Can I get broadband with no contract?
No contract broadband means a broadband deal with a monthly contract term.
While this is still a contract, these rolling monthly broadband 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.
You can also find short term broadband contracts that are longer than a month but shorter than the regular 12, 18, or 24-month period of most popular broadband deals.
What contract lengths are available?
The shortest and simplest type of short broadband contract. Rolling monthly (also known as no contract) broadband deals see you sign up for 30 days at a time.
Three months and six months
Some short term Wi-Fi deals are available on three-month or six-month agreements. These can be slightly cheaper than rolling contract broadband. However, these kinds of deals are rare now.
Student broadband deals can be found on a nine-month contract to fit with term times.
These may not be available all year round, so keep an eye out during the summer months and early autumn if you're interested. They used to be fairly common, but are increasingly harder to find these days.
Virgin Media is a good option for students, as it can provide very fast broadband without a phone, and also broadband and TV bundles.
Most standard broadband contracts come in at 18 or 24-months. You can also get 12-month contracts, although these are slightly less common.
Which providers offer monthly broadband and short term deals?
At present, there are several ISPs offering short term broadband packages on Broadband Genie.
Cuckoo is a fibre optic broadband provider that offers fast fibre optic services on a rolling monthly contract.
Direct Save Telecom (DST) monthly broadband contracts have a low setup fee and come with a free Wi-Fi router. DST also offers no credit check broadband.
NOW Broadband can offer rolling monthly packages with speeds from 11Mb up to 63Mb and monthly prices that start from less than £20.
Virgin Media rolling monthly contracts are the fastest no contract broadband deals, and they offer broadband without a home phone line.
Hyperoptic has also recently just launched a 'no contract' option. Hyperoptic is a full-fibre provider, offering great broadband speeds at a very affordable price. Unfortunately, their network is limited to a selection of major UK cities.
These packages are available all year round, but occasionally there may also be short term student broadband deals from Virgin Media and Sky Broadband.
What are the benefits of short-term broadband
There are a number of reasons you might want to go for this type of deal.
- Flexibility: The number one reason to consider it is the flexibility offered by a short contract: cancel at short notice without fees.
- Price saving: This flexibility can also offer a cost saving if the alternative would be to take out a long term deal and then have to cancel (with a hefty cancellation fee).
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. This can make your setup fee considerably larger with a short-term deal.
Higher monthly cost: The monthly cost of rolling monthly contracts and short term deals will often be more expensive than equivalent packages on a longer agreement.
Fewer special offers: Free gifts are one thing you could miss out on with a short-term deal. 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.
Is a no contract or short term broadband deal right for me?
While anybody can sign up for a short term broadband deal, we generally recommend it only if your situation makes a long-term contract unappealing.
Students: Signing up for a long contract may not be 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 you're unsure about committing to a regular contract, a short term deal can be a money saver.
Seasonal holiday lets: It might make sense to use a no-contract deal if you have an Airbnb or holiday let which is only used for a short time each year. Then rather than paying for broadband which goes unused most of the year, you can cancel at the end of each season.
Should I get a rolling contract if I’m staying somewhere long term?
Rolling monthly broadband, 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 tend to have lower monthly fees and setup costs.
What should I look out for when comparing short term broadband packages?
Setup costs: With longer contracts, the broadband 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.
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. This is especially important with the higher setup fees included in short-term deals.
Contract length: Various types of short term deals 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 generally recommend an unlimited deal as the best option for most people, as you will avoid any chance of encountering service restrictions or extra charges.
What are the alternatives to no contract broadband?
Generally, the best alternatives to no contract home broadband are broadband services that use mobile networks.
These are arguably your best option if you need one-month broadband as they are much cheaper and easier to set up than a regular home broadband service.
Mobile broadband — either via a dongle or simply tethering to a mobile phone — may be worth considering as an alternative.
Mobile broadband is available as a short-term deal or pay as you go broadband. Also, a mobile broadband package is easily portable, and 4G or 5G can be faster than some home connections. It can be set up very quickly as well, making it useful if you find yourself needing broadband at short notice.
But running costs can be very expensive if you use lots of data, and a strong signal is essential.
There are now some unlimited mobile broadband deals which mean you never need to worry about data caps or extra fees, although be warned that the monthly fees are relatively high.
4G or 5G home broadband
These deals are intended for home use, so they don't include ultra-portable dongles but do give you a much higher data usage limit, and more powerful home networking equipment.
They are also quick to set up, as you can start using them as soon as you have the hardware and don't need to wait for an engineer.
Again, this option does normally come with the option of rolling monthly contracts as well as longer-term deals.
Frequently Asked Questions about no contract broadband
What should I do if I only need one month of broadband?
If you require broadband access for a short period of time the best option is a PAYG or monthly contract mobile broadband service. It is quick to set up, the up-front cost is low, and there’s no financial penalty when you stop using it.
You could sign up for a fixed-line home broadband service for just one month but this would be unnecessarily complex and expensive. It takes around 14 working days to install broadband and about the same time to cancel it, and you will almost always have to pay a setup fee for monthly broadband deals.
Who is the best no-contract broadband provider?
Many of the providers have their merits: Virgin is very fast; Hyperoptic (if you can get it), NOW and DST all offer great value too. However, for a combination of value, service, flexibility and sheer simplicity Cuckoo gets our vote.
If you want to know what the best no-contract deals are at the moment simply look at the top deals in the table on this very page!
Who is the cheapest no-contract broadband provider?
We would say NOW provide the cheapest monthly prices, although their setup fees on short-term deals are very high. As such, it is a close-run thing between them and DST.
Who is the fastest broadband provider?
With speeds of up to 1Gb (1,000Mb+), Virgin Media and Hyperoptic are the fastest providers.
Can I get no-contract in my area?
NOW, DST and Plusnet use the Openreach network, so should have great availability. Virgin and Hyperoptic have smaller networks, but Virgin at least are available in more than half of households in the UK. You can find out what deals are available in your area by using the postcode checker below.
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How much notice will I need to give my provider when I’m ready to cancel?
The notice period for cancelling a standard home broadband service is usually around 14 days. However, most monthly contracts will require 30 days' notice. Others (NOW for example) will allow you to cancel at any point before your next month.
Each provider has its own policy so you should always confirm ahead of time. It is important to cancel any broadband service correctly or it can land you with extra charges, and block the line for the next occupant (or you, if switching providers).
Will my provider charge any fees when cancelling?
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.
Can I get fibre broadband with no contract?
Can I also get TV on a short term contract?
At this time the only provider offering a broadband and TV bundle on a short term agreement is Virgin Media, and only 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 a subscription to Netflix, NOW TV, or Amazon Video and you’ve got a very flexible broadband and TV package.
Can I get no contract broadband without a landline?
You can! Virgin Media and Hyperoptic both use their own networks, so do not rely upon an active BT landline. However, you may have to get a line installed for either of these options, if you do not have one already.
Will my broadband provider give me a free Wi-Fi router?
You may have to pay for the router with a short term deal - this can be the reason for high set-up costs.
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.
How long does broadband take to install?
Installation and activation usually take about 14 days, but can be longer if an engineer is required. Read our guide to broadband activation for more.
Will I need an engineer?
No contract deals are no different to others: 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, you simply need to plug in the router on the day it’s activated.
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, you simply need to plug in the router on the day it’s activated.