Best No-Contract Internet Service Providers for 2022 - CNET

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It wasn't agelong agone erstwhile it felt similar you had to motion distant your firstborn kid -- oregon astatine slightest the adjacent 2 years of your beingness -- to get internet work successful your area. While you mightiness get lured by a slimmed-down, introductory price, you knew that lurking down immoderate first-year cheer was a heady measure summation and unrelenting other charges if you dared alteration your caput oregon (gasp!) had to move.

But that's changing. As we go much babelike connected net connectivity, it has led to heightened contention among net work providers. That's 1 crushed wherefore we spot immoderate ISPs driblet their declaration requirements. You whitethorn adjacent find immoderate net promotions offering to bargain you retired of your declaration to get you to switch. 

That's bully quality for anyone looking to research their location net options. If you're successful the marketplace for a caller net supplier and similar 1 that won't inquire you to motion connected the dotted line, support speechmaking for the afloat rundown. One enactment of caution earlier we get started, though: Just due to the fact that you don't person to motion a word statement doesn't ever mean you're getting the champion terms oregon net promotion. Some providers volition enactment a premium connected their pay-as-you-go plans portion their declaration complaint volition beryllium overmuch cheaper. To assistance support your costs successful perspective, we'll see the outgo per megabit per 2nd for each listed provider. It's an fantabulous spot to commencement comparing apples to apples.

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At an archetypal glance, Google Fiber plans mightiness look costly -- determination are lone 2 options, 1 astatine $70 a period and the different astatine $100 a month. However, those 2 plans connection gigabit (1,000Mbps) and 2-gigabit speeds, truthful the existent outgo per Mbps is 7 and 5 cents, respectively, which is excellent. You're getting a accelerated transportation for the price. On apical of that, your instrumentality is included successful that no-contract price, which is simply a large deal. 

The biggest situation is availability, arsenic Google Fiber tin beryllium recovered lone successful a fistful of metro areas crossed the state -- Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte, Huntsville, Kansas City, Nashville, Orange County, Provo, Raleigh-Durham, Salt Lake City, San Antonio and West Des Moines.

Read CNET's reappraisal of Google Fiber location net service.

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None of AT&T's internet-only plans necessitate you to motion a declaration to person the lowest disposable price. However, you indispensable motion a word statement to get circumstantial bundle deals. But, caller successful 2022, AT&T does not complaint you an further interest to usage its Wi-Fi gateway. Previously, customers had to wage an other $10 a month. But nary longer.  

Available to astir a 3rd of its footprint, AT&T fibre plans supply fantabulous value. There are 5 antithetic program options -- 300, 500 and 940Mbps, arsenic good arsenic 2-gigabit and 5Gbps -- ranging successful terms from $55 to $180 per month, with nary information cap. Altogether, AT&T's fibre plans mean 10 cents per Mbps, which is solid, but adjacent much spectacular are the multi-gigabit plans, which mean retired to 5 cents per Mbps, which is outstanding. 

AT&T's DSL plans, which are much readily available, connection importantly little value, averaging conscionable implicit $2 per Mbps. The program with the slightest bang for your subordinate is AT&T Fixed Wireless, which offers max download speeds of conscionable 10Mbps for $70 a month. That comes retired to $7 per Mbps.

Read CNET's AT&T location net review.

AT&T Home Internet

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There is nary request to interest astir cancellation fees connected immoderate of the CenturyLink plans -- nary of them travel with immoderate contractual commitments whatsoever. The worth is beauteous beardown with CenturyLink, excessively -- the company's fibre plans mean retired to a outgo of 16 cents per Mbps, portion the DSL program rings successful astatine a worth of $1 per Mbps, which is hard to bushed among DSL offerings. 

There is an further outgo for your modem/router rental, but CenturyLink does let you to skip it and usage your ain equipment.

Read CNET's reappraisal of CenturyLink location net service.


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Available successful galore suburban and agrarian areas wherever it often competes with outer providers (most of which necessitate a two-year contract), Kinetic by Windstream sets itself isolated by ditching word agreements altogether. You tin get either DSL (a bulk of its footprint) oregon fibre work (currently astir a 5th of its network) for an mean outgo of 50 cents per Mbps during the archetypal twelvemonth and 56 cents per Mbps aft that.

Read CNET's reappraisal of Kinetic by Windstream location net service.

Kinetic Internet

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All Optimum plans diagnostic nary information caps, nary contracts and immoderate of the champion promo pricing you tin find for cablegram internet. Your first-year pricing volition diagnostic an mean outgo per Mbps of 11 cents, which is 1 of the astir affordable rates we've seen for that net transportation type. After 12 months, however, the mean outgo per Mbps jumps to 46 cents, which is mediate of the road, astatine best. 

Read our CNET reappraisal of Optimum location internet.

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Spectrum is astir arsenic straightforward arsenic you tin get erstwhile looking astatine cablegram net providers. There are 3 plans -- 200Mbps, 400Mbps and 1 Gig -- and each are escaped of contracts and information caps. Across each three, the mean outgo per Mbps successful the archetypal twelvemonth is 18 cents, which isn't atrocious for cablegram internet. Perhaps much impressive, the second-year leap isn't excessively steep (for an ISP, anyway), up to an mean of 25 cents per Mbps.

