Wireless Internet is becoming an increasingly necessary part of life. It may not be a life or death situation, but we’re in an era where almost everyone has a smartphone and is sending links to websites and gifs through email and text messages. All the time. Data plans are getting smaller and smaller due to the amount of people and the amount of usage, so everyone is trying to keep their monthly payments down by connecting to WiFi at any available time. Finding hotspots isn’t really a challenge anymore, but what’s the best option when you absolutely need to find cheap WiFi?
Most companies will offer a plan that gets you the cheap WiFi you’re looking for, but there may be a few catches. They’ll always try to upsell and get you to commit to a bundle, which is Cable or Satellite TV and Internet combined into a single package. You don’t have to take this option, but this is most likely what they’ll push for.
Comcast offers a whole slew of different Internet-only plans, and some may be a little out of the range of what’s considered cheap WiFi, but there are options. Some of the cheaper packages are only available to customers with existing phone plans, but there are some starting at $29.99 a month and going all the way up to $114.95 each month. Unless you’re a hardcore online gamer, have a huge family with multiple computers or need to download extremely large files, you probably don’t need that one.
CenturyLink offers fewer options, but their cheap WiFi option is cheaper than Comcast/Xfinity. They offer a $19.95 per month plan that comes with a 5-year price lock with no contract required.
HughesNet is another option for Internet, but with limited availability, it’s only an option in certain areas of the country.
Time Warner also offers Internet-only packages and theirs starts around the same price as CenturyLink at $19.99 per month. Like HughesNet though, Time Warner is only available in certain areas of the country.
A lot of Internet providers are regional, so while you may see a great deal from one, it may not be available where you live and therefore not an option. The other thing about finding cheap WiFi is that while the plans themselves may be reasonable, they don’t always include the equipment. In order to get Internet, you need a modem and in order for that modem to produce wireless Internet, you need a router. Neither of these pieces of equipment are included with the base price. They are usually available to rent, but come at an extra $10 per month or so. Buying your own router is usually the best move in the long run, but the modem is usually required to be leased through the provider.
If you need Internet for everything you do, there are a couple of ways to get cheap WiFi without going through service provider, though.
- Share with a neighbor – If you live in an apartment building, see if your next door neighbor wants to split the cost. You can get a strong enough signal that it’ll work if the router is placed near a shared wall and it’ll be half the price.
- Become one of those coffee shop people – Lots of coffee shops offer free WiFi, and those coffee shops are EVERYWHERE. Find one that’s close to home and start hanging out there – just remember to buy something every so often and tip the baristas so they don’t kick you out.
- Libraries and Laundromats – Places that have a large congregation of people often have free WiFi for their patrons. A library will never ask you to leave (until closing time, anyway) and you can always just pretend you’re doing your laundry. Both may take a while longer, since you’ll be sharing the connection with many others.
If you’re looking for cheap WiFi, there are many plans and providers out there ready to give it to you at a reasonable price. But there are also plenty of ways to get it without them. Take a look at what you need it for and what you want it for. The options for cheap WiFi are out there, it may just take a little searching and a little patience until you find one that works for you. That’s what coffee shops are for.