In today’s world, access to the internet is something of a necessity. But that doesn’t mean that everyone has access to it. Internet Service Providers (ISP) have been increasing their rates over the years, and those with limited funds risk being left by the wayside. If your personal finance situation isn’t forgiving enough to allow you to purchase internet access from Verizon or AT&T, don’t fret; there are options out there for you to get internet access for a very reduced rate, or even free!

How to get cheap or free internet

1. FreedomPop

FreedomPop is an excellent product for those seeking an alternate method of accessing the internet. All you need to do is purchase a Freedom Hub Burst modem – a onetime fee of $89.00 – and after that, you can use one gigabyte of absolutely free internet every month. Your best bet with this service is using the web to check email or just general web surfing. Accessing videos and images can be cumbersome.

If you do have a small amount of money coming in, you can upgrade to the 5 GB/$10 per month or 10 GB/$18 per month option. Just make sure you’re located within the coverage area.

2. All Free ISP

All Free ISP is dedicated to finding completely free dial-up internet close to you. Their service provides a list of cities with willing providers in each region and instructions for contacting and applying for free dial up.

Keep in mind that while this service is free, dial-up technology is a dinosaur by today’s standards. Don’t expect any miracles.

3. EveryoneOn.org

This site is a non-profit. Its mission is to help deliver access to the internet to low-income families.

After $50 one-time payment for a modem, there’s a $9.95 per month charge for your internet access – 10 MB/minute. The set up is free and there’s no contract, so you can opt out as soon as you need to. If you qualify, you might receive a steeply discounted refurbished laptop too.

4. Internet For Low Income Individuals

How do payments for access to the internet fit into your personal finance situation?

Depending on how low your income is and the state you live in, there might be programs offering reasonably priced high speed Internet capability. For example, CenturyLink is an organization with an Internet Basics program accessible in 37 states. This program provides DSL service for $120 the first year ($10 a month), and then $252 per year ($21 a month) after that. Free computer classes are available and if you have an extra $150, you can receive a PC.

In order to qualify, you will have to prove that you’re obtaining various government benefits, like Medicaid, Food Stamps, public housing, and so on. Besides that, you may be asked to demonstrate that you household income does not exceed 135%, 150% or 175% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Check to see what the guidelines dictate for your state.

Keep in mind that these are not the only programs offered by the government to help low income families access the internet. You’ll need to do some extensive research before you find the best option for your needs.

5. Free WiFi Near You

WiFi Free Spot is a platform geared towards helping you locate institutions in your area which offer free WiFi. This comes in handy because businesses sometimes don’t advertise free WiFi except at their physical location. Simply select your region (state, country) and you will have access to WiFi Free Spot’s massive database of locations. Maybe you’re close enough to one spot that you can access their WiFi without leaving home.

There are apps for Android and iPhone with similar functiosns

6. Contact Your ISP

Believe it or not, some ISPs already have options for free or low-cost internet service. They just don’t make a habit of advertising it for obvious reasons. Sometimes there are plans for $10 a month or even less. Just decline their additional offers for faster service and you’ll be good to go. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

7. Free Internet Every Month

NetZero and Juno are ISPs which deliver 10 hours of free internet to users every month. As with other programs already mentioned, this is a dial-up service that isn’t optimized for streaming, gaming or other advanced processes. It’s great in a pinch for checking email or some quick Googling. All you have to do in exchange is put up with some unobtrusive advertisements.

In particular, if you sign up with NetZero, you can become eligible for discounts on other products and services they offer. Razer promo code.

8. Teamwork Makes The Dream Work!

Get creative. Reach out to neighbors (not the one you can’t stand!) and see if they’d be okay with sharing their WiFi password with you. They’ll probably understand that times are tough. If you don’t want a handout, you can offer any kind of good or service in exchange, such as mowing the lawn of walking the dog. Maybe you can even offer to help them make the payments, so that you both save money – just don’t get greedy.

You might be lucky enough to live near a Municipal Wireless Network – these are locations with publicly funded WiFi throughout the entire space. You’ll mostly find MWNs in large cities for the time being, but that is sure to change as technology advances. Even if there are some limits placed on internet use, it’s still quite a boon for the underprivileged.