UbiFi 4G Wireless Internet Reviews 2020
UbiFi is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) offering high-speed internet to rural residents via 4G LTE using the AT&T cell towers. Their coverage is vast and they offer signal-boosting equipment and tests before you buy anything to ensure you get a good signal. What makes them stand out is that unlike other MVNOs, they have a fairly acceptable monthly fee as well as no data caps or throttling.
- No data caps
- No hidden fees
- Great coverage
- Comparatively reasonable monthly pricing
- Very expensive hardware costs
- Lack of options for hilly areas with a weak signal
- Deprioritization in case of excessive use
Packages and Pricing
Simply Unlimited Plan
UbiFi only has a single plan for their internet services known as the ‘Simply Unlimited plan’ at $89.99/month. It’s offered as a prepaid month-to-month option covering the whole of the US as long as there is 4G LTE signal.
UbiFi doesn’t guarantee speeds, but they will do a preliminary check to give you an estimate before you buy. The speeds and stability of the network will depend on tower proximity, network coverage, and network traffic.
The 4G LTE connection also ensures latency remains below 100ms in most cases, and usually below the 75ms mark. This makes UbiFi’s internet a good choice for gamers too. Gamers who play on consoles might have the Strict NAT or NAT type 3 errors due to 4G LTE networks using private IP addresses with Carrier Grade NAT.
To resolve these, UbiFi urges users to subscribe to MoFi’s Cloudlink service that is available through the Mofi Network.
Network Management and Performance
The UbiFi plan appears to be fully unlimited and without caps with their FAQ stating that you can stream in 1080p resolution without having to worry about throttling or data caps.
One thing that you should be aware of, however, is that you can’t get a static IP address with UbiFi. They only allow users to have dynamic IP addresses, so local channel streaming might be a bit problematic, as the dynamically assigned IP might put you outside of the local area.
It’s important to note that UbiFi have an acceptable use policy that states you might be deprioritized in the event you use their services excessively. Although there is no explanation as to what excessive use is classed as. If you’re found to be ‘excessively using’ their services UbiFi explain they can ‘adjust, suspend, terminate your account, or may request you to pay additional fees.
UbiFi only offers month-to-month, prepaid services with automatic renewal, so your fee is just your usual plan fee. There are no mention of activation fees on the website (although it’s always best to ask) and the only other fee mentioned is the restocking fee of 15% that will be taken off your refund if you cancel within the 30 days.
Your Modem and Router
The main device UbiFi offers is the MoFi SIM4 LTE Gateway which costs $314.99 and comes pre-configured and already activated, so it’s plug and play. It has:
- 4 LAN ports and Wi-Fi
- Supports over 200 devices that can be connected to it at the same time.
- The antennas you get with it are Ultra Wide Band 4G LTE antennas, meaning better signal receiving from towers.
- The maximum speed that’s supported is 300Mbps.
Note: If you already have the MoFi SIM4 V2 gateway, you don’t have to purchase it again. Instead, you can buy the BYOD SIM for the gateway that will cost $29.99. After you insert the SIM, all you have to do is update the APN and you can start browsing and streaming immediately.
UbiFi do urge those who are interested to let the team analyze the network coverage in your area to see whether you will need anything else in addition to the router.
For areas where the signal isn’t the best, they offer LTE antennas and signal booster kits that help keep connections stable and fast. Some of the options they offer include:
The Wilson Outdoor Directional Panel Antenna is available for a $84.99 one-time charge, which can provide a signal gain of up to 10.6dB. As this is a directional antenna, it has to be aimed directly at the tower for the best reception. This antenna is best used in areas where there aren’t any obstructions and there is a clear view of the closest tower (meaning no hills or trees between).
The Wilson Wide Band Yagi Antenna is the other directional antenna option you have and also costs $84.99. It can also provide up to 10.6dB signal gain but is aimed at those who are farther away from the closest tower. It also works best in areas where there aren’t any obstructions between it and the nearest tower.
The Surecall Flare Signal Booster is an omnidirectional outdoor antenna and indoor booster combo that amplifies indoor signal coverage. It’s quite pricey at $399.99 but covers one to two rooms, capturing signal from all directions up to 2,500 square feet.
The outdoor antenna delivers the signal to the flare indoor booster via the RG-6 cable (included in the package) that amplifies and broadcasts it. The outgoing signal is also amplified (data you send from your devices) and sent back to the tower.
The weBoost Home 4G Signal Booster is the other option, and also costs $399.99. This kit can apparently boost the signal up to 60dB, which will improve upload and download speeds. With the kit, you will get the outdoor antenna with cable, window mount, a desktop (indoor) antenna with cable and the power supply, a barrel connector for the cables (in case you need it), and the installation guide.
The antennas are provided without mounts or cables, and you will have to purchase these separately. You can choose low loss cables from 10 feet to 100 feet, ranging in price from $25 to $129.99. The pole mount is also a separate purchase and will add another $25 to the final price.
Note: Installation of signal booster kits and antennas takes a bit more time, as you will have to determine the best position and location for them. The customer support team is there to help with this, however.
Features and Benefits
You can get a 30-day (from the date of delivery) trial for the service plan*, and if you’re not satisfied, you can return or exchange equipment minus a 15% restocking fee as mentioned above.
*BYOD SIM card is not eligible for returns..
UbiFi offers live chat, phone, and mail support (at firstname.lastname@example.org). Live chat, email, and phone support is available from Monday to Friday 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM CST and Saturday to Sunday 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM CST. You can reach them by calling (888) 240-3731.
Customers seem to be satisfied with the service, stating that it’s best to check AT&T coverage first as those are the towers UbiFi utilize. If you get bad signal or coverage, find another provider.
Ways to Save on UbiFi
UbiFi gives its customers the option to use their own modem instead of buying it which can save on the hefty hardware cost. If you happen to have the MoFi gateway that’s compatible, you can use yours and only purchase a SIM card.
You can also shop around for better deals on cables and mounts for their antennas. As these are sold separately and could add another $160 to your bill, it’s worth looking at other providers.
UbiFi is a solid choice if you live in a remote area that has a clear view of phone towers because of the competitive monthly price on their plans. The decent speeds and good latency makes UbiFi an option for gamers which is unusual among providers. Just be aware of excessive usage, and note that the hardware costs are very high, so try and shop around.