Verizon 4G Wows With Speed Tests, Results


For the impatient, my Verizon 4G has been consistently reporting 28 Mb/s. Read on for details.

Just before 2010 turned into 2011, I had the pleasure of getting a Verizon 4G LTE Modem to test. I’m currently a Verizon Mi-Fi customer and I absolutely love the service, using it often, and when I do it tends to be a godsend. But I would REALLY be putting Verizon 4G to the test: I used it as a primary method of reporting from CES 2011. We had heard reports it was snappy, but I was eager to put it through the paces.

With the hectic pace of press conferences and events, I wasn’t able to perform proper speed tests, but I didn’t need them to know that Verizon 4G was overachieving my expectations. Two factors led me to this conclusion:

I’ve been back home for a couple weeks now but with trips to New York City and elsewhere on the horizon, I’ve been thinking about how nice it would be to have Verizon 4G on the go. Remembering I hadn’t actually performed many speedtests, I thought now would be a good time. And yes, I was wowed.

First I tested my desktop- a hardwired Comcast connection: 20.81 Mb/s Down, 3.41 Mb/s up

Then I moved onto Comcast Wi-Fi on my laptop: 18.91 Mb/s down, 3.27 Mb/s up.

Now  you would EXPECT Verizon 4G to come in significantly lower than the wired connection and Wi-Fi connection, right? That’s what I thought. But Verizon 4G repeatedly outperformed BOTH:

That’s absolutely absurd in the most awesome way possible. Keep in mind that these aren’t just one-and-off results. Each of the above tests I performed 10 to 20 times to make sure I didn’t have any awkward outliers. That being said, I found that using the server in Baltimore, MD – where I am based – contributed to the outrageously high results.

By switching server locations and repeating the same Verizon 4G speed tests from various places around the United States, I was able to achieve the following (ballpark) speeds on average: 13 Mb/s down, 4 Mb/s up.

That’s still amazingly fast and now I understand how YouTube was zipping through my video uploads at CES. By comparison, when loading up on my Verizon Droid X I got the following results on average:

  • 2.5 Mb/s down
  • 1 Mb/s up

Not too great for Verizon 3G, but Verizon 4G is ridiculously lightning fast… at least for now. Even if the 27.5 downstream is some kind of glitchy anomaly, 13 Mb/s is nothing to scoff at either.

At the moment, Verizon is weening the 4G program along, and rightfully so. Right now the only 4G devices they have available for sale are USB modems and mobile hotspotsand – as you can imagine that these have limited circulation. Once the first Android Phone(s) with Verizon 4G are made available, a huge influx of data users will be hammering the service, likely dropping the effective data speed of the entire 4G network. And THEN, don’t forget, it’s very likely we’ll be seeing a Verizon iPhone with 4G LTE speeds in the near-to-mid future.

Right now? I’m loving Verizon 4G. Can it scale? Time will tell. But if I had to put my money on one company to build a 4G network that scales in reliability and speed… it would be Verizon. I’m impressed by the initial performance and can’t wait for these first 4G phones to launch so we can see how Verizon’s LTE network does when really put to the test.

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Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. We have one test usb device at work that I borrowed for a few days. I was seeing 20+mbs in Minneapolis. Faster compared to my Comcast wired….wow

  2. Oh and just a quick FYI… if there are any naysayers out there I’m happy to do a quick video doing all these speedtests so you know I’m not exaggerating the stats. These numbers were consistent.

  3. Well, I’ll be damn!! I’m actually impressed with this. The down side of this is there are caps with Verizon aren’t there?

  4. Im so excited, and I just can’t hide it. Im about to lose control, and I think I LIKE IT.

  5. Screw that Rob Jackson. You don’t have to prove anything to me. I don’t know any of your stories to be technologically dishonest. Its why I come here in the first place. Straight dope, good or bad.

  6. I own a 4G modem. Ridiculous. When the phones finally come it will put ALL other 4G providers to shame. Granted, all of the cheap people will still complain verizon charges too much but you get what you pay for and ill pay more to get the best.

  7. I still don’t think these speeds are necessary for a smartphone yet.

  8. Sure….these speeds are probably real, but Verizon currently has very little strain on their 4G network because they dont offer any 4G devices (or very few in reality). Once you get some traffic on this LTE network, speeds will be about 1/5 of what you are seeing now. That being said, those are still some impressive speeds, although leaving out the fact that the network has little to no current load on it is going to be somewhat misleading to most readers. SPOILER….Verizon customers: Do not expect to see these kinds of speeds once you get your new 4G phone from Verizon.

