Frugal Apartment Living: Life without Internet

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Frugal Apartment Living: Life without Internet

Staff Writer · Jun 28, 2010

Apartment living without Internet access is inconvenient if you need it for school, work or a business. Rising costs for broadband and telephone services (to use dial-up) can make paying for Internet access cost prohibitive, and you may not have much of a choice. You can solve this problem by finding free access to the Internet.

Wi-Fi in the Apartment Building

If you live in a medium to large apartment building, there may be Wi-Fi Internet for anyone with a laptop to access. You may have to go to designated common areas of the apartment complex to use it. The property manager or landlord most likely has the network password protected for tenants’ use only, so you’ll have to find out what that is to gain access to the Internet. At least you’ll be able to use the Internet when those common areas are open and available, which may be 24/7 in your apartment building. It’s inconvenient at times, but it’s a way to have Internet access close to your apartment.

Community College

As a way to serve the surrounding community, some community colleges allow the public to access computer labs during certain hours throughout the day and week, for free. You’ll have to call to get a schedule, and the college will require you to sign some type of “Terms of Use” agreement.  In it, you’ll agree not to download questionable content or conduct illegal activities. They may also “register” you, and assign you a username and password to log in when you want to gain Internet access. You’re limited to what you can do online, and you’ll want to use it for the most essential tasks you need to accomplish. Computer technicians are able to review and track what you do on the Internet. Keep this in mind if privacy is a concern.

Public Library

Like a community college, you can use the public library to gain free access to the Internet. Depending on the city, you can wait for long periods for someone to get off a computer so that you can use it. It’s the least convenient of all options for free Internet access. If you plan to use the public library, plan to do other things while you’re there, so that it’s not a waste of time. Catch up on homework, check out books and other materials or attend a lecture prior to or after you use the Internet.

NetZero

NetZero still offers free Internet access using dialup. There are two problems that make this a temporary and not a permanent solution to the lack of Internet access in your apartment. Living with these problems is still better than zero Internet access if you need to use it late at night. The first issue is that you only get 10 free hours per month. If you’re disciplined enough, you can get everything you need done, especially if you supplement your usage with other free Internet access options. The second problem is that you’ll get bombarded with ads, as “payment” for Internet access. You can learn to ignore it though, because it’s free.

You can overcome apartment living without Internet access if you plan your time effectively, and go to places where you can access the web. The other alternative is to use free dialup Internet access at home.

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