Internet access is usually included in modern cell phones. Getting a cell phone that doesn’t have internet access can be difficult. However, if you can’t get a cell phone with no internet access, you can always turn internet access off by adjusting your phone’s settings. Before you buy a cell phone, ask the salesperson for a guarantee that the phone does not offer internet access.
Choosing a Phone and Service Plan
Browse older phones.
Older phones generally have a lower level of functionality than newer phones. The best place to start your search for a cell phone without internet access is by looking for one that was manufactured 10 years ago or more.
- Cell phones made before 1999 will not have internet access. Phones produced after that may or may not have internet access.
Buy a phone that does not connect to the internet.
Most cell phones come preloaded with an internet browser or certain apps, but some require a separate data package to connect. To get a cell phone with no internet access, choose one that requires a separate data package to connect. Before buying, talk to a cell phone salesperson to double-check that a particular phone does not have internet access.
Opt-out of data on your service contact.
When getting your phone activated, ask the carrier to exclude data from your monthly bill. This will ensure that your phone won’t be able to access the internet when you’re away from a wi-fi signal.
Buy a low-cost burner phone.
These are usually flip phones with no access to the internet. While there are more expensive burner phones out there that will connect to the internet, the general and low-end ones found at gas stations and tech stores do not. They are relatively inexpensive, but they’re also temporary.
Deciding Where to Obtain Your Phone
Get a phone from a retailer.
Cell phone carriers and many big box stores offer cell phones for sale. Travel to such a store and speak with one of the store’s workers about your interest in getting a basic phone without internet access.
Get a used phone online.
Online marketplaces like Craigslist and eBay offer many basic phones that won’t have internet access. If you’re unsure whether a given phone has internet access, just ask the seller.
Apply for a government cell phone.
Some states offer cell phones for a free or discounted price to their citizens. These phones are often older and pre-owned, and may not offer internet access. When applying for such a cell phone, indicate that you want one without internet access.
Adjusting Phone Options
Turn wi-fi off.
Instead of buying a phone that can’t connect to the internet, buy a phone that isn’t connected to the internet — and keep it that way. To do this, turn your phone’s wi-fi off. The specific process by which you turn wi-fi off on your cell phone depends on its make and model. Consult your phone’s user manual for information regarding how to turn your phone’s wi-fi off.
Turn data off.
Data settings allow your cell phone to connect to the internet even when there’s no wi-fi signal around. The process by which you can switch data off depends on the make and model of your phone. Consult your user manual for specific directions.
Disable your internet access.
If you want to disable internet access for system updates as well as for apps and browsers, you’ll need to disable the APN settings of the ISP in the phone. The specific process you’ll use to do this varies depending on the phone’s make and model. Consult your user guide for information on how to disable your phone’s APN settings.