Total Wireless vs. Verizon speed test: Which is faster?


If you’re thinking about switching from Verizon to Total Wireless for a cheaper cell phone plan, you may be wondering if there will be an impact on your download speeds.

According to Verizon’s website, its 4G LTE network can provide super-fast download speeds up to 50 Mbps:

“Verizon 4G LTE wireless broadband is 10 times faster than 3G—able to handle download speeds between 5 and 12 Mbps (Megabits per second) and upload speeds between 2 and 5 Mbps, with peak download speeds approaching 50 Mbps.”

Megabits per second will affect the streaming quality of videos that you watch on your phone. Verizon says you’ll experience fewer pauses watching HD video as download rates approach 5 Mbps or higher.

In general, download speeds of more than 10 Mbps will provide a great user experience while viewing HD-quality video.

RELATED: Hey, Verizon customers: Here’s how to cut your wireless bill in half!

Total Wireless vs. Verizon speed test: What you need to know 

Team Clark wanted to know if Total Wireless, a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) that partners with Verizon and uses its towers, has download and upload speeds comparable to Verizon.

To determine data speeds, we downloaded the Speedtest by Ookla app for our experiment. Unfortunately, identical test phones weren’t available. We used an iPhone 7 Plus for Verizon and a Moto G6 for Total Wireless.

After running the Speedtest by Ookla app three times on each phone, Total Wireless had faster download speeds two out of three times. Verizon’s average was 20 Mbps and Total Wireless’ average was 24.7 Mbps.

These download speeds are fast enough for all of your mobile online activities, including surfing the web and streaming video.

Upload speeds are typically slower than download speeds and that’s exactly what our test confirmed. Verizon’s upload speeds beat out Total Wireless all three times.


Download speed test 

Total Wireless vs. Verizon download speeds

Verizon Total Wireless
Test 1 19.9 Mbps 37.9 Mbps
Test 2 24.4 Mbps 24.5 Mbps
Test 3 15.8 Mbps 11.7 Mbps
Average 20 Mbps 24.7 Mbps
Source: Speedtest by Ookla

Upload speed test 

Total Wireless vs. Verizon upload speeds

Verizon Total Wireless
Test 1 17.7 Mbps 12.1 Mbps
Test 2 10.9 Mbps 9.4 Mbps
Test 3 14.9 Mbps 11.5 Mbps
Average 14.5 Mbps 11 Mbps
Source: Speedtest by Ookla

Final thought

Although our test was limited to one location in Atlanta, Georgia, it proved that Total Wireless’ 4G LTE data download speeds are similar to Verizon’s — not throttled to 5 Mbps or less.

Team Clark tried out Total Wireless’ service for 30 days to see if it lives up to the hype. Read our full review here!

You can also learn more about Total Wireless and other low-cost Verizon alternatives like Visible, Xfinity Mobile and Spectrum Mobile in Clark’s guide to the best cell phone plans and deals.

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