  9. You are probably right about it slowing down once other users start hammering at it. I was one of the first people to try Clear’s WiMAX. It was also pretty impressive at first…but after a few months of them signing people up, it became unbearable. I went back to my wired ISP.

  10. The thing is thes speeds are fast enough, that even losing 30%, it still “rule the air”

  11. the true test will come when verizons 4g will get some very serious load from network use. Then you can do a better test, but until then this is just water under a bridge.

  12. Just switched our department to 4g modems. Really impressed with the numbers but not outrageous. Max was 17Mbps u/l and 7Mbps d/l. New Orleans.

  13. the real question is….what will happen when iphone users start quittin’ at&t for verizon?

  14. I agree with those saying once phones come out those speeds will surely drop by 50% or more. But still fast. And for most people it’s more than they need. I have a Tmobile G2 and at first I was getting near 13 mbps, a month and a half later I get 10.2 mbps, and now I get around 7 mbps. And even then it takes longer to install Apps than to download. For the average size app. So far Verizon is in the lead and I’m happy for them, but I can’t wait for Tmobile to upgrade their network to HSPA+42 and then HSPA+650 :)

  15. I can’t see vzw losing speeds when more 4g devices comes out. That’s like saying the 3g loses speeds when more smart phone users get online but vzw has been able to keep those speeds consistent for several years. There’s a reason they’re the most expensive.. that dough goes back into the network.

  16. nothing, since they will use the old CDMA2000 network

  17. And isn’t the iphone Poop going to be running on their really slow 3G?

  18. Lets see how it compares to tmobles ‘new 4g’ that’s suppose to be amazing fast in Q2

  19. Wow… those pings suck. The speeds are fine. 13mbps is more then enough for a phone’s download and 4 upload is great. But the pings are yucky. It makes VOIP less attractive.

  20. Impressive but will it be reliable enough and priced right to replace my wired connection. I hate when isps boast their speeds but limit bandwidth in a way that using said speed for 30 minutes lands you at your monthly limit.

  21. However LTE will not be backwards compatible for CDMA 2000.

  22. and hasn’t it already be determined that android devices use more data than the iphone? n00b

  23. What browsers were you using in the speedtest? I get 109Mbps when using Chrome on my hard wired cable, and get 32Mbps when using IE.

  24. This is a stupid review. Run the same test in 6 months…. Tmobiles hspa+ network supports hsdpa devices as well. thats all 3g devices and 4g devices on the same network. Its avg. Speeds are slower now but not by much. I guarantee in 3-6 months it will have a faster avg. with the increase in speeds coming and verizon yet to put any real traffic on there network. Those speeds tests should have asterisks next to them.

  25. Those test were done on a computer!! That’s why you are getting those speed. You are comparing their 3G speed that you used on your phone. I’m pretty sure that even when LTE device will be available we will get around 5Mbps, not 13Mbps. But even 5Mbps is pretty good for a phone.

  26. I think with the limited number of 4G devices out there that you are just seeing numbers that are inflated. The real test will be a year from now when more 4G devices are on their network.

    Verizon can be consistent because they seem to have the slowest 3G network overall (at least in my experience), but they do have the most reliable service. I found Sprint to be the best overall (too bad their customer service sucks).

    What is the point of a fast connection when they have data caps that are the same as their 3G devices? Mostly like, it will just mean you will hit the caps faster and pay Verizon for overage charges. Can you say cha-ching?

  27. @Rob Jackson
    I find your assertion that it is reliable because you were at a tech conference and the users there were pounding away at the network pretty laughable. First, Verizon can take measures to make sure that the location of the conference gets great coverage. I’ve noticed faster connections nearby Verizon stores than anywhere else. Also, a real world situation is probably more taxing on the network than a limited test.

  28. Notice the latency…

    Sure, it’s not as bad as some 3G/HSDPA connections, but it’s still a reasonable bottleneck.

  29. How about a latency comparison too?

  30. So if havening fast speeds is great, but having caps on data is required, won’t this simply mean you will burn through your data faster? Technology is great, greed isn’t.

  31. Charging extra for 4G is the biggest thief in the telecommunication industry. Unsurprisingly enough, the majority of the subscribers couldn’t care less. Expect that speed to be crawling back down to a more reasonable ~10mbps when everyone starts using it.

