Does broadband with no contract exist?
The term “no contract” broadband refers to broadband deals on 30 day agreements. While this is still a contract, these rolling monthly deals afford a great deal of flexibility as they can be cancelled at any time and you do not need to pay for more than the remaining month.
In addition, you will also find short term broadband contracts which run for less than the regular 12, 18 or 24 month period of most deals.
Is a no contract or short term broadband deal right for me?
While anybody can sign up for a short term broadband deal, they are particularly useful for those in certain living situations.
Students: Signing up for a long contract is often not convenient for students. A short term deal may be perfect if you’d rather not be tied into a long agreement, that way you’ll avoid hefty fees for cancelling at short notice.
Temporary accommodation: Perhaps you're staying somewhere for just a few months due to work or a house move. No contract deals let you get a fast broadband service with lots of flexibility to suit your living arrangements.
Long term uncertainty: There could be many reasons why you might need to cancel a broadband contract early, and with a 12, 18 or 24 month term the fees could be expensive. If your situation is uncertain over the full length of a regular contract, a short term deal can be a money saver.
Should I get a rolling contract if I’m staying somewhere long term?
Rolling monthly and other short term contract deals are usually not the best option for anyone with a stable long term home. If paying a cancellation fee is not a concern then longer contracts offer better value for money as they often have lower monthly fees and setup costs.
What should I pay attention to when comparing short term broadband packages?
Setup costs: With longer contracts the setup fees are often free, or at least discounted. But short term deals will usually have higher upfront costs. As well as setup and installation it may also be necessary to pay for the Wi-Fi router which is usually bundled in for free.
Contract length: Various types of short term deal are available. Cancellation fees can still apply even to the shortest options, so choose carefully to ensure they suit your needs.
Data usage limit: Some short term deals have a monthly data cap. This can be acceptable for relatively light usage (such as web browsing and social media) but we would recommend an unlimited deal to avoid restrictions or extra charges.
Effective monthly cost: Click the “offer details and pricing” option in our comparison tables to see a breakdown of the monthly cost including setup fees.
What contract lengths are available?
Monthly: The shortest and simplest type of short broadband contract. Rolling monthly (aka no contract) broadband deals see you sign up for 30 days at a time.
Three months and six months: Many short term broadband deals are available on six month agreements. These can be slightly cheaper than rolling monthly. Some providers have also offered three month contracts in the past, but these are rare now.
Nine months: Student broadband deals can be found on a nine month agreement to fit with term times. These may not be available all year round.
How much notice will I need to give my provider when I’m ready to cancel?
The notice period for cancelling a home broadband service is usually 14 days, though each provider has its own policy so you should always confirm ahead of time. It is important to cancel any broadband service correctly as otherwise it can land you with extra charges, and block the line for the next occupant (or you, if switching providers).
Will my provider charge me any fees when leaving them?
There will always be a final bill to pay but the amount will depend on your contract term and the remaining time on the contract. Also be aware that some providers have extra fees for cancelling in addition to the contract term - read the small print or ask the ISP before signing up.
Are there any disadvantages to a short contract over a longer contract?
As useful as a short team deal can be, there are several disadvantages that can mean they’re not always the best choice.
More expensive setup fees: Setup is not often free on short term packages, and you may have to pay for the Wi-Fi router.
Higher monthly cost: The monthly cost of rolling monthly and short term deals will often be more expensive than equivalent packages on a longer agreement.
Fewer special offers: Take a look at our comparison tables and you’ll find loads of deals with discounts, shopping vouchers and free gadgets. However most of these are not short term contracts.
Can I buy internet for just one month?
If you require broadband access for a very short period of time the best option is a PAYG or monthly contract mobile broadband service. It is quick to setup, the upfront cost is low and there’s no financial penalty when you stop using it.
While you could sign up to a fixed line home broadband service for just one month, this would be unnecessarily complex and expensive.
Which providers offer no contract and short term deals?
At present there are two ISPs offering short term broadband packages on Broadband Genie.
NOW TV sells one month home broadband contracts for both ADSL and fibre. It’s the only broadband and TV provider to offer no contract packages.
DST monthly contracts have a low setup fee and come with a free Wi-Fi router.
Can I get fibre broadband with no contract?
Yes, no contract and short term fibre optic broadband deals are available, though there are fewer options as most providers are only offering these services on longer contracts.
Do I need unlimited broadband?
We would always recommend unlimited broadband. Deals with data limits can sometimes be cheaper, but the difference is often small and unlimited packages allow you to use the internet without ever worrying about service restrictions or additional costs. For more information read our guide to unlimited broadband.
Can I also get TV on a short term contract?
At this time the only providers offering a broadband and TV bundle on a short term agreement are NOW TV, and sometimes Virgin Media with its nine month student deals.
But with streaming TV that may not be a problem. Combine a short term contract with a smart TV or set-top box and subscription to Netflix, NOW TV or Amazon Video and you’ve got a very a flexible broadband and TV package.
How long does broadband take to install?
It usually takes about 14 days to setup a new broadband service. It can be longer if an engineer is required.
Will I need an engineer?
It will depend on whether the infrastructure is already in place. If you do not yet have an active line or the required equipment an engineer will have to attend. Otherwise the work is carried out remotely and you simply need to plug in the router on the day it’s activated.
Will my broadband provider send me a Wi-Fi router?
All broadband providers can supply a Wi-Fi router. For 12-24 month contracts this is almost always free, but with short term deals there might be a charge for the router.
Can I use my existing router?
It may be possible to use your existing Wi-Fi router, provided it supports the necessary standards and is not locked to a particular ISP. However, some ISPs do not allow the use of any router other than their own branded hardware so confirm this before signing up. You should also be aware that the ISP may not offer technical support for the router if you do not use their hardware.
Is mobile broadband a viable alternative?
Mobile broadband may be worth considering as an alternative to short term broadband deals. They are portable, cheap to setup and 4G can be faster than many home connections. But running costs can be very expensive if you get through lots of data, and a strong signal is essential.
To find out if a mobile broadband is the right choice for you, read our guide to using mobile broadband at home.