How to Get Internet Without Cable

Lara Vukelich
November 23, 2020

Get Internet Without Cable TV

For the longest time, coaxial cable lines were a near-necessity for fast internet, but that is no longer the case. There are now multiple solutions to getting internet service without cable, even at the fastest speeds. From DSL to fiber to satellite, modern technology can provide quality internet connections in a variety of ways.

There are many reasons why someone might need or want to get the internet without cable. Examples include living in an area too far from existing cable lines, wanting an internet plan that isn’t tied to TV service and shifting away from traditional television to streaming services. Whatever the reason, when it comes to getting internet without cable, there are three contending types of broadband internet that can replace it.

Ways to Get Internet Without Cable TV

If you’re cutting the cable, you don’t have to go totally off the grid. In fact, some of the alternatives – especially fiber – actually deliver much faster speeds than the cable internet you’ve become accustomed to. Learning how to get WiFi at home without cable is as contacting a local provider for one of the following options:

Internet-Only Plans From Top Providers

Here’s a look at how some of the top competitors measure up to each other:

ProviderStarting PriceDownload Speed RangeConnection Type
$49.991 Mbps to 940 MbpsDSL, Fiber
$49.9940 Mbps to 100 Mbps
DSL
$27.996 Mbps to 150 MbpsDSL, Fiber
$39.99200 Mbps to 940 MbpsDSL, Fiber
$99.99Up to 940 MbpsFiber
$59.9925 MbpsSatellite
$30.0012 Mbps to 100 MbpsSatellite

Internet Options Without Cable

There are a few ways to get internet without cable, the primary ones being through DSL, fiber and satellite. Speeds vary across these mediums, but DSL can match cable speeds while fiber often exceeds it. Satellite, on the other hand, is generally slower but capable of servicing areas not accessible to cable and other internet types.

Whether using DSL, fiber or satellite, there are multiple providers available to choose from. When determining which company to use for internet without cable, it can be helpful to compare their plans, prices, availability and speeds.  

DSL internet

DSL is the acronym for a digital subscriber line. It uses phone lines to send and receive internet data. Because of a difference in frequencies between what DSL internet uses and what phone services use, DSL service doesn’t interfere with phone use, meaning that phone and internet service can be used at the same time without any problems.

AT&T

AT&T offers three basic DSL internet plans, ranging in speed from 1 Mbps to 100 Mbps. These plans are Internet Basic 768, Internet Basic 1.5 and AT&T Internet. Pricing for each plan varies from $49.99 and up, plus equipment rental and installation fees and requires a 12-month contract. AT&T covers 22 states, but coverage within those states varies by city and address. To determine if AT&T DSL is available for a specific address, use our AT&T availability ZIP code tool.

CenturyLink

CenturyLink provides three DSL internet plans, ranging in speed from 40 Mbps to 100 Mbps. Each of its three DSL plans costs $49/mo. (rate requires using paperless billing) plus additional fees, including equipment rental or purchase. CenturyLink offers coverage in 36 states, but availability within those states varies. To determine what they provide for a specific address, use our CenturyLink availability ZIP code tool

Frontier

Frontier offers numerous DSL internet plans, ranging in speed from 6 Mbps to 150 Mbps, with prices ranging from $20 to $50/mo. Most plans have an extra cost in installation and equipment fees and they implement a two-year contract.  Frontier provides internet coverage in 29 states, but it varies by address within those states. To check availability, use our Frontier availability ZIP code tool

Fiber internet

Fiber internet is the fastest form of internet technology currently available. Data is transferred along fiber-optic glass wires within a protective rubber cable using photons (light) instead of electrons like traditional internet delivery systems.

AT&T

AT&T offers one fiber internet plan for $49.99/mo. with speeds up to 940 Mbps. A $10/mo. equipment fee and a 12-month contract is required.  AT&T currently offers fiber internet in numerous cities across 21 states, although the coverage options continue to expand. Use our AT&T availability ZIP code tool to see if AT&T fiber is available to you. 

