Find internet service without a contract
Service term agreements are common when signing up for home services such as internet and TV, but you don’t always have to commit to one.
Depending on the available internet providers in your area, you could have internet options from providers that allow you to pay as you go instead of signing a long-term contract. Opting for an internet provider that doesn’t require a contract could make it easier to cancel or transfer service to a new address without being hit with early termination fees.
Top no-contract internet providers
AT&T fiber internet – Best value
Plans starting at $55.00/mo.
AT&T fiber offers some of the best priced internet service around. For just $55/mo., customers receive speeds up to 300 Mbps for both download and upload speeds. There are also no equipment fees or data caps, making AT&T one of the more consumer-friendly ISPs.
Google Fiber – Best for gig speeds
Plans starting at $70.00/mo.
Google Fiber offers one of the best deals available for customers looking for Gig internet. For those looking for even faster internet, Google Fiber also offers a plan of 2,000 Mbps for just $100/mo.
Spectrum – Best availability and contract buyout
Plans starting at $49.99/mo.
Spectrum is the most widely-available provider that does not require a contract. Spectrum also has a contract buyout offer available to new customers worth up to $500 in bill credit. You’ll have to sign up for a qualifying Spectrum internet and TV bundle to receive this offer, however.
Verizon Fios – Best overall
Plans starting at $49.99/mo.
Verizon Fios requires no contract with their standard or prepaid internet services. In addition to being contract-free, both services also come with unlimited data and fast download and upload speeds over a 100% fiber-optic connection.
Starry Internet – Best for renters
Plans starting at $50.00/mo.
Starry Internet is a new fixed wireless internet service currently available in select parts of Boston, Denver, Los Angeles, New York City and Washington, D.C. with plans to expand service in 51 markets in coming years.
All available no-contract internet providers
|Provider||Starting price range*||Max download speed range**|
|Google Fiber||$70-$100/mo.||1,000-2,000 Mbps|
|Spectrum||$49.99-$89.99/mo.||300 – 1,000 Mbps|
|Starry Internet||$50/mo.||200 Mbps|
|T-Mobile 5G||$50/mo.||182 Mbps|
|Verizon Fios||$49.99-$89.99/mo.||300-940 Mbps|
|Ziply Fiber||$20-$300/mo.||30-4,700 Mbps|
*Pricing per month plus taxes for length of contract. Additional fees and terms may apply. Pricing varies by location and availability. All prices subject to change at any time. May or may not be available based on service address. **wireless speeds may vary. Last updated 09/30/22.
You might not get the cheapest price without a contract
Most of the internet providers listed above are truly contract-free. Some, however, may require a contract when bundling services or to qualify for the cheapest internet pricing.
AT&T, for example, does not require a contract for internet service, but if you bundle with AT&T TV or DIRECTV, you’ll have a two-year term agreement for the TV service.
Xfinity is another provider that may or may not require a contract. In some regions, mostly in the West and Northeast, Xfinity requires a one-year service agreement to get the lowest price on their cheapest plan, but not for other plans (other than Gigabit Pro). Xfinity service areas in the Central and South regions require a one- or two-year service agreement with all plans in order to get the lowest introductory rate.
Can I prepay for internet service?
Cox, Verizon Fios and Xfinity offer prepaid internet service that allow you to pay for internet service only when you need it. If you only need Wi-Fi access sporadically, are planning to move soon or don’t want to have to provide a credit check or deposit, a prepaid internet service may be the best option for you.
Cox StraightUp Internet – A month-to-month Cox internet service requiring no contract
- Pros: No equipment or installation fees
- Cons: Expensive considering you only get 100 Mbps for $50/mo.
Verizon Fios Prepaid – Nearly identical to Verizon’s standard fiber internet service
- Pros: Great speed plans (100, 300, 1,000 Mbps); pay month-to-month with no contract
- Cons: Credit check or deposit required; must purchase a Verizon router for $199.99 or use your own
Xfinity Prepaid Internet – Pay week-to-week or month-to-month for 20 Mbps
- Pros: Option to “refill” your Xfinity Prepaid Internet service in seven-day increments for $15 or 30-day increments for $45; no contract, credit check or deposit
- Cons: $80 equipment fee, limited speeds
Expert tip: Prepaid internet cards are not recommended for home internet
You may come across prepaid internet cards at your local retailer or gas station, but these cards are intended more for mobile data than home internet use. Prepaid internet cards require you to already have some sort of service connection, such as mobile service or a Wi-Fi hotspot device, but are not typically compatible with standard home internet connections.
