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

Find out how you can get internet service—and only internet service.

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

You can get standalone internet service without cable TV or home phone service. That’s true for all the main types of internet—fiber, DSL, satellite, fixed wireless, and even cable (keep reading; we’ll explain).

There are less traditional options available too, like smartphone tethering, wireless hotspots, and good ole free public Wi-Fi. Read on to learn more about how to get internet without TV and home phone.

Curious what internet-only plans are available in your area? Enter your zip code below to find out or read on to learn more about the best internet without cable.

Please enter a valid zip code.

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.

Top cable internet-only packages

Internet plan Price Speeds (up to) Data cap
Essential Internet $39.99/mo. Download: 100 Mbps
Upload: 5 Mbps
250 GB View plan
Internet Preferred 150 $59.99/mo. Download: 150 Mbps
Upload: 10 Mbps
1,250 GB View plan
Power 300 $35.99/mo. Download: 300 Mbps
Upload: 20 Mbps
Unlimited View plan
Internet 100 $49.99/mo. Download: 100 Mbps
Upload: 10 Mbps
1,000 GB View plan
Optimum 300 $40.00/mo. Download: 300 Mbps
Upload: 35 Mbps
Unlimited View plan
Gig Internet $54.99/mo.* Download: 940 Mbps
Upload: 20 Mbps
Unlimited View plan
Starter 100 Plus $39.00/mo. Download: 100 Mbps
Upload: 10 Mbps
300 GB View plan
Spectrum Internet $49.99/mo. Download: 100 Mbps
Upload: 10 Mbps
Unlimited View plan
Internet 100 $34.99/mo. Download: 100 Mbps
Upload: 10 Mbps
Unlimited View plan
Internet 100† $39.99/mo. Download: 100 Mbps
Upload: 10 Mbps
Unlimited View plan
Performance Select** $34.99/mo. Download: 100 Mbps
Upload: 5 Mbps
1,200 GB View plan

Data as of 3/16/21. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
*Prices higher in some areas
** Prices and speeds differ in some areas
† 2 yr. contract required. No-contract option available for $59.99/mo.

DSL internet

A DSL 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.

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

Top DSL internet-only packages

Internet plan Price Speeds Data cap
AT&T Internet up to 100 Mbps $35.00/mo. Download: 100 Mbps
Upload: 20 Mbps
1,000 GB View plan
Price for Life 100 Mbps $49.99/mo. Download: 100 Mbps
Upload: 30 Mbps
1,000 GB View plan
Tier 1 High-Speed Internet 50–100 Mbps $27.00/mo. Download: 100 Mbps
Upload: N/A
Unlimited View plan

Data as of 3/16/21. 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 the following plans from providers that serve up fiber internet without side dishes.

Top fiber internet-only packages

Internet plan Price Speeds Data cap
Internet 1000 $60.00/mo. Download: 940 Mbps
Upload: 880 Mbps
Unlimited View plan
CenturyLink Fiber Internet $65.00/mo. Download: 940 Mbps
Upload: 940 Mbps
Unlimited View plan
Simply FiOS Gig Service $79.99/mo. Download: 1,000 Mbps
Upload: 1,000 Mbps
Unlimited View plan
Power 1000 $69.99/mo. Download: 940 Mbps
Upload: 50 Mbps
Unlimited View plan
Fios Gigabit Connection $79.99/mo. Download: 940 Mbps
Upload: 880 Mbps
Unlimited View plan
Tier 1 Kinetic Gig $67.00/mo. Download: 1,000 Mbps
Upload: unavailable
Unlimited View plan
Gigabit $84.99/mo. Download: 1,000 Mbps
Upload: 35 Mbps
1,200 GB View plan

Data as of 3/16/21. 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. The following table shows what they offer.

Top satellite internet-only packages

Provider
HughesNet
Viasat
Internet plan Price Speeds Data cap
20 GB $69.99/mo. Download: 25 Mbps
Upload: 3 Mbps
20 GB View plan
Unlimited Silver 25 $70.00/mo. Download: 25 Mbps
Upload: unavailable
120 GB View plan

Data as of 3/16/21. 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.

They 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.

Cell phone 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.

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 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

Some internet providers like Cox and Spectrum have wireless hotspots around town. If your provider has hotspots, you can access them with your at-home internet credentials.

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. 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 1,000 Mbps and a 1 TB data cap. It also has a superfast fiber plan (Gigabit Pro gets up to 2,000 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.

See what internet providers are available in your area

Enter your zip code to find out what internet-only plans you can get.

Please enter a valid zip code.

How to get internet FAQ

Do you need a phone line for internet service?

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.

Can I get Wi-Fi without an internet provider?

You can get Wi-Fi without an internet provider by using public Wi-Fi hotspots or through your mobile provider’s hotspots.

Do you need a landline for internet?

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).

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