  32. Isn’t the 3g download given greater than what is acheiveable on 3G? Isn’t that a tipoff that something isn’t right in the tests? (not saying it’s Rob’s fault, but something doesn’t seem right) Here is a reference:

    I don’t know if I trust anymore because if I choose Wash. DC or Baltimore the speed should be comparable (in NoVA) and it’s not even close.

    Something is off in their systems.

  33. Tests done at CES are not valid as they had a “microcell” setup just for the conference. You were not accessing 4G like you would if you were 30 miles away from CES.

  34. Such a biased review thought this blog was better then that’

  35. Impressive numbers. Rather than simply repeat what others have stated regarding traffic, load, location, etc. It is also important to keep in mind that just because a speed test website says one thing, “in the real world “, as it were, you wont be seeing 20+Mbps downloads on typical publicly-accessible websites. Just because a network has the potential capability to run at those speeds, how many websites even upload at those speeds while their servers themselves are under load? Not many. Comcast, Verizon FIOS, et al. Boast 15-150+Mbps speeds, but youll never see it. What IS good news is that if vzw is capable of those speeds with only a handful of customers, it has the bandwidth to handle a very heavy load and maintain a relatively consistent 7-10+Mbps. Although, even having been a VZW customer for 9 or10 years, I want to find another provider, vzw has always had the best all-over coverage for me so far, but as soon as a cheaper provider can equal their coverage (I personally dont care about a few extra Mbps, big files get downloaded on my mainframes), I’m leaving. Unfortunately, I dont see it happening anytime soon.

  36. T-mobile’s 4G network is a lot faster, but way cheaper. Right now, Verizon is faster, but as soon as they get more 4G phones, their network will be slower than T-mobile’s.

    Plus, T-mobile is getting 42 mbps this summer, so Verizon and Bob Jackson can suck it!!!

  37. @Flafire03 I get 333mbs on speedtest using chrome when the actual speed is about 30mbs. Here is a link to my speedtest:

  38. I am so excited!!!
    I can’t wait to see how verizon is going to charge the F*CK out of its loyal customers. lol
    Fewer dropped calls then any other carrier, coverage is damn near all of our U.S., and now the fastest 4g around.
    That plan is slightly increased to 129.99 per month/one line.. 199.99 for two lines. lmao!!
    I tickle me pink!!

  39. Tmobile phanbois all over again.

  40. Funny how Tmob gets no love for there 4G network. call it a psudo 4g network bottom line is its larger, faster and reliable. They have the biggest 4G footprint in the US and offer the best value to the US consumer. They do not and will not charge for 4G speeds. Right now you can get 2 HTC 4G devices for $200. I chose Tmob because I did my RESEARCH. Rate plans are 149.99 for 3000 minutes Unlimited Text and UNLIMITED NO OVERAGE 4G WEB. The Iphone will not be faster on VZW’s cdma network because its always been the slowest among the big 4. Heres a secret people dont know. VZM runs DATA AND VOICE ON THE SAME FREQUENCY for theyre CDMA network. The Iphone is truly fastest on ATNT’s network because they have the superior 3g netowkr. When ppl leave for VZW Iphone Atnt is going to make so many of theyre existing Iphone customers happy. ATNTS network is over saturated and theyre data network is very slow because of this. All the ATNT morons switching to VZW for faster data are going to be pissed. Especially because theyre going to shell out around $200 for the phone and theyre rate plans are going to stay in the same price range. Then in 3 months when LTE Iphone 5 drops theyll be even more pissed. Verizon is really smart about marketing, they take advatage of soo many stupid people.

  41. Wait ’til they upgrade the net some more. Here in Sweden we now get 80+ mb/s from most LTE nets. We had your numbers in the beginning as well

  42. Your tmobile network might be faster, but it will not be as widespread at the vzw 4g network will be. Check out vzw’s current 3g coverage. In just a few years, the 4g coverage will cover almost all of the current 3g coverage…. Will tmobile’s 4g network cover that much area? I seriously doubt that. So once you leave that big city of yours, then you’re going back to edge.

  43. And apearantly, so does tmobile.

  44. Welcome to the club Verizon.

    Honestly these speedtest mean nothing until we see the results after there are millions of people using LTE just like there are millions using HSPA+. We all win in the end.

  45. Some people need to stop making assumptions on who is faster with if/when.

    42 mbs on Tmo this summer is a theoretical number that they will be able to do once it’s up. And like people on here keep saying about Verizon’s current LTE service, you probably won’t see anything near it; even if there’s no load since it’s theoretical.

