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14 Ways To Get Free Internet Access

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Want to know how to get free internet? The internet is used all the time, and most people use it every single day. As someone who works online, I completely understand how important the internet is – I use it for many hours every single day, usually. But, internet can be expensive, and many people…

Want to know how to get free internet?

The internet is used all the time, and most people use it every single day. As someone who works online, I completely understand how important the internet is – I use it for many hours every single day, usually.

But, internet can be expensive, and many people pay $50 to $100+ each month (and that’s almost $1,000 each year!). If you are looking to save some money, then finding ways to get free stuff can help you spend less money.

Key Takeaways

  • There are many ways to get free or low-cost internet in your home, on your laptop, and on your cell phone.
  • The Affordable Connectivity Program is a government program to look into for free internet.
  • All the big internet companies like AT&T, Comcast, and Spectrum have free internet plans.
  • Public Wi-Fi is an option, but you will want to make sure you are safe when using free internet connections.

Who Can Get Free Internet Services?

Free internet access can be extremely helpful for people who are not able to afford internet.

After all, internet can be quite expensive, and you can easily spend around $1,000 a year just on internet. That would be tens of thousands of dollars over your lifetime!

If you’re trying to find ways to cut back on your budget, then starting with a monthly recurring expense such as internet can be a great way to lower your monthly expenses for a long time.

Before you start looking into how to get free internet services, it’s important to know if you qualify. Here are some examples of who can get free Wi-Fi:

  • Government assistance programs – There are free government internet service programs that give discounted internet services to eligible households, typically those that use public assistance programs like SNAP, SSI, WIC, or Medicaid.
  • Nonprofit organizations – Some nonprofit organizations have free or low-cost internet options, such as for seniors or people with disabilities.
  • Public Wi-Fi hotspots – You can find free Wi-Fi in different public places like coffee shops, libraries, parks, and airports.

Recommended reading: 11 Ways To Get A Free Cell Phone And Plan

Why is there free internet?

So, you may be wondering why there are free government internet service programs and why certain places and companies give out free internet.

Some reasons include:

  • Everyone should be able to have internet. The internet is really important and many companies/groups know that and want to make sure everyone can have access to the internet.
  • The internet helps people to learn online. Getting to learn online is really important for students these days. They need the internet for research, assignments, and using online learning sites. Because of this, schools, nonprofit groups, and even some companies have free internet options.
  • The internet helps people find jobs. Having the internet can help a lot in making a place grow and get better economically, and the government knows this. Internet lets people look for jobs, start businesses, and be part of the economy. When companies and governments give out free or cheap internet, they give a chance for people to make their lives better and do good things in their communities.

Best Ways To Get Free Internet Access

Below are the best ways to get free internet access.

1. Affordable Connectivity Program

The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is a Federal Communications Commission government program that gives money to households that qualify, to help pay for broadband internet service.

This is the top government program for free internet that you will want to look into and start with.

If you can qualify for this program, you can get up to $30 each month for your internet bill, or $75 per month if you live in certain Tribal lands.

A household can qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program if their income is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, or if they meet another criteria such as participating in:

  • free or reduced-price school lunch program
  • school breakfast program
  • SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program)
  • Medicaid
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance
  • Tribal Head Start
  • Tribal TANF
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
  • Federal Housing Assistance
  • Federal Pell Grant (from the current award year)
  • WIC
  • Veterans Pension or Survivor Benefits, and more.

To check if you qualify and to sign up, go to the ACP website.

2. Lifeline

Lifeline is a government program that gives discounts on phone and internet services for households with low income.

Through this program, you can get up to $9.25 off your monthly internet bill, and that is up to $111 each year for signing up.

You’re eligible for Lifeline if your income is 135% or less than the Federal Poverty Guidelines, which depends on your household size and the state that you live in. You can also qualify if you use SNAP, Medicaid, or other government programs.

So, it is a little easier to qualify for Lifeline than it is for ACP (although, the ACP program does give you more money), as the income level is different.

To check your eligibility and learn more about the program, visit the Lifeline website.

Internet Service Providers With Free Connections

Below are internet providers that have free or very affordable monthly internet plans.

3. FreedomPop

FreedomPop is a company that gives free basic internet plans for your phone because it participates in the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program.

If you want mobile internet with a low amount of data, this could be a good choice. Their free plan gives you 10 GB of data every month for $0.00.

To sign up or learn more, visit the FreedomPop website.

4. NetZero

NetZero is a company that has free dial-up internet, but there are some limits. It’s not as fast as high-speed internet, but it could work if you just want basic internet without paying a monthly cost.

The free plan lets you use the internet for up to 10 hours each month.

You can learn more and sign up at the NetZero website.

5. AT&T

Yes, even big companies like AT&T have free internet options.

AT&T has a program called Access that gives low-cost internet to households with low income who qualify because they participate in the Affordable Connectivity Program.

If you can get it, you might get internet speeds up to 100 Mbps at a lower price. This is one of the faster speeds I found for free internet plans – so if you want something a little faster, then you may want to look into this plan through AT&T.

With this plan, there is no annual contract and installation is free.

You can learn more about AT&T’s Access program here.

6. Spectrum

Spectrum Internet Assist is a program for low-income households that qualify for specific assistance programs such as the ACP.

This free internet plan has internet speeds up to 30 Mbps at a significantly lower cost. Plus, you also get a free modem with no data limits.

You can learn more about Spectrum Internet Assist here.

