Free internet is something that many people try to access in a large number of ways and for just as many reasons why. There are numerous ways to gain free internet access from Wi-Fi networks to services provided for guests at hotels, restaurants, coffee shops and even internet cafes. There are even some smaller municipalities and larger more upscale gated communities that offer internet access as part of their amenities.
Providers of free internet often find different ways to earn money, from the “standard internet service providers” who which charge you for your usage. Some of the free internet services will show you advertisements while you surf the web through them, while others may charge extra for technical support. Another option for them is to let you use their free internet which might be a bit slow, and when you want to speed it up, you will use their premium internet connection which will cost you money. Free internet useage is a highly viable business around the world.
Some of the more popular “free internet” providers in the United States are NetZero with up to 10 hours per month; My Free Wireless ISP has unlimited wireless access, Socal Free has unlimited access; Dialup For Free allows unlimited access; Juno will allow up to ten hours per month and Budgetdialup will allow up to five hours per month of free access.
One way to gain free access to the internet is to pick up one of the many CD’s that you see in retail centers or that come via the postal service that offer a free thirty to sixty day trial. But you have to watch out for these “trial periods” as some require you place a credit card on file so that they can charge you once the “free period” has expired and with most services, you can’t go back for a free trial for up to a twelve month period.
Other ways to gain free internet access is to find local cafes, coffee shops or public libraries. You might want to consider sharing an internet service provider account with neighbor, friends or family members. Done this way, you can all have a faster premium services access and split the fee for a minimal amount each.
Of course you can always simply “borrow” your neighbors’ unprotected wireless connection. Simply turn on your laptop and search for an unprotected internet connection. Once you find one, connect to it and you have free internet. Just make sure you don’t do any banking or online purchases on that connection because you’re connecting to an unencrypted connection. Please note that this may be illegal in some areas.
While planning your travels, look for hotels that provide free Wi-Fi. Many hotels will have Wi-Fi in the lobby, at least, if not everywhere. Sit in a park somewhere that is surrounded by several houses or apartment buildings and “borrow” their unprotected internet. Keep in mind that you will have to be fairly close to the houses for this to work. Use a Wi-Fi amplifier, or make one to increase the strength of unprotected Wi-Fi signals near you. Bring it with you while you travel.
In the United States, if you have a family member participating in the National School Lunch Program, cable television and digital service line companies will give you full-blown high-speed broadband for under $10 a month, no setup charges, free training, and even a laptop for $150. It’s not free, but it’s cheap. It’s under a new program called Connect-to-Compete. If you live in Kansas, you can get absolutely free internet if you are financially disadvantaged.
Piggybacking has become a widespread practice in the 21st century due to the advent of wireless Internet connections and Wireless access points. Computer users either who do not have their own connections or who are outside the range of their own might find someone else’s by war driving or luck and use that one.
However, those residing near a hotspot or another residence with the service have been found to have the ability to piggyback off such connections without patronizing these businesses, which has led to more controversy. While some may be in reach from their own home or nearby, others may be able to do so from the parking lot of such an establishment, from another business that generally tolerates the user’s presence, or from the public domain. Others, especially those living in apartments or town houses, may find themselves able to use a neighbor’s connection. Wi-Fi hotspots (unsecured and secured) have already been recorded (to some degree) with GPS-coordinates. Sites such as Wigle.net and WifiMaps provide this information.
Laptop computers require special antennas which allow a user to pick up a signal from up to several miles away. Since unsecured wireless signals can usually be found in all but the most rural of areas, laptop owners can generally find possible free connections in a wide variety of locations. Antennas like these are commercially available and easily purchased from many online vendors.
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