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How to Get High-Speed Internet without Cable or a Phone Line

Our team brings expertise from hundreds of hours researching ISPs. We’ll help you find the right standalone internet package for your home.

How do you get high-speed internet without cable or a phone line?

Getting a standalone internet service without TV or a phone line is as easy as reaching out to your local internet service provider and signing up for an internet-only package.

We’ll walk you through signing up for an internet package from each of the major internet types, plus some alternative solutions you might not have heard of before.

What internet providers are near me?

Enter your zip code below to find out or read on to learn more about the best internet without cable.

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Cable internet (minus the cable TV)

Gasp. Aren’t we trying to avoid the c-word? Yeah, but there’s cable TV and there’s cable internet service.

Cable internet is one of the best internet options—faster and more reliable than DSL or satellite, and it’s available without bundling phone or cable TV service. When it comes to cable internet, we recommend Xfinity for its fast speeds and Spectrum for its flexible no-contract plans.

Top cable internet-only packages

Provider Internet plan Price Speeds (up to) Data cap
Astound Broadband powered by Grande Internet 300 $30.99/mo. Download: 300 Mbps
Upload: 20 Mbps
Unlimited View Plan
Astound Broadband Powered by RCN 500 Mbps Internet $44.99/mo. Download: 500 Mbps
Upload: 20 Mbps
Unlimited View Plan

Read Astound review
Buckeye Broadband Essential Internet $39.99/mo. Download: 100 Mbps
Upload: 5 Mbps
Unlimited View Plan
Cox Internet Preferred 250 $59.99/mo. Download: 250 Mbps
Upload: 10 Mbps
1,250 GB View Plan

Read Cox review
Mediacom Internet 200 $39.99/mo. Download: 200 Mbps
Upload: 10 Mbps
1,000 GB View Plan

Read Mediacom review
Optimum Optimum 300 $40.00/mo. Download: 300 Mbps
Upload: 35 Mbps
Unlimited View Plan

Read Optimum review
Sparklight Starter 100 Plus $39.00/mo. Download: 100 Mbps
Upload: 10 Mbps
300 GB View Plan

Read Sparklight review
Spectrum Spectrum Internet $49.99/mo. Download: Up to 300 Mbps
Upload: 10 Mbps
Unlimited View Plan

Read Spectrum review
WOW! Internet 100† $19.99/mo. Download: 100 Mbps
Upload: 10 Mbps
Unlimited View Plan

Read WOW! review
Xfinity Connect More** $39.99/mo. Download: 200 Mbps
Upload: 10 Mbps
1,200 GB View Plan

Read Xfinity review

Data as of publish date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
** Prices and speeds differ in some areas

† 2 yr. contract required. No-contract option available for $59.99/mo.

DSL internet

A DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) connection is slower and less reliable than both cable and fiber internet, but it’s widely available. You don’t need a landline with phone service for DSL internet, but you will need to use your home’s phone jack.

If DSL is the only option in your area, be sure to check what download speeds your potential providers offer to your home—most DSL plans max out at 100 Mbps, but some rural areas can’t get more than 10 Mbps.

Below, we’ve listed DSL providers and how you can get our recommended internet plans for each—with relevant stats.

Pro tip: If DSL providers in your rural area don’t offer broadband internet speeds, there may be other options. Head over to our Rural Internet Guide to learn how to get fast internet in rural America.

Top DSL internet-only packages

Provider Internet plan Price Speeds Data cap
AT&T Internet AT&T Internet up to 100 Mbps $55.00/mo. Download: Up to 100 Mbps
Upload: 20 Mbps
1,000 GB View Plan

Read AT&T review
CenturyLink Simply Unlimited Internet $50.00/mo. Download: Up to 100 Mbps
Upload: 10 Mbps
Unlimited View Plan

Read CenturyLink review
Windstream Kinetic Internet 50–400 $39.99/mo. Download: Up to 50–400 Mbps
Upload: N/A
Unlimited View Plan

Read Windstream review

Data as of publish date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Fiber-optic internet

Fiber internet is the fastest and most reliable connection—and it’s the only one that supports equal download and upload speeds. Its one drawback, though, is that it has spotty availability—your neighbor could qualify for fiber, but you might not.

