It’s easy to get lost in the world of cheap Internet plans while looking for cheap wireless Internet. From Cell Phone Providers to Broadband companies and all the hybrids in between, everyone has multiple plans to offer. Some even let you make your own package to help save money. If you really want cheap Wireless Internet, you have to do your research. But in the middle of all that shopping, take a look at no-contract plans, too.
Yes, you can buy cheap wireless Internet without locking yourself into a contract that lasts for a year or two. Providers prefer contract plans because it guarantees them long-term customers and makes it easier to offer bundled services and extra features. They also understand that some customers want to dodge contracts and live a more adaptable Internet lifestyle. For these customers, certain providers offer wireless Internet month by month, without plans or contracts. These plans are less expensive and easier to switch between than any contract plan.
So when navigating through the wireless plan maze, know you have an option to dump contracts entirely and use contract-free or prepaid services to save money. It could be the perfect answer for your Internet needs.
Ins and Outs of No-Contract Wireless Services
No-plan services got their start with mobile phone services, when companies began offering prepaid plans to help customers save while avoiding contracts. As these prepaid plans became more complex, providers eventually asked, “Why not do the same for related wireless options for our entire data plans, including Internet access?”
By the early 2010s, prepaid plans began expanding and offering full wireless options, including Internet capabilities, for interested customers. Legislation in 2012 encouraged even more no-contract services. Verizon made plans to offer prepaid options for the iPhone that cost only $30 per month. Radio Shack started its own services that were flexible with no-contract plans. Services like Cricket Wireless continued to specialize in providing service without locking you in for years at a time.
Steps for Cheap Wireless Internet
The Right Phone
Prepaid or no-contract plans are not available on all phones. This is a constantly changing factor as more providers include flexible options for their popular phone products, but accept that you may not be able to find the perfect phone AND the perfect cheap wireless Internet plan. Saving money by skipping a contract may force you to find a phone alternative. However, with no-contract iPhone plans on their way and multiple smartphone choices already present, finding the right phone should not prove challenging.
The Right Service
With a no-contract wireless service, you need to depend on your phone plan for all your Internet services. Broadband providers rarely give no-contract options, which means you may need to forego High Speed Internet to save money. Explore your no-contract options with your provider to find out what is possible. Many companies allow you to use your wireless data on multiple devices, a must for switching to no-contract services. Allowing you to use your data plan for other devices is called “tethering,” which may or may not invoke an extra fee. Data limits, 3G vs. 4G speeds, and other considerations which can also change costs are up to you.
The Right Life
Prepaid plans work best if there are some months you do not need wireless Internet at all, such as months that take you are out of the service area for a job or schooling. You can skip months, resume service, and save even more annually. Prepaid plans also favor mobile users who prefer to reach the Internet on the go and are very comfortable with smartphones. No surprise, no-contract plans work best for younger people without large families or long-term commitments in one place.
Prepaid Contract Downsides
Remember, your Internet access under a no-contract plan will be limited to your phone coverage area. If you live in a poor coverage area, your Internet capabilities could suffer. Also keep in mind the limits of data plans, especially when it comes to speed. If you are used to High Speed Internet through Broadband service, switching to a 3G data plan for cheap Wireless Internet may cause a slowdown in service. Live with slower Internet, or pay more and upgrade to 4G when possible.
You should conduct detailed cost comparisons between contract and no-contract plans regardless. Contracts often involve discounts and deals, especially if you buy multiple services (Cable TV, Internet, Home Phone, etc.) from one provider. Do these discounts make a contract plan less expensive than a prepaid plan? Only research will show the answers. Upfront costs will probably be higher, though, since prepaid plans require you to buy your phone upfront. For a new iPhone, that is an immediate cost of several hundred dollars that would be partly spread out through a contract otherwise. Cheap Internet plans can be found — you just have to do a little hunting.