If you’re paying for an internet connection, you may be surprised to find out that there is a way to get FREE internet. Yes, you read that correctly. With many internet providers across the U.S developing ways to bring about free connections, it’s becoming increasingly more accessible to source WiFi without paying, even from the comfort of your own home!
Many non-profit organizations have put together plans for internet at no cost for those that struggle to pay for a connection, and if not free at a very low cost. This means that more and more people (including employees that work from home) are able to cut down costs and can benefit from the free internet.
Though free internet at home may seem like an alien idea, it is, in fact, becoming increasingly popular. However, it is important to note that such Wi-Fi connections are often less powerful and are not suitable for recreational activities such as gaming.
With this said, if you’re looking for ways to bring about a free internet connection, we have all the advice you could need below. Before you know it, you’ll have the internet at home helping to alleviate any financial strain. Let’s take a look at what you need to know when it comes to ways to get free internet in the U.S.
Best Ways to Get Free Internet
Though finding free internet may seem a difficult task, it is indeed a lot easier than some may think. We have gathered together all the resources so that you can read about how to get free internet in your own home. Having access to the internet no longer needs to be considered a luxury, rather it should be essential for families that earn less and anyone else who may struggle to pay for internet at home.
FreedomPop is designed for those who cannot afford an internet service plan, and it works in a super-easy way. The company provides you with a router at no charge and what’s better is that it’s completely portable. You can use the router to access the internet at home or anywhere else you may need it. Wherever you are in the country, you’ll have a quick and guaranteed way to access an internet service at absolutely no charge.
You will need to pay an initial deposit to benefit from the internet access, but it is refunded to you once you return the device. You can return the device at the end of the year to get your deposit back; however, if you carry on using the WiFi router, your deposit will be carried across to the following year.
FreedomPop also offers a data option allowing their internet users to benefit from 500MB of data completely without paying. This is an ideal free internet access plan for anyone who doesn’t use a lot of data and only needs to go on the internet essentials.
For those that find themselves requiring more internet data, you can easily upgrade to a paid plan (2GB) which will cost you $19 per month. This cheap internet service is ideal for anyone who works daily and needs access to everyday tasks. Though some of the FreedomPop plans will cost you, they are far cheaper than most service providers in the U.S, allowing you to save money on WiFi without a doubt.
Another great option for those looking to get free internet, NetZero is one of the oldest internet service providers in the U.S. Founded in 1988, it works in a different way to FreedomPop under the same principle: providing free internet access for low-income families. Those that choose to use the free internet service will need to sign up and download the NetZero software.
The NetZero internet is restricted, however, but you’ll still get 10 hours of internet for free a month. It’s a great option for users who won’t be using the WiFi much and rather just need it for the basics. In addition to the free internet, NetZero also provides other plans that will come at a cost for households but at an affordable one at that.
With the DSL broadband service, you’ll benefit from higher browsing speeds without spending too much money. The minimum charges come to around $26 a month. This is considerably cheaper than most Wi-Fi services making it a solid choice for low-income families.
Mobile Data Plans
In addition to its broadband plans, NetZero also offers a range of mobile data plans which are made to be extremely affordable. When you’re in need of connecting your mobile phone to the internet, NetZero offers the following plans:
- They offer 200MB at no extra cost which is valid for a month
- You can get 500MB of data for just $17 per month
- You can get 1GB of data for just $27 per month
- You can get 2GB of data for just $42 per month
Note that the free option is best suited to those who use little to no data on their phones, as it can only be used for emergency situations.
WiFi Free Spot
WiFi Free Spot helps people to locate national and regional enterprises in the U.S where you can access free internet. The WiFi Free Spot acts as a directory and displays Wi-Fi locations in the area where you can get free internet with no hidden charges. For those that move around regularly, this means that you can research in advance about free internet at the location that you are travelling to.
Freelancers can make great use of the Wi-Fi Free spots, and one of the most popular places to access this internet is in city libraries. You will need to sign up with a local library in order to get onto their computers and make use of the free internet, though the process is usually straight forward and only take a few minutes.
In a library setting, you’ll also benefit from a quiet environment that is normally free from distractions. This can be an excellent place to work if you are looking to get free internet and focus on a work assignment or studying.
