Connecting to the internet is pretty much a must in this day and age, but paying for it can break the bank if you’re not careful. It’s just one of the many monthly bills that make it tough to save and tough to pay down your debt. That’s why getting free internet is top priority.
FREE sounds amazing!
How to Get Free Internet
There are plenty of places to access free internet, you just need to know where to look.
Starbucks Free Internet
The coffee chain is a great place to stop by for free Wi-Fi. Since there seems to be one on every corner, it’s easy to pop in and log on.
Plus, while you’re there you can think about getting free Starbucks. I wrote an article called How to Get Free Starbucks in 2019 and I also wrote one called 11 Starbucks Hacks for Saving Money You’ll Want to Know.
You have to buy a drink if you want to sit around Starbucks and use the free Wi-Fi, but it doesn’t mean you have to pay full price.
Free Internet at Your Local Library
Your local library is also a good place to find an internet connection. Most libraries will allow you to log onto the Wi-Fi for free and the network is usually secured, which is a plus. Libraries also have a computer or two that you can use to log onto the internet if you don’t have a computer of your own.
Other Free Internet Options
Other places to look for free Wi-Fi include your local big box store, such as Walmart or Target, or restaurants like McDonald’s. Hospitals, hotels, medical offices and sometimes even rest stops also offer free Wi-Fi.
Use WiFi Map for Free Internet
And if you’re still searching for free Wi-Fi nearby, consider the app WiFi Map. The app helps you find free Wi-Fi locations within a 2.5-mile radius of wherever you are.
How to Get Free Internet at Home
More and more cities are starting to make Wi-Fi networks available to the public so that everyone can be connected. If you know your city is one that supplies Wi-Fi or works with a company like Google to supply Wi-Fi, then that might be your best bet for connecting to the internet from home for free.
Many of the networks have limited bandwidth, but if all you’re doing is checking your email and browsing the web it’s perfect.
Use Your Cell Phone as a Wi-Fi Hotspot
If you have an unlimited data plan on your cell phone, then it makes sense to turn it into a Wi-Fi hotspot that you can use with your computer at home.
PC Mag has a whole write up on how to turn various phones into Wi-Fi hotspots, just click here.
A word of warning, when you use your phone this way, it burns that battery life pretty quickly. If you plan to use your phone as a hotspot, you’ll need a charger with you at all times. You can also consider buying a battery pack like this one here on Amazon.
How to Get Free Internet at Home Without Paying
There are also Internet Service Providers (ISPs) that will help you get Wi-Fi for free.
Free Internet with EveroneOn.org
According to the blog The Work at Home Wife, EveryoneOn is part of a government partnership with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The idea is to make internet available to low-income families that would otherwise be unable to afford it.
To find out if you qualify, visit the website by clicking here. Even if you don’t qualify for the free plan, you possibly qualify for a low-cost one.
Free Internet with FreedomPop
FreedomPop is another option for free internet at home. It offers free wireless internet and free equipment to help you hook up.
While the plan may have changed since I last checked, FreedomPop offers 2 GB of free data for your first month. After that you receive 500 MB of free data every month.
If all you’re doing is checking your email, it will do.
To find out if you qualify, click here.
Free Internet with NetZero and Juno
If you remember the dial-up internet days, then you remember that NetZero and Juno were major ISPs at the time. Both of them are still in operation and still offering a connection to the internet.
NetZero offers customers 10 hours of free dial-up internet per month. It’s not enough to stream movies all month, but it is enough to get you connected when you need to.
Juno offers a similar deal of 10 hours of free dial-up internet per month along with a free Juno email account.
How to Get Free High Speed Internet
If you pay for high speed internet at home, it may also work for you on the road. A lot of ISPs will host Wi-Fi hotspots in and around major cities so you can log on even when you’re away from your home.
These hotspots are better than the ones at Starbucks or Target because they’re free, they’re faster, and they’re usually more secure because they require a password or proof of home service.
How to Get Free Cable TV with Cable Internet
Just because you subscribe to an ISP, doesn’t mean you have to purchase the television combination as well. In fact, there are a lot of ways to get free cable TV, though they work best if you have a high speed internet connection.
While it sounds like that old school metal thing that was on top of your house when you were a kid (or maybe when your parents were kids), an HDTV antenna is actually really advanced.
Depending on where you live, you could receive more than 100 channels just by using an antenna. Better yet, these antennas are much smaller than those old ones.
Antenna Web tells you how many channels are available in your area and which antenna is best for your home and location.
Free Streaming Services
There are a number of streaming sites that will give you television for free. TV Box, TV.com and Series Cravings are all great options. Best of all, it’s completely legal.
Fox.com, ABC.com and NBC.com all want you to watch their programming. Their websites stream the latest episodes of their most popular television shows; you just have to be willing to watch the advertisements that go with them.
YouTube is trying to get into the streaming battle and so it sometimes offers free television shows and movies. Just like network websites, YouTube’s price for free television is that you have to watch the ads.
Classic Television Online
Take a trip with Gilligan and Skipper or take a ride with the cowpokes on Bonanza, Classic Television Online offers free episodes of the old-time classics. The selection is limited, but it’s always fun to take a stroll down memory lane.
In truth, this isn’t free, but if you have an Amazon Prime account because you love that free shipping, there’s also the perk of free television. Amazon creates its own television shows and it streams a bunch of television as well.
If you’re not taking advantage of the free streaming that comes with an Amazon Prime account, you should be.
The Amazon Prime 30-day free trial is here.
How to Get Internet for Free…Safely
The idea of free internet is very appealing but you need to take care.
There are two types of networks that you can log onto: secured and unsecured.
An unsecured network doesn’t require a password or even an email address to log on.
According to the internet security company Kaspersky, unsecured means anyone can log on, and it gives hackers the opportunity access to all of the devices on the same network. That means the hacker has access to anything you send out over the internet such as important emails, credit card information, personal information and the hacker has the ability to distribute malware to other computers and devices.
Secured means that you need a passcode and username to log on. In some cases you also need to pay a fee to access the network. You’ll find secured networks in places like hotels and businesses.
As I described above, your personal ISP at home may also offer a secured network to log onto when you’re away from home.
Secured networks tend to be a little safer than unsecured ones.
Tips for Using Free Internet
It can be dangerous to log onto an unknown internet provider, so you need to do it with caution. The internet security company Norton has a few tips if you do log onto an unsecure network.
- Use a secured network whenever possible.
- Never access personal bank accounts or personal data when you’re on an unsecured public network. Secured ISPs aren’t much safer.
- Never leave your connection point (laptop, tablet, or smartphone) unattended when you’re in a public place.
- Don’t shop online while connected to an unsecured network.
- Turn off automatic connectivity. While it’s very convenient, it can also connect you to a network that you don’t mean to use. For example, Target names the Wi-Fi networks in all of its stores “Target”. Someone with ill intentions could also name their Wi-Fi network Target and your phone or laptop could automatically connect.
- Keep an eye on your Bluetooth connectivity as well.
- Consider a Virtual Private Network (VPN). It will encrypt the data you send and receive while you use a public Wi-Fi hotspot.
Remember, free is good, but safe is better.