This is no joke. There are still Internet Service Providers (ISPs) out there offering free service. We’re going to look at a few ways to find totally free unlimited Internet access, legitimately and legally.
There are two routes to go here. You can go the WiFi route, which is far more popular and usually in the broadband range for speed. Or, you can go the dial-up route which is slower, however you can access it from the convenience of your own home or maybe from a hotel without WiFi service.
It may be slower than molasses going uphill in winter, but beggars can’t be choosers.
All Free ISP has a simple way to access their database and find a service provider near you. A major benefit is that their database covers the United States of America as well as Canada. You are more likely to find free service in the U.S.A. than in Canada, so I was pleasantly surprised to find several providers in my home province of Alberta.
Just go to All Free ISP and select your State or Province. You can also search by ZIP or Postal Code. Then click on our friend, the Go button. I’m also partial to his cousins the Enter and Next button – really handy fellows, the whole bunch.
The website then shows you a page of free and cheap ISPs you can access from your area. Here’s what showed up for me.
See how it breaks the list down into cities? That’s a nice touch. How about the rating system and letting you know what platforms are supported? Pretty nifty. From here, you can click on the name of an ISP and find out more about them. Let’s do that, shall we?
This just shows you a basic overview of the ISP. Really, do I need to explain this? No, exactly! That’s why I like this site. If you go to All Free ISP and follow through to this point, you’ll see that there is way more information than I’m showing here. Based on what they present, you can make an educated guess about whether you want to use this ISP or not.
At this point also, you realize that nothing is really free. If you choose Juno, you’ll be subjected to large banner ads for the privilege of using their service. No different than watching TV really.
You might be living or travelling outside of the northern two-thirds of North America and be in need of dial-up service. Yes, believe it or not, there is more to the world than North America. I know, shocker isn’t it?! Freedom List offers a, well, list of free ISPs broken down by country. Just take a look! Pretty impressive, huh?
So, if your WiFi card is broken, or you just can’t sit at the cafe any longer, check Freedom List out.
Another place to check for free dial-up Internet access is your current ISP. Many of them offer you a certain amount of hours of dial-up access for free, if you have a paid broadband account. Some of them even have directories of dial-up numbers that you can use across the country or even internationally. If they have a dial-up number near to where you are staying, chances are you won’t even have to pay long distance fees.
The best way to find out if your ISP has free dial-up is to check out their website, or call their customer service number. Usually, they’re more than glad to help you. The hardest part will be trying to remember how to make a connection using a dial-up modem again. What was once second nature is now a chore.
Your Town or County
Municipal Internet Access or Municipal WiFi seems to be an on-again off-again project for most communities. While driving across the countryside of Alberta for my job, I’ve noticed my WiFi card picking up access points that are provided by the county. If I were a resident of that county, I could get an account and access the Internet for little to no cost. It’s provided for with my taxes.
Municipalities also often provide totally free, unlimited Internet access at locations such as the municipal offices, libraries and some schools. To find out more about what your community offers, contact your local government offices.
Editor’s note: Remember, there are always security issues when using a public internet connection. Karl teaches you how to protect your personal information while enjoying free wifi connectivity.
Know of any other interesting ways to get legal free Internet access? Share it in the comments. We all like a freebie now and again. Got a tip on access being provided by your government? Let everyone know – it’s good to use the services you already pay for.
Image credit: andrewgrill