Is Internet Without a Contract Even Possible?

DecisionData Team's avatar

DecisionData Team

May 20, 2020

Saying goodbye to internet contracts may have you wondering if your bill will skyrocket after a few months or a year. You may also be wondering if it’s even possible to have internet service without a contract unless you subscribe to a package deal of phone, internet and cable. When you sign up for service with most internet providers, you sign a contract. With that, early cancellation can come at a high price. 

If you move to an area not serviced by your current internet provider, being locked into a one- or two-year contract can make switching costly. That’s because while you’re signing a contract with a new provider, you’re also paying early termination fees on your current contract. 

However, to remain competitive, a few internet providers have surfaced offering plans without the hassle of an annual contract. 

Where to Get Internet Service Without a Contract

ProviderPlanType of InternetSpeedData CapStarting Price
SpectrumSpectrum internet-basicCableUp to 100 MbpsUnlimited$44.99/mo.
MediacomInternet 60DSL60 Mbps400 Gigs$39.99/mo.
CenturyLinkBasic planDSL/FiberUp to 80 MbpsUnlimited$45.00/mo.
CoxStraight-up internetCable25 MbpsUnlimited$50.00/mo.
RCN GIG internetCableUp to 940 MbpsUnlimited$34.99–$68.33/mo
OptimumOptimum 200CableUp to 200 MbpsUnlimited$44.99/mo.
SuddenlinkInternet GigCableUp to 1,000 MbpsUnlimited$34.99/mo.

Prices as of 04/28/2020 do not include any extra fees or taxes. 

A Look at No-Contract Plans

Spectrum Internet

Spectrum is one of the best-known internet providers that now offers no-contract plans with no early termination fees or data caps. As the second-largest internet provider, it provides service to customers in 42 states. It has several plans to choose from with speeds ranging from 60 Mbps to 940 Mbps. Spectrum offers new customers a $500 contract buyout to help with any early terminations fees you may be facing, and at $44.99/mo. for its basic plan, it is one of the lowest-priced no-contract plans available. 

 

Mediacom Internet

Mediacom hits all the marks for great internet at a great monthly price. It has five plans to choose from with even better pricing when you bundle your internet with cable TV. Mediacom Internet service is available in 22 states with speeds ranging from 60 Mbps to up to 1 Gbps. But the highest speeds aren’t available in all areas. Mediacom is one of the only companies with internet data caps, and beyond that, customers do complain about poor customer service.

 

CenturyLink Internet

CenturyLink high-speed internet gets high customer reviews for installation and set-up. Because it’s a DSL-based service, you may not get the highest speeds, but the $45/mo. price is competitive, and its Price for Life guarantee and no data caps make it a respectable option. CenturyLink is available in most states, with the exception of California and much of the northeast. 

 

Cox Internet

Cox offers a three-year guaranteed price on their no-contract internet plans. You’ll get free installation and a free modem when you sign up. Unlike some other provider plans, there are no credit checks, no hidden fees and no deposit required. Because it is internet without contract, there are no termination fees, which gets rave reviews from its customers. Cox is currently available in only 19 states and 607 service areas around the U.S.

 

RCN Internet

RCN offers its customers a 30-day, money-back guarantee on its services. What’s more, when you’re ready to hook up your internet, you get a $20 credit off your next monthly bill if the RCN installer shows up outside the scheduled two-hour window. RCN also offers $35 off bundles of TV, phone and internet. 

There are no data caps and RCN has four plans to choose from starting at just $34.99/mo. However, RCN is only available in seven states, with the greatest coverage in Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania.

 

Optimum Internet

Optimum offers great internet speeds at a great price, but only if you live in New York, New Jersey or Connecticut. You’ll also get $100 off your bill when you sign-up with Optimum and leave your current internet provider. If you bundle internet and TV, you’ll get up to an extra $500. 

The competitive price starting at $44.99/mo. is locked in as long as you stay with the Optimum 200 plan, plus there are no data caps. Optimum offers four plans with pricing up to $79.99/mo., but if you do a lot of gaming or streaming, opting for a better plan may be worth it. Its one downfall is customer satisfaction, with only a one-star rating based on 455 reviews submitted in the last year with Consumer Affairs. 

 

Suddenlink Internet

Suddenlink offers high-speed internet with no annual contract. Its price of $34.99 is on the lower side of similar providers, and the $100 Amazon gift card promotion is a welcome surprise when you sign-up. Suddenlink is a subsidiary of Altice and has service in 19 states, with the largest coverage area in Texas. It has a wide range of plans and earns points for reliability. However, billing issues and installation mishaps seem to lead the list of customer complaints. 

 

High-speed Internet Without Contracts

  • VerizonNo-contract speed up to 940 Mbps
  • Cox No-contract speed up to 940 Mbps
  • AT&T No-contract speed up to 1,000 Mbps
  • Xfinity No-contract speed up to 2,000 Mbps
  • Spectrum – No-contract speed up to 940 Mbps
  • Frontier Communications – No-contract speed up to 940 Mbps

FAQs

  1. How much does no-contract internet cost?

It depends on the provider and the plan you choose. When you sign up with an internet without contract plan, you aren’t locked into an annual agreement, so if you decide to change providers or move out of a coverage area, you’re not shackled with an early termination fee. Most no-contract internet plans also do away with promotional pricing, so you aren’t surprised with an increase in your bill when the promotional period ends. But, almost always, you are charged extra fees and taxes. 

  1. Is internet without contracts unlimited? 

To gain a competitive edge, most providers of internet without contracts now offer no data caps on their service. That means if you stream movies or TV shows and game for all hours of the day and night, you won’t have to worry about extra fees tacked onto your monthly bill. 

  1. How good is no-contract internet? 

Again, that depends on the provider in your area, but generally, no-contract internet is just as good as internet with contracts. Many providers of high-speed internet have no-contract internet plans, but you may end up paying a bit more for the extra convenience of connecting multiple devices to the internet at once, faster upload and download speeds and bundling options. 

The Bottom Line

While not all internet providers offer no-contract internet plans, those that do have captured the market and won over fans. No longer are customers saddled with annual contracts and early termination fees when moving or choosing a plan from another provider. If you’re not sure if providers in your area offer no-contract internet plans, use the ISP.com zip code tool to find out.