How to get broadband without a contract

Discover how to get Wi-Fi without a contract and find the best broadband deals with no contract.

Yes, it really is possible to get broadband without signing up to a contract. While most broadband providers can tie you in for up to 2 years, a handful of firms offer “no-contract” deals.

We’ll explore whether no-contract Wi-Fi is right for you, explain what “no contract” really means, and how to get your hands on a rolling monthly broadband deal.

Can I get broadband without a contract?

Yes, you can. A few providers offer broadband deals on a rolling 30-day contract basis, which means you have greater flexibility and can cancel at any time.

Should I get a no-contract broadband deal?

No-contract broadband is a good choice for temporary accommodation, for example, if you’re in student accommodation or own a holiday home. You’ll dodge cancellation fees, might not need a credit check, can cancel when a better deal comes along, and sign up to another deal without incurring a penalty.

What exactly is no-contract broadband?

No-contract broadband packages are those that don’t force you to commit to long periods with a provider, or to auto-renew. Unlike most broadband contracts that run for 12, 18 or 24 months, no-contract deals run for a 30-day or 1-month rolling basis. That means you won’t get a penalty when you cancel.

One provider, BT, offers 9-month contracts for university students to fit in with term times.

Pros and cons of broadband without a contract

There are lots of reasons to get broadband without a contract; for example, if you’re living somewhere short-term or have a holiday home, or if you’re a student. It means you won’t be tied down to a lengthy contract and are free to shop around when a better deal becomes available, without paying cancellation fees to switch out of the contract.

You’ll still have access to the same broadband services and speeds. No-contract fibre broadband deals are available. You might also be able to get added extras such as TV included in your no-contract broadband deal.

While no-contract broadband offers greater flexibility, you’ll need to watch out for upfront costs that are otherwise swallowed by the provider as part of a longer commitment. Without a longer contract, you might have to pay connection and administration charges and will often have to pay for a Wi-Fi router.

This also explains why the monthly costs tend to be higher on a monthly-rolling deal. There also tend to be fewer freebies or introductory deals because providers aren’t courting your loyalty.

Which providers offer broadband without a contract?

There are a number of providers that offer broadband without a contract.

NOW Broadband offers all 3 of its broadband packages on a rolling 30-day or no-contract basis, all of which offer unlimited usage. This includes Brilliant Broadband which offers average download speeds of 11Mbps, Fab Fibre (36Mbps) and Super Fibre (average speed of 63Mbps). You can also add a 30-day NOW TV pass to get access to Sky TV programmes.

Virgin Media offers a range of 30-day rolling contracts. The deals are broadband-only and offer speeds from 54Mbps up to 362Mbps. All packages come with an £80 upfront set-up fee.

Cuckoo Broadband is a relative newcomer to the broadband market and offers one simple product: fibre broadband with a 67Mbps average download speed on a monthly rolling contract. It’s competitively priced at £29.99 a month, with a £60 upfront charge.

Hyperoptic offers a no-contract option for broadband, and broadband and phone with speeds of 30Mbps, 150Mbps, 500Mbps and 1Gbps, but you might find availability is limited.

Three Broadband offers line-free “plug and play” 4G home broadband packages, including a monthly-rolling service. You’ll need to pay £29 upfront for the wireless 4G hub that powers your connection.

Vodafone sells a range of fixed-line and wireless home broadband plans. Vodafone’s Gigacube plans, which use 4G and 5G signals to get customers online, offer 30-day rolling contract options.

Direct Save Telecom is a lesser-known no-frills broadband provider, which offers unlimited fibre deals (35Mbps and 63Mbps) without a contract.

BT offers 9-month student broadband deals for term time.

Alternatives to no-contract broadband: Mi-Fi dongles, tethering and wireless deals

Alternatively, if you don’t want a home broadband set-up, you can get pay-as-you-go (PAYG) monthly mobile data deals from the main mobile providers: EE, O2, Three and Vodafone. These data deals normally come with a no-contract Mi-Fi (pronounced “my-fi”), also known as portable Wi-Fi, pocket Wi-Fi, or a dongle.

These devices act like a router to provide you with a Wi-Fi connection on the go. This makes it a great option for people who travel regularly for work or pleasure. It is also worth considering if you’re a student living in temporary accommodation, or are travelling overseas.

Speeds can be fast and you’ll eliminate the need for home broadband and line rental. However, there are usually download limits and the service can be unreliable.

Another option is “tethering”, where you use your mobile as an Internet hub or mobile hotspot. However, this can be expensive as it burns through your data allowance.

For occasional Internet users, there’s a fair amount of free public Wi-Fi available where you can sit in a coffee shop and for the price of a coffee get connected for a few hours or so.

The bottom line: There are decent no-contract options, but expect to pay more

It’s not too difficult to find flexible monthly-rolling broadband options from big-name providers. Whether you want a fixed-line connection or the freedom of a wireless 4G or 5G system, there’s plenty of choice out there.

These types of deals can be great for those living in temporary accommodation, or university students who want the option to have a connection during term-time without having to pay for the holiday months.

The main thing you’ll need to bear in mind when shopping for no-contract deals is that you need to be prepared to pay more upfront and each month for a no-contract deal than you would if you agreed to be tied down for 12, 18 or even 24 months.

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