One of the main issues people face when deciding whether or not to cut the cord is that of how they’ll have access to the Internet from home if they cancel their cable TV subscription.
Since so many cable companies bundle Internet access with cable TV and landline phone subscriptions, it can sometimes be a challenge to find a company that offers Internet access only.
However, there are options out there. When our family moved from the city onto a hobby farm about 45 minutes out of the metropolitan area there was only one choice for cable. Being we’d decided to ditch the cable subscription after we moved, we were no longer interested in doing business with the one available provider.
Luckily there was a provider who would give us Internet access and landline phone access too (we wanted to keep our landline) without having to purchase a cable provider.
These types of companies exist all over the country. Here is a list of some of the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) who will give you Internet access in your home without having to purchase a cable package.
FreedomPop provides wireless Internet for users via a hotspot. A hotspot is a wireless access point available in a public location, but you can use them in your home too.
With the FreedomPop Internet service you can choose from a variety of plans to get Internet access. Here are the details on their different plans.
FreedomPop’s basic plan is free – yes, it costs nothing. You get 500 MBs of data per month on this plan, and additional data is charged at $0.02 per mb. This plan allows access to the 4G network only. Not a lot of usage time here, but it is free.
Pro 500 Plan
The Pro 500 Plan offers the 500 MB of data per month, but at a charge of $3.99 per month. The difference between this and the basic plan? You get access to both 4G and 3G networks. Additional data is the same $0.02 per mb.
Premium 3GB Plan
This plan costs $28.99 per month and offers users 3GB of data and access to both 3G and 4G networks. Additional data costs $0.015 per mb.
Premium 4GB Plan
FreedomPop’s 4GB plan comes with 4GB of data, access to both the 3G and 4G networks, and costs $34.99 per month. Additional data costs the same $0.015 per mb.
Premium 5GB Plan
With this plan, you get 5GB of data for $39.99 per month, and access to both 3G and 4G networks. Additional data costs $0.015 per mb.
Premium 10GB Plan
This is FreedomPop’s biggest plan. For $74.99 per month you get 10GB of data accessible on both the 4G and 3G networks. Additional data costs the same $0.015 per mb.
Note: Some people (rightly) have concerns about hotspot security – hotspots can be a “hacker’s paradise” according to some. Check out this article on hotspot security for more information on protecting yourself when using a hotspot.
Google Fiber provides Internet access to customers in cities around the U.S. and is steadily expanding. Currently, they provide service in a variety of large cities including:
- Los Angeles
And more. Google Fiber plans and costs vary depending on which city you live in. As an example, in Kansas City you’d have a choice of five different Google Fiber Plans:
The Fiber 100 plan costs $50 per month and provides up to 100 mbps of speed. You can use 5+ devices with this plan and there are no data caps. It takes about six minutes to download an entire HD movie with this plan.
The Fiber 1000 plan costs $70 per month and provides up to 1000 mbps of speed. You can use 10+ devices with this plan and downloading is much faster at 40 seconds for an entire HD movie. No data caps here either.
There are other Google Fiber plans in the Kansas City area, but they all come with TV subscriptions.
Frontier Communications is the company we use for ISP service. Their headquarters are based in New York City but they provide service to various parts of the country. For Internet service only you can choose from a few different plans.
Simply Broadband Core
The Simply Broadband Core plan costs $20 per month (with a 2-year agreement) and will give you Internet up to 6 Mbps and a free Wi-Fi router for 2 years. This is a good plan for light users.
Simply Internet Ultra
The Simply Internet Ultra plan costs $25 per month (with a 2-year agreement) and will give you Internet speeds up to 12 Mbps. This plan is good for gamers and streamers who need more speed.
Simply Internet Elite
The Simply Internet Elite plan costs $35 per month (same 2-year agreement) and will give you Internet speeds up to 25 Mbps. This plan is best for high users who run multiple devices at the same time.
