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How to get high-speed internet without cable or a phone line

Lisa Iscrupe

Apr 16, 2020 — 8 min read

Ready to cut the cord and cancel your cable subscription? There are plenty of internet-only plans and ways to get home Wi-Fi without cable or phone lines.

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As we use the internet more, people are using their home phone lines and cable less. In fact, many families now use their smartphones as the primary way they view content from streaming sites such as Netflix and Hulu.

This has led to cord cutting, where people cancel their cable TV subscription in favor of streaming.

Using the latest gadgets, it is easier than ever to stream content to the TV in your living room, so you’re not stuck on the small screen of your smartphone.

According to forecasts by eMarketer, 19.9%, or 25.3 million households, are expected to cut the cord by the end of 2020.

So is it time for you to cut the cord, too?

If you want to get internet service without cable or a phone line, we’ll give you some tips and ways you can access the internet without cable or home phone services.

As you’re reviewing these options, keep in mind that some internet plans may not be available in your area. Your internet options will depend on the internet provider and connection types offered at your home.

Best ways to get internet without cable TV

  1. Dial-up internet
  2. DSL internet
  3. Fiber-optic internet
  4. Fixed wireless internet
  5. Naked DSL
  6. Satellite internet

Finding alternatives to cable internet or getting internet without a phone line will depend on where you live and what services are available near you.

Chances are you probably have a few options. Read on to learn more about how to get high-speed internet without cable or a phone line.

Cheapest internet services without phone

These internet plans are ordered by cheapest price so you can compare cheap internet-only options.

  • Buckeye Broadband internet – $9.99mo.* starting at 10 Mbps
  • Frontier Simply Broadband – $27.99/mo.* starting at 6 Mbps
  • Cox Internet Starter – $29.99/mo.* starting at 10 Mbps
  • Xfinity Performance Starter Internet – $29.99/mo.* starting at 15 Mbps

Some of the companies above run promotions that let you get your internet at an even lower rate. Check out more standalone internet deals on Allconnect®.

Traditional internet service options without a phone line

While many providers offer internet and TV bundles, standalone internet is a great option if you want home Wi-Fi, but don’t want to pay extra for TV and phone.

Providers such as AT&T, CenturyLink, Frontier and Xfinity offer at least one standalone internet plan option. They may not be as cheap as plans from some regional providers like Buckeye Broadband, but nearly every internet service provider has an internet-only plan.

If you’re a heavy internet user, watch TV via streaming services (like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime), or use your cellphone as your primary phone, then only having wireless internet at home is perfect for you. You probably don’t need cable or phone service.

So, if you want to cut the cable cord, don’t worry, you can still get internet without cable or a phone line. Just contact your provider to see the standalone internet options in your area.

Cheapest cable internet without TV

The following internet-only plans are ordered by cheapest price so you can compare cheap broadband options.

  • Buckeye Broadband internet – $9.99/mo.* starting at 10 Mbps
  • Shentel internet – $19.99/mo.* starting at 3 Mbps
  • Cox Internet Starter – $29.99/mo.* starting at 10 Mbps
  • Mediacom Internet 60 – $29.99/mo.* starting at 60 Mbps
  • Xfinity internet – $29.99/mo.* starting at 15 Mbps
  • Optimum 20 – $29.99/mo.* starting at 20 Mbps

How to enjoy cable internet without cable TV

When people say the word “cable,” they often think it’s referring to their TV service. But cable companies offer much more than cable TV.

Shop cable internet and phone

Cable companies can also deliver digital phone service and high-speed internet to your home. Cable internet providers use the same coaxial cable that connects to your television to bring you internet. For internet that performs close to advertised speeds, cable internet is a good option.

If cable lines run through your neighborhood, you can likely get connected to the internet in no time at all. You don’t have to subscribe to a cable TV plan to enjoy an internet connection.

Take advantage of included Wi-Fi hotspots

As an added bonus, if you subscribe to cable internet at home, your provider probably gives you free access to all of their Wi-Fi hotspots around town.

In 2012, Spectrum, Optimum, Cox and Xfinity all announced that their broadband customers could access each other’s metro Wi-Fi hotspots for free. The cable internet companies call this shared network of more than 500,000 hotspots “CableWi-Fi” as an extension of the Wi-Fi services they offer.

To find Wi-Fi hotspots in your area, head to CableWi-Fi.com and pick your provider for a map of nearby hotspots. Or, download your provider’s mobile app to find available hotspots.

