Wi-Fi without cable or a phone line is easy to obtain. Modern cell providers and satellite options offer a cordless option to many users. While setting up a dedicated internet connection is almost mandatory for doing business, working from home or accessing the internet in rural or remote areas requires creative solutions.
Finding wireless options in populated areas is especially easy. You can find free Wi-Fi without any problems. Bringing the service into your home, however, typically requires a service plan. You can find cheap internet service without a phone line, especially when your usage is minimal. The price tends to rise when you stream frequently and access large media files.
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Satellite Internet Services
The first and most obvious option is satellite internet services. Rural users are frequent users in the satellite department. The providers often package television and internet services, but finding internet as a stand-alone service is still possible.
The downside to using a satellite connection is that you need a clear view of the sky. If your house sits in a canyon, a satellite may not work well. If you can find a clear view, however, the dish should work just fine.
Satellite internet is attached to your house, and the dish is not mobile. This limits your location abilities. The dish is connected to a wireless router to transmit your signal. You can also plug directly into the box with an Ethernet cord.
Mobile satellite options are available, primarily for use on an RV or travel trailer. These plans are rather expensive, but they do offer service for television and internet on the road. You still need a clear view of the sky, and the wireless signal is transmitted through a router. You can password protect the system to keep your information safe and prevent others from using your network.
The last downside to satellite internet is the usage restrictions. Plans vary by carrier, but many have data usage limits. After you reach the maximum in your plan, the speed is throttled down to a crawl that resembles old dial-up internet speeds. Make sure the plan you choose has adequate data for your needs.
Use Your Cellphone
The easiest way of getting online without any cords or cable plans is through your cellphone. Smartphones function like small computers, and they make web surfing, video and music streaming, and email easy to access with a good signal.
Mobile apps exist for just about every internet task needed, and you can make full use of your phone. As with satellite connections, data limitations are dependent on your service provider and your plan. Using up a data plan does not take long while streaming and downloading media.
Ultimately, the best way to make use of your phone is through an unlimited data plan. This creates a high-speed, full-time wireless internet connection without any cords, routers or hardware required outside of the phone itself.
If you live in a location with limited cell service, however, this is not a good option for you. Cell plans are useful for traveling and residents who have excellent service coverage around their home.
Create a Hot Spot
The hot spot has two different setups. You can turn your cell phone into a hot spot if the service provider allows hot spot usage. This creates a wireless signal that can connect to your laptop or home computer. Using a cellphone as a hot spot is extremely useful.
You need a decent data plan or unlimited data to make the most of this system. A strong cell signal is also necessary. You can still do minor streaming and run a web browser on a decent 3G signal. A strong 4G signal streams and runs most applications with no issues.
Maybe you do not want a cellphone but want internet, or you have a great deal on your cell plan and want internet as a separate service to avoid updating to a more expensive cell plan. You can still create a hot spot and buy a separate plan from most cell service providers.
You need to purchase a hot spot device to run the service but the cost is often minimal, and you own the hot spot device after the purchase. The system works much like your phone as a hot spot in that it transmits a wireless signal to your laptop or home computer. The whole system is easy to operate and requires no phone lines or cable companies to run cords to your home.
While hot spots are easy to acquire with plans through common cell providers, plenty of independent companies also sell plans. FreedomPop offers a hot spot and free monthly data allotment. If you run over the free data, you can purchase more through the company. The ability to operate on a free hot spot is a good option for budget-conscious Wi-Fi shoppers.
Visit Coffee Shops
Coffee shops, restaurants, bookstores and other businesses with the hang-out atmosphere tend to offer free Wi-Fi. This isn't one of the best Wi-Fi options for home, but it requires no cords or service plans.
Coffee shops and other Wi-Fi locations are often free, but many expect only paying customers to use the service. Some places enforce the paying customer policy for Wi-Fi. Plan on buying a cup of coffee at the least to keep a seat.
While using coffee shops for Wi-Fi is a great solution on the road or near your home, it does not offer a dedicated solution and does not suffice for intensive usage. Bring a set of headphones for any streaming. Sitting back to watch a movie at the coffee shop is not usually accepted because you are likely to disturb other customers.
Truck stops are another good option, and they tend to broadcast a strong signal. If you can acquire the Wi-Fi login for a truck stop, streaming from your vehicle in the parking area is a possibility. Many highway rest stops also offer Wi-Fi as a service for travelers visiting the area. Check the bulletin board for a password and scan for a signal with your phone. Many of these connections are unsecured, and you can simply login. Be wary of accessing personal bank accounts and other sensitive data, however, as unsecured connections are not always safe.
Use a Neighboring Signal
Pull up your Wi-Fi on a laptop or cellphone and search for signals from your home. If a strong signal appears from a neighboring house or business, consider asking to tap their service. While this is strongly discouraged by the cable companies and service providers, using their signal with permission can help you gain access without a service plan.
Always double-check when doing this to ensure you are not breaking any municipal laws. You may need to list your name on the shared plan to obtain legal status. While this is unlikely, check first and know the consequences.
In many cases, sharing a signal also means sharing a bill. Expect to contribute a small fee each month to maintain your Wi-Fi access. It makes your neighbor's bill more affordable and gives you Wi-Fi with no strings attached. If you move, canceling cable contracts or calling the phone company to discontinue service is not an issue. Just move along and tell your neighbor thanks for sharing.
Finding a strong enough signal to share is common in apartment buildings and shared houses. The distance between houses substantially reduces the signal strength. A Wi-Fi booster attached to the router may solve this problem.
Hit the Local Library
Access to information has long been considered a public service. In addition to literature, music and cinema, local libraries offer access to the internet. Head to your local library, get your free library card, and gain access to a secure Wi-Fi connection. The process is easy and free.
Many libraries also offer computers and printing services. Printing typically requires a payment for the material costs but access to the computers is free. If you do not own a computer, consider this as an option. In addition to the free access, the library likely offers free training and community events that will increase your skills online.
While you can't take the connection to your home, the combination of free Wi-Fi in a quiet working space is a nice feature. Living close to a library certainly helps, but many rural residents do not have the option readily available in their area.
Making Use of Limited Internet
While an internet connection opens the door to unlimited information, you can still make use of a poor or intermittent connection. Saving webpages as files for later viewing is an excellent means of maximizing your limited Wi-Fi access.
Head to the nearest coffee shop or library armed with a list of information you want to retrieve. Do a search, and open each article or webpage you want to read. Right-click the page after it has fully loaded and click Save As to open a save options window and save it to your computer.
Keep It Legal
While there are numerous ways to access the internet without a cable subscription, keep it legal. Sharing a router with a neighbor is pushing the limits, but hooking up to a cable box or tapping a phone line without a subscription is clearly illegal, and you are stealing from the company.
Always seek a legal and safe solution for your internet access. Wi-Fi access is such an abundant resource in society today that you shouldn't have any problems locating some form of service in your local area. Bringing the service into your home is the challenge in most cases.
Community Internet Services
Beyond the library, some communities offer internet as a service to the community. Access to the internet in impoverished communities and rural communities, in particular, is becoming an equal-access issue.
Equal access to the internet means businesses can operate and compete in the national and global economy, and it brings equal access to information regardless of income or location. Check with your city, county and state to discover potential free programs that are available to connect your household to the internet.
The library is a good place to discover programs of this nature. The local housing authority may also offer insights into the program. Internet access is needed for students and general life skills in society today.
At $50 or more a month, accessibility is an issue. The Federal Communications Commission offers low-income families internet access through Connect to Compete. In some cases, the service is free, but in most cases, the cost is substantially reduced.