How To Get Internet Without a Phone Line or Cable TV

Easton Smith
Sep 22, 2023
Icon Time To Read5 min read

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Whether you live in a rural area without a standard wired connection or you’re just looking to cut the cord with your cable provider, there are plenty of options

to get internet access without a phone or cable TV plan.

We’re going to go over the different ways you can get internet—from good ol’ DSL to brand new 5G home internet service. We’ll also talk about the pros and cons of each type and recommend some of our favorite providers.

Look for internet plans that don’t require a phone line or cable TV in your area.

A quick word before we start: if you don’t have internet access because you can’t afford it, look into the Affordable Connectivity Program. If you qualify, you’ll get up to $30 to put toward your internet bill each month!

Now let’s dive into the details, starting with one of the newest and fastest internet connection types.

Fiber internet

Fiber internet offers the best overall performance of any home internet connection. It has unparalleled download and upload speeds, making it ideal for gaming, streaming to your Smart TV, video conferencing, and pretty much anything else.

You don’t need a phone line or cable internet to get fiber internet. You just need a fiber internet provider, like Verizon Fios or Google Fiber, in your area. The prices tend to be about the same (or sometimes even cheaper) than cable internet plans like Spectrum.

You’ll find some of our favorite fiber internet providers in the table below.

The best fiber internet plans for internet without phone or cable TV
Download speed
Verizon Fios Home InternetInternet 300/300$49.99/mo.*300 Mbps
Verizon Fios Home InternetInternet 500/500$69.99/mo.*500 Mbps
Verizon Fios Home InternetFios Gigabit Connection$89.99/mo.*Up to 940 Mbps
AT&T FiberAT&T Internet 1000$80/mo.1000 Mbps
Fiber 500Fiber 500$39.99/mo. w/ Auto Pay and Paperless Bill500 Mbps
Fiber 1 GigFiber 1 Gig$59.99/mo. w/ Auto Pay and Paperless Bill^1000 Mbps
CenturyLink InternetCenturyLink Fiber Gigabit$65/mo.°Up to 940 Mbps
* Price per month with Auto Pay & without select 5G mobile plans. Fios plan prices include taxes & fees
Price after $5/mo Autopay & Paperless bill discount (w/in 2 bills). Plus taxes & fees. Monthly State Cost Recovery Charge in TX, OH, NV applies. Ltd. availability/areas.
w/ Auto Pay & Paperless Bill. Max wired speed 500/500 Mbps. Wi-Fi, actual & average speeds vary. One-time charges apply.
^ w/ Auto Pay & Paperless Bill. Max wired speed 1000/1000 Mbps. Location dependent. Wi-Fi, actual & average speeds vary. One-time charges apply.
° Speed may not be available in your area. Maximum download/upload speed of up to 940 Mbps via a wired connection. Paperless billing required. Taxes and fees apply. Offer details. Offer includes professional installation at customer’s eligible location

Cable internet (without cable TV subscription)

You don’t necessarily need a cable TV subscription to get internet from a cable company. Some companies offer standalone internet plans, and they can be a great option for those who want a high-speed connection but don’t live in an area with fiber.

Cable internet uses the same basic infrastructure as cable TV, but instead of going into your TV, the wiring goes into a cable modem. Speeds with cable internet can reach up to 500 Mbps, which is more than most families need.

Take a look at the table below to see some of the best cable internet plans on the market.

The best cable internet providers for internet without cable TV
Monthly price
Download speeds
Data cap
Learn more
Xfinity Internet$19.99-$70**75-1200 Mbps1200 Mbps
Spectrum Internet®$19.99-$89.9930-1000 Mbps††Unlimited
Cox Internet$9.95-$149.99‡‡100-2000 Mbps1280 Mbps
Astound Broadband Powered by RCN$25-$70^^300-1200 MbpsUnlimited
WOW! Internet$19.99-$94.99°°100-1200 Mbps3000 Mbps
Data as of 04/05/2023. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
** Pricing for some packages are for the first 12 months. Some packages require a 1- or 2-year contract.
†† Limited time offer; subject to change; valid to qualified residential customers who have not subscribed to any services within the previous 30 days and who have no outstanding obligation to Charter.
‡‡ Prices exclude taxes, surcharges, usage-based charges, certain equipment, and other fees or charges, which are subject to change.
^^ Observed speeds may vary. Exludes surcharges and fees. Equipment extra. New residential customers only.
°° With AutoPay & paperless billing. Equipment, taxes, data allowance, and other fees extra. Other restrictions apply to usage-based plans.

DSL internet (without a phone plan)

Some of the best cheap (or even free) internet plans are from DSL providers. While this type of internet isn’t our top choice, it works just fine for those who don’t need super fast speeds. DSL speeds can still handle most basic tasks, like streaming movies, playing simple online games, and doom scrolling on Facebook.

DSL internet uses a phone line, but you don’t need to have a home phone plan to get it. There are tons of DSL internet providers throughout the country. You can see some of our favorite options in the table below.