Use your phone as a Hotspot for Free Internet
If you have a smartphone, most of them come with a hotspot function for accessing the internet. Also known as tethering, by powering on your mobile phone hotspot you can connect a device such as a laptop to make use of your internet. The phone hotspot acts in the same way as a router to provide internet to your laptop or computer for work, and it uses the data available in your mobile plan.
For those that have a large amount of mobile data, this can be particularly handy and may make it seem like you have free internet. However, hotspots do consume a large amount of data, so it’s best to be mindful of this if you are only allocated a small amount of data each month.
Unlimited WiFi hotspot data is becoming increasingly more affordable, with many internet providers catering to low-income families. It can be a lot cheaper in comparison to paying for a separate internet plan, and many individuals find a hotspot to do all that they need in terms of connection. Consider a hotspot internet option if you are looking to save money when it comes to buying a plan for mobile data and WiFi.
Ask a Neighbor for Free Internet
Depending on your relationship with your neighbors, you may be in a position to use their internet. Many people choose to cut costs by asking to use their neighbor’s internet services which can help if you’re not in a position to pay. Obviously, depending on how close you are with neighbors, they may be comfortable with you using it on a daily basis. If not, you could ask if it’s possible to use their WiFi for a few hours a day if you have online tasks that need to be done.
You could also offer free services to help your neighbor out, such as mowing the lawn in order to use their WiFi. They may ask if you can afford to split the internet costs, and if you’re not in a position to a little bit of bargaining may be needed.
If your neighbor agrees to allow you to use their WiFi, it is important to establish boundaries with them. This will help to reassure them that you aren’t taking advantage and you will do your part. Agree to ensure that their password is kept safe and it will only be using it; you should also agree to only visiting safe websites. Everybody needs to feel comfortable with the WiFi agreement, and this can be one of the best ways to get free internet at home.
Which internet service providers offer free internet access?
A number of internet service providers offer free WiFi services to users. We’ve compiled a list of them below and what you can expect from each to help you decide which is most suitable for your own needs.
Charter Spectrum Internet
Charter Spectrum announced that it would offer free internet to low-income families and others in need for up to 60 days. Those that choose to use the free internet service will benefit from speeds of up 100Mps, which is powerful enough for online video calls. This makes it particularly attractive to students who may need to participate in online calls or classes and any professional worker who is on their laptop daily.
In addition to a 60-day period of free internet, Charter Spectrum also offers internet programs with speeds of up to 30Mps. This is designed to assist families who require home internet access and are already enrolled in the following programs:
- NSLP (National School Lunch Program)
- Applicants over 65 who receive SSI
- The Community Eligibility Provision of the NSLP
Altice Suddenlink and Altice Optimum internet
Another fantastic way to get free internet at home is via the Altice Suddenlink and Altice Optimum internet scheme. You can receive up to 60 days of free high-speed internet when you choose to sign up, which is ideal for a number of users, including students. If you live in a household with K-12 and/or college students and you don’t have a way to get on the internet for home-working, the company can help you.
Users that sign up are only required to pay the initial installation fee, and you can cancel this low-cost internet service anytime after. After the first two months of free internet at home, you will be required to pay a small fee of $14.99 each month to still use your home internet.
This is one of the best free internet services available for low-income households, and you will benefit from 30Mps internet speeds. You’ll also get a free router, unlimited data to use as you wish, and discounted installing costs too.
HBC signed the FCC’s pledge to provide low-cost internet to those in need. It has agreed to waive all service fees and will not terminate services for non-payment. This makes it an affordable internet option for those that are on lower incomes, and it also offers free internet for eligible low-income families in need.
The free program is offered to those that already participate in these following programs:
- NSLP (National School Lunch Program)
- The Telephone Assistance Program (TAP)
More ways to get free internet
If you’re still in need of further information surrounding acquiring free internet to use at home, there are more services that you can access that you could be eligible for. Finding a free internet service provider that won’t charge you may seem impossible, but so long as you can prove circumstances, you will likely be granted access to a program.
There are a lot of government programs in the U.S that offer internet service for those that cannot afford to pay for a connection. In order to be enrolled in such an internet program, you must prove eligibility, however, in order to be able to claim the offer.
