5G Home Internet Is Here. And, So Are Streaming Services with “Cable Like” 100 channel line-ups, Including Local Networks. That’s great, Because I’ve had it with cable!
Not everything about Streaming is better than Satellite or Cable. And not everyone can replace cable internet access with 5G, but I and millions of others are doing just that. Here’s how that’s been working out for me, and might, for you.
This whole article is long enough, you may wish to jump around:
Installing the 5G router, of course, is the key, and the most challenging part of the switch. It certainly was no more difficult than setting up a typical cable router. I fumbled on my first try, figured out my minor mistake, and had the router up and running about 10-15 minutes after unboxing the gear.
Once done, connecting my Eero Wifi router/hubs, and my Lutron hub took only minutes more – just long enough to plug them in, and point/configure them to the new internet source (T-Mobile’s router.
I loved that T-Mobile’s setup lets you easily try the router at different places in your home, and identifies where the strongest signal is so you can “point” the router to it. I skipped that step, because, as mentioned, I have just one room with a clear view to the cell tower. I could have tried other locations, but am certain they would have all been slower, having to pass through multiple walls first. No matter. I got it up and running and so far, it’s definitely “fast enough.”
Next, I connected my local WiFi router system to the Internet Router. I plugged one of the Eero mesh Wifi routers into the back of the T-Mobile internet router. I set up a WIFI name (I used the same one I was previously using, in the hope that that would simplify getting the 40+ smart devices in my home to work with a minimum of fuss.)
Quicktip: In hindsight, I probably should have started with a new Wifi name and password. Many devices – such as my laser printer, my TVs, my hubs etc., still needed to go out and be set up again, as if it was a new name and password. The name and password might be the same, but each device still saw the new gear as different gear, and required setup. Still doing it using the same name, did save me reconfiguring some smart bulbs.
Where I have a hub, such as for my 2 dozen Lutron light switches (and fan), I only had to have the hub tied to the new server, and all the switches were immediately working. Some of my lights however, did continue to work thanks to using the same name/password. LIFX bulbs in particular. Others, controlled by apps, required in some cases that the apps be reconfigured despite the same name/password.
We’ve written extensively about the new protocol Matter, promoted by almost everyone as a solution to make installing and updating smart homes easier and consistent. In a year or two, I imagine making such changes would be almost effortless, and at the least, far less confusing than configuring devices today!
Note: I use the Eero 6 Pro Mesh Wifi servers (a 3 pack) which has no trouble (even with the base unit at one end of the condo), providing strong wifi throughout the condo, including the back balcony, which is at the opposite end of the condo, about 70 feet from the 5G router. End result, good internet everywhere, and as mentioned, fast enough to support 3 4K UHD streams at once. Eero is not the only mesh WiFi router out there. I like them, and they also support Zigbee, but not Z-Wave, which means I have yet to be able to interface my old Z-Wave Kwik-Set front door lock. (oh well).
With so much “smart home gear” in my condo, I probably did have to reset more than a dozen devices. All in all, that probably took an extra hour or so. Only our (old) Brother laser printer gave me a headache, but I figured that one out on the 3rd try.
The Pace of my transition: Mind you, I made the switch – installed the 5G Home Internet router, and subscribed to YouTube TV, in the middle of January (2023). I unplugged my cable internet router at that time, but left the cable live. So, the cable boxes started getting thei signals from the 5G Internet server. I figured to leave it that way for a couple of weeks while we familiarized ourselves with using YouTube TV. Since YouTube TV came with a 15 day trial offer, in case I hated it, I could back out, and stick with cable (or try Hulu +…)