Go to Reviews.org AU Edition
How To Get Internet Without a Phone Line or Cable TV
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 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.
Ways to get internet without a phone line or cable TV
Let’s dive into the details, starting with one of the newest and fastest internet connection types.
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.
You’ll find some of our favorite fiber internet providers in the table below.
|Verizon Fios Home Internet||Internet 200/200||$49.99/mo.*||200 Mbps||View Plans|
|Verizon Fios Home Internet||Internet 400/400||$69.99/mo.*||400 Mbps||View Plans|
|Verizon Fios Home Internet||Fios Gigabit Connection||$89.99/mo.*||Up to 940 Mbps||View Plans|
|AT&T Fiber||AT&T Internet 1000||$80.00/mo.†||940 Mbps||View Plan|
|Frontier Fiber Internet 500||Frontier Fiber Internet 500||$49.99/mo.‡||500 Mbps||View Plans|
|Frontier Fiber Gig||Frontier Fiber Gig||$74.99/mo.^||940 Mbps||View Plans|
|CenturyLink Internet||CenturyLink Fiber Internet||$70.00/mo.°||Up to 940 Mbps||View Plan|
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.
|Xfinity Internet||$24.99–$80**||50–1200 Mbps||1.2 TB||View Plans|
|Spectrum Internet®||$49.99–$89.99††||300–1000 Mbps||Unlimited||View Plans|
|Cox Internet||$49.99–$109.99‡‡||100–1000 Mbps||1.28 TB||View Plans|
|Astound Broadband Powered by RCN||$19.99–$54.99††||110–1200 Mbps||Unlimited||View Plans|
|WOW! Internet||$9.99–$94.99^^||50–1200 Mbps||1 TB–Unlimited||View 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.
|AT&T Internet||$55°°||75–100 Mbps||DSL||View Plans|
|CenturyLink Internet||$30–$70***||100–940 Mbps||DSL/Fiber||View Plans|
|Earthlink Internet||$49.95–$189.95†††||10–5000 Mbps||DSL/Fiber||View Plans|
|Windstream Internet||$39.99–$69.99††||50–1000 Mbps||DSL/Fiber||View Plans|
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 are rather slow.
There are not very many fixed wireless providers out there right now. AT&T and Verizon are two of the best known providers.
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.
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.
|Viasat Internet||$30–$169.99‡‡‡||12–100 Mbps||12–150 GB||View Plans|
|HughesNet Internet||$54.99–$149.99^^^||25 Mbps||15–75 GB||View Plans|
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.
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!