Tired of paying upwards of $50 a month for internet access? The monthly internet bill is one of those expenses most people take for granted – right after death and taxes. But what if I told you that you can get internet access completely free?
What would you do with that money instead? Pay off your debt? Invest for your retirement? If you switched from a $50/month internet plan to a free internet provider, you could save an extra $600 every year!
I’m going to walk you through seven different legal ways to get free internet access at home, in your office or on the go. Do your future self a favor and cut the costs!
The 7 Easy (And Legal) Ways to Get Free Internet Access
This is my personal favorite way to save money on my internet bill. FreedomPop provides free internet access to desktop and mobile users. They offer the worlds first 100% free mobile data plan.
This is one of those companies that you look at and wonder: “Can this be legit? It sounds too good to be true.” But it is true and they are legit. Founded in 2012, they have received over $109 million in funding to achieve their vision of making sure “no one is left of off the connected grid”.
They provide free wireless internet access by sending you a free hotspot device when you signup. The first month you get a free 2GB of high-speed internet access. After that, you get a free 500MB of data every month. The beauty of a hotspot device is that you can take it anywhere. If you need internet access at home, in your car, in the office, while camping, you can have it free with FreedomPop.
FreedomPop not only provides a free internet service but also a free mobile phone service. If you live in an area that is qualified, you can get a FREE phone and a free mobile plan that includes 200 calling minutes, 500 texts, and 500MB of data every month. Their mobile data plan is based on Sprint’s network. If you’re serious about saving money on your internet service, I would definitely recommend checking out FreedomPop.
If you’re looking for truly free, decently fast internet access, FreedomPop is your best choice. If the 500mb of free data every month isn’t enough, they offer cheap monthly plans for more data. Check them out here.
2. Ask a Neighbor
Do your neighbors like you? One of your best options for free or cheap high-speed internet access is to politely ask your most generous neighbor if you can piggyback off their wifi. You can always offer to chip in a few dollars every month to help them pay their bill. If you do this, it would also probably be best to write up a friendly agreement with your neighbor to make it official.
Good friends with your neighbor? Ask them if you can use their wifi for free or chip in to help pay their monthly bill
3. Local Businesses & Government Buildings (Free Public WiFi)
If you don’t need internet access at home at all times, a great option for reliable high-speed internet access is to visit local businesses that offer free wifi to their customers. From my experience road-tripping and traveling, some of the best and easy-to-find businesses that offer free wireless access are:
- Local coffee shops
- Public Libraries
- Panera Bread
- Dunkin Donut
You can also check out WifiFreeSpot to search for local businesses that offer free internet access.
You may feel awkward going into an establishment for the sole purpose of using their wifi, but I have never been asked to leave a coffee shop or public library and I would regularly sit at Starbucks all day using their wifi. Just remember to be polite and don’t be a nuisance to other customers.
Caution: While I’ve never personally run into any problems, using free public wifi comes at a security risk. Since other people can access the network, your personal details could be easy pickings for malicious users. You should always practice safe browsing habits when using wifi networks that you don’t control.
The basic steps to minimize risk when using public wifi are:
- Turn off sharing
- Make sure your firewall is enabled
- Use HTTPS or SSL whenever possible
- Use a VPN if you want to be extra safe
- Forget the network once you are done so your computer doesn’t automatically connect to it next time you’re in the area
Don’t need internet access 24/7 at home? Finding a local business that offers free internet access is your best option. My personal favorite spot is Starbucks.
EveryoneOn is a national nonprofit that creates social and economic opportunity by trying to connect everyone to the internet. They work with major internet service providers (ISPs) like Google Fiber, Comcast, and Spectrum to provide really cheap or free plans that aren’t offered on their respective websites. To get started just enter your zip code to see if there are any low-cost or even free internet offers in your area that you qualify for. You do have to qualify to get these offers which typically means having a low income, live in public housing or receive some form of government assistance.
If you have a low income, live in public housing or receive government assistance use EveryoneOn to see if you qualify for very cheap or even free internet access.
AllFreeISP is a database of very low-cost and free wifi and internet providers. You enter a zip code or state and it shows you your available options. When I was doing research I was asking myself the following. If some of these companies are offering completely free internet, how are they making money? What are they getting out of it? Well, I found out that they typically make money by showing you an ad every time you connect to their internet. Which, when you think about it, is a very small price to pay for free internet access.
AllFreeISP also provides a rating for each discount and free internet provider.
Some internet providers offer free or very cheap internet access. Use www.all-free-isp.com. to see if they support your zip code.
NetZero is one of the oldest ISPs – they’ve been around since 1998. NetZero offers free dial-up internet for 10 hours a month. This is perfect for those of you who don’t use the internet regularly or have multiple ways to access the internet at home.
One thing to remember is that NetZero offers dial-up, not broadband. Which means that if you want to use the internet for gaming, watching Netflix, or anything else that requires higher internet speeds this is not your best option. Also, since this is dial-up internet you will need a phone modem to dial in.
Completely free 10 hours of dial-up internet. Requires a phone modem.
Juno is very similar to NetZero, they offer absolutely free dial-up internet for 10 hours every month. They offer thousands of access numbers nationwide. But, just like NetZero, the internet speed will be slow and you will need a phone modem to access the internet.
Completely free 10 hours of dial-up internet. Requires a phone modem.
Okay, there you go, seven ways to get free internet access. I hope you try one of these methods and that it helps you reach your financial goals!
If you have tried one of these services or another service to get cheap or free wifi, I would love to hear about it in the comments below.