Top 5 providers that offer pay as you go internet
Our recommendations for contract-free internet service include a mix of prepaid services and traditional internet services that simply require no contract. Keep in mind that not all providers or their contract-free plans will be available in all areas.
|Plan||Starting price*||Max download speed**||Prepaid||Data Cap||Best for|
|AT&T Fiber Internet 300||$55.00/mo.||300 Mbps||No||None||Best value|
|Google Fiber 1000||$70.00/mo.||1,000 Mbps||No||None||Gig internet|
|Spectrum Internet||$49.99/mo||300 Mbps*||No||None||Availability|
|Verizon Fios 300||$49.99/mo.||300 Mbps||No||None||Best overall|
|Verizon Fios 300 Prepaid||$59.99/mo.||300 Mbps||Yes||None||Best overall|
|Starry Internet 100||$50.00.mo.||200 Mbps||No||None||Renters|
*Pricing per month plus taxes for length of contract. Additional fees and terms may apply. Pricing varies by location and availability. All prices subject to change at any time. May or may not be available based on service address. **Wireless speeds may vary. Last updated 09/30/22.
We compared all the major internet providers that offer a no-contract option. We considered pricing, speeds, data caps, equipment fees and availability in order to come up with the top 5 best contract-free internet options. We did not choose all the fastest options or are the cheapest options for our list, but instead chose five internet plans that offer distinct benefits in order to ensure all customer’s needs are met.Learn more
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Our take on contract-free internet services
Contract-free internet services are convenient, but a contract shouldn’t necessarily be a deal breaker when choosing an internet service. Consider the internet providers and plans available in your area and find those with the speeds and pricing you’re looking for, then compare contract details. You’ll likely find many of the top providers, including AT&T, Spectrum and Verizon Fios are contract-free anyway.
If a contract is a concern, perhaps because you plan to move before the term agreement expires, there are great prepaid options from Cox, Verizon Fios and Xfinity. You might also be able to find regional providers such as Starry Internet that essentially offer month-to-month service for a decent price.
No-contract internet provider FAQs
Prepaid internet lets you pay for service either month-to-month or by “refilling” your service for a set number of days. Prepaid service typically comes with slower speeds or higher initial costs than traditional internet service, but allows customers to avoid contracts, credit checks or deposits.The top prepaid internet providers are Cox, Verizon Fios and Xfinity.
Most providers allow you to cancel service, but if still under contract, you may be required to pay an early termination fee (ETF). The ETF may be a flat fee or variable depending on how many months are left on your contract. As long as you pay the ETF, cancelling your internet service agreement early should have no impact on your credit, but failure to pay the fee could hurt your credit if the internet provider turns your account over to a collection agency.
If you’re considering switching internet services but are stuck in a contract, consider Spectrum or Verizon Fios. Both providers offer a contract buyout credit up to $500.
Most internet providers require a contract to guarantee they will recoup the cost of supplying internet to your address. For example, satellite internet providers HughesNet and Viasat both require a two-year contract. Considering the costs of equipment and installation (which is typically waived for new customers) these providers need more of a guarantee the customer will keep the service long enough for them to recoup their cost of supplying service.
If you already have a compatible router, the Verizon Fios 200 Mbps Prepaid plan is likely the best no-contract plan. Starting at $39.99/mo. for speeds up to 200 Mbps, the Verizon Fios 200 Mbps Prepaid plan is an excellent no-contract option that also requires no credit check or deposit.
For those who don’t have the necessary equipment for Verizon Fios Prepaid, Spectrum Internet is a great no-contract option with speeds up to 200 Mbps starting at $49.99/mo. Equipment rental fees are just $5/mo. compared to the $199.99 initial equipment fee for Verizon Fios Prepaid.
This is a Cox-owned prepaid Wi-Fi service For someone who wants a simple pricing plan (no equipment or installation fees) and zero commitment, Cox StraightUp internet is an excellent choice.
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Written by:David Anders
Senior Writer, Broadband Content
David joined the Allconnect team in 2017, specializing in broadband and TV content. His work has been referenced by a variety of sources, including ArcGIS, DIRECTV and more. As a Senior Writer, David is motivate… Read more
Edited by:Robin Layton
Editor, Broadband Content
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