How do I get internet without having to pay line rental? It’s a question we’re asked all the time. If you want broadband without a phone line, there are several ways to go about it, but be warned - it might not actually work out cheaper…
Video guide: Broadband without a phone line
Broadband without a phone line may seem the ideal scenario, particularly if you're tired of paying line rental for a home phone you barely ever use.
In reality, at least in the majority of cases, you'll need a working phone line in order to have broadband. The only major exception is Virgin Media.
The good news is that even the cheapest line rental usually includes some free calls at weekends or in the evening. And while the price of having a phone line has rocketed by nearly 40% since 2009, the average cost of broadband and phone deals has dropped by more than half. Still, if you're adamant you don't want a phone line at all, and you just want your broadband without line rental, there are a few options to think about.
The simplest solution for many is to switch to a broadband service like Virgin Media that doesn't actually need a landline.
Who does broadband only?
Virgin Media is the only major provider able to offer broadband without a phone line to more than just a few select areas of the country. There's also ultrafast Hyperoptic with speeds more than 100 times the UK average, but it isn't as widely available.
Virgin Media's operates independently of the national telecoms network once owned and still mostly looked after by BT. It means Virgin Media can give you broadband with faster speeds of up to 152Mb, with no need for a landline.
However, when you sign up for broadband and TV there's normally a phone service thrown in with the bundle - opting out won't necessarily save you money. In fact, it may be cheaper to take all three services, even if you you're not going to use the phone line.
You can check for yourself when you use our price calculator to compare packages.
Hyperoptic is quite a bit different. It's an ultrafast provider with broadband that really doesn't compromise on speed. With 1Gb downloads, it's over 100 times faster than the current UK average and about six times speedier than its closes rival Virgin Media.
However, it's a new provider with a niche offering, and not everyone can afford - or actually has a need for - ultrafast 1Gb broadband. To find out if it's available where you live and to compare TV, broadband and phone deals, run a quick postcode check.
Who has the cheapest line rental?
If you find it's not possible to get internet without a phone line where you live, there might still be a way for you to lessen the pain of paying for a landline you don't use.
Line rental varies between providers. The likes of BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media currently all charge upwards of £15 a month, but there are several smaller providers such as Primus Saver that offer line rental for a couple of pounds less each month.
To find the cheapest line rental available where you live, use our calculator
Is 3G or 4G better than broadband?
If you live somewhere with decent 3G or 4G mobile phone signal, you might be able to rely on mobile broadband for your internet access. This way, if you don't use your home phone, you can do away with your landline and wave goodbye to line rental forever.
At first glance this might seem like a no-brainer, but unless you can access 4G, you'll find data-heavy stuff like streaming films and TV practically impossible at mobile speeds. To see if 4G is available where you live, use an online mobile coverage checker.
Mobile internet is also likely to be significantly less cost-effective than a good value home broadband package. If you're anything more than an extremely light or occasional web user, what you save in line rental you may quickly incur in excess data charges.
Is satellite broadband any good?
As a last resort, if you live out in the sticks, beyond the reaches of BT and Virgin Media, and have patchy or non-existent mobile signal, satellite broadband could be an option.
Broadband by satellite is usually more expensive, slower and often less reliable than regular ADSL or fibre optic broadband. However, like satellite TV from Sky or Freesat, it's available pretty much anywhere, and it eliminates the need for a landline.
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