Non-government programs that assist with internet access
Many NGOs in the U.S have signed pledges to work with internet providers in order to make the internet accessible for those on a low income. While there are many options such as Wi-Fi hotspots and plans that are cheaper on a per month basis, some simply can’t afford to pay at all.
If you live in America, there are a number of programs from NGOs that you can sign up for as long as you pass the criteria. Here are some options if you cannot afford to pay for the internet:
EveryoneOn is an NGO that places emphasis on bringing internet connections and computing to low-income families. In addition to supporting families, EveryoneOn also assists marginalized communities too by opening up social and economic opportunities and delivers training programs focused on digital skills.
PCs for People
Another great organization is PCs for People that help those on lower incomes through the provision of refurbished computers to those on a low-income. They also provide NGOs with computers too, while much of their focus remains on internet connectivity.
Founded with the goal to reduce e-waste, Human-I-T repairs reusable technology and connects said devices with those who need them. As well as providing low-cost electronic devices, the NGO also provides resources to help people find low-cost internet.
As you have probably come to find from the guide above, is that there are many ways to find free internet. If you qualify, many NGOs and government-led programs can provide you with broadband internet and even computers if you find yourself in a crisis.
From WiFi hotspots to getting a free router for WiFi, there are many different options that are based on your circumstances. In the U.S, the government is doing more than ever to lift restrictions on families that may be held back because they have no means of paying for an internet connection.
For low-income families, you can reach out to some of the organizations above to get connected. There are many different providers out there, speak to somebody who can help you today and start the process for access to WiFi.
Do you still have some questions surrounding free internet? Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of the most asked questions below for you so that you don’t have to trawl the internet to find the answers! Read on to learn more about accessing free internet where you can’t afford to pay for a connection below:
How do I get free high-speed internet at home?
If you need an internet connection at your house and you cannot afford to pay a service provider, you may be wondering what your next move is. Unfortunately, in the U.S, many families that don’t earn an average income are left without a means of accessing WiFi. If you happen to find yourself in this position and you need access to the internet for job searching, studying, or even working, there is help available to you. Charter Spectrum offers a free service with speeds of up to 100Mps. You’ll get 60 days free before you will have to upgrade to a paid option.
For those that are seeking an entirely free service due to lack of income, it is best to contact one of the NGOs listed above. They will be able to assist and could provide you with a means of getting a speedy internet connection where you live for free.
How do I find free internet near me?
We’ve included lots of ideas in the guide above to assist with finding local free internet. One of your best options is to head to a local library, where you can sign up as a member and access the computers too. You can also search for WiFi hotspots as a means of accessing the web at no cost. Many freelance workers and students find that they are able to WiFi without paying by searching their local areas using the WiFi Free Spot directory.
Don’t underestimate how easy it is to find a free connection near you. Most people fail to realize just how many free hotspots there are in populated areas; sometimes, all you need to do is go out and explore. Coffee shops also offer WiFi which you won’t have to pay for so long as you buy a drink while you visit.
How can you get free internet through the government?
If you are eligible (depending on your financial circumstances), you may be able to get a free WIFi connection via a government program. The FCC Lifeline program is designed specifically to provide internet connections at a reduced cost for those on lower incomes, and in some cases a completely free of charge connection too. You will need to visit the FCC Lifeline website to check that you are eligible prior to applying.
You will either need to qualify via your income which where it is 135% of the federal poverty guidelines or less, you can be granted help. Another way in which applicants are assessed for qualification is based on whether your household participates in other federal assistance programs including Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA) for example.
How can students get free internet?
One of the best ways for students to access free internet is by contacting one of the partners that have teamed up with providers in the U.S. There are a number of programs available as listed above including Charter Spectrum, Optimum and Suddenlink, and many others. Google is striving to set up 100,000 hotspots across the U.S in rural homes that will provide free WiFi for the first three months, and it is also donating 4,000 Chromebooks to students in need.
In addition to the partners that you can contact, another great way to access the internet is by signing up to a local library. While you will only be able to access the web when visiting the library location, most libraries do not cap internet access.
You could also ask a neighbor if they’d be comfortable with you accessing their web connection when you are at your house. As mentioned above, if they agree, it’s always a good idea to establish boundaries and make them feel secure in sharing their password with you. If time allows, you could offer a service to them, such as walking their dog, mowing their lawn, or cleaning their car.