How to get broadband without a contract
Yes, you can get broadband without signing up to a lengthy contract. Find out how, where to find the best deals and what to watch out for.
Simply, “yes” it really is possible to get broadband without signing up to a contract. While the majority of broadband providers tie you in for 12, 18 or 24 months, a handful of service providers offer “no contract” deals. We’ll explore whether no contract is right for you, explain what no contract broadband means, how to get it and which providers offer no contract broadband deals.
Should I get a no contract broadband deal?
No contract broadband is a good choice for temporary accommodation such as if you’re a student 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.
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.
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 one-month rolling basis. That means you won’t get a penalty when you cancel. There are also deals that run with six-month agreements, while a few providers offer nine-month contracts for 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 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.
There are cons to broadband without a contract. Often you’ll pay high set-up or up-front fees. The monthly costs tend to be higher and there are fewer providers to choose from. There also tend to be fewer freebies, such as gadgets and shopping vouchers because providers aren’t courting loyalty.
The problem of up-front costs
While no contract broadband offers greater flexibility, you’ll need to watch out for up-front costs that are otherwise swallowed by the provider as part of your monthly premium. With a contract, you might have to pay connection and admin charges and will often have to pay for a Wi-Fi router.
Which providers offer broadband without a contract?
There are a number of providers that offer broadband without a contract.
NOW Broadband offers all of its broadband packages on a rolling 30-day or no contract basis, all of which are unlimited. This includes NOW’s Brilliant Broadband with an average speed of 11Mbps, Fab Fibre (36Mbps) and Super Fibre (average speed of 63Mbps). You can also add a 30-day TV pass to get Sky TV and kids’ TV.
Virgin Media offers a range of 30-day rolling contracts. The deals are broadband only and offer speeds from 54Mbps up to 362Mbps.
Hyperoptic offers a no-contract option for broadband, and broadband and phone with speeds of 30Mbps, 150Mbps and 1Gbps, but you might find availability is limited.
Relish used to offer unlimited contract-free broadband in London and Swindon but is now part of Three Broadband.
Lesser-known Direct Save Telecom is a small, no-frills broadband provider which offers unlimited fibre deals (35Mbps and 63Mbps) without a contract.
BT offers nine-month student broadband deals for term time.
Alternatives to no contract broadband: 4G, Mi-Fi and wireless deals
Rarely, you can also find landline-free broadband. Virgin Media offers broadband-only deals on a short-term, one-month basis but these come at a premium.
Alternatively, you can get PAYG, monthly mobile broadband deals from companies such as EE and O2. You can find 4G home routers and no-contract dongles. 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 an hour or so.
MiFi (pronounced My-Fi), also known as portable WiFi, or pocket WiFi, is a great way to connect multiple devices to the internet 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.
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