Several internet service providers offer free internet plans, however they usually come with sluggish speeds or very low data limits.
As the last year has shown, getting by in today's world without access to the internet is nearly difficult. While availability remains a key issue, expensive fees are frequently a greater impediment to people being online.
According to a Pew Research Center survey, half of all persons who don't have a home internet connection say one of the reasons is that it's too expensive - more than twice as many as those who say they don't have access. As part of their Keep America Connected pledge, the FCC and internet service providers have made significant steps to assist Americans in remaining online throughout the pandemic, although completely free internet access remains a rare thing.
On this section, we'll go over all of the current free internet alternatives, as well as some resources that can help you obtain your internet connection considerably discounted, if not completely free.
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Free internet is almost always too good to be true. In 2021, you'll nearly always have to pay a monthly payment to acquire the type of internet connection most people are used to. However, a few companies do give entirely free, no-strings-attached internet plans, albeit speeds are, predictably, limited.
Free of charge
What you'll get: Each month, you'll get 10 hours of dial-up internet.
Anyone is eligible.
If the sound of dial-up internet makes you nostalgic, NetZero provides a free internet service for you. Each month, the company provides 10 hours of free dial-up connection with download speeds ranging from 28.8 to 56 kbps. To put that in context, it's around 0.2 percent of the FCC's minimum internet speed – enough to (slowly) check an email or load a web page, but not much else. To take advantage of NetZero's free internet offer, you'll also need a working phone jack and modem.
Free of charge
Each month, you'll get 25MB of 4G LTE data.
Anyone with a suitable smartphone is eligible.
FreedomPop is a cellular service provider that offers a free tier. While the plan is technically free, there are a few ways to get sucked into paying for it, so keep track of how much data you use on a monthly basis.
Each month, the "Freemium" plan gives 10 minutes of talk time, 10 messages, and 25MB of data. (When you're connected to Wi-Fi, calls and texts are both unlimited.) You'll need to use a FreedomPop SIM card on a compatible phone, which costs $10 when you sign up.
If you use more than 25 megabytes in a 30-day period, FreedomPop will automatically add 500 megabytes to your account for $8. To put things in perspective, watching five minutes of Netflix in the lowest resolution will consume 25MB, therefore you should only use FreedomPop to load the occasional email or webpage.
Free of charge
You'll get 2 Mbps internet with advertisements.
Anyone in northern Ohio is eligible.
Buckeye Broadband debuted a first-of-its-kind product in March 2021: free, ad-supported internet. Customers will get free broadband connection if they view a brief advertising before each session, similar to how streaming services like Peacock give free tiers in return for occasional advertisements.
FreeNet is a service that provides 2 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload speeds to anyone in Buckeye Broadband's service region, which is mostly northern Ohio. There is a $19.95 activation cost, and you must provide your own router if you wish to use Wi-Fi with the service.
If you truly want a free high-speed internet connection, you should take advantage of a government program. Low-income families who qualify for other government programs such as SNAP or Medicaid are usually eligible for these.
Program for Low-Cost Internet Access
You'll get $30 per month. a reduction in your monthly internet bill
Anyone whose income is at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level is eligible.
The FCC launched the Affordable Connectivity Program in January 2022, one of its most ambitious endeavors to date to bridge the digital divide. This initiative distributes $14 billion in funds to internet subscribers in the form of a $30 monthly payment. discount on their monthly internet fee ($75/mo for Tribal households), as well as a one-time discount of up to $100 on a smartphone, tablet or laptop purchases.
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