DSL has long been the high-speed Internet service associated with phone service. That’s because, traditionally, DSL Internet access could only be delivered over an active phone line. If you “cut the cord” and went without phone service at home, you’d have to turn to cable or satellite Internet for broadband.
But EarthLink has for many years also offered a different kind of high-speed DSL with no phone required. It’s called…
Dry Loop? Naked? We’ll Go with Freestanding DSL.
We call our no-phone-DSL service Freestanding DSL because it stands free, apart from any phone service. This type of DSL Internet service is sometimes called dry loop DSL, naked DSL, or standalone DSL. (But since none of those terms are well known or understood, we decided not to go with “dry,” “naked” or “alone” for our DSL service.)
Freestanding DSL is just as fast (offering Internet connections up to 7Mbps) and just as reliable as regular high-speed DSL Internet service. So, if you don’t have an active home phone line, it’s a great broadband alternative. And if you do currently have home phone service and you qualify for Freestanding DSL, you can cancel your home phone service (using only your cell phone) and save money each month.
No Phone = Big Savings
Cancelling home phone service typically saves consumers an average of $240 a year (based on an average basic calling plan, plus all the additional taxes and surcharges you have to pay). If you have more than the most basic home phone plan, you save even more. This money-saving feature makes Freestanding DSL the DSL of choice for the cell-phone-only crowd.
Where You Can Get Freestanding DSL
If you want to go without a landline phone, EarthLink Freestanding DSL sounds almost too good to be true, right? But it’s for real. The only “catch” is that it’s not as widely available as regular DSL Internet service.
It is available nationwide, but only in areas where Verizon is the local telephone company. If you know Verizon is in your area, you should be good to go. If you are unsure, simply enter your home address and zip code in the Check Availability box on our Freestanding DSL page to see if your location qualifies (a home phone number isn’t required to check availability, but you can enter it if you do still have a home phone). Even if you don’t qualify for Freestanding DSL, you’ll see other high-speed services that are available for you, such as Cable Internet (which also doesn’t need a home phone line).
When to Cancel Your Phone Service
If your location qualifies for Freestanding DSL and you still have your phone line active, it’s best to disconnect your phone service before you place your order for Freestanding DSL. Installation will be easier if phone service is disconnected before you order Freestanding DSL. So call your phone company as soon as you can.
Other Differences Between Freestanding and Regular DSL
As we noted above, in most ways Freestanding DSL is just like regular DSL Internet access – without the phone service, of course.
One minor, positive difference is that with Freestanding DSL you do not need to install phone line filters around your house as you do with regular DSL (if you do get a self-installation kit with filters you can disregard them and skip any set-up instructions mentioning filters).
Another is that Freestanding DSL does not interfere with home alarm systems the way regular DSL services sometimes do. Because Freestanding DSL is a dedicated line with no phone service on it, it should not affect your home alarm service and your alarm service should not affect your DSL.
Installing Freestanding DSL
You can quickly and easily install Freestanding DSL using the self-installation kit and free DSL modem we send you. You can install the modem anywhere in your home that you have a phone jack (as long as there is no active phone service on the line). If you want to use your DSL Internet access in a room that does not have a phone jack, you’ll need to install the modem in a different room (with a phone jack) and then install a wireless router so you can use your high-speed Internet connection in any room over Wi-Fi. EarthLink Home Networking comes with a free Wi-Fi router and everything else you need.
If you are one of our Freestanding DSL customers already, let us know how you like it by leaving a comment below.
And you can all weigh in on the question of what we should have named the service: freestanding DSL, dry loop DSL, naked DSL, or standalone DSL?