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The internet is an essential service for almost every home or business. Usually, you’ll pay for it as part of a utility package from a power company in your area. However, you might find a completely separate service that offers excellent, stable internet speeds by itself as well. 

In any case, much of our work and entertainment happens through the internet. Therefore, getting a solid internet service provider is necessary for most people. 

To get things started, you need to figure out which companies offer internet services in your area. After that, find which ones offer the best rates at the speeds you want. Some companies may also have discounts or other incentives for new customers. Then, when you’re ready, you can contact the business of your choice to get things started.

What happens if you want to switch your internet service provider for another one, though? Do you need to cancel your current services before you change to a new one? Let’s answer them in this article. 

AdobeStock_296302794 young man typing on keyboard computer to surfing the internet with virtual interface

Do I Have To Cancel My Internet Before Switching?

Generally, you don’t need to cancel your current internet service before switching to a different one. And most tech people would advise you to have a new service up and running before you cancel the old one. 

At the very least, you would want to ensure the new service is ready to provide you with internet access when you cancel your existing account. Therefore, avoiding talking to your current or old provider is a good idea until you are ready to make the switch.

Primarily, you want to avoid being in between internet services. It is especially true if you’re setting up any connection you might use for work. It may be OK to be between streaming or browsing services for a few days, but you don’t want anything to impact your ability to promptly get your online work done. 

While you may not be able to guarantee this, there are a few things you can do to help make it as sure as possible.

  1. Find a new service provider you would like to use.
  2. Talk to them about the packages you are interested in, but don’t set up anything just yet. It means not scheduling any appointments for technicians to come to your residence.
  3. Contact your former service provider to let them know you’d like to cancel. They may ask the reason why you are switching, and they might offer some incentives to stay.
  4. Find out the precise termination date of your current service.
  5. After that, contact your preferred new service provider again.
  6. f possible, set up an installation date on the same day as the termination of your previous service.
  7. If not possible, try to schedule the installation date as close to the termination date of your old service.
  8. Ideally, make the start date a day before the old service stops if you can, but you may need to wait between services for one or two days.

Do You Return the Router After Internet Cancellation?

When you stop your internet serviceyou must return any equipment your current provider gave you. When they installed or set it up for you, they brought some hardware that a technician probably configured for you. Any such devices need to go back to the internet service provider. 

They usually include a modem, router, or gateway device. Almost all internet service providers will give you at least a modem . What you’re doing is renting the hardware. The monthly rental cost goes into the monthly amount you pay for internet access.

Many ISPs will provide modems for the duration of your service contract. In these cases, you have to return at least this piece of hardware to the company. Also, most service providers also have options to rent routers from them. If you do, this is yet another piece of tech that you’ll have to give back. 

However, many people like to set up their routers because it gives them the freedom to choose how they get the signal their ISP provides. In addition, buying your router gives you options to customize your internet experience.

If you have a router, there is no need to do anything with it once you cancel your service. Depending on the router’s age, capabilities, and specifications, you may be able to use it again with the new service. Most routers can handle high maximum speeds, and you’ll likely purchase a tier close to the one you already have. 

Even if you choose to go for a package with higher speed, your old router could handle it. You can check the specifications of your item to see if it can. Otherwise, you can get a new router or lease from the new provider.

AdobeStock_191230387 closeup of a wireless router and a man using smartphone on living room at home ofiice

How Come Wi-Fi Is Still Working After Cancellation?

Sometimes, you may notice that you still have internet access after you cancel the service. It could be true even when waiting for the new service to start at your address. Here are some of the reasons why:

The Process Is Not Complete

Calling or contacting your provider to cancel the service is the first step. Most times, it is the only step you need to take. However, there are still more things for your internet service provider to do. Although the company gives you a specific date for the termination of the service, it is not out of the question to have the service for a few days afterwards.

In this situation, waiting for a company technician to disconnect the lines is the only way. Unless they stop the service like this, it can continue after you cancel it. However, it may take the provider a few days after the specified cancel date to do this.

There Is an Error

Even if you have verbal or written confirmation that you’ve cancelled your service with your current provider, some things can still get lost in the process. For example, it is possible that no formal request is in the system, or the request is present but not finalized. 

In any case, the service might continue at your address. But, on the other hand, it may take longer than you expect for it to cease entirely. Or perhaps, you need to take further action. 

If you notice that you still have service from your old provider a week or two after the agreed termination date, it is a good idea to call and check with them. First, make sure that they have some record of your request. If they don’t, double-check that you can put one in now.

Can You Have Two Different Internet Providers in the Same House?

Yes, you can have two internet service providers in the same location. Although this is not extremely common, it is possible. And here are a few reasons why you might want such a setup. 

But before that, we’d like to point out that it is only possible if you have more than one option. Unfortunately, many smaller cities use only one provider, leaving you no other options. Now, here’s why having dual internet service providers is a good idea: 

  1. If you lease part of your house, you may want to ensure that you and your tenants have separate internet lines.
  2. A separate provider usually won’t have connection issues. If you need backup internet service for your business, it may make sense to pay two companies.
  3. You might find a better package for high-end gaming and other intense programs, but you might want to keep your current service for other things.

Why Is My ISP Still Charging Me After Cancellation?

If you are still getting a bill after you cancel your internet service, there are a few things you might need to look into first. 

The company did not terminate the service when they said they would. If this is the case, you might wait a few days to see if the service stops. Should it continue, try to see what is happening before the company bills you again. 

An error in the provider’s record-keeping process could mean that they didn’t file your notice of termination, and contacting them about this could clear things up for you. Ensure that you’ve returned the equipment you used. As we mentioned, you may also need to wait for the company to make that physical disconnection of service.


Setting up the internet is pretty simple, but changing providers can seem convoluted. Usually, you don’t need to cancel one before starting the other. However, if you notice that you’re still getting internet from the old provider, try to find out why as soon as possible to avoid a bill. Further, try using only your new internet, and cease any connections to your old one to mitigate potential issues in the future.