Looking for broadband without the commitment of a contract? Check out the available options here, including short-term deals and one-month broadband.
Why do you need short-term broadband?
There are a number of reasons why you might need short-term broadband. Perhaps you’re one of the UK’s 2.86 million students and you're renting for a short period – or maybe you’re working away from home or temporarily living with relatives.
Whatever your reasons for needing no-contract broadband, there are a few details to consider when checking out broadband providers and their WiFi no-contract deals. For example, short-term broadband deals usually come in the form of a 30-day rolling contract, but you’re not obliged to renew once the 30 days are up.
What are the benefits of no-contract broadband?
No-contract broadband deals can be useful if you need flexibility. Advantages include:
- No long-term commitment – the main benefit of internet with no contract is that you’re not tied into a long-term deal. This makes it a good way to test out a broadband provider before signing up for a longer contract.
- No cancellation fee – if you’re not happy with the broadband speed or any other part of the deal, you don’t have to pay a cancellation fee to end your contract. With 18 or 24-month deals, ending the contract early may mean incurring a hefty charge.
- Quick switches to cheaper deals – you can change broadband provider quickly and easily when a better rolling contract broadband deal comes along.
What are the disadvantages of no-contract broadband?
While short-term broadband can be very useful, it isn’t always the right option. Disadvantages can include:
- High set-up fees – short-term packages are unlikely to offer free set-up and you might have to pay for the WiFi router. If you switch from one short-term provider to another, you may be charged another set-up fee.
- Higher monthly cost – rolling monthly broadband contracts and short-term deals are usually more expensive than longer contracts.
- No special offers – the discounts, vouchers and freebies used to entice long-term customers aren’t usually offered with short-term contracts.
Where can I find broadband with no contract?
You can compare broadband deals here at Comparethemarket. Just pop your postcode into our postcode checker and tell us your current provider to see which no-contract internet deals are available in your area.
On the results page, you can select the type of broadband service you want, as well as the contract length, to find the one-month contract broadband deals available to you.Find deals
Frequently asked questions
What is a rolling contract?
A rolling contract offers you flexibility as it doesn’t tie you down for 12-24 months like a traditional broadband contract.
You can find rolling contracts of different lengths, but a monthly rolling contract lets you cancel your deal and switch at the end of the month. That makes it easier to switch to newer deals. The downside is that rolling contracts can be more expensive.
What’s the shortest length of time I can get broadband for?
The shortest agreement most providers offer is broadband for a month. You may see this advertised as rolling one-month contract broadband, which means you need to give 30 days’ notice to leave. Do that and you won’t be charged for cancelling.
Can I get a six-month broadband contract?
Six-month rolling contracts are much harder to find these days. Although you may still come across them, you’ll have fewer options to choose from. That means you’re unlikely to have the best choice of broadband deals.
How many UK providers offer no-contract broadband?
Many providers in the UK offer no-contract broadband deals, including Now Broadband (from Sky), Hyperoptic, Virgin Media and Cuckoo. Unfortunately, networks like TalkTalk and Plusnet don’t offer no-contract broadband.
What are the alternatives to broadband with no contract?
If no-contract broadband doesn’t work for you, you may want to consider:
- Mobile broadband – depending on where you live, you could use a dongle to get online. However, this is more suitable for basic web browsing than streaming.
- Tethering – this is where you use your smartphone as an internet hub or WiFi hotspot, essentially ‘tethering’ it to your PC. If you’re on limited data, it will burn through your allowance, so watch out for excess data-usage charges.
- Student broadband – if you’re a student at university, you can sign up for a nine-month contract, so you won’t have to pay for broadband during the summer holidays.
How fast is no contract broadband?
Your broadband speed will depend on the type of connection you have:
- Fibre broadband – often called superfast broadband, this uses fibre-optic cables that run from your home to the street cabinet. This is known as fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) and gives you speeds of around 70 Mbps. According to Ofcom, the industry regulator, more than 90% of UK households use a superfast broadband service.
- Full fibre broadband – often referred to as ultrafast broadband, this uses the same fibre-optic cables, but connects them straight to your home. This is known as fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) and can provide speeds up to around 900 Mbps.
- Gigabit broadband – companies like G.Network and Virgin Media offer gigabit broadband, the fastest speeds of all. Delivering speeds of 1,000 Mbps (1 Gbps) or more, this is a boon for busy households.
What broadband speed do I need?
The broadband speed you need depends on how you use it. If you’re a large family or shared house that spends a fair amount of time streaming and gaming, you’ll need the speeds provided by superfast fibre optic broadband. If you live alone or only use the internet for light browsing, you could probably get away with less.
Does no-contract broadband come with any extra costs?
No-contract broadband usually involves paying a one-off set-up fee. Set-up fees vary but you could pay as much as £60. You may see these fees included in your delivery charge.
If you don’t have a WiFi router or telephone line installed at the property, you’ll probably have to pay a connection charge.
Should I get a no contract deal if I’m moving house soon?
It should be fine to get a no-contract broadband deal if you’re moving home, as most broadband providers will let you move the service with you. But if you’re about to sign up to a long contract, it’s definitely worth making sure it’s portable.
Each broadband provider offers different services and what’s available to you depends on your postcode. Depending on where you’re moving, you might have to change your plan. Whether your service is portable comes down to the provider, your current deal and where you live.
Read our guide to broadband when moving home for more information.
Can I get no-contract fibre broadband?
Yes, no-contract fibre broadband deals are available. However, you won’t find as much choice as most providers only offer longer-term fibre packages.
Is it possible to get pay-as-you-go broadband?
Pay-as-you-go (PAYG) home broadband isn’t available. But you can get PAYG mobile broadband without having to sign a contract or pay a monthly fee. Simply top up your account as and when you need data. This gives you flexibility if you only occasionally use the internet, but it could be more expensive than short-term broadband.
Do I have to pay line rental?
It’s possible to get no-contract broadband without line rental, but options are limited because most broadband is supplied through a landline. So, in most cases you’ll still have to pay for line rental, which will be included in your bill.
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What our expert says...
“If you know you only need broadband for a few months, short-term broadband could be better value than getting tied into a long contract. But always check the set-up fees, as well as monthly line rental and average speed.”
- Sajni Shah, Utilities expert