Many consumers, especially those under age 35, are moving away from a traditional landline and using a cellphone as their primary phone. Roughly a third of all adults are now completely wireless.
So what does this mean for Internet access? When the Internet was first developing, most residential customers got online via dial-up. One of the most common Internet plans today is DSL, which is delivered through the same copper wires that provide phone service. Fortunately, there are several other ways to get online today that include cable, satellite, fiber optics and wireless.
In fact, there are so many options now that its easier to get broadband Internet without phone service than with service.
Satellite Internet is a common choice for people that cant get other services like fiber optics or cable Internet because it isnt offered in their area. All you need is a dish and youre ready for service.
The only problem is Satellite Internet doesnt get the same speeds as DSL or cable, and isnt any cheaper.
Normal DSL transmits data through the infrastructure that delivers voice service. Now companies offer DSL without a phone line. This type of service is commonly referred to as "dry loop," or naked DSL.
It still uses the same copper wires that phones use, but doesnt actually require customers to have a phone line. Companies like Verizon, AT&T and Earthlink all offer DSL without phone service. ADSL, or asymmetrical digital subscriber line, is also available in many locations, and offers theoretical speeds up around 20 Mbps that compete with cable and fiber optics.
If you can get digital TV, then you can get cable Internet. It doesnt require a phone line, and is typically more available than DSL. The signal comes through a coaxial cable with higher download speeds than satellite or DSL. Generally service is a tad more expensive than other options.
Fiber optics is replacing Cable and naked DSL in a lot of areas, becausedownload speeds are greater and more reliable. If you like to stream a lot of video and download a lot of data, its the best option.
The fiber optics plan, FiOS, by Verizon, wins a lot of readers choice awards for good service. But if cost is an issue, consider looking elsewhere.
SEE ALSO: Verizon Internet
The final option for those without a landline phone is to look into a wireless ISP. Coverage and speeds are constantly getting better, as the overall market trends towards wireless technology.
Often the same company you get cellphone service from, like Virgin or T-Mobile, has options for Internet. Getting service from a company like that might depend on whether you get coverage at your location, or if you do a lot of traveling.
Getting the best deal depends on your location, needs, cost and what is available. For people in rural areas that cant get standalone DSL, cable, or fiber optics, theyll have to shop for a satellite or wireless ISP.
Not having a phone line does not limit your Internet options. With the way wireless technology is developing, its only a matter of time before not having a landline becomes the rule rather than the exception.