There are a lot of reasons that you might want to save money on your internet costs. If you’re a student, chances are that you don’t have a lot of money. You might want to spend that money on other things, like a vacation. If you are reading this article now, you have at least some access to the internet. But are you spending too much money, or wastefully losing money?
1. Assess your needs
Do you need to have an internet connection at your house at all times? If so, how often do you access it? Will you be downloading massive files, or will you simply be using the internet for research and email and other daily uses?
If you don’t think that you need access to the internet at all points in time, then you can find out ways to get free internet. If you are a moderate user, make sure that you are not signed up for the platinum-premium-plus package from your internet service provider (ISP). You could be paying extra for bandwidth that you are not even using.
2. Where to get Free Internet
As a student, you can get free internet at your school. This means that you will have access in the library, in a computer lab, and often in your department as well. Some places are high-volume spots where everyone tries to use the computers. If you check out campus, you can probably find some other computers that are less likely to be busy. You can also start to gauge when the computers are the busiest. Schedule your work accordingly so that you don’t have to wait in line for a computer: if you do your email first and then head to class you might have a better chance of getting a free computer than if you go to class and then try to find a computer…or vice versa, depending on your schedule.
You can also get free internet at the Public Library in most locations.
Although you can get free internet by visiting a friend’s house, this is not recommended. You don’t want your friend to think that you are using them, and you don’t want to have to wait until they’re off the computer to use it.
If you have a laptop, you can get free wireless internet in many places on campus and around the city. Most major campus buildings, such as the student center, will have wireless. For a complete listing of wireless locations on your campus, check out your campus Internet/Technology department. Remember, you can get wireless internet at many coffee-shops and cafes too!
3. Consider Sharing
If you have a roommate, consider sharing your connection. It will cost you each less. The best way to do this is to buy a router. This will cost more initially, but in the end it will save you money. If you are going to buy a router, it is often easiest not to split the cost. One person will be leaving with the router at the end of your time being roommates: let them buy the router. Or set up an agreement where the person who leaves with the router has to pay back the other person (or people) who are in on the initial purchase.
The more people you share with, the cheaper it will be. Wireless routers can make sharing with more people easier.
4. Use the internet to save you money
If you are going to buy anything, use the internet to save you money by comparison shopping at various websites. It is often cheaper to buy something (like, a wireless router, perhaps?) on EBay than it is to buy one in the store. Just don’t forget to account for shipping.
You should also shop around the internet to find the cheapest service provider for your area.
There are many sites, including The Guide to Student Loans at www.theguideto-studentloans.com, that can help you find how to save money.
5. Take advantage of the short-term offers
If you move into a new place each year, you can sign up for the 6-month deals with most major internet service providers. This will halve your internet expenses. Even if you don’t move, consider disconnecting your service and starting at another service, or having your roommate join up to another. Though it is a hassle, this could save you $100 if you save only $20 a month for 5 months. Remember, if you are going to cancel your service and start with a new provider, arrange everything one month in advance. Sometimes there are cancellation fees that you could save. Other times you won’t be able to book your connection soon enough.
6. Use the Internet for Entertainment
If you have the internet in your house or apartment, you can use it for an easy night of fun. Skip buying cable tv…with nbc and abc offering episodes of tv on their websites, you can watch entire episodes from your computer! Comedycentral also allows you to watch clips. And don’t forget that youtube often has full-length stand-up comedy routines, among other things. You might even be able to download some episodes from your favourite series.
In the end, having internet access for a student is important in many ways: important for your social life, important for your research, and important for your peace of mind. At least with some of these suggestions you won’t have to get the internet at the expense of breaking the budget!