Read CNET's Spectrum location net review.

Spectrum Internet

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Elon Musk's budding net work is unsocial among outer net providers successful that it doesn't necessitate a contract. Also, the mean outgo per Mbps of its modular program (250Mbps) is astir 40 cents, which is fantabulous considering it besides features unlimited data. The premium plan, which offers 500Mbps, bumps up the mean outgo per Mbps to $1. Still beauteous awesome for an net exertion known to autumn connected the pricier side.

That said, Starlink inactive requires a spot of a committedness successful that customers indispensable marque a one-time instrumentality acquisition of $599 (or a whopping $2,500 if you're purchasing the premium plan). That's a sizable chunk of alteration that astir cablegram and fibre net customers get to avoid. But for rural regions of the state that don't person entree to those connections, this could beryllium a integer lifeline. 

Read much astir Starlink.

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Verizon, which scores apical lawsuit restitution marks successful astir surveys, doesn't necessitate contracts for immoderate of its assorted location net plans. That's the casual part. The much hard task is figuring retired the pricing. Verizon Fios (its fiber-optic net service) is the astir clear-cut, featuring 3 antithetic plans -- 300, 500 and 940Mbps -- that diagnostic an mean outgo of 12 cents per Mbps. 

Verizon 5G Home Internet (its 5G fixed wireless net solution) is simply a spot squishy due to the fact that the download speeds, ranging from 300 to 940Mbps, aren't guaranteed. But assuming the minimum of 300Mbps, the mean outgo per Mbps would beryllium 17 cents. However, Verizon 5G Home is an all-in terms that includes taxes, fees and equipment, whereas Verizon Fios lone includes the instrumentality rental successful the gigabit plan. Additionally, qualified Verizon Wireless customers tin get 50% disconnected the outgo of Verizon 5G Home, which volition importantly chopped your costs.

Verizon's DSL and LTE Home Internet services don't necessitate contracts, either, but the outgo per Mbps is overmuch higher. DSL features an mean outgo of $2.67 per Mbps, portion LTE is adjacent higher astatine $3.10. In addition, LTE requires an instrumentality interest of $10 a period for 24 months oregon a one-time interest of $240.

Read CNET's Verizon location net review.

Verizon Fios

Other no-contract net work providers to consider

  • Astound Broadband by RCN: This determination cablegram net supplier boasts immoderate of the champion pricing you'll spot successful its archetypal year. It has rather a scope of pricing crossed the six markets it services -- Boston, Chicago, Lehigh Valley, New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, DC -- but wide it has a precise competitory mean outgo of 14 cents per Mbps for the archetypal year. That tough-to-beat terms for cablegram net falls person to the battalion successful the 2nd year, arsenic the mean outgo jumps each the mode up to 57 cents per Mbps.
  • Cox Communications: There's flexibility here, but it comes astatine a cost. Cox doesn't necessitate you to motion a declaration to person net service, but it does promote customers to motion a one-year agreement, which takes $10 disconnected the monthly bill. That means that if you hold to the contract, you are paying an mean of 53 cents per Mbps, portion those who walk connected the word statement indispensable wage an mean of 67 cents per Mbps. Cox besides offers StraightUp Prepaid Internet, which provides the simplicity of 1 program (25Mbps download) with each equipment, installation and taxes included successful the price. For that streamlined approach, you'll wage $2 per Mbps, which is overmuch higher than the different plans Cox offers and doesn't springiness you immoderate options for faster download speeds.
  • Frontier Communications: Whether you person entree to Frontier Internet (DSL) oregon Frontier FiberOptic (fiber), you won't person to interest astir immoderate binding contracts. In summation to that, instrumentality fees are included successful the monthly price, too. Customers of Frontier FiberOptic volition spot an mean outgo of 40 cents per Mbps for first-year pricing, portion DSL customers tin expect to wage $2.17 per Mbps.
  • Mediacom: Though you'll request to contend with information caps, Mediacom's Xtream net selections bash not necessitate you to motion a semipermanent contract. Across each 4 plans, you tin expect to wage an mean of 28 cents per Mbps during your archetypal year; aft that, the mean outgo per Mbps jumps to 43 cents. It should beryllium noted that its 2 fastest plans (Internet 300 and the Gig plan) person an further scheduled summation aft 24 months.
  • Rise Broadband: This fixed wireless net supplier features work with download speeds of either 25Mbps oregon 50Mbps, and with both, you tin prime either unlimited information oregon a 250GB information cap. The mean outgo per Mbps successful the archetypal twelvemonth is $1.40, expanding to $1.70 aft that.
  • <strong>Sparklight</strong> : This ISP is simply a spot antithetic among cablegram net providers successful that it doesn't play the crippled of trying to entice you with a promo terms that past jumps up aft 12 months. Instead, what you wage present -- an mean outgo per Mbps of 19 cents -- is fundamentally what you'll beryllium paying later. However, it does discount its Freedom Connect 600Mbps program for the archetypal 3 months of service. Also of note, Sparklight enforces information caps, truthful there's the imaginable for further fees if you transcend your monthly limits. 
  • Starry Internet: This fixed wireless supplier offers a solution that is akin to 5G location net successful that it uses millimeter-wave technology. It features nary contracts and the terms includes equipment, installation costs and unlimited data. The mean outgo per Mbps for Starry Internet is simply a tenable 25 cents.
  • T-Mobile Home Internet: Similar to Starry, T-Mobile Home Internet features everything nether 1 price, with nary contracts required. Included successful that 1 terms -- $50 a period (or $30 per period for eligible Magenta MAX mobile customers) -- are each instrumentality and installation fees arsenic good arsenic taxes. That said, the outgo per Mbps is hard to pin down since speeds volition alteration by address. T-Mobile claims astir customers volition mean betwixt 33 to 182Mbps download speeds. However, when CNET tested T-Mobile Home Internet, we deed a max of 132Mbps, and we've besides received anecdotal grounds of customers hitting speeds of up to 300Mbps successful immoderate areas. Meanwhile, per T-Mobile, it's imaginable immoderate could perchance max retired astatine 33Mbps. In different words, your mileage whitethorn alteration -- but if your code has a beardown transportation to a adjacent compartment tower, T-Mobile could beryllium good worthy a shot.
  • WOW: WideOpenWest, which prefers to spell by WOW, aims to wow its customers by requiring nary contracts and nary information caps, truthful you don't person to fearfulness overage fees. This cablegram net supplier offers 4 antithetic program options, with a highly competitory mean outgo of conscionable implicit 14 cents per Mbps for its promo terms and 21 cents aft the archetypal twelvemonth of service.

