Internet connection has become an essential home utility. To some people, it is almost as vital as water and electricity. It is, however, challenging to get a home internet plan that is both affordable and meets all your needs. For most people, internet contracts are the go-to plans. However, these contracts have their own limitations. That’s why more and more people are switching to no contract home internet plans. Below is a detailed review of no contract home internet plans, and a list of some of the best that are available in the market.
Contract vs No Contract
This is the dilemma that most internet users have to face when selecting a home internet service. Contracts are readily offered by both mobile network companies and internet providing companies. In most cases, they are often long-term pans, ranging from 3-month contracts to year-long contracts. They guarantee a steady internet connection at set speeds for the duration. The best feature of home internet contracts is the security it guarantees. However, the contracts often have several terms that limit user experience. That’s why no contract home internet plans are fast becoming a good alternative.
The Downside Of Home Internet Contracts
While the benefits of contracts are well laid out, its cons are often hidden in the lines of terms of service. They include:
For starters, the contract ties you to that specific internet plan until it expires. Should any better offer come along during this duration, you cannot switch to it as you are already bound by the contract. This is especially bad for long-term contracts because better internet speeds will turn up during the period, and you will be forced to endure the same slow speeds. Any attempts of getting out of the contract before expiry often attract fines.
Most home internet contracts require you to provide your home address and maintain it throughout the duration of the contract. Relocation often leads to loss of service. Some internet providers may allow you to relocate, but you will have to notify them of your change in address. Nevertheless, you do not have the freedom to freely relocate as you wish without affecting your internet contract.
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The Benefits Of No Contract Home Internet Plans
No contact home internet plans are quite the opposite of contracts. They offer you the freedom to do as you wish. Below are some of the benefits you stand to enjoy from subscribing to such plans:
You can upgrade or switch to better plans at any point. This is the best feature of no-contract plans. You can easily migrate to the latest prepaid high-speed internet depending on available offers. This kind of freedom allows you to benefit from the best that the market has to offer.
Another advantage of no contract home internet is that you can choose when you are not obliged to make payments every month. Therefore, you can unsubscribe when finances are tough and re-direct the money to other bills, r even downgrade to a lower but more affordable plan. This is a feature that is not available on contracts as they bind you to make monthly payments. Failure to make the payments often leads to disconnection and fines.
Other than these benefits, you get to enjoy additional freedoms that are limited by internet contracts such as:
- Changing location without notifying internet providers
- Enjoying connections with an unlimited number of devices
- Switching from one internet provider to another as you wish
What No Contract Internet Packages Have To Offer
No contract home internet plans offer a wide array of internet packages. Most packages are sold in terms of internet connection speeds, ranging from as low as 625kbps to over 1GBps. Some internet providers, however, sell data packages instead of services. This is, however, more common in wireless internet connection.
- No contract internet plans have a few characteristic features:
- Flexible duration of service: it can either be long term or short term
- No limitations on service utilization: that means, the plans do not come with restrictive terms of service. You can use it anywhere, anytime, and with no limitations.
- You can abandon the plan or service at any point in time.
- Various types of no contract home internet plans
There are various types of internet connection service that offer no-contract plans. The most common ones are four types:
This is currently the most popular method. It involves the use of fiber optic cable that transmits data at the speed of light. It is currently the fastest type of internet connection and is the go-to option for data guzzlers such as fans of online gaming and HD video streaming.
The only shortcoming of this type of connection is that it requires the installation of cables in your house. Therefore, you should be ready to cover the one-time installation cost before subscribing to this service. Additionally, the cables are provided by the same companies that sell internet packages. This, therefore, limits your freedom of switching from one provider to another as it will require the installation of new cables. It is, however, a very effective method.
Prepaid Phone Internet
Mobile internet has become a popular method of accessing internet services from the comfort of your home. It is quite convenient and easy to use. Coupling this with its portability, it makes this an appealing method for individuals living alone or in small households.
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There are several prepaid high-speed internet plans being offered by multiple network providers. The speeds are quite good. 4G connectivity provides speeds in the range of 5-20mbps. This is fast enough to enable HD video streaming and heavy data downloads. Additionally, with the use of a smartphone, you can use the phone to create a wifi data hotspot that allows other devices in the house to connect to the internet. This way, all the members of the household can benefit from the same phone.
Modem Or Wifi Router Internet
If you are looking for a cheap internet service without a phone line, then this is the way to go. These devices allow you to receive wireless signals from network providing companies and access cheap internet service without phone line. Modems are best suited for those who intend to use the internet on a personal computer. In most cases, one modem can serve only one computer.
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Wifi routers are the better alternative to modems. They create strong wifi signals that allow you to connect to the wireless network from any room in your house. Additionally, a wifi router can support the connection of over 20 devices. It, therefore, works best for large households, or those with multiple smart devices that require connectivity.
This method of connectivity also has an installation cost. You will need to acquire a good modem or wifi router before subscribing to an internet plan. This is, however, a one-time cost. Different network companies sell their own devices that work for their networks. However, the best option is to go for a third party modem or wifi router that is open-ended and can work with any network. This way, you’ll have the freedom to select the network with the best plan.
This is another method of getting a wireless internet connection to your house. The best aspect of satellite networks is that unlike other internet plans in which network coverage is an issue, satellite internet is always available from any location in the country. Whether you are in a busy town’s suburb, or the in the middle of nowhere, you are guaranteed access to the internet.