Note that with Frontier and all ISP providers, not all plans are available in all areas. If you live in a more rural area like we do you might be stuck with a lower Mbps plan depending on the type of equipment installed in your area.
For years because of our rural location we were stuck with the Core plan through Frontier, but got upgraded last year due to county-wide upgrades to the Ultra plan.
Verizon Fios Internet only service is currently available widely on the East Coast in states such as New York, Virginia, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and a few more options.
Verizon Fios offers a couple of different plans as well.
The Verizon $39.99 Plan
This plan with Verizon costs, as you probably have guessed, $39.99 per month. You get up to 100 Mbps with this plan, which should be more than enough for avid users. This particular online exclusive deal is a 1-year commitment (or they have a 2-year commitment where they’ll waive the setup fee as well) and saves you $10 a month off of the regular price.
The Verizon $79.99 Plan
Verizon’s $79.99 plan will give you up to 940/880 Mbps of speed, and as a special offer at this writing, includes 1 free year of Netflix. As with the other plan, this is a 1-year commitment offer, however if you choose a 2-year commitment Verizon will waive the setup fee for you.
AT&T has packages that include Internet and Direct TV, however they do have an Internet only plan. The Internet only plan AT&T offers cost $40 per month and provides Internet speeds of up to 50 Mbps.
AT&T internet is available in a variety of states currently, including:
And more. Contact them via the link above for more information.
Xfinity by Comcast
Comcast’s Xfinity Internet service is available in a variety of cities around the U.S. including the Minneapolis area, New York, San Francisco, Phoenix, Miami, Atlanta and more.
Their Internet service plans vary based on which area you live in. Here’s the scoop on the Minneapolis plan to give you an idea of what they have to offer. The plans and prices may be different in your area.
Performance Plus Internet
This is the only Xfinity Internet plan in the Minneapolis area that comes without a TV subscription. It costs $29.99 per month, and you’ll get up to 60 mpbs of download speed for that price. You can use up to 5 devices at one time on this plan, and there may be additional data charges if you go over 1TB of data usage.
Century Link Internet service is available in over 30 U.S. states currently, including:
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
And more. Although prices and plans can vary by state, Century Link does share their basic plans on their website. Here are the details.
Century Link 20 MBPS Plan
This plan offers speeds of up to 20mbps and costs $45 per month. This is a no-contract, price for life plan according to the site.
Century Link 40-80 MBPS Plan
This plan offers speeds of up to 80mbps and costs the same $45 per month if you can grab an online-only special like the one that is available as of this writing. If not, you’ll pay $55 per month for life, with no contract. Century Link says this is a great plan for online gamers and video chat aficionados.
Century Link 100-140 MBPS Plan
This plan offers up to 140 mbps and can support 10+ devices. The cost? $60 a month per life if you can nab an online special offer, otherwise it’s $65 per month. Again, no contract with this plan.
Lots to offer with Century Link if you can find these types of great specials in your area.
WOW Internet offers service in parts of several states, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee and South Carolina.
They have several Internet service plans available to choose from, but note that all plans may not be available in all areas. Here are their current plans in the Illinois area.
The Internet 10 plan provides up to 10 mbps of speed and costs $29.99 per month. This plan is best for single users with fewer devices, according to the site. This plan allows for an upload speed of 1 mbps.
As some perspective, the plan we have with Frontier gives us up to 12 mbps of speed (it’s our only option out here in the boonies, and this was a recent increase from 6 mbps if you can believe it). We can run more than one device at a time with this level of speed, but definitely not if one of the kids is gaming.
In that case, it’s surely a one-device-only situation.
With the Internet 100 plan you get up to 100 mbps of speed (a far-off dream in my neck of the woods) and it costs $39.99 per month. According to the site this plan will support up to three devices at a time with active users. The upload speed with this plan is 10 mbps.
The Internet 500 plan provides 500 mbps of speed and costs $59.99 per month. This is the plan WOW Internet suggests for gamers and homes with multiple users and streamers. Upload speed is 50 mbps with this plan.