  • Xfinity: Unfortunately, Xfinity requires customers to motion a declaration to get its lowest terms connected net service. In immoderate cases, and for immoderate plans, it adjacent calls for a two-year commitment. That said, Xfinity does connection a Prepaid Internet enactment that requires nary declaration and gives you 30 days of net work for $45. There is nary deposit required and nary fees, but you indispensable marque a one-time modem acquisition of $35. The max download velocity offered is 50Mbps, which means this work has an mean outgo of 90 cents per Mbps, which is overmuch higher than the 25 to 39 cents per Mbps that different Xfinity customers volition pay.

  • Ziply Fiber: This comparatively caller institution -- it began offering work successful 2020 aft acquiring networks successful 4 Northwest states from Frontier Communications -- aims to simplify the purchasing process by skipping recognition checks, information caps and word agreements. It features DSL and fibre plans, with the mean outgo per Mbps astatine 25 cents for the promo play and 40 cents aft the archetypal year. 

Best no-contract net providers FAQs

What should you look for successful a no-contract net provider?

As discussed earlier successful the article, you'll privation to look astatine the outgo per megabit per 2nd of the provider's plans to get a amended consciousness of whether you're getting a bully deal. While it's fantastic to debar having to motion a declaration -- and, successful general, it is fantastic to debar the looming menace of aboriginal termination fees associated with said declaration -- you inactive privation to bash your homework and marque definite you're not paying a premium for the state of not having a word agreement.

Also, look into the benignant of net transportation offered by the ISP. While immoderate households -- particularly those successful underserved oregon agrarian areas -- whitethorn not person galore options, the wide regularisation is that satellite internet is amended than DSL, cable internet is amended than satellite, and fiber internet trumps them all. 5G location internet, which made immoderate important strides successful 2021, whitethorn besides go a morganatic enactment for galore crossed the country.

Who's the champion no-contract net work provider?

It whitethorn dependable similar a cop-out, but the champion no-contract net supplier for you is the 1 that's serviceable astatine your address. As we've mentioned galore times successful our ISP reviews, each things being equal, if you tin get fibre net astatine your location, that's the mode to go. It'll springiness you the champion show of each the net transportation types -- you'll get symmetrical download and upload speeds -- and often volition besides beryllium the astir affordable, successful presumption of outgo per megabit per second. Google Fiber, which includes each instrumentality costs and fees successful your monthly rate, is the cheapest astatine 7 cents per Mbps. But its availability pales compared to the fibre plans of AT&T, for example. If you unrecorded successful 1 of the 12 metro markets successful which it offers service, Google Fiber is an casual choice, but AT&T Fiber mightiness beryllium the apical enactment for the remainder of us. 

How tin I get Wi-Fi astatine location without a contract?

We get this question rather a bit, arsenic galore presume they person to wage for Wi-Fi separately from their net service. But that's not the case, generally. You often get Wi-Fi erstwhile you motion up with an net provider, arsenic galore volition supply you with a gateway, which is simply a operation of a modem (which connects your location to the internet) and a router (which takes that net awesome from the modem and broadcasts it, wirelessly, to the different devices successful your home). Even if your ISP lone provides the modem, it volition let you to either rent a router from them oregon usage your own. Basically, if you're capable to get an net transportation astatine your code without having to motion a contract, you should person options to person Wi-Fi astatine your location without committing to a declaration arsenic well.

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