    Right now, the numbers posted in this article is what Verizon is doing. Yes I understand it can, and most likely will, slow down as more users are added, but it’s hitting them now and it’s a fact, not theoretical.

    Verizon is still adding more LTE sites and they have stated that their 4G foot print will be the same as their current 3G area, within a few years. And since so many people are assuming, I can will assume that Verizon will increase their backhaul and will eventually move to LTE Advanced, kicking Tmo to the curb. What’s Tmo going to do then?

    BTW does can anyone tell me what Verizon’s current LTE service is theoretically capable of?

  46. @crabjoe, here is what verizon had to say about the theoretical speeds last march…
    “Verizon has issued a press release saying that 4G LTE speeds are faster than 3G, with tests in Boston and Seattle having peak download speeds of 40-50Mbps and uploads of 20-25Mbps. This is the “maximum” that it is capable of. However, Verizon engineers say that real-world results that customers can expect to see are 5-12Mbps for downloads and 2-5Mbps for uploads, which is still 5-10 times faster than what most customers get on the current 3G EVDO Rev A network (about 1.2Mbps)”

  47. WTF?

    look at the lag (ping)

    this would suck for FPS games…..

  48. @Matt: I think you underestimate AT&T iPhone users. They’re not moving to Verizon for a faster network, they’re moving for a more reliable network. The majority of people know that you can’t talk and surf the web at the same time on Verizon. It’s a known fact, but not everyone needs that. Most people prefer a more reliable connection than faster speeds.

  49. lol here in sweden we get around 90mbps ;P

  50. Red team FTW

  51. Everytime i play any kind of game, i see latency higher then that quite often. At least 1 out 5 people.

  52. @45 T-mobile “said” that they already cover 200 million with 4G at 21mbps. Verizon didn’t say that they would have the same 4G coverage as their 3G in a couple of years, they “said” 4G will coverage 2/3 or 200 million people by mid 2012. The cover more than 200 million people with their 3G so maybe they might cover everyone by the end of 2012 or mid 2013. Of course though T-mobile has kept their word for the last 2 years and they should be at 42mbps at the end of 2011 and 84mbps by the end of 2012. I’m lucky that I live in a city that is always on the first list of cities to get 4G from all the major carriers.

  53. I find the verizon haters hilarious and … pathetic.

    Tmobile? haha are you kidding me? Thats like bragging about living in a third world country :P

  54. Remember when Verizon introduced 3g? they claimed the down speed is up to 5 MB/s, when I switched to Verizon with the droid X from Tmobile, I tested the down speed and it could not even pass 2 MB/s, it was ranging from 700-1.5 MB/s and I live in a major city which there is a Verizon network tower in the center of the city. I am not saying Verizon will throttle your data, sometimes, I get full bar with 3g icon, open the speedtest app, boom, shocked (#.#) 128 kB/s, 64kB/s, and most of the time, it extremely seldom passes over 1 MB/s. I don’t trust these phones company, all lies. (Keep in mind I live in a major city right next to the tower, and I rooted my droid X, run a rom with remove data throttle (modded service.jar), also i tested it on a stock rom also, shitty network, unbelievable. I am sure most of you experienced the same thing too.)

  55. Quote

    8. DroidDev wrote on January 25, 2011

    Sure….these speeds are probably real, but Verizon currently has very little strain on their 4G network because they dont offer any 4G devices (or very few in reality). Once you get some traffic on this LTE network, speeds will be about 1/5 of what you are seeing now. That being said, those are still some impressive speeds, although leaving out the fact that the network has little to no current load on it is going to be somewhat misleading to most readers. SPOILER….Verizon customers: Do not expect to see these kinds of speeds once you get your new 4G phone from Verizon.”

    Very well said +1

  56. Again, wrong jdog. Tmobile does NOT cover 200 million people in the us, not even close. And you go ahead and enjoy tmobile IN the city, Ill continue to enjoy verizon FROM city TOcity TO city TO the small towns AND EVERYWHERE in between.

  57. Regarding the comment that iPhone users would not strain the network as they are on CDMA2000…
    I expect both CDMA and LTE users to share the same “backbone”. CDMA and LTE are just the last-mile technology, i.e. from the radio station to the phones. If the bottleneck is at the backbone, even LTE users will suffer.

