No Contract and Short Contract Broadband

Our comparison table below shows you the most up to date list of the best broadband deals available.

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.

Will I have to pay a cancellation fee?

With most home broadband deals that put you on a long contract there will usually be no fee if you leave after the end of your minimum term.

Sadly the same cannot be said for most no contract deals which will usually incur a small fee when you cancel, this will usually be around the £20-£30 mark. You should check the small print before signing up to see if such a cancellation fee applies. Unfortunately it doesn't appear to be something that you can get out of paying and remember that it will probably still work out cheaper than if you had to stay locked into a long contract as those deals have the cost of disconnection factored in over the whole period of the deal.

Will my provider supply a router?

It depends on the deal you choose, some will quite happily let you supply your own router, while others will insist that you do!

Other deals will provide you with equipment regardless of your wish. Do expect to pay for any equipment provided as a separate charge on your first bill.

Will I get technical support?

All no contract deals that we are aware of come with some kind of technical support, but you need to check on what terms they are.

Some providers are very generous and offer freephone numbers for their support lines, other may charge local, national or even premium rates for telephone support. Always check the small print so you know if there will be any additional costs if you do need help.

Is no contract broadband as good as normal broadband?

In pure technical terms a no contract broadband supply should be just as good as a long contract broadband supply.

Many of the no contract deals are just exactly the same as long contract deals offered by the suppliers but with higher setup and sometime higher monthly fees. The only negative is that some of the newer technologies such as fibre optic broadband aren't currently available on no contract deals, so by only looking at such short contracts you are prevented from accessing the latest technologies with the highest speeds. But for many people in many areas the no contract deals will be just as fast as the other types of deal available.

What are the alternatives to no contract broadband?

If after reading this guide you feel that no contract broadband is not for you then you do have other alternatives.

Standard home broadband with a longer contract can be great for people looking to save money and spread the costs over the lifetime of the deal, and you can find plenty of deals with no setup costs and no cancellation fees.

Mobile broadband is probably the best option for anyone not wishing to be tied into paying for a phone line and there are a number of very flexible mobile broadband payment options, including standard PAYG deals.

For those that have to have the very latest and fastest broadband supply then fibre optic deals on long term contracts are the way forward.

How do I find no contract broadband deals in my area?

We have a complete database of what broadband deals are available for each postcode in the UK along with details of what speeds can be achieved.

Simply use our broadband postcode checker and then sort the results by contract length by clicking the column heading labelled "Contract" at the top of the table. We update the details of the deals available daily and we are accredited by Ofcom, the UK broadband regulator, as being transparent, impartial and up to date.