Until recently, having an active landline was an essential precondition if you wanted broadband. Nowadays, with landline phone use decreasing more and more with the popularity of the mobile phone, you may feel like you are overpaying for a service you use rarely, if at all. This article will introduce you to some alternative, landline-free, broadband only options, helping you to discover the best one for you.
The short answer is yes, but they vary in reliability. Also, since most providers use BT’s wired telephone network to deliver your internet connection, your options are fairly limited.
If you’re looking to save some extra pennies by doing away with your landline rental, you only really have two options – Virgin Media broadband or mobile broadband. However, if you live in a hard to reach area or in a portable home, you may want to look into satellite broadband.
Virgin Media is the only major provider which offers a broadband network that is separate from BT’s and so does not require a line rental. Since Virgin’s network is entirely fibre-optic, you should consider this option if you have a need for superfast broadband. For example, if you are an online-gamer, or if a significant number of people will be using the internet at the same time.
However, though landline-free broadband is cheaper, it will usually only save you around £5 a month. You can enter your postcode on our home page to easily check which broadband deals are available to you and to help decide whether it is worth making a change.
Another thing to bear in mind in that Virgin Media manages web traffic, so downloading speeds may decrease at peak times.
Mobile broadband can come in different forms which all use the 4G network – a data-only SIM card, a USB dongle or a WiFi hotspot device.
You will generally have to pay upfront for the device, and then pay for the connection. This will most likely be a monthly payment, although some providers offer long term plans or pay-as-you-go options. If paying as you go is appealing, then this option may be one to consider, as this is never an option with wired broadband.
Keep in mind that the effectiveness of this option will depend on your provider’s coverage in your local area. For example, if you live in a rural area, you may not be able to find any provider that offers sufficient coverage. While for urban dwellers this should not be as much of a problem, accidentally selecting a provider with poor local coverage may leave you with an exceptionally slow connection, or unable to connect at all.
This means that you should not commit to a long-term plan immediately. Check first whether this option proves reliable enough for your own personal use.
A major issue with mobile broadband is the tight download limits. If you only use the internet for casual browsing (such as for simple Google searches or online shopping) this shouldn’t bother you, but regularly streaming files or playing online games will likely use up your monthly limit dangerously quickly, potentially resulting in some costly fees. In this case, mobile broadband may not actually end up as the most cost-effective solution.
Satellite broadband also qualifies as a landline-free option, but since it proves to be slow, subject to interference and expensive, it can only really benefit those living in hard to reach areas or portable homes. However, if this applies to you, then it may be a great solution. Since all you need is a satellite dish facing the south sky, you can connect from practically anywhere, without line rental.