Verizon

Verizon offers three fiber internet plans with speeds ranging from 200 Mbps to 1,000 Mbps. Monthly cost per plan is $39.99 for 200 Mbps, $59.99 for 400 Mbps and $79.99 for 1,000 Mbps. All but the top tier plan has added equipment fees. Verizon currently offers fiber internet in nine states, but service options vary by address within those states. Use our Verizon availability ZIP code tool to see if Verizon is available to you. 

Cox

Cox offers one fiber internet plan with speeds up to 940 Mbps, at a base price of $99.99/mo. Equipment fees may be included and a one-year contract is required. Cox fiber internet is available within 19 states but varies based upon address. Use our Cox availability ZIP code tool to see if Cox is available to you. 

Frontier

Frontier has one fiber internet plan that’ll give you speeds of up to 500 Mbps at a price of $79.99/mo., which puts them right in line cost-wise with Verizon. Frontier has coverage available in 29 states, though the speed you’ll receive is relative to your location. To check availability, use our Frontier availability ZIP code tool

Satellite internet

Instead of a wire, satellite internet uses satellite dishes to send and receive internet data between the service location and the service provider. A satellite dish at the service address communicates with an orbiting internet satellite and sends data to an on-site modem through a wired connection.

HughesNet

HughesNet offers four plans, differentiated by data caps as opposed to speeds. All plans operate on 25 Mbps of speed. Regarding cost per month and data caps, these plans are $59.99 for 10 GB, $69.99 for 20 GB, $99.99 for 30 GB and $149.99 for 50 GB. HughesNet satellite service is available throughout the entire U.S., but requires a clear view of the southern sky.

Viasat

Viasat offers 10 satellite internet plans, differing in price, speed and data caps. The price per month ranges from $30 to $150. The speeds vary from 12 Mbps to 100 Mbps. The data caps begin at 12 GB and end at 150 GB. Viasat satellite internet coverage includes the entirety of the U.S.

WiFi Without Cable

Getting WiFi without cable requires two things: an internet connection and a WiFi router. You can gain access to an internet connection in multiple ways. Along with receiving a router from your internet service provider, you could also use a mobile hotspot. Many smartphones come with the feature. 

To set it up, go to your phone’s settings, select internet and network connections (the wording varies based on the operating system) then choose the hotspot to turn it on. Next, open your WiFi connection on your computer, find the hotspot network name and enter the password to connect. 

Cheapest Internet Without Cable TV

Convinced you’re ready to cut the cord? You may as well get the best deal possible. Here are some great deals on internet service without using cable infrastructure. 

  • ViaSat – Satellite service starting at $30.00/mo.
  • Xfinity – Fiber service starting at $34.99/mo.
  • Verizon Fios – Fiber service starting at $39.99/mo.
  • Kinetic – DSL service starting at $37.00/mo.
  • Frontier – DSL service starting at $27.99/mo.

Free WiFi Hotspots

One of the savviest ways to connect to the internet without paying for cable is by leveraging public hotspots. These are different from the private hotspots that you can generate on your smartphone via your carrier (and which may eat into your monthly data allowance). Public hotspots connect via WiFi and don’t use any data. They are offered by both carriers (such as AT&T and Xfinity) and other entities. For instance, many airports offer hotspots to anyone within range, as do companies like Starbucks and McDonald’s. Some NYC parks also have free WiFi hotspots. 

To connect to a free hotspot, pull up the WiFi networks on your phone and select an unlocked network nearby. Hotspots will be labeled by name. Be mindful of what you share over public hotspots; these networks are not protected as well as a password protected network. 

To Sum It Up

As you can see, there are many different providers available to help you receive access to the internet without cable. Whether you want to connect via satellite, DSL, fiber or mobile hotspot, your options depend greatly on where you live, as rural areas won’t have access to the same choices as those living in the city. With this in mind, it’s ideal to compare the available providers in your area, so you can find the most suitable connection for you. 

We supplied the data; now, the decision is yours.