No-Contract Internet

Not all carriers ask for long-term deals to begin service.

Why bind yourself to a long-term contract for Internet?

The binding long-term contract once automatic for Internet service has gone by the wayside. As competition increases for no-contract wireless Internet, requirements change, too.

Some carriers have eliminated contracts altogether. Others offer a short term, or offer service without a credit check.

It’s one of many incentives offered. They’re to encourage new customers or people to switch carriers for high-speed Internet. No-contract Internet providers might also offer gift cards, and sign customers up for auto-pay service.

Other considerations include:

  • Free routers or installation
  • A locked-in price for a fixed amount of time
  • Discounts on other services such as TV and home phone
  • Discounts or freebies if you order service online

Providers often offer similar speed options. Service terms and bonuses can make the difference in a choice for wireless Internet.

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More than speed: What other incentives to carriers offer?

With competition on the rise, Internet providers often sweeten the deal for high-speed Internet.

No contract

To get service, customers sometimes have to sign a contract for one or two years. Many contracts included fees for early termination. Providers often don’t include contracts for wireless Internet. No-contract Internet allows customers to change carriers with less hassle.

Price guarantee

Some carriers offer a low introductory price. Then, they raise the monthly rate when it expires. With a price guarantee, monthly cost doesn’t rise for the life of the agreement. This feature might come with an early cancellation fee.

Free installation

Installation can become expensive. Many carriers will waive installation costs, sometimes for a limited time. The deal often doesn’t include hardware. It might apply only to basic installation for no-contract wireless Internet.

Carriers might charge extra for special circumstances in installation.

Other freebies

Some Internet providers also offer TV. They might provide access to premium channels if customers bundle TV and Internet. Other might offer prepaid debit cards upon activation. Also, look for free routers and other hardware for your Internet service.

What about prepaid Internet?

Prepaid Internet gives customers the option to pay a month or more ahead for Internet service. Prepaid Internet carriers usually don’t check a customer’s credit. No long-term agreement is usually required. Data purchased ahead of time can often cost more than the same carrier’s regular plans.

Benefits of prepaid Internet:

NO TERMINATION FEES | Month-to-month or prepaid Internet plans aren’t under contract. A customer won’t be subject to termination fees should they decide to change carriers.

NO SURPRISES | Prepaid Internet means no overage charges or hidden fees. A customer pays for a certain amount of data, and must buy more when that’s exhausted.

Disadvantages of prepaid Internet:

MISCALULATIONS | Data amounts aren’t easy to track. Not all carriers allow customers to roll unused data over, so you might lose it. Also, running out at an inopportune time could be inconvenient.

NOT IDEAL FOR GAMING | Tracking data can become difficult with consumption rates associated with online games. Finite data is hard to track with other media-rich activity, too.

Bundling services with no-contract Internet

Home Phone

Most carriers offer home phone services, too. These include cable, DSL, fiber and satellite Internet providers. Phone service comes on the same network. Plans include both standard and advanced calling features. Carriers often offer nationwide long distance or International plans. Bundle a landline phone with Internet and TV for a Triple Play bundle. This could include call waiting notifications that appear on the TV screen.

TV

It’s often offered with Internet as a Double Play bundle, or with Internet and phone for a Triple Play. TV service often includes on-the-go viewing through mobile apps. Most come with a DVR, which can include features such as any-room viewing and mobile scheduling to record programs. Offerings can include premium networks. Some providers offer channel packs for family programming, sports and more.

What other factors should I consider for Internet service?

No-contract service, price guarantees and free routers are great. What else is?