This is WOW Internet’s biggest plan. It provides 1000 mbps of speed and costs $79.99 per month. Upload speed is 50 mbps – same as with the Internet 500 plan. This package is suggested for large file sharing, power streaming and VR gaming.
Note that all of the WOW Internet plans do require 2-year contracts with the exception of the Internet 10 plan.
Lots to choose from with this rapidly expanding company.
DSL Extreme offers its TrueStream Internet service packages in a variety of states including parts of California, Alabama, Florida, Wisconsin, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, South Carolina and more.
This company has nine different Internet service packages to choose from. I’m not going to outline all of them in this post, but I will hit on some that seem to target the majority of users.
TrueStream Plus 1.5
This plan offers 1.5 mbps of speed and costs $22.95 per month. Upload speed is 384 kbps. This means it could take you as long as 3+ hours to download a movie.
TrueStream Pro 3.0
The TrueStream 3.0 plan offers up to 3.0 mbps of speed and costs $27.95 per month. The upload speed with this plan is 512 kbps. It will “only” take an hour and a half or so to download a movie with this plan.
TrueStream Max 12
Now we’re getting somewhere. This plan offers up to 12 mbps of speed for $37.95 per month. Upload speed is 1 mbps and you can download an entire movie in less than half an hour with this plan.
TrueStream Max Turbo
This plan offers up to 24 mbps of speed and costs $52.95 per month. The upload speed is 3 mbps, and you can download most movies in about 12 minutes with this plan.
TrueStream Power Plus 75
This is the biggest plan DSL Extreme offers, and it comes with 75 mbps of speed. Cost? $92.95 per month. Upload speed is 8 mbps. You can download most movies in under 4 minutes with this plan.
As I mentioned there are a few other plans sprinkled in with their offerings as well. Note that all plans are not available in all areas, and that all of the DSL Extreme plans do require contracts to be signed and agreed to.
As you can see, there are many different companies offering Internet service without cable. However, not all companies and not all plans will fit your specific Internet service needs. Here are some questions you can ask as you go about choosing an Internet Service Provider.
Questions to Ask Before You Choose an Internet Service Provider
There are important things to know before you choose who you’ll sign on with to provide you with Internet service. Let’s talk about some of the basic questions you should ask.
What Are the Speed Guarantees?
Just because an ISP says a package gives you 12 mbps of speed doesn’t mean you’ll get exactly that. If you pay attention, most plans say “up to” before mentioning the exact max speed you can access.
It’s a good idea to ask an ISP what their speed guarantees are before you sign on for a plan.
Are There Any Additional Fees?
Most ISP providers have additional fees with their plans. Those fees may include taxes, service charges, equipment fees, installation fees and more. Be sure you know all that you’ll be paying – both up front and each month – before signing on with any company.
How Much Speed Do I Need?
Most companies are pretty good at listing which plans are for which types of users right on their websites. If you can give their customer service personnel some basic information about your home usage you can get an idea of which plan will be best for you.
Some of the things they’ll need to know include:
- How many users are in the household?
- What types of activities does each user perform (i.e. gaming, streaming, shopping, etc.)?
- How many users are on the Net at one time?
By being able to give a customer service rep some basic information about your household’s usage you can get a better idea of which plans each company has that will best provide you with what you need for service.
What Are the Terms of Cancellation?
This is another important question. There could be a myriad of reasons you’ll want or need to cancel your Internet service, and it’s important to know what types of costs you’ll be charged if you do need to cancel your service with a particular company.
Make sure to get the details in full before signing on to get service with an ISP company. That way there’ll be no surprises or unexpected bills if you have to cancel service earlier than expected.
Luckily, we live in a time where we no longer have to be tied to a cable subscription to get Internet service. Save yourself some cash by using one of the ISPs mentioned here today, and cut the cord for good!
Have you tried any of the Internet-only service providers listed above? If so, what was your experience? Share in the comments below.
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