We recommend Verizon Fios for its high customer satisfaction, followed by AT&T for its high performance. But all of the following providers serve up fiber internet without side dishes.

Top fiber internet-only packages

Provider Internet plan Price Speeds Data cap
Astound Broadband powered by Grande Internet 940 $54.99/mo. Download: 940 Mbps
Upload: 50 Mbps
Unlimited View Plan
AT&T Fiber Internet 1000 $80.00/mo. Download: 940 Mbps
Upload: 880 Mbps
Unlimited View Plan

Read AT&T review
CenturyLink CenturyLink Fiber Gigabit $70.00/mo. Download: 940 Mbps
Upload: 940 Mbps
Unlimited View Plan

Read CenturyLink review
Frontier Fiber Frontier Fiber 1 Gig $74.99/mo. Download: 940 Mbps
Upload: 880 Mbps
Unlimited View Plan

Read Frontier review
Verizon Fios Fios Gigabit Connection $89.99/mo. Download: 940 Mbps
Upload: 880 Mbps
Unlimited View Plan

Read Verizon Fios review
Windstream Kinetic Internet 1 Gig $69.99/mo. Download: 1,000 Mbps
Upload: unavailable
Unlimited View Plan

Read Windstream review
Xfinity Gigabit $75.00/mo. Download: 1,000 Mbps
Upload: 20 Mbps
1,200 GB View Plan

Read Xfinity review

Data as of publish date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Satellite internet

Satellite internet is the slowest and least reliable internet service, but it may be the only choice for people living in rural areas.

There are two main satellite internet providers: HughesNet and Viasat. HughesNet tends to be cheaper, but Viasat offers plans with speeds up to 100 Mbps. Check out their two most comparable plans in the following table.

Top satellite internet-only packages

Provider Internet plan Price Speeds Data cap
HughesNet 20 GB $69.99/mo. Download: 25 Mbps
Upload: 3 Mbps
20 GB View Plan

Read HughesNet review
Viasat Unlimited Silver 25 $84.99/mo. Download: 25 Mbps
Upload: unavailable
120 GB View Plan

Read Viasat review

Data as of publish date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Fixed-wireless internet

Throughout most cities are fixed-wireless transmitters. Think of them like little cell towers beaming Wi-Fi signals in all directions.

Some belong to internet service providers you may not have heard of, but the signals are even better than 4G—as long as you’re in direct line of sight, with no mountains or skyscrapers between you and the transmitter.

Top fixed-wireless internet-only packages

Provider Internet plan Price Speeds Data cap
Rise Broadband 50 Mbps Internet Unlimited $65.00/mo. Download: 50 Mbps
Upload: 5 Mbps
Unlimited View plans

Read Rise Broadband review
AT&T AT&T Fixed Wireless $84.99/mo. Download: Up to 25 Mbps
Upload: Up to 1 Mbps
350 View plan

Mobile hotspots

Did you know you can turn your smartphone into a wireless hotspot? It’s called tethering, and it’s a great way to have a private Wi-Fi signal at your home without a cable internet connection.

You can do this only if tethering is built into your cell plan, so you might want to check with your provider about that first.

Here’s how to toggle tethering on or off:

  • iOS: Settings > Personal Hotspot or Cellular > Personal Hotspot. Then click Allow Others to Join and follow the directions to connect.
  • Android: Different cell phones run different versions of Android. Look for a search bar under Settings, then search for keywords like “hotspot” or “tethering” and you should be ready to rock in just a few clicks.

Fair warning: tethering will gobble up your data (and drain your battery) if you don’t already have unlimited data.

