Nomad Internet Review: Mobile Connection, No Strings Attached

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  • Unlimited data
  • No contracts required
  • Freedom to connect just about anywhere in the US


  • High upfront costs
  • Competitive rates for rural internet, but pricier than cable or fiber
  • Internet speeds are not guaranteed

Editor’s note, July 6, 2024: In April 2023, Ken Paxton, the attorney general of Texas, filed a lawsuit against the internet company for violating the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices — Consumer Protection Act. It alleges the perpetration of deceptive schemes misrepresenting its relationship with wireless internet providers.

Nomad Internet responded in a press release, “We regret that the Texas Attorney General’s announcement of its probe of Nomad Internet’s services through the period between 2020 and 2022 fails to acknowledge key facts, causing confusion among consumers.” We reached out to Nomad Internet for additional comment and a statement was shared that “Nomad Internet attorneys are working closely with the state of Texas to resolve the claims made against the company and reach a resolution.”

In May 2024, the State of Texas resolved the Nomad Internet lawsuit with a no-fault agreement, after Nomad paid $2 million in refunds as part of the settlement. Nomad Internet continued to deny claims of wrongdoing and “continues to experience a successful trajectory,” according to a press release on the company website. Our original story follows.

Nomad Internet plans and pricing

Plan Max download speeds Max upload speeds Starting monthly cost Data cap
Nomad 300GB Rural
Read full review
20Mbps 5-10Mbps $80 300GB
Nomad Unlimited
Read full review
100Mbps 25Mbps $100 None
Nomad Unlimited Ultra
Read full review
200Mbps 50Mbps $150 None

Nomad plans seem fairly standard, but one particular aspect of Nomad Internet might take you off guard — the internet speeds aren’t guaranteed. Nomad aims to provide its customers with high-speed, 4G and 5G internet service, but the actual speeds will depend on your location and proximity to a given cell tower.

There are no forecasted price increases for these plans, according to the website. However, Nomad reserves the right to increase monthly prices with notice. For $10 extra a month, you can opt-in to the Nomad Prime Upgrade which includes a 24-month price lock, a free modem replacement and protection, and 24/7 phone technical support.

Still, at the very least, Nomad Internet is a valid alternative in places where good connections are few and far between, and with no contracts or cancellation fees, it’s easy enough to test it out for 14 days to see if it’ll suit your needs. Let’s take a broader look at the service. 

How many members of your household use the internet?

Overview for Nomad Internet

Nomad Internet, which launched as an internet service provider in 2017, welcomed 2023 by announcing a spiffy new mobile app and sending out a press release touting Nomad as the largest national rural wireless internet service provider in the US. How it came upon that proclamation is unclear.

T-Mobile Home Internet, another national WISP that made a lot of noise in 2023, has more total customers with around 5.2 million, which is forecasted to increase to 5.6 million during 2024.

Back to Nomad, the ISP aims to help bridge the digital divide by connecting rural community members and people on the go — everyone from farmers and remote workers who regularly travel for business to people with a recreational vehicle lifestyle. To accomplish this, Nomad Internet uses 4G and 5G networks to bring internet connectivity to its customers.

The company’s approach — no contract, no cancellation fees — makes it a compelling choice for those with few broadband options. The main caveat? Since it’s a third-party vendor using other providers’ networks, the internet speeds you receive may vary greatly.

Image of Nomad Internet logo

Nomad Internet

Nomad Internet provides wireless, high-speed internet to travelers and rural areas across the US using the 4G LTE and 5G cellular technology of the major carrier of Verizon. The company mission statement is, “We believe that just because a person chooses to live in a rural area doesn’t mean they should have overpriced or slow internet.” Indeed, a good rural internet connection can be frustratingly hard to find.

Nomad currently serves over 20,000 customers across those geographic and vocational groups. Take a peek at the company blog, and you’ll find columns like “How Nomad Internet is Fulfilling Unmet Customer Needs,” “The Ultimate Guide to Staying Connected in Remote Locations,” and “Staying Ahead of the Storm: The Crucial Role of Internet Connectivity.” You’ll quickly understand how Nomad caters to those in rural and underserved communities and “traveling nomads.”

