how do I get free internet at home

How To Get Free Internet at Home

An Affordable Way to Stay Connected

The internet provides every U.S. American with vital access to medical, social and financial services. Being online means you can source medical information, make friends to improve happiness and check your bank balance. Most national and local government information now exists solely online, while print is often difficult to obtain. Connectivity online has been proven to decrease feelings of loneliness, especially in the elderly and isolated individuals, as well as improve literacy rates across various groups. This gives those with access to the internet an advantage in modern times over those without.

It’s safe to say that internet access is vital today and no U.S. American can deny that their life would be easier if they had access. But how can low-income families get free internet service at home? In this article, we’ll explore how, through government initiatives, stores and generosity you could secure free internet. Let’s find out how.

Personal Hotspotting

If you have an ongoing mobile contract, chances are that this comes with a data package. You can use that data allowance on your laptop or desktop computer using a personal hotspot. Simply turn on your personal hotspot in your mobile’s settings and connect to it on your laptop or desktop computer’s Wi-Fi settings. You’ll be able to browse the web as you would on your mobile without the need for a home Wi-Fi box.

While larger data packages cost money, buying an unlimited data contract and sharing data with your laptop may work out cheaper than paying for a mobile contract and a home Wi-Fi package. Some phone network providers even offer basic plans that include free data every month, though these tend to be small amounts that will limit your activity online.

Using NetZero

The company NetZero offers every U.S. citizen 10 hours of free wifi every month. It’s easy to set up and use - you simply visit the NetZero website and download the software. You’ll then have 10 hours of free internet access per month. This is ideal for those with simple admin tasks to complete monthly, such as booking appointments or checking your finances.

Accessing Public Wi-Fi Networks

Many private businesses offer customers access to free wifi during their opening hours. The types of companies offering this service include coffee shops, supermarkets and fast food restaurants. Some government-run spaces offer this, too, such as libraries.

These services tend to be accessible within a small parameter of the outlet. Still, it’s often reachable if you live above, next to or sometimes even opposite a public Wi-Fi network. Find out if you live close enough to a public Wi-Fi network by searching for connections on your mobile, laptop or desktop computer.

You should be prepared for slow speeds during rush hour periods and meal times in the case of restaurants. This is because store congestion is highest, meaning internet access is being spread more thinly. During quieter times of the day, you’ll enjoy fast and reliable wifi.

Qualifying for Lifeline

Lifeline is a U.S. government initiative designed with lower-income individuals in mind. The scheme is mainly for the elderly, but some other groups qualify, too, including those in Medicaid. Low-income internet ensures that everyone has access to vital services.

For elderly people, Lifeline offers a valuable lifeline - an opportunity to meet others online. This can extend life expectancy, boost feelings of happiness and optimism, and prevent feelings of loneliness and depression.

Getting Accepted Onto The Affordable Connectivity Program

Another government scheme that has helped families across the U.S. access the internet for free is the Affordable Connectivity Program. With this scheme, certain families will be awarded up to US$30 per month toward their Wi-Fi bill as well as a one-time discount of up to US$100 on a laptop, desktop computer or tablet.

Eligible people include those receiving Federal Housing Assistance or Veterans Pension. With access to free wifi, even those on the lowest income can access health advice, financial services and social messaging platforms. It’ll even open up job opportunities for those seeking work.

Asking Generous Neighbors

An often overlooked solution to your Wi-Fi needs is your neighbors. They may be generous enough to let you use their internet access free of charge. This is especially useful for elderly relatives who don’t have their own connection but may need it for occasional admin tasks or to connect with family through a video call.

You’re likely to get reliable internet speeds this way because they’re so close, but issues can arise if your neighbor moves house, changes the password or stops paying for wifi.