Picture this – You’ve got a new job in Blackpool, and you must move as soon as possible. It’s an exciting opportunity that you don’t want to miss. So, you pack your stuff and head to your new residence.
There is a slight problem though. You’re on a budget already but want a reliable internet connection without leaving a hole in your wallet.
But wait, shouldn’t Wi-Fi be free for everyone by now? With the increased connectivity, you can only hope for more competitive internet rates.
However, depending on your internet usage, that is not always the case, and you may be forced to fork a substantial amount of money just to get online. Fortunately, you can cut down your internet cost by applying the money saving tips outlined below.
Get Internet Connection Through Your Cable Company
You may not know it, but if you get your internet connection from your cable company, you may have access to thousands of hotspots you’ve not even heard of. All you need to do is to check your provider’s website for available hotspots in your area or if the provider has a mobile app, download it to enable you to find hotspots quickly.
Some of the cable companies that allow users to access their hotspots without extra charge include O2 WiFi, Cox, McDonald’s UK, The Cloud, and Boingo. If you have been mulling over changing your cable company, perhaps it’s time to do it!
Participate in Low-Cost High-Speed Internet Services
If you are a low-income earner and reside in a participating area, you may consider enrolling in a program that offers low-cost, high-speed internet services. One such program that is available is the TalkTalk Faster Fibre Speed Boost program that costs £22 per month. The program provides high-speed DSL internet service for £10 a month for the first year and $£22 every month after that.
In some countries such as the United States, you must prove that you’re receiving certain types of government benefits such as Medicaid, Food stamps, home energy assistance or that your household income is below 135,150 dollars, and 175% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines to qualify for low-cost internet program. Some of the plans available in the US include Connect2compete and Internet Essentials.
Subscribe for a Data Plan Through Your Cell Phone Provider
In this era of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, you are better off if you subscribe to an internet data plan with your mobile provider. Even better, you can combine your cell phone plan and data plan. Verizon, for instance, charges between $50 to $100 per month for cell phone and data plan based on the amount of data you use every month.
If checking your emails and social media accounts through your phone does not sound like your cup of coffee, you can choose data plans for other devices such as laptops and tablets.
Lock Your Internet Usage to Free Wi-Fi Locations
Finding free Wi-Fi locations can be time-consuming unless you are a student. However, you can always get free internet access in public libraries, a variety of coffee shops, restaurants, hotels, and even some bars. If you have a wireless-enabled phone, tablet or laptop, you can use sites such as Wi-Fi FreeSpot to search for free Wi-Fi locations based on your area as well.
The Bottom Line
The internet is fast becoming a necessity. There are smartphones everywhere. Besides, you can now subscribe to streaming TV services as long as you have a stable internet connection. Even then, you don’t have to burn through your budget to get connected to the internet.
Start by looking at the available local services that offer free or affordable internet. Of course, you have to select a program whose charges are in line with your estimates. Consider paying an annual subscription – it is always cheaper.
You can also opt to visit Wi-Fi spots in your local area. The only problem with this approach is that you have to know when there isn’t a lot of human traffic. In most cases, you’re better off visiting a hotspot in the morning or late into the night especially if it is a restaurant or a place open to the public.