Actual speeds can vary

Comments from users on the Nomad Internet page indicate a typical download speed range of 60 to 70 megabits per second. Additionally, the site mentions, “We’ve had reports of over 150Mbps for those who are close to a cell tower, and about 1Mbps [for those] that are several miles away from a tower.” 

While Nomad’s site gives customers a general idea of download and upload speeds, it cannot be overstated — the nature of the cellular connection makes it nearly impossible to guarantee the speeds you’ll receive. There are just too many variables, mainly your proximity to the nearest tower, the level of data congestion in your area and the number of physical and geographical barriers obstructing your signal.

Equipment is more clear-cut

Nomad Internet offers four types of equipment. The Nomad Rural One for small homes, which can connect up to 15 devices at a time and is available only (for no charge) for the Nomad Rural plan, the Nomad Omen (an indoor modem for residential customers), Nomad Air (a residential outdoor modem for “in-motion” use) and the Nomad Raptor, geared towards business use and featuring multiple LAN ports.

The Nomad Raptor costs a regular steep price of $700 but Nomad’s current promotional discount lowers that price to $200. All four modems are aimed at people on the go, frequent travelers and those living the RV life. Each includes the modem, an ethernet cable, a power supply and a power cable.

The costs for all equipment are up-front; that price includes the service activation fee, account set-up fee, and shipping.

The Nomad Air, which would be most commonly used, is a Wi-Fi 6 device that can support up to 60 connected devices without issue. A Nomad spokesperson shared that the company’s main goal is to mitigate customer hassle and confusion.

“Every plan with Nomad comes preconfigured, with updated hardware, and everything is tested in our offices to ensure it’s set up before we ship,” the spokesperson said.

Other factors to consider 

If you’ve been following our ISP reviews — and I sincerely hope you have! — then you’ve probably noticed that we recommend, whenever possible, avoiding term agreements and the stiff cancellation fees that accompany them. Nomad Internet meets that challenge by requiring no contracts, credit checks or cancellation fees. Overall, you’ll find some fairly consumer-friendly terms. But let’s get into the weeds a little so you can better understand what you’ll be paying. 

No installation fees or additional monthly charges

There are no additional fees beyond the charges given in the plan chart. Nomad Internet customers don’t have to pay an installation fee to start their service and the service activation fee is included in that up-front cost

However, note that if you lose your equipment or fail to return it after canceling your service, you’ll be charged a device replacement fee of $150 to $900. 

Also of note is Nomad’s offer to temporarily halt service and monthly fees for three months at a time, twice during 12 months. Just make sure you fill out a ticket to request a temporary service freeze.

No data caps, for the most part

Unlike many rural internet options, including satellite providers Hughesnet and Viasat, which impose monthly data restrictions, Nomad Internet only enforces data caps on their lowest tier plan, Nomad Rural which tops out at 300GB. Nomad frequently uses the phrase “up to unlimited data.” The implication is that you won’t need to track your data usage for fear of incurring overage charges once you pass a certain threshold. 

That’s certainly true. Nomad Internet will not charge any data overage fees. However, because it’s a third-party vendor that does not have the final say over the cellular network it’s using, Nomad Internet customers may have their data deprioritized by the mobile company. It’s not uncommon for phone carriers like Verizon to prioritize their own customers in times of congestion or high traffic.

High upfront costs, but…

Though Nomad Internet customers don’t face a credit check, all subscriptions must have a valid credit card on file for automatic payment. This is because Nomad Internet is essentially a month-to-month, prepaid service, where you pay ahead for 30 days. That isn’t entirely uncommon.

One buffer Nomad offers is limited-time deals for reduced membership fees and one-time equipment costs. Currently, the Unlimited plan is down from $130 to $100 and the Unlimited Ultra plan is $150 (down from the regular $180). For equipment, the Nomad Omen is $200, the Nomad Air is $300 and the Nomad Raptor is $200 (equipment typically costs between $200 and $700).

Another safety net Nomad Internet provides is a 14-day, money-back guarantee that lets you try out the service. If you find it doesn’t meet your expectations (maybe the speeds are unsatisfactory), or you can’t get consistent service over the network, you can return the equipment for a full refund of your equipment fee and first monthly payment. 