Wireless hotspots

Many internet providers offer wireless hotspots across the US—including Xfinity, Cox, and Spectrum . Provider Wi-Fi hotspots let you use internet away from home, in public spaces and neighborhoods. If your provider has hotspots, you may need your internet service account ID and password to log on. Follow the links above to learn more about each provider’s Wi-Fi hotspots offerings.

Free public internet

While the free Wi-Fi from establishments like coffee shops, hotels, and public libraries can be unreliable and unsecure, it’s better than nothing. Plus, it’s a way to get internet access if you don’t have a working phone or cable line.

Just park close to the buildings and don’t leave your car during the pandemic—isolation works.

Free streaming TV

Planning to dump your cable TV package to save a few bucks each month? You can still get plenty of delicious, mind-rotting, eye candy from these free livestreaming TV providers:

  • Pluto: More than 100 channels of live TV, totally free
  • Xfinity Flex: Free streaming device and service with tons of live and on-demand content—but it’s only for Xfinity internet customers
  • Xumo: 100+ live channels.

If you want local channels, try an over-the-air (OTA) antenna. They’re inexpensive (you can get the Mohu Leaf 50 for around $58 on Amazon), and they pick up all of your local network affiliates plus many other free channels—with no monthly bills to pay, ever.

Final take

Whatever reasons you have for buying internet service—and only internet service—you have options. And now, more than ever, it’s nice to have those.

If it’s available in your area, we recommend going with Xfinity. It has cable speeds from 25 to 1,200 Mbps and a 1.2 TB data cap. It also has a superfast fiber plan (Gigabit x6 gets up to 6,000 Mbps) that hardcore gamers and streamers will love—if they can afford $299.95 a month.

We also really like Xfinity’s XFi Gateway modem/router combo. And having only internet service through Xfinity qualifies you for Xfinity Flex, the provider’s free combination streaming device and service. With tons of live and on-demand content, Flex is a great replacement for cable TV.

Get Xfinity Internet

See what internet providers are available in your area

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How to get internet FAQ

Do you need a phone line for internet service?

No, you don’t need a phone line for all the main types of internet service (cable, fiber, fixed wireless, and satellite). DSL does need a phone jack to work, but you don’t have to pay for a phone line. And dial-up connections are now mostly bogeyman stories you can tell to scare your children.

How can I get Wi-Fi without an Internet provider?

There are several ways to get a Wi-Fi internet connection without using an internet provider:

  • Using free public Wi-Fi spots
  • Paying for hourly Wi-Fi at hotspots
  • Purchasing a hotspot from a mobile provider

Do you need a landline for internet?

Yes, you can install most types of internet (cable, fiber, fixed wireless, and satellite) without a phone jack, Jack. DSL typically does require a phone jack—but not phone service. Some call this type of DSL service, where a phone jack is used but the customer doesn’t have to pay for phone service, “Naked DSL.”

Does a wireless router give you free internet?

A wireless router won’t work without an internet connection purchased from an internet provider (but it’d be pretty cool if it did).

What device can I buy to have home Wi-Fi with no internet?

Cellular hotspots are the easiest way to get home Wi-Fi without an internet plan. Hotspots, which get an internet connection by connecting to cellular data networks, are available from carriers like Verizon and T-Mobile on monthly service plans.

Can you have Xfinity internet without cable?

Yes, Xfinity offers a variety of standalone internet packages with download speeds from 75 Mbps to 6,000 Mbps. Prices and speeds vary depending on where you live, but some packages start as low as $24.99 per month.

Can I get internet without a cable provider?

Yes, many internet providers offer standalone internet plans without bundling in cable TV. If you’re looking to ditch your local cable or fiber companies altogether, you’ll have to rely on free public hotspots or your cell phone.

Methodology

For this article, our experts selected internet packages from major internet providers based on price, speed, features, and bang for your buck. For more information on our methodology, check out our How We Rank page.

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