Can I get broadband without a landline?

No phone line icon

Dear broadbandchoices, I’m looking for a new broadband connection, but I almost never use my home phone. Can I get broadband without a phone line?

Daniel Armstrong via email

The short answer here is that yes, you can get broadband without a phone line, but your options are limited. And chances are that you won't save much money. If, indeed, you end up saving any cash at all.

Most broadband providers use BT's (www.bt.com) copper wire telephone network to deliver an internet connection to your home, and that requires an active phone line. So line rental is almost always included when you take out a broadband package.

The major exception among the big-name, most widely available providers is Virgin Media. But depending on your location, you may also be able get broadband with no landline from the likes of Hyperoptic, Community Fibre and Direct Save Telecom, too.

Read on and we'll take a look at how you can get landline-free broadband. Alternatively, you can get a good idea of your options immediately with our postcode checker.

Is broadband without a landline cheaper?

Here's the thing. Just because you choose a broadband-only package that doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll work out cheaper than one with a landline.

You see, although companies such as Virgin Media and Hyperoptic offer broadband packages without landline, they only really work out a few pounds cheaper than their broadband deals that do include a landline.

It’s also worth considering that both of those companies are fairly expensive - with or with or without landline.

To that end, you may find that fibre optic from the likes of TalkTalk, Now Broadband or Plusnet works out cheaper, even with line rental included.

Virgin Media broadband

Virgin Media (www.virginmedia.com) is the only major, widely available provider in the UK which offers broadband that doesn't need a phone line.

This is because it owns and operates its own fibre network that's entirely separate from BT's Openreach infrastructure, so it can bring a broadband connection to your home directly - completely eliminating the need for a landline.

Take a look at our pick of Virgin Media's best deals right now:

Online exclusive M100 Fibre Broadband Only
New customers only Offer ends 30/09/2020
Online exclusive M200 Fibre Broadband Only
New customers only Offer ends 30/09/2020

*Average speeds are based on the download speeds of at least 50% of customers at peak time(8pm to 10pm). Speed can be affected by a range of technical and environmental factors. The speed you receive where you live may be lower than that listed above. You can check the estimated speed to your property prior to purchasing.

Because the network is totally fibre optic, Virgin Media's broadband is superfast. In fact, the average download speed for Virgin Media's fastest package is a massive 560Mbps - one of the highest in the UK.

You've also got the option to include your internet as part of a bundle with TV and mobile - and home phone, of course, if you change your mind.

Check out the details in our full guide to Virgin Media fibre optic broadband.

How do I get Virgin Media broadband?

First of all, type your postcode into our postcode checker and we'll show you what broadband deals you can get in your area.

If you spot a Virgin Media deal you like the look of, click through and you'll be taken to the Virgin Media website. From there, you can sign up in a matter of seconds.

Hyperoptic broadband

Hyperoptic's cheapest 50Mbps service offers fibre broadband without a landline for a price that typically works out about the same price as the cheapest fibre and landline packages from Now Broadband and Plusnet.

Hyperoptic also offers full-fibre broadband at prices that start from just shy of £40 per month for a 500Mbps service (at the time of writing).

Its top-of-the-range service tops out at 1Gbps and leave you too much change from £50 per month. Here's a selection of their deals that are available right now:

*Average speeds are based on the download speeds of at least 50% of customers at peak time(8pm to 10pm). Speed can be affected by a range of technical and environmental factors. The speed you receive where you live may be lower than that listed above. You can check the estimated speed to your property prior to purchasing.

The catch with Hyperoptic is that it's only available in select locations. To see if you can get it in your area, get in touch on 0333 006 8074.

4G and 5G home broadband

vodafone gigacube

Another option if you want to do without a landline is 4G or 5G mobile broadband for your home. With this technology, your broadband service is delivered over the air in the same way as mobile phone networks, rather than by underground cables that are used by conventional fixed-line broadband.

Traditionally, the downside of mobile broadband as an alternative to fixed line broadband has been that it's usually slower and less reliable than a wired connection.

That's now much less of a problem, though, with the advent of 5G home broadband with Vodafone's Gigacube and Three's plug-and-play 5G home broadband.

Generally, you'll need to purchase the dongle or device upfront, then pay for the broadband connection itself on a month-by-month basis - though some providers offer longer term contracts too. And unlike wired broadband, there are pay-as-you-go options as well.

The other potential problem with mobile broadband is that while unlimited usage limits are ten-a-penny with fixed line broadband products, they're harder to come by with 4G or 5G home broadband.

If you only use the internet for a bit of casual browsing you may be fine, but you may have to be a bit more circumspect if you play games online or download HD or Ultra HD movies.

Vodafone Gigacube

Available from around £30 per month and capable of speeds of up to 300Mbps and 1Gbps on 4G and 5G respectively, the Vodafone Gigacube is a very viable alternative to fixed-line home broadband and means you won't have to take a landline.

But as you may have surmised, it's significantly more expensive than the most affordable, fixed-line broadband products.

Three 4G and 5G home broadband

Three's range of 4G and 5G home broadband products can get you speeds that match the fastest fibre home broadband. Prices start from around £30 per month.

Frequently asked questions

Are there any disadvantages to not getting a landline with my broadband deal?

The 'cons' of going without a landline are:

  • You won't have a landline number
  • Your choice of broadband deals is comparatively limited
  • You won't have a back-up phone if your mobile service goes down
  • You're unlikely to save much money by doing without a landline. If any.

Why is line rental included with broadband prices?

Line rental is generally factored into the cost of most home broadband packages because in most cases a landline is required to deliver broadband to your home.

Is satellite broadband a good alternative to a landline-based broadband?

On paper, yes. And you'll be able to get it anywhere at all, too. But the downside is that installation and equipment can be costly, while speeds and 'lag' compare less than favourably with even entry-level, fixed-line fibre broadband.

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