To access the internet via the hotspots, connect to the network and sign in with the credentials your cable provider has given you.

How to get free Wi-Fi without internet

Can you get free Wi-Fi without having internet at home? Yes, you can! You have two options for free Wi-Fi:

  1. Use public Wi-Fi hotspots
  2. Tether your smartphone for Wi-Fi

However, you may have to get out of the house more or pay for cellphone data. Find out more about your two options for getting free Wi-Fi without internet below.

Find public Wi-Fi hotspots

Nations around the world provide public Wi-Fi as a service to the general population. As the economies of U.S. cities like Amherst, MA, and Kansas City, MO, continue to boom thanks to free, outdoor Wi-Fi networks, more cities will begin to follow suit.

In the meantime, you and your family can find internet connections without having an internet provider by using free, public Wi-Fi hotspots at nearby coffee shops, public libraries, universities, restaurants, bookstores, gas stations, hotels and more.

Use your smartphone as a wireless modem

If you don’t get enough use out of a personal hotspot or USB modem, then the likelihood of you purchasing one is slim. The good news is there’s another way to make Wi-Fi happen with a device that’s likely already in your pocket – your smartphone.

“Tethering” lets you turn your 3G, 4G or 5G cellphone signal into an internet connection. Certain apps for both Apple and Android operating systems can transform your smartphone into a portable modem, giving your laptop free Wi-Fi to use without needing an internet provider.

This tethering method works well if you want to turn your cellphone into a Wi-Fi generating machine for your laptop, or give new life to that old cellphone you still have lying around.

Be aware that using your smartphone as your source of internet will quickly drain the phone’s battery, even with light surfing. It could also eat up your phone service data and quickly run you over your data limit.

Wi-Fi alternatives to cable internet

When you want Wi-Fi, but not cable, you still have choices. Check out home Wi-Fi options that get you high-speed internet without cable service. Satellite, fixed wireless and fiber-optic internet all offer Wi-Fi without needing a phone line!

Naked DSL

Using modern technology, providers can deliver high-speed internet and phone connections at different frequencies. As a result, many internet providers now offer their customers “naked” DSL service (also known as “standalone” DSL or “freestanding” DSL). Naked DSL service is DSL internet without phone service, which many DSL providers previously required. If you already have phone service and DSL internet with a provider, there’s a good chance that naked DSL is available in your area. This option is cost-effective if your household is relatively small and each family member has his or her own mobile device.

Satellite internet

In remote areas of the country where DSL and cable internet aren’t readily available, satellite internet is an increasingly popular solution for getting internet. Satellite internet service providers beam data signals into your home from satellites hovering above the earth, so they don’t need to run hard wires to bring you the web. Other factors, such as interference from bad weather, can affect satellite internet download and upload speeds. However, a variety of companies are designing satellites that operate in lower orbits and deliver stronger, more reliable satellite internet signals. So, don’t be surprised if this cost-effective type of internet service earns more business once the next generation of satellites are in orbit.

Fixed wireless internet

Certain internet providers, such as AT&T, offer fixed wireless home internet that you can get without a phone, cable or a fiber line. Fixed wireless internet is particularly helpful if it’s available in a rural area where you don’t want to buy satellite service. Similar to satellite internet, customers use internet equipment on their homes (via antennas) to pick up internet signals. Instead of communicating with satellites in space, you get the internet via radio signals from local cell towers. Antennas picking up radio signals from cell towers experience less weather interference than satellite signals, so fixed wireless internet can be more reliable. The future of fixed wireless internet is exciting as companies such as Verizon embrace 5G wireless internet networks. Fixed wireless internet will keep growing and connect entire cities to the internet, enabling amazing Wi-Fi connections without needing cable, fiber or DSL lines.

Fiber-optic internet

If you’re looking for the fastest, most secure connection around, there’s a good chance your next internet connection will be fiber. Fiber-optic, or fios, technology is capable of achieving incredible speeds far faster than DSL or satellite by transporting data in the form of light signals through a new kind of wire. Fiber internet wires are made of tiny, transparent glass fibers about the diameter of a human hair. Fiber speeds are so good that you can rapidly download music and movies, but, the downside is that it’s not yet widely accessible. 

The bottom line

Your best option for internet without cable or a phone line will depend upon the cellphone service you have, the devices you own, the internet speeds you’ll need, your budget and where you live or travel.

We’re happy to help you find high-speed internet service at no cost to you. Ready to ditch your home phone or cable service? Shop our site and we’ll get you started with the connection type and provider of your choice today.

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