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Short-term and no-contract broadband

Tamires Criscio
Tamires Criscio
  | Edited by Tom Church
Updated 9th February 2021

Are you thinking about getting a short-term or no-contract broadband deal? Learn more about this type of broadband and how you can make the most of it while saving money. Latest Deals answers all the questions you could ever need to know about short-term no-contract broadband.

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What is short-term and no-contract broadband? 

A short-term or no-contract broadband deal is a type of broadband package that can be paid monthly and cancelled with ease. People who don't want to be committed with a year-long contract or longer can opt for this type of broadband package. 

This broadband package usually lasts for 30 days and every month you can make the decision to stay or opt-out without any penalty fee. This is very convenient for people that can’t make long-term commitments by getting a more traditional 18 to 24 months contract with a broadband provider. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are a student this can be a good option for you. Check out our article about best student broadband deals and you can find more information about what is the best broadband for you! 

Should I get short-term or no-contract broadband?

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This type of broadband is better for people that are looking for a short-term broadband commitment. 

If you are a house owner or have a long-term lease, getting a standard broadband deal could be better for you.

Take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of short-term and no-contract broadband below to help make your decision: 

What are the advantages of short-term and no-contract broadband?

The advantages of no-contract broadband are: 

  •  Short commitment The best part of getting a no-contract broadband is the flexibility of leaving any time you want. You just need to give a short notice period, usually of 30 days. 
  • No early termination fee The second best part is not having to pay for an early termination fee when you decide to leave. 
  • You can test out what broadband works best for you in your area If you are not sure what is the best broadband deal for you, getting it for a month and testing it out can be beneficial to make a decision.
  • If you are moving addresses soon, this can be an excellent option — If you are currently living in a transitional situation, getting this type of broadband can be the perfect solution.
  • If you have bad credit, it’s easier to get this type of broadband — Providers that offer this type of broadband don't usually do credit checks! 

What are the disadvantages of short-term and no-contract broadband?

All these advantages come with a cost. See below the disadvantages of short-term and no-contract broadband:

  • Higher set-up/activation fees Unfortunately, this type of broadband often comes with a set-up and activation fee. It’s almost like you are paying for a flexibility fee. (This might be worth it depending on your situation.)
  • Higher monthly costs Another disadvantage is that you will likely be paying more per month in short-term and no-contract broadband than in a standard one. (That’s not necessarily a bad thing if you balance out the cost versus the benefits.)
  • Fewer deals available — Most of the broadband deals available are to attract long-term customers. You could potentially miss some good discounts and sales. (But you can still find some deals! And we have selected some of them in this article.)

Which providers offer short-term and no-contract broadband?

The two most important providers that offer short-term and no-contract broadband are Virgin Media and NOW Broadband. Virgin Media offers the fastest deals and NOW Broadband the cheapest ones. We have listed some of their deals below. 

Which short-term and no-contract broadband provider is fastest? 

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Virgin Media is the fastest short-term and no-contract broadband provider you can get at the moment. We have listed some of your options below. 

Keep in mind that you can get plans with phone included or only broadband. We recommend getting only broadband.

 Learn more about Virgin Media here, we have a full guide on how to save money on your next Virgin Media’s broadband plan.

ONLY BROADBAND M50M100M200M350
Download Speed 54Mbps 108Mbps 213Mbps 362Mbps 
Upload Speed 3Mbps6Mbps12Mbps21Mbps
Price £38£44£50£56
Set up/ Activation fee £80£80£80£80
See MoreSee MoreSee MoreSee More

IMPORTANT NOTE: M350 is the UK’s fastest widely available broadband at the moment. 

Which short-term and no-contract broadband provider is cheapest? 

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It’s important to understand that a short-term and no-contract broadband deal is going to be more expensive than regular broadband deals with longer contracts. However, you can still find some affordable options. Learn here how to get cheap broadband with 10 tips to haggle. 

The cheapest and best well-known short-term and no-contract broadband provider is NOW Broadband. We have listed some of their plans: 

ONLY BROADBANDBrillant Broadband Fab Fibre Super Fibre 
Download Speed 18Mbps 36.7Mbps 73.5Mbps 
Price £18£23£24
Set up/ Activation fee £60£60£60
See MoreSee MoreSee More

IMPORTANT NOTE: At the moment, all these plans come with line rentals and anytime calls. So you are getting a really good deal. 

What should I look out for when comparing short-term and no-contract broadband packages?

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There are five important things you need to keep in mind when comparing short-term and no-contract broadband packages: 

1. Download and upload speeds

You need to make sure that you are getting good speeds and will be able to use the internet according to your daily activities. Read this article to find out what type of internet user you are and what is the best speed for you.

2. Prices

You also need to make sure you are able to pay your monthly bill. The best way to know that is by creating a monthly budget with all your household bills.

3. Broadband set up/activation fee

How much is the set up and activation fee? Can you afford to pay these fees in advance? Are they worth it? How long are you planning to stay with your short-term and no-contract broadband? Is it better to get a one-year contract?

4. Phone plan

Does it come with a phone plan? Do you need a phone plan? 

5. Extra charges

Is there any extra charge you need to be aware of? Usually, these extra charges appear as delivery fee, router fee, engineer visit fee and more. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: Most providers offer unlimited broadband. Now Broadband and Virgin Media are some of them. But in some cases, you might find a short-term and no-contract broadband deal with limited data, which is not ideal. 

What are the upfront costs associated with short-term and no-contract broadband?

The most common upfront cost associated with short-term and no-contract broadband is the set up/activation fee. For Virgin Media it’s £80 and for NOW Broadband it’s £60. 

Are there any hidden fees with short-term and no-contract broadband?

Depending on the broadband provider, you could potentially be paying for hidden fees. They usually appear as extra charges, such as delivery fee, router fee, engineer visit fee and others. 

What are the alternatives to short-term and no-contract broadband?

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There are some alternatives, if short-term and no-contract broadband doesn't work for you. 

One-year contract deals: could this be a solution for you? 

When you are getting a new broadband deal, usually the provider gives 12 months as a minimum period of commitment. After that, you can start thinking about switching broadband providers. Make sure you check with your new broadband provider if they allow you to leave after this first year without a penalty. You could also get a one-year broadband deal, Post Office Broadband and John Lewis Broadband offer this type of deal. 

Direct Save Telecom Broadband: another option for you 

Another option if you don’t want to get a deal with Virgin Media neither NOW Broadband is Direct Save Telecom Broadband. This is a smaller company and not very popular, but they can be an option for you! Check out their deals below: 

ONLY BROADBAND Broadband Fibre Broadband
Guaranteed Download Speed 11Mbps 35Mbps 
Price £27.95£34.95
Set up/ Activation fee £24.99£24.99
See More

IMPORTANT NOTE: When you get your short-term and no-contract broadband deal with Direct Save, you can also add to that one of these three plan options. 

FAQ

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