7. Comcast and Xfinity

Comcast’s Internet Essentials program has cheap internet for families with low income, seniors, and people with disabilities.

They have monthly internet plans for just $9.95 per month, which includes equipment.

You can learn more about Comcast’s and Xfinity’s Internet Essentials program here.

Note: Comcast and Xfinity are the same company.

8. Verizon

Verizon has free and low-cost internet through the ACP program. There are also no equipment charges or hidden fees.

You can learn more about Verizon’s program here.

9. Juno

Juno is a company that gives a free internet plan, but there are limits. You can use it for up to 10 hours each month. This could work if you only need the internet now and then, and you don’t need it to be super fast.

You can learn more about Juno’s Free Dial-Up Internet Access here.

Ways To Get Free Public Wi-Fi

Below are different public places where you can connect to their Wi-Fi for free.

10. Coffee shops

Lots of coffee shops (such as Starbucks) give their customers free Wi-Fi so they can use the internet while drinking or eating. People use Wi-Fi at restaurants all the time (some people even work all day at coffee shops for the free Wi-Fi!), so this is completely normal.

Many other stores and companies have free Wi-Fi as well, such as McDonald’s, Barnes & Noble, Panera Bread, Taco Bell, Dunkin’ Donuts, and more.

11. Libraries

Public libraries usually have free Wi-Fi for anyone who comes in. You can do work, study, or just use the internet in a quiet place.

Public libraries also tend to have safer Wi-Fi connections that are monitored to make sure there are no hackers.

Sometimes, you might need a library card to get the Wi-Fi, but getting one is usually easy and free.

12. Gyms

Some gyms have free Wi-Fi for their members as an extra benefit. This means you can listen to music or watch videos while working out, or you can even just find a quiet place to get some work done.

13. City recreation centers

City recreation centers, like community centers or parks, usually have free Wi-Fi for the public. These places can be good choices for working outside your home or office, and you can also use the resources and do activities available there.

I know of many people who use city rec centers for free Wi-Fi, and they even drop their children off in the kids’ centers so that they can get work done (and their kid can socialize/have fun – it’s a win-win!).

14. Coworking spaces

While coworking spaces usually have a monthly fee, some might have a free trial period or days when you can use them for free.

To do this, you can look into local coworking spaces to see if they have any special offers.

How To Get Free Internet

How To Be Safe With Free Public Wi-Fi

When using free public Wi-Fi, you will want to be safe. I personally try to avoid public Wi-Fi whenever I can due to safety issues, but I do completely understand that sometimes you do need free public Wi-Fi.

Whenever I have to use public Wi-Fi (I still use it often!), I always follow these tips below:

Use a VPN

To stay safe when using public Wi-Fi, make sure to use a VPN (Virtual Private Network). A VPN creates a safe connection between your device (such as your laptop or phone) and the public Wi-Fi you want to connect to, which makes it harder for hackers to get your online data.

When I have to use free public Wi-Fi, I always make sure to connect to my VPN first, as it’s always a good idea to be safe and protect my laptop as well as my personal information. I have a VPN on my phone as well as on my laptop!

Only use networks that are password protected

When using public Wi-Fi, you should always choose networks that have passwords. Password-protected networks encrypt your data, which makes it harder for criminals to get your information.

I know it can be tempting to look for open networks that have no password as that can seem so easy, but criminals tend to use this to their advantage because they know that you are vulnerable (and desperate for quick Wi-Fi!).

Make sure it’s a real network

Before using any public Wi-Fi, you will, of course, want to make sure it’s real. Unfortunately, there are people who sometimes make fake networks with names that seem like the real ones to trick people and hack their devices.

For example, a fake network might be called “Free Airport Wi-Fi” instead of the actual “Airport Wi-Fi.” To make sure that a free internet network is legit, you should ask the staff for the right name and password or check for signs with information about the Wi-Fi you should be connecting to.

I have personally seen fake Wi-Fi networks, and sometimes they are really close to the real ones. So, always be careful and double-check the name!

Frequently Asked Questions About Free Internet

Below are common questions about how to find free internet access.

Is there any way to get free internet?

Yes, there are ways to get free broadband internet services. Public libraries, cafes, and community centers usually have free Wi-Fi for public use. For home internet access, you can look for internet service providers such as FreedomPop, or check whether your current provider has any free internet plans.

When getting free internet, I do recommend monitoring your data usage. Sometimes, the amount of data you get each month may be on the low end. Or, it may be slow. These are two things to think about.

How to get free internet for students?

Students can get access to free internet while at their school or college campus. Also, some internet service providers and community organizations have programs for students from low-income families.

How to get free internet from the government?

If you want to learn how to get free internet from the government, then you do have some options, such as the Affordable Connectivity Program. This helps low-income households get internet at a lower cost, such as with a $30 monthly discount on your internet bill. While it may not technically be “free,” it does lower your monthly cost for internet by a lot.

How To Get Free Internet Access – Summary

As you can see, there are many different programs and options where you can get free or low-cost internet access from internet service providers (ISPs) like AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, and others.

But, keep in mind that free internet might not always be super fast. Still, if you know your choices and take care, you can stay connected without spending a lot of money.

If you need to know how to get free internet at home without paying, then I recommend looking at each internet company’s website to determine if you are eligible and to find the best option for your needs.

What do you recommend for someone who wants to learn how to get free internet at home without paying?

Recommended reading:

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