Be aware: Before returning the equipment, you must call the Customer Cancellation Line at 385-257-2809 to notify your intent to cancel so the company can generate a Return Authorization Number. You won’t qualify for your full refund without that.

Aggressive referral program with decent benefits

Nomad Internet often refers to its customers as its connected community. It helps foster that atmosphere by encouraging customers to participate in its Nomad Partner Program. You can score points for various actions — including reviewing the service, reselling it, sharing on social media and more — and those points can be converted to discounts on products or to PayPal cash bonuses. 

More recently, Nomad now offers its customers an incentive of “free internet for life” after customers refer five new customers to the company. Here’s how it works: Nomad gives active customers five free Nomad Omen modems for you to gift to five friends. For every friend that signs up for Nomad service, you get one month of free internet. After all five modems have been activated by different friends, Nomad Internet promises to cover the price of your internet in full. The only catch is that each of these five subscriptions must be maintained to keep your internet free.

Nomad Internet vs. competitors: Decent customer satisfaction scores for an ISP

Nomad Internet doesn’t have a sizable enough customer base to register a rating with either J.D. Power’s US Residential Internet Service Provider Satisfaction Study or the American Customer Satisfaction Index, two surveys we frequently use to gauge how ISPs fare on equal footing. Instead, we turned to the Better Business Bureau. Nomad Internet received an average score of 2.81 out of 5 points from over 699 customer reviews. While that might not seem stellar on the surface, it’s significantly above average for an ISP and well above the scores for such bigger names as Charter Spectrum (1.09), AT&T (1.10) and Google Fiber (1.17).

Among the complaints lodged with the BBB, three out of four were “Billing/Collection Issues” instead of “Problems with the Product/Service.” This made sense after we noted that several issues stemmed from confusion over Nomad’s policy requiring customers to notify the company of the intent to cancel. If a customer returns the equipment without notifying Nomad, billing will often continue even after service ends.

Most complaints appear to have been satisfactorily rectified, but Nomad’s return policy does seem to be a major stumbling block for folks. A spokesperson shared with CNET that Nomad is aware and is implementing new processes for its cancellation policy to help mitigate some of the billing issues.

What’s the final word on Nomad Internet?

Nomad Internet serves an admirable purpose by providing a reliable internet source for travelers and underserved communities often overlooked by traditional wireline services. But depending on your location and proximity to cellular service, the performance of Nomad Internet will vary. Translation: It’s certainly best to try before you buy. 

That 14-day window of time to test drive Nomad Internet is a decent amount of time to decide if the plan is right for you, though optimally that window would be extended to 30 days. Unlike other rural internet options (like satellite internet), you don’t have to unquestioningly commit and then be tethered by a long-term contract to a service that doesn’t accomplish what you need. In that respect, Nomad Internet tries to do right by its customers and give them options they might not otherwise have. 

Nomad Internet FAQs

Does Nomad Internet have data caps?

Yes. Nomad Internet enforces a 300GB data cap on their lowest tier Nomad Rural plan for $80 a month. Nomad Unlimited and Nomad Unlimited Ultra do not have data caps. However, because it’s a third-party vendor dependent on the Verizon mobile network, the final say is in the hands of another company. Nomad Internet will not cap your data, “but data limitations, speeds and availability may vary based on the discretion of the providing network.” 

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Can you use your own router with Nomad Internet?

No. Each of the Nomad Internet plans requires the rental of a Nomad modem. All of the plans feature gateway equipment that includes a modem and Wi-Fi 6 router. Most customers shouldn’t need to use a router beyond the given equipment, but if you already have one you prefer, you most certainly could. 

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Is Nomad Internet faster than satellite internet?

Potentially, yes. Nomad Internet can reach anywhere from 100Mbps to 200Mbps for maximum download speed (based on which plan you have). For example, a satellite provider like Hughesnet tops out at 100Mbps download speed, while Viasat can potentially hit 150Mbps in some areas. It will be critical for customers to do a trial run with Nomad to see what download speeds they can get in their area.

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