For all of the benefits we get from cable TV, it undoubtedly costs a pretty penny or two. Which got me wondering: what is the cheapest you could watch TV for? Really, what would it take to watch all of your favorite shows – the latest episodes and all that – without having to  open your wallet or purse? I did the math and determined that the absolute cheapest you could watch TV for is… about $0.

Assuming you have a nice laptop and live near someplace with free wifi, you could essentially get TV for free. Here’s how it works (though I have to note, for legal purposes, that CableTV do not support or encourage anything you’re about to read.

It’s for educational purposes only.): 1. If you own a TV: sell it. If you don’t own a TV: don’t buy one. 2. Don’t pay for high-speed internet. That would defeat the point. 3. Without a TV you don’t need to pay for TV service (dish or cable, or online services like Hulu Plus or Netflix). 4. Visit your local free wifi place once a week to bum off their internet for a few hours in order to torrent all of your favorite TV shows.* 5. Profit. (Just kidding, there’s no profit here.) That’s how to watch TV for free. It’s certainly do-able, and would save you a decent amount of money each year (no internet, no TV, and no cable service would equal about $2,000 every year). But, as with all good things, there are a-plenty of downsides.

Let’s go over those too, to be fair: 1. Without high-speed internet you won’t be able to do much outside of watching shows on your laptop. 2. You have to actually get up and go find free wifi, which you might end up paying for anyway if the place requires you to buy a coffee or something. 3. Torrenting is highly illegal in many countries, so if you get caught you won’t have to worry about TV because you’ll be in prison or working 24 hours a day to pay a hefty, hefty fine. 4. There’s no guarantee you’ll find the shows or episodes you want to watch. 5. Even if you do find the show you are looking for, it will take forever to download since most free wifi networks are lacking in the bandwidth department. 6. The quality of shows you download are going to be much lower than watching them on cable or satellite TV.

All-in-all it looks like you can get away with watching cable TV for free if you really need to save up some extra cash, but it doesn’t seem worth it for most of us. * does not promote or encourage the illegal piracy of any content. It’s illegal and it’s stealing. Don’t do it.