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Satellite internet is however quite costly to install. You need to purchase the satellite dish, and in most cases, hire a guy to install it in your locality. This can be quite expensive, especially if you reside in a location that is far from towns. The other downside to satellite internet is that it is affected by weather patterns. Rainfall or even cloudy skies can at times affect your access speeds, or even totally impede any internet access.
Factors To Consider When Selecting a No Contract Home Internet Plans
There are multiple factors that you need to look at when selecting a no contract home internet plan. These include:
This is the first feature that you should always consider. It is the single factor that will determine your level of satisfaction with the service. The speed will also influence the price of the internet plan. Your speed requirements will depend on the number of devices you intend to use the connection on, and the tasks you intend to run. For large households, and individuals who stream a lot and play heavy online games, the minimum speed should be 20mbps.
Availability Of The Service In Your Location
This is particularly important for individuals living in rural areas. Certain internet providers do not offer services in other localities. As for wireless internet, you need to ensure that the network is strong enough in your locality in order to support high speeds.
Reliability Of The Network
This applies to both cable and wireless connections. Some internet providers are notorious for long durations of downtime. You should, therefore, shop for a service that offers reliable connectivity, all year long.
Not all internet plans offer unlimited data. Some have data caps of 20 or 30GB in a month. This is especially applicable to the prepaid high-speed internet on phones, modems, and wifi routers. Be wary of such packages as they always end up costing more than they should have.
Just like contracts, these internet plans have durations of service. There are short-term and long-term plans, each with its own ups and downs. It is often wiser to go for shorter plans as this will allow you to frequently re-evaluate the market situation and go for the provider with the best plan.
It always comes down to how much you are willing to part with. The goal is always to pay the least for the best. But don’t hesitate to pay a good amount for quality service, as cheap is always expensive.
Now that we’ve looked at what to consider when shopping for an internet service, let’s have a look at some of the best no contract home internet plans:
Charter Spectrum Cable Internet
When it comes to cable internet, no deal comes close to what Charter spectrum has to offer. For starters, it is the only company that delivers 100% of the internet speed for they advertise. 60mbps means 60mbps. That is twenty times faster than standard DSL. You will personally experience this speed when downloading files. With such speeds, streaming is flawless, and HD videos load effortlessly. It offers quite a satisfying experience.
Still, on data and speed, all the internet plans offered by Charter Spectrum have no data limits. You, therefore, can comfortably enjoy streaming and downloading with no concerns of exceeding your data limit.
When it comes to price, Charter Spectrum offers the best deals. While most internet plans of such speeds are in the range of $40-$50, Spectrum offers theirs for as low as $30. This is a 60mbps plan, with over 125 HD channels, and unlimited local and long distance calls. Talk about value for money. The plan also includes a free internet modem and a 30-day money-back guarantee in case you are not satisfied with the plan.
Century Link Internet Plans
Century Link offers some of the best wireless connectivity services. The company offers no contract home internet plans at affordable prices. These plans bear many similarities to contract plans but are devoid of the limitations of a contract. You, therefore, get to enjoy reliable connection for long durations, without the perks of being limited by a contract.
Century Link’s plans start at $45 a month, with speeds of 20mbps. This is quite decent for wireless connectivity. The plan can be for as long as a year or two, with no hikes or changes in price. Additionally, you can drop out of the plan at any time as you are not bound by any contract.
Century Link also has a unique lifetime plan. Under this, you can lock a set internet price and subscribe to it for life. Though not recommended, this plan works well for individuals who seek internet security and at fixed prices. With this, you can forget about internet subscriptions for the rest of your life.
FAQ’s About No Contract Home Internet
When subscribing for no contract home internet plans, which plans are better, short term or long term?
Both plans offer good terms of service in terms of speed, data limits, and performance. However, long-term data plans are often much cheaper than short-term plans. When going for contracts, one would obviously try to avoid long-term plans as you would like the freedom to exploit the changing market dynamics. However, given that no contract home internet plans have no fines or binding terms, you can freely hop from one plan to the other. Therefore, it is always better to go for the cheaper long-term plans.
Between wired and wireless plans, which is the better option for no-contract plans?
This often comes down to taste or convenience. The different connections each offer their own advantages and disadvantages. For starters, cable and phone line internet is much cheaper and faster than a wireless connection. However, these connections lack portability. You can’t move with them, even from room to room, and the wiring is really inconvenient in some cases.Wireless connection, on the other hand, relies on proper network coverage and consistency from the service provider. It is also subject to influence from external factors such as the weather. It is therefore completely up to you to decide your preferred method. But if it’s comparing the service offered and the prices charged, cable is the best option. It offers prepaid high-speed internet at very low costs.
Are there any consequences for hopping from one provider to another on no-contract plans?
Generally speaking, there are no fines or charges incurred by terminating a no contract internet plan. You can, therefore, switch from one provider to another based on the available deals. This is the number one reason for opting for no contract internet. However, some internet services call for installation fees. This is especially true for cable, satellite and phone line internet. Every time you switch from one plan to the other, you incur an installation or activation fee. In the long term, you may end up being billed a lot from multiple providers due to regular installation or activation fees. Therefore, it is advisable to select one service provider and try to stick to their plans.
No contract home internet plans are a great alternative to the classic home internet plan. They give you the freedom to upgrade from one plan to another, or even switch your service provider, without incurring any penalties or charges. This way, you get to exploit deals from various internet providers and enjoy the best of what the market has to offer. Selection of a good no contract home internet plan calls for a proper look into what the plan has to offer. All in all, you still stand to benefit a lot from no contract internet plans.