The best DSL internet providers for internet without a phone line
Monthly price
Download speeds
Connection Type
Learn more
AT&T Internet$55***0-0 MbpsDSL
CenturyLink Internet$50-$65†††100-940 MbpsDSL/Fiber
Windstream Internet$39.99-$169.99‡‡‡100-2000 MbpsDSL/Fiber
Data as of 04/05/2023. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
*** Price after $5/mo Autopay & Paperless bill discount (w/in 2 bills). Plus taxes $ fees. Limited availability. May not be available in your area.
††† Speed may not be available in your area. Paperless billing or prepay required. Additional taxes, fees, and surcharges apply.
‡‡‡ With Auto Pay for 12 months

Wireless internet alternatives

That covers the three main ways to get internet through wired infrastructure. But if you live off the grid, or you just want internet that doesn’t require you to be in one place, don’t despair. There are plenty of wireless internet options on the market right now.

Fixed wireless internet

Fixed wireless internet is an alternative way to get connected to the good ol’ world wide web that doesn’t require you to have a phone line, cable connection, or fiber optic hookup. You can do it from pretty much anywhere that there's a mobile phone signal.

Fixed wireless uses an antenna that’s affixed to your house (or trailer or mobile home or whatever you want). The antenna connects to a mobile wireless network to give you internet. It’s a relatively affordable and reliable way to get internet in rural areas, but the speeds can be slow. However, most fixed wireless providers still offer high-speed internet.

There are not very many fixed wireless providers out there right now. AT&T and Verizon are two of the best-known providers.

Is fixed wireless better than satellite?
Info Box

Figuring out which kind of internet is best for rural living can be tricky. When it comes to fixed wireless vs. satellite internet, it depends on what’s available in your area. Generally, satellite internet offers faster speeds, but it can be pricier and have a more limited range.

Satellite internet

One of the most tried and true ways to get internet when you live in a rural area is with a satellite connection. Satellite internet uses—yep, you guess it—satellites to shoot internet data to a dish on your home. The signal then goes to a modem, which connects to your computers, smart TVs, and other devices.

Satellite internet can get pretty expensive, and it doesn’t offer very fast speeds compared to wired connections. But, if you live in certain rural areas it may be the best game in town.

There are only two satellite internet providers on the scene right now: Viasat and HughesNet. You can see how these providers compare in the chart below.

The best satellite internet providers for internet without a phone line or cable TV
Monthly price
Download speeds
Data cap
Learn more
Viasat Internet$39.99 - $109.99*^^^35 - 150 MbpsUnlimited
HughesNet Internet$49.99-$149.99°°°15-50 Mbps200 Mbps
Data as of 04/05/2023. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
^^^ Offer available to new qualifying customers. One-time standard installation fee may be due at checkout. Minimum 24-month service term required. Equipment lease fee is $12.99/mo. Taxes apply. Service is not available in all areas. Offer may be changed or withdrawn at any time.
°°° Service plans require a 24-month commitment. Pricing not available in all areas.

5G home internet

5G internet is here: lovers of wireless, high-speed internet, rejoice!

5G home internet uses a fixed receiver to pick up the internet from local 5G mobile networks. This can get you data speeds up to 1000 Mbps, which rivals even the fastest fiber networks.

While 5G home internet doesn’t require a phone line or a cable connection, it isn’t necessarily a rural internet option. In fact, the service area for 5G home internet is very limited. Companies like Verizon run 5G networks in a handful of cities, but it’s relatively new and it will likely be a few more years before the suburbs and smaller towns start to see service.

Mobile hotspots

The easiest way to sidestep a lack of internet is to simply use your phone’s hotspot.

If you have a smartphone then you’ve probably used it as a mobile hotspot at some time or another. Turning your mobile device into a mobile hotspot allows your computer (or other device) to tap into the internet via a mobile phone wireless network. It’s an awesome tool in a pinch.

But you don’t have to rely on your smartphone to get a hotspot (draining your precious battery in the process). You can pick up a dedicated mobile hotspot device and use that to connect your wireless device to the internet anywhere that you’ve got a phone signal. 

Choosing the right internet provider for you

Now that we’ve gone over pretty much every type of internet connection, it’s up to you to decide which one is right for you.

We suggest looking at the following features to find the perfect plan:

  • Price: Make sure you compare prices before you sign up for a plan. Oftentimes internet providers will compete with each other to offer a better deal and more perks.
  • Speed: Know how much data you and your family need before you start looking for a plan. You don’t want to end up with laggy games, long load times, and pixelated video streaming!
  • Reliability: Some internet services offer more reliably fast data speeds than others. Rural internet, wireless internet, and even DSL can have variable speeds. Fiber tends to give you the most reliability.
  • Availability: Obviously, you want to look at internet companies that offer service in your area! See what local companies exist before you get your heart set on a plan.

We hope this article has helped you find the perfect internet plan for cutting the cord, moving out to the homestead, or whatever else life has in store!

Easton Smith
Written by
Easton Smith
Easton has worked as a freelance writer and researcher for several years, reviewing health, lifestyle, and technology products. He has probably read more Terms of Use contracts than any human alive. When he’s not sitting in front of a computer, Easton spends his time camping, climbing, and volunteering with humanitarian aid organizations.

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