No Contract Broadband Buyers Guide
The majority of broadband deals in the UK come with long minimum term contracts where you are tied in from 12 to 24 months depending on the deal. These long term contract deals are great for many people, but on the flipside there are many people who don't have the required stability to sign up for such a long period of time. You may be a student, or a worker on a short term contract and staying in temporary rental accommodation. You may also be happily settled in a house but only have a short tenancy agreement and don't want to risk being left paying for a broadband connection that you can't use if your landlord asks you to leave. If you fall into any of the categories that mean that no contract broadband or short contract broadband is what you need then this guide is for you.
What's the difference between short contract and no contract?
In all honesty there is no such thing as "no contract" broadband what really exists are short term rolling contracts that usually have a minimum period of 1 month.
This means that at the start of every month the contract is renewed for another month.
So although technically it's a short contract, as the tie is only for 1 month at a time then most people consider this to be the same as no contract.
For the rest of this guide we'll just use the term "no contract broadband" to cover any broadband deal with a low minimum term.
What are the benefits of no contract broadband?
The biggest benefit of no contract broadband is flexibility. You can signup knowing that you aren't locked into the supplier for the next year or two.
This is great for anyone who know that they won't be in a property for a long time, or for those who are worried about their financial circumstances and don't want to saddle themselves with a long deal that they may worry about paying for later on.
It's also a good option if you are worried about the level of service that you might get from a provider, if they turn out not to be any good then you can cancel the contract easily and move to a different supplier.
Flexibility, that's the key point to no contract broadband.
What are the downsides or no contract broadband?
The main downsides of no contract broadband are financial rather than technical.
You usually have to pay fees for items like routers and connection upfront which in a long contract deal you wouldn't as these fees would be spread evenly over a number of months. This means that if you go with no contract broadband but stay with the supplier for over 12 months you have probably paid more than if you had just signed up for 12 months in the first place. But it's understandable that the broadband provider needs to make sure their setup costs are covered in month one in case you cancel after just 4 weeks.
Are there really no pay as you go home broadband providers?
It really is true that there are no pay as you go home broadband providers.
If you really do require pay as you go access to the internet then your best bet is to look at pay as you go mobile broadband deals which do offer the flexibility or only paying for the access you use.
What do I need in order to get no contract broadband?
All you need to get no contract broadband is a working telephone line into your house.
If you don't have a working telephone line then you'll either need to get one installed by BT before you can sign up for broadband, or look for a provider that can organise for a telephone line to be installed for you. The reason that you will need a working telephone line is because all broadband that is available with no contract currently use ADSL technology to deliver the connection, and a pre-requisite of this is a telephone line.
If you don't want to pay for a phone line as well then we'd suggest that maybe a mobile broadband deal might be more up your street.
What no contract deals are available?
The comparison table below lists all the broadband deals that are available nationally.
You can sort them by any factor that is important to you by simply clicking on the column headings.