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How to Get Internet Without a Phone Line or Cable

In this day and age, phone lines and cables are increasingly becoming a thing of the past. With the proliferation of remote, wireless technology, more and more households are choosing to access various internet options without a phone line and, inversely, choosing to access their home phone via the internet. In this guide, we'll take you through the ins and outs of how to get internet without a phone line or cable. We'll also explore some of the regional, rural and state-based differences in access to internet, data and cable plans. From there, we'll compare some of the most competitive options for you.

First things first, what's the difference between phone lines and cable? Well, phone lines are the wires that enable your landline phone to work by transmitting the sound of your voice along metallic wires, fibre optic cables and/or radio waves. Cable refers to cable internet, which connects your home to the internet via similar technologies. Consequently, the internet can often be connected along the same wires that your phone uses; this is called a digital subscriber line (DSL). But sometimes, the old phone lines are too out-of-date to provide internet, and so it is provided by installing new coaxial cables into the ground. The National Broadband Network (NBN), which aims to provide sound internet access Australia-wide, makes use of a combination of phone lines, cable and satellite internet.

Do You Need a Landline for Wireless Internet?

You do not need a landline for wireless. In other words, you can have wifi without a phone line. You can either access the internet via the cables mentioned above or via satellite technology. Satellites provide internet access to mobile phones via cellular networks, which rely on radio technology to transmit information wirelessly. Currently, we are in the fifth generation (5G) of this type of cellular network, with each new generation providing faster and further- reaching internet access. So if you want wifi that doesn't need a phone line, you're in luck. You can rely on ethernet, wireless routing, or access to your phone's mobile network via a dongle or tethering.

Ethernet connection

Ethernet is a way of connecting your devices to the internet through wires. If you currently have a landline but no internet, ethernet offers a fast, reliable connection that is relatively easy to install. Notably, you won't be able to connect your mobile devices, like laptops and phones, unless they are connected via the wires. So ethernet is probably best for stationary devices in your home, and its downsides lie in the fact that it is fairly limited when it comes to portability. But if you're wondering how to have internet with a landline, the answer will be ethernet technology for most homes.

Wireless router/modem

A wireless router, somewhat misleadingly, still uses ethernet cables to connect to the internet. It's called a wireless router because it provides wireless internet connection (WiFi) from the internet modem to devices in a nearby area via the transmission of radio waves. Wireless routers are a great way to connect portable devices to the internet, such as laptops and mobile phones. The downside is that wireless routing is often slower when compared with cabled ethernet connection, as it relies on close, uninterrupted access to your devices. If there's too much distance between you and the router, or there are objects in the way, the WiFi connection will struggle.

Dongles and tethering

Dongles and tethering are portable options that use pre-existing mobile plans and satellite towers to connect you to the internet. Dongles are small, portable devices (they look like USBs) that you can plug into your laptop to access the internet. The dongle will connect to mobile data and give your device the same coverage that would be available via your plan. Tethering gives you the same access via a personal hotspot from your phone. The downside is that these options are clunky to use, and coverage is limited to your mobile internet plan. Internet activities like watching movies or working from home use considerable amounts of data, so you may want to investigate internet plans tailored more specifically to home internet usage.

Can You Get Rid of Landline and Keep Internet?

Can you get rid of your landline and keep the internet? In short, yes. Providers like Optus, Dodo and AGL offer several plans tailored for internet access without a landline portion. At the time of writing, Dodo, for instance, offers four distinct home internet plans of varying internet speeds, ranging from 15 to 92 megabytes per second (mbps) and from $55 to $85 per month. Optus, by contrast, offers plans at standard speed (50mbps) and premium speed (100mbps), ranging from $79 per month to $109 per month. These plans also cater to households that seek high-quality gaming or Netflix access, with tailored extras included in various bundles. AGL offers internet plans that you can combine with your energy bills, providing a discounted bundle for both. These range from $60 per month for the brand's basic plan to $134 per month for ultrafast internet connection.

Typically, these plans will offer you a modem if you don't already have one, and these modems will act as wireless routers. They will also probably offer WiFi boosters to create a mesh network across your home for greater WiFi coverage.

Which State in Australia Has This Flexibility

Mobile connection across Australia varies dramatically, and it all depends on where the closest Telstra, Optus or Vodafone towers are. Providers often claim to provide mobile internet access to 99 per cent of the country, but typically, that reflects 99 per cent of the population, not 99 per cent of the Australian continent. Similarly, cable internet connection is typically only supported by one of the big three internet providers mentioned above, and it's not guaranteed for the entire continent. If in doubt about your ability to connect to the internet, you can always enter your address on the provider's website to explore your options.


Are you keen on getting access to unlimited wireless broadband without a phone line? Head on over to Compare and Connect today and check out our comparison of broadband providers in Australia. We'll give you an overview of things you need to know about data usage, payment plans and some of the well known providers on the market, allowing you to make an informed decision about internet access.