T-Mobile's home Internet gateway serves as a modem and router, but you can also plug in an existing router or mesh network. Rick Broida / I don't know what you are paying for the service Internet at home, but I'll bet it's more than you'd likeeither - and probably rising all the time. For example, Comcast charges me $ 106 per month just for the Internet (I gave up TV about a year ago), a rate that seems to go up a few dollars every two months. So when I learned that T-Mobile Home Internet was available in my area, promising unlimited broadband service for a plan of $ 50 per month - equipment, taxes and fees included - I jumped at the chance to try it. (Note that availability is limited at the moment; service is slow deployment in US cities and is technically in pilot phase at this time. This means that things could change during an official deployment.) Watch it on T-Mobile Obviously I had some concerns. Would it be fast enough for everyday computing? Could it handle 4K streaming video? with my mesh network and support the very many connected devices in my house? Perhaps most importantly, was it really unlimitedty, or would T-Mobile slow down the data at some point? Because there is no contract required, it would only cost me $ 50 to find out, and it would also give me a bargaining chip, a way to potentially trade a lower rate from Comcast. This is something worth considering if T-Mobile Home Internet is available in your area, but you're not necessarily looking to make a change. Find out more: The best internet providers for 2021: cable vs DSL vs satellite and more T-Mobile Home Internet Setup After using T-Mobile's online tool to check availability, I agreed to let a service representative customer call me - and this call came aroundone minute later. I spent a little over 10 minutes on the phone with a pleasant operator who answered my questions, approved my credit and tol. Modem delivery would probably take two to three weeks due to a backorder. Total initial cost: $ 0. Of course, it took about three weeks to get Nokia's T-Mobile Home Internet Gateway - a silvery cylindrical tower that is both modem and router. It creates 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi networks in your home, but it also has a pair of Ethernet ports. Cheapskate Get all the latest offers delivered to your inbox. It's free! The Internet T-Mobile Home App guides you through the setup process, which includes scanning a QR code at the bottom of the gateway, choosing a network name (SSID alias) and a password and even the modification of the administrator passwordif you're so inclined - quite a pretty standard router - setup stuff, all pretty straightforward and straightforward. Previously I used my own cable modem (connected to Comcast) and an Eero mesh network. For my initial testing, I decided to leave the latter out of the equation, as I wanted to see how the gateway worked on its own. Find out more: Millions of Americans cannot access broadband due to faulty FCC card. There is a fix Using T-Mobile Home Internet After the initial setup everything seemed to work. My phone had connected successfully, so my next stop was my Asus laptop. Strangely enough, the T-Mobile gateway does not appear in the list of n etworks. Suspecting a Windows hiccup, I restarted; same result. Ensuite, I released an Amazon Fire tablet; he found the network very good. The same was true for a Roku TV upstairs and an old laptop in the basement running Windows 7. Huh. In the home internet app there is a Support tab with a link to a T-Mobile FAQ page - but that just took me to the T-home page. Mobile, which added to my frustration. A link to the T-Mobile community forum also blocked me, as I did not have a working T-Mobile connection (which only arrived via email two days after I received and configured Gateway) . Then I tried restarting the gateway which turned out to be a huge error - it seemed to lose all my previous configuration settings, like I did a hard reset . (This despite having a backup battery; more on this later.) The application made me repeat the whole process of configuration, including the choice of passwords. When I tried to use the same as the first time, it didn't accept them. When I modified them slightly, I received a cryptic installation failed message. Eventually, everything seemed to work out, although I was never able to connect this laptop directly to the gateway. Even higher-level T-Mobile support technology couldn't fix the problem. Fortunately, once I plugged my Eero base station into the gateway, the problem was indeed gone - and I was ready for full house-wide testing. How T-Mobile Home Internet works Although not stated on the T-Mobile promotion page, the operator's home internet service does support 5G where it is available and 4G LTE otherwise. There are so many variables involved - local congestion, proximitated from your house with the towers and so on - that my experiences can not be considered typical. These are just my experiences. Your mileage can absolutely vary. Here's the good news: after more than a week of activity as usual - working online during the day, streaming videos at night, calling FaceTime on parents, and more. - I hardly countered a connectivity problem. However, figures from Speedtest - the service I 've long used to assess Internet performance - have revealed that T-Mobile Home Internet is everywhere. For example, at the start of my testing, I recorded upload / download speeds as high as 145Mbps / 80Mbps. In the following days, they dropped as low as 15 Mbps / 8 Mbps. This was despite the small touch screen of the gateway displaying four or five bars and the application reporting a very good connection quality.or excellent . View larger image Here are my results (very encouraging ) from Speedtest during the first few days of testing. But in the days that followed, speeds seemed to drop dramatically, for reasons I can't explain. Fortunately, this didn't affect usability in the world real. Rick Broida / During that first week I averaged download speeds in the mid-30s and downloads around 8-10Mbps. And you know what? This turned out to be sufficient for my three person house. I've streamed hours of 4K video, attended Zoom meetings, downloaded big games to install, and so on, all with no issues to report. (Unfortunately, I can't speak to multiplayer gaming performance, as this is not my wheelhouse. I don't play online so I can't make before and after comparisons. Anecdotally, a read of T -Mobile community forums reveal that many users have encountered a significant lag while playing online games.) In the second week I experienced moving the gateway to different areas of the house. To my surprise, moving it to a second floor windowtage generated a huge increase in performance: download speeds in the mid-60s and downloads as high or higher. But there was direct sunlight in that window, so I had to keep looking - it's not good for sensitive electronics to cook in the heat. But the result of the experiment was clear: the placement of the catwalk can make a big difference. I also did a little parallel test at my mother-in-law's farm (about seven miles west of where I live), where wired internet is not available. In fact, its only option so far has been slow, expensive, and data-limited satellite service. After plugging in the gateway, I was disappointed to find that it only showed two bars - poor connectivity, according to the Home Internet app. But then I started Speedtest: the download performance reached 126 Mbps,which sounded amazing, while the downloads were only around 9 Mbps. Why these disparities? Is it possible that the farm was able to connect a 5G tower, which allowed for faster throughput despite a weaker signal? I am not sure. Honestly, the only way to know how well T-Mobile Home Internet will perform in your home is to try it out. T-Mobile Home Internet Problems In addition to the aforementioned laptop problem, I encountered a quirk during my testing: my wired smart doorbell RemoBell S was no longer working correctly. The video has become very pixelated and virtually unusable. I can't say why, as the front end (meaning connectivity to the Wi-Fi network powered by Eero) was basically unchanged. As of this writing, I am still working on fixing this issue. (For the record, I have a Wyze Cam Outdoor installed about 15 feet doorbell, and it still works normally.) I've also learned that although the gateway includes a battery backup, it disables both Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity while running on battery. This means that it is useless during a power outage. According to a T-Mobile representative, the battery is there so you can move the gateway around your home and see where it gets the best signal. During this time my first bill arrived for an amount of $ 55, not $ 50. Turns out you have to turn on auto-pay to get the lowest rate - it's pretty easy to do online, but I was sure I had it set up already when I was first introduced in the service. Is T-Mobile Home Internet Ready For Prime Time? So, after more than a week with T-Mobile Home Internet, what's the verdict? I'm keeping it, at least for now. There is no contract, so I can always go back to Comcast if things don't work out. And while it's not perfect 100% of the time, well, neither is Comcast - and imperfection is much more tolerable when you pay less than half of what you were before. . If this service is available in your area I would say it is definitely worth a try. If nothing else, as stated above, the presence of a new competitor gives you a bargaining chip; you may be able to negotiate a lower rate with your current provider. What do you think?