  58. RANT; Wow half of everyone in the comments abouve is a moron. It says right in the article that 4G will be slower on a phone (DUH it’s a phone) and the article also says that the speeds will (most likely) slow once there is some strain put on the 4G network. People should read the article IN FULL before complaining about it. Give the people who write these articles a break, they put all the information you need, or want, to know in the article but you people are too stupid or lazy to read the entire thing before you start pounding away on your keyboards. This is why there are stupid warning labels on everything you buy now, because no one has any common sense. Soup is HOT don’t burn yourself DUH!

  59. hey nisme,so are you a jackass?get your facts right..they do cover 200million people..maybe not best of signals to all but they do..i travel alot so far signal very good with my tmo phone.and you talk and bever used a tmo phone only saying what other of a tmo hating variety come wouldnt know fact from fiction//take you big red phone out of you a**.you worse than most ifruit users are…because i know im no expert..but damn how may idiots on here is like wowwweee!!!!

  60. He said they covered 200 million with “4g”, they dont. Period. Learn to read, and then learn form a coherent sentence.

  61. They dont even have a storw within 50 miles. Only place you can get one is online and radio shack. And radio shack looks at you funny just for looking at them. And they are a metro carrier. THEIR coverage map is just dots over cities. Not a nice red blanket covering most of the country.

  62. Is it just me or is someone promoting verizon too much? I don’t under stand why i care about a laptop stick offering data speed. Whenever we get 4G phones on verizon then we’ll want speed tests on the “PHONE”. I don’t need to see speed tests on a usb stick. Has nothing to do with android.

  63. Could be slightly off but im pretty sure tmobiles 4g covers over 100 markets in 40 plus citys and over 220 mil ppl. Also wont verizons lte phones not be backwards compatible with there current cdma network???

  64. If you think almost 2/3 of the country lives in 100 cities, I got some oceanfront property in Arkansas for ya to buy. And if you think those 200 miilion people are covered with 21mbps, ill throw in the bridge.

  65. Posted the best I saw in the New Orleans area earlier. Averages have been in the 12 range on u/l and 4-5 on d/l side. Latency has been really erratic, though. Did have an odd day with REALLY strange numbers when the test site somehow thought I was in Kansas City…

  66. Oh you cheap bastards go get some tmobile or spriint! Lte is the shizzzzznit!

  67. @wolverineguy55 – assuming you’ve never been to a tech conference… they ALWAYS have the worst Wi-Fi and you can hardly ever get a decent connection.

    @Colby – Thanks for your support bro. Appreciate you saying it!

  68. Comment 15…Paul ithink you said it all

  69. @Matt and @Joe Your research is purely backed by your intelligence. It lacks. Tmobile is not reliable nor is it the fastest network.

    Tmobile is for ghetto schmoes who cannot afford a real network. Go back to high school with your sidekick and lie to yourself that your service and phone are top notch.

  70. You know… when I was in the Air Force I would catch so much crap from Army folks (and the other services, for that matter). They called us Chair Force, Zoomies, whatever… It was relentless. At some point I asked why they despised us so badly. They said, “Oh, it’s nothing personal. The reality is we’re just so jealous of how easy and good you guys have it.”
    @NIsme… I detect a bit of that same type of jealousy from all these TMob fanboys that come on the VZW threads and try to tear Verizon down.
    When you’re sitting on top, there are always going to be the bottom feeders than come around and try to put you down and sell to the world why they’re so much better. For what? To satisfy their own egos? Or to mask how miserable they really are with the situation they’re in? No one really knows.
    But, it seems to me that the few Tmob fanboys that we see on VZW thread after thread after thread are always going to keep coming back. And they’re going to be gunning for VZW and their customers. No one is going to change anyone’s mind here.
    Admittedly, however, I do enjoy reading the banter. I especially love when people can’t even form proper sentences. Yet, they’ll splash their vitriol through name calling. Seriously? “Oh NIsme. You so dumb@ss. Check you facts!”
    HAHAHAHA!!! Better than the National Inquirer.

  71. @The Solution. I’m with tmo for a couple of reasons. Sprint will cut your service for a penny, yes its happened to me. Att never have a nice assortment of good phones. Verizon had a bunch of non-android phones with the same type of UI and were charging for everything while giving out the smallest quantity of service allowed. (True Cable Network fashion) Then T-Mobile brought in Android on the G1 and gave unlimited data with it for a cheap price. Big Red lovers, I don’t deny that your carrier may have more rural coverage, its a cable company after all. But stop hating on T-Mobile because we introduced you to Android. I see Verizon folk have lessened their hate for iphony lovers now that you have an iphony of your very own now.

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