Unfortunately, it is difficult to survive in this modern world without at least some form of Internet access, and that means there is one more bill to pay that you may not be able to afford. We’re going to show you how to save money on Internet access.
Minimize Your Connection
The first step to saving money on your internet is to review your current connection. Basically, if you aren’t using close to your full capacity, then you don’t need it. Most ISPs have service tiers which provide different speeds and download limits. Not all the tiers are advertised. Call your provider and find out what your usage has been for the last several months and compare it to the maximum of your Internet package. If you don’t even come close to maxing out, then ask for a downgrade. This can save you several dollars a month.
One way to save money on your Internet bill is to negotiate. You do this the exact same way you would if you bargaining for cable. Research local offers, call your provider, ask for deals and threaten to jump to the competition if they don’t budge.
Of course, jumping to the next provider isn’t always an option but there is always bundling. Whether you use all of their services or only two, a bundle may still save you some money. Grouping your Internet, phone and cable into one provider package can save a significant amount of money. Some providers even include cell phones.
Buy a Modem
Many providers charge you a monthly fee to rent their modem. Yes, that they will replace it if it has a problem, but when was the last time your modem actually died? Go buy yourself a modem that is compatible with your provider, it may cost more at the moment, but it will save you money in the end. If your provider charges you $5 a month to rent a modem, that adds up to $60 a year (not including taxes). That is a enough to pick up a low-end modem or if you want a higher end modem it will pay for itself within two years. Most modems should last 5-6 years and despite their arguments most Internet providers don’t change their systems often enough that you should need an upgrade within that time.
Believe it of not, dial-up still exists. It’s not good for streaming videos or playing games, but if all you want to do is check your email and local news then this is a low-cost alternative for you. NetZero and Juno are two that offer low prices and will even give you the first month free. This is a fantastic low-cost option for someone on a job hunt.
In some areas it is legal to use your neighbors Wi-Fi connection, with their permission. This can work great in apartments or where houses are close to each other. Negotiate with your neighbor about splitting the bill and it may turn out to be beneficial to both of you, they get a reduced bill and you get the basic access you need for a fraction of the cost.
If you just use the Internet occasionally for small things then you might just want to drop your home connection go strictly with a cellular connection. You probably already use your phone for Facebook, Instagram and email, why not make it your main Internet connection? A small upgrade in your cellular package may work out to be less than your home Internet connection. You can even tether you computer to your cell phone, giving you full computer access.
Even after a looking at how to save money on Internet it may still be more than you can afford, but don’t despair you can still have Internet. Many places offer free Wi-Fi. Restaurants, museums, libraries even several cities have public Wi-Fi. The connection may be slower and you may find restrictions on certain sites or an excess amount of advertising, but it is still free and you can’t complain about that. Just be careful when using a restaurants’ connection, as they typically expect you to be a paying customer which means that those lattes you ordered could wind up being more expensive than what you are saving on the Internet.
Photo Credit: 401k 2013