How to Get Cheap WiFi Plans: 11 Best Deals and ProvidersSaving Money
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When it becomes necessary to cut household expenses, few people are willing to get rid of their WiFi connection. This is understandable since connectivity is important for both social and professional activities.
The good news is that if you know how to get cheap WiFi plans, you can reduce your expenses while staying connected. In some cases, you must be prepared to make trade-offs like slower speeds if you want affordable Internet.
Pro Tip: Keep in mind that prices and plans often vary by location so you will need to check directly with the service providers to find out if there is coverage in your area.
Below, we’ll highlight some cheap WiFi plans you should consider if you want to save some cash.
How to Get Cheap WiFi Plans for Mobile
If you’re really watching your spending, consider investing in a cell phone plan with a generous amount of data and mobile hotspot capability. The hotspot allows you to share your data with your computer, so you don’t have to get a separate at-home Internet plan.
Just make sure you’ll have enough data for this, and your phone’s battery can handle the burden.
Good to Know: Using your phone as a hotspot drains the battery quickly so you will need to connect it to power if you want to use it for a long time.
Let’s look at two solid options for cell phone plans.
1. Republic Wireless
Many cell phone data providers have complicated plans, but Republic Wireless keeps it simple. You pay for the data you use at a rate of $5 per gigabyte and you can use your phone as a hotspot.
If you’re an iPhone user, you’ll be out of luck since this provider doesn’t support Apple devices. However, if you have a supported device, you’ll be able to access data through Sprint or T-Mobile’s networks.
This is an excellent choice for affordable Internet if you’re not a heavy user and your WiFi needs will fluctuate from month to month.
You can simply purchase data as you need it and connect your laptop or other larger device if you have to. This is a lot more affordable than paying for at-home WiFi monthly if you won’t always need it.
2. Mint Mobile
Another option for smartphone WiFi is Mint Mobile. This provider allows you to choose 3GB, 8GB or 12GB of 4G LTE data per month. Speeds are reduced when you hit the monthly allowance, but the data is unlimited.
As of February 2019, Mint was offering 8GB of data along with unlimited nationwide talk and text for just $20 per month for three months.
On a regular basis, the lowest priced plan includes 3GB of high-speed data for $15 per month.
Good to Know:
This is an introductory price that lasts for three months. After that, the price goes up to $25 per month. If you sign up for three, six or 12 -month plans, you may be eligible for more savings.
And to make this a good alternative to home WiFi, you can turn your device into a hotspot.
If you have multiple people in your home or you’re a heavier Internet user, there are quite a few plans and providers from which you can choose. Let’s look at those next.
FreedomPop is a good solution if you don’t require a lot of data or you try to live a minimalist lifestyle.
You have to buy a WiFi hotspot for $19.99 and then you get 200MB of Internet for free each month. That’s enough to read emails and do light web browsing. If you need access to social media or video streaming, this is not for you.
However, FreedomPop also offers 500MB of 4G LTE data for $7.99 for those who need a little more Internet access. You can get 4GB of data for $33.99 for even more freedom.
Good to Know:
FreedomPop offers a free 2GB trial for a month and you can upgrade or downgrade at any time.
You can use the hotspot with a phone, tablet, computer or smart TV so you have lots of flexibility.
This is the first of the traditional at-home WiFi plans we’ll discuss. AT&T is the largest provider of DSL broadband Internet in the country with around 120 customers. Another 11 million customers are connected to AT&T Fiber which offers super-fast speeds up to 1,000 Mbps.
Between DSL and fiber, there are plans for people with varying Internet usage levels and budgets.
Good to Know:
AT&T offers Internet speeds up to 5 Mbps for $30 per month plus taxes and speeds up to 100 Mbps for $40 per month plus taxes. Many Internet service providers offer plans that are slower for prices similar to those of AT&T’s high-speed plans.
If you want to know how to get cheap WiFi plans that are fast and adequate for virtually any type of online activity, AT&T is a great option.
Regardless of which plan you choose, you’ll get a router at no additional cost. This is unusual since most ISPs require you to purchase the router upfront or pay rental fees each month.
Remember to visit the AT&T website and put in your zip code to see which options are available in your area.
5. Fios by Verizon
Verizon’s fiber-optic Internet service is reliable, and it offers good upload and download speeds at a decent price. However, although is it has almost six million subscribers, it only covers the Northeast.
If Fios by Verizon available in your area, you can get speeds of up to 100 Mbps for $39.99 per month plus taxes and fees. This is what some other providers charge for between 25 to 60 Mbps.
If you’re just getting standalone Internet, there is no contract so you can switch providers without paying an early termination fee. You may want to opt out if a more attractive offer becomes available at a later date. Most other providers will lock you into a one or two-year agreement.
If you opt for an Internet, phone, and TV bundle, you can save $20 per month on the overall price.
Bonus Tip: For those who can’t get access to Fios, you may be able to get Verizon High-Speed Internet which has download speeds of up to 15 Mbps.
Since DSL also requires you to have a phone service, you’ll have to pay around $10 more per month. The 1.1 to 15 Mbps DSL plan costs about the same as the 100 Mbps Fios plan.
