz)

Ethernet Ports

1

2

External Antenna

Yes x2 (sold separately)

Yes x2 (sold separately)

Power

Mains Power

Mains Power

 

Vodafone GigaCube review

Vodafone GigaCube 5G review

Vodafone also offer 4G home broadband plans with no speed restrictions, but they are more expensive than Three, and at the time of writing have high but not unlimited data allowances. However, they do sell 1-month rolling plans offering lots of flexibility, but that does mean paying an upfront cost for the router itself.

Vodafone only offer the Vodafone GigaCube, which supports speeds of up to 300Mbps, can connect up to 20 devices at the same time over Wi-Fi, and has a single Ethernet port. Vodafone also sells a 5G version of the GigaCube, but this is a completely different device offering higher speeds, 64 simultaneous connections, and two Ethernet ports – and this one does come with unlimited data.

4G National Broadband

4G National Broadband Router

4G Internet Router

4G Internet Router

Max Download Speeds

Up to 300Mbps

Maximum Connected devices

64

Wi-Fi 

Dual Band (2.4GHz and 5GHz)

Ethernet Ports

4

External Antenna 

Yes (sold separately)

Power

Mains Power

4G National Broadband offer a 4G home broadband service using infrastructure put in place by the UK’s mobile networks. That means they will offer you coverage from whichever network is best in your area.

Their 4G Internet Router (which supports speeds of up to 300Mbps and 64 connections at once) is available with unlimited data on 12-month plans, and you can also get an external antenna to boost your signal if needed, making this great even in many rural locations. Average download speeds are advertised as being 25Mbps.

Is 4G broadband a good replacement for fixed line broadband?

There are many advantages to 4G home broadband over fixed line broadband, along with a few potential downsides. Below we’ve highlighted all the pros and cons.

Pros

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.

Cons

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 be for you – though 5G home broadband could still be an option.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I get 4G broadband if I have bad signal?

Yes, 4G home broadband can be a viable option even if you get little or no 4G signal on your phone. That’s because routers are typically better at picking up a mobile signal, and most can also have external antennas attached to them to massively boost the signal.

Doing that can turn a weak or flaky signal into a strong one, and some services such as 4G National Broadband even specialise in bringing 4G internet to rural locations, many of which won’t have great 4G signal.

Is 4G broadband good for online gaming?

4G home broadband is perfectly suitable for online gaming and will deliver pings of around 40-50ms.

Those playing competitively and looking for the lowest possible pings should look at a fibre connection (20ms), as should those who will be downloading large files frequently, as download speeds will be slower on 4G home broadband. Alternatively, if you can get 5G home broadband then pings will be more competitive with fibre connections at around 30ms, and speeds will also be suitable for any use case, including large downloads.

Read more: 4G and 5G for gaming guide

Is 5G broadband available?

Yes, 5G home broadband is already available on Three, Vodafone and EE. Coverage isn't widespread at the moment, but in areas with coverage average download speeds tend to come in at around 150-200Mbps (though this varies based on network and location). That's far faster than 4G home broadband and is also able to compete with traditional fibre broadband.

The Three 5G Hub and Vodafone GigaCube 5G are both the Huawei 5G CPE Pro router, so you can choose the cheapest available option with the best coverage in your area. The 5GEE WiFi from EE meanwhile is a hybrid device which can worked plugged in, or using its rechargeable battery.

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