Free Internet Service Resources
Who wants to spend upwards of $30, $40, or even $50 a month for internet access when you can get it for free? Dial-Up
The first, and easiest option for free internet, is to use dial-up. Granted, it's not easy to get around with a slow, 56kbps modem. But if you already have a phone line and don't use the internet for much except email, this could be the resource for you. Some free dial-up internet providers like Netzero put a cap on your surfing - they only allows 10 hours per month. You have other alternatives, however. If you live in New York, check out MetConnect at . If you live elsewhere and have a land line or a cell phone, you can connect with MyFreeWirelessISP.
Business Internet Hot Spots
Many businesses provide free internet access for customers and employees. Bring your laptop to work and use their connection during break times - business broadband access is typically much faster than home broadband lines.
In addition, you can usually find free internet at coffee shops and bookstores. Starbucks almost always provides free internet. Dunkin' Donuts often does, and you can find free internet hotspots at nearly every Barnes and Noble and Boarders. If you can seem to find anything, just go to a busy commercial street and walk up and down with your laptop. Eventually, you'll hit on a connection.
Many communities and cities also provide free community-wide WI-FI. This is often business-backed and won't be as fast as your in-home line, but it is free. Places like London, San Francisco, Philadelphia, even Gahanna, Ohio, have had city-wide WI-FI in the past. But because of high costs, troublesome maintenance, and low usage, many of these are being shut down. Borrow a friend's connection and hop onto Google to see if there is a city-wide hotspot near you.
Free Internet Has A Catch - Security Concerns
You have to be careful using all of these free internet service resources. Any time that you are not using a secure site, or one with an address beginning ", eavesdroppers can get your data. That usually isn't a problem, as long as you are doing benign things. But if you need to log in to a site that isn't secure, hackers can steal your login information and use it for less-than-benign reasons. Lesson learned? Don't reuse usernames and passwords, and try to avoid conducting private business on public networks.
That being said, the world is open to anyone with the internet. Fortunately, the internet is becoming more and more accessible to everyone - and without a monthly fee.