6. Frontier FiOS
With Frontier FiOS, you can get a 150 Mbps for $40 monthly. This is a good option for a cheap WiFi service since many cable Internet providers charge more for much slower speeds.
Good to Know: You should note that this offer includes a limited upgrade to 150 Mbps and speeds could drop to 100 Mbps at any time. This speed is still more than enough for a four-member household and data-intensive activities like HD video streaming and video conferencing.
If you choose a plan with a contract, you’ll pay $5 for your modem and router each month for the first year. This is more affordable than what most providers offer.
If you don’t mind slower speeds, Frontier’s regular high-speed Internet plans give you another opportunity to get cheap WiFi plans. You may be able to pay as little as $20 per month for up to 6 Mbps.
Another option is FiOS Vantage Internet, the company’s DSL service which starts at 12 Mbps.
These are adequate choices if you only have one or two devices and you just need to check email, browse social media or do online shopping. Regular users will need faster speeds.
This is adequate for light streaming and downloads but gaming, video conferencing and sharing large files may give a little trouble.
Good to Know:
There is also a prepaid option for people who don’t need Internet consistently or those who don’t have a bank account. There is no annual contract, deposit or credit check required.
At $45 for 30 days of service, this plan is more expensive than getting a contract and it offers slower speeds.
CenturyLink offers a no-contract, Price for Life plan which is ideal for customers on a budget. Instead of the short-term promotional price offered by many Internet service providers, your monthly rate stays the same indefinitely. It will only change if you move to a different address or sign up for a different plan.
You get speeds up to 25 Mbps for $45 per month and up to 80 Mbps for the same price only if you sign up online. These are obviously not the fastest speeds or the cheapest prices.
However, if you’re only a moderate user and you want a month to month plan which you can cancel at any time, it will do just fine.
Large families, gamers and people who work from home will want faster speeds. Individuals who may be moving after a short time or who just want to sample different Internet plans would be happy with CenturyLink.
Good to Know:
Price for Life plans must be prepaid each month, and your service will be automatically renewed monthly unless you cancel. If you’ll be moving or switching to another provider, you need to remember to cancel in time.
Spectrum offers good value. For $44.99 per month, you get up to 100 Mbps. Even though it’s not the cheapest WiFi service on this list, it has a lot going for it.
Depending on where you live, you get twice as much speed as you would receive from other providers. In addition, the price of your plan increases after 24 months instead of the 12 months which many ISPs offer.
You also get the modem and router for free and installation and activation fees are around $45.
Spectrum doesn’t require you to sign a contract so it’s a cost-effective choice if you don’t want to be locked in.
More importantly, Spectrum will pay your early termination fee if you break your contract with another provider and switch to them. They will pay fees of up to $500 to make it easier for you to change your plan.
10. Cox Internet Starter 10
Light WiFi users who are on a budget may find Cox’s 10 Mbps plan to be adequate. It costs $30 per month and you pay $20 for self-installation. This means it’s cheaper to get started with this plan than it is with other providers.
ISPs can charge around $100 for installation and activation so if you want a very basic low-cost option, Cox may be what you need.
No contract is required if you’re just getting Internet service, so you don’t have to worry about paying a fee if you terminate your plan early.
Good to Know: The price of Internet Starter 10 increases to $43 monthly after the first year.
You benefit from a price lock guarantee only if you have an Internet, TV, and phone bundle. Otherwise, you only have one year to enjoy the lowest price.
You will need to determine if you’re willing to pay the increased cost and if better options are available in your area.
If you need more speed and you want to go with Cox, you can sign up for Internet Essential 30. You get up to 30 Mbps download speed and up to 3 Mbps upload speed for $39.99 per month for the first year. After that, the price goes up to $65.99
11. Internet Essentials from Comcast
If you’ve been struggling financially and wondering how to get cheap WiFi plans, this may be the solution you were looking for. Low-income earners benefitting from certain government programs may be eligible for Internet Essentials from Comcast.
It costs just $9.95 per month plus tax and you get speeds up to 15 Mbps to use at home with your family. You also have access to 40 60-minute sessions of XFINITY WIFI at hotspots outside the home every 30 days.
If you need training in the use of the Internet or you want to find the leading education and employment resources, you can get free tutorials both online and in person.
When you become an Internet Essentials customer, you also have the option of purchasing a computer at a discounted price. They come ready to use right out the box.
If your family has been using one computer, this is an opportunity to add another machine.
There are no credit checks, installation fees or long-term contracts required to get Internet Essentials.
How to Qualify for Internet Essentials
In order to be eligible, you must:
- Receive HUD housing assistance
- Be a low-income verified veteran
- Be a community college student in Illinois or Colorado
- Be a low-income senior
- Have a child eligible for the National School Lunch Program
You will need to include proof of your eligibility along with your application.
Have you figured out how to get cheap WiFi plans in a way that’s not listed here or from different providers? Let us know in the comments.
Also be sure to check out our video on twelve free internet hacks:
Logan is a practicing CPA, Certified Student Loan Professional, and founder of Money Done Right, which he launched in 2017. After spending nearly a decade in the corporate world helping big businesses save money, he launched his blog with the goal of helping everyday Americans earn, save, and invest more money. Learn more about Logan.