Finance

My Year of Cheap Internet

My year of cheap internet service came to an end in November.  Here’s how it happened:

In September of 2014, I was having problems with my broadband internet. It happened 2 days before I left for a vacation in Ireland so I didn’t have time to deal with it. Instead, I hoped that it would be fixed by the time I returned, which wasn’t the case.  I wasn’t really using it for much other than entertainment (hello Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime) so I decided to cancel the service.

I spent the next month researching other options.  DSL? Nope, not offered in the weird pocket of the city I live in. That left mobile hot spots. After extensive research, I decided on FreedomPop’s home internet of 10GB/month for $21.99 (which later went up to $23.99). Between that and my cell phone, it would be more than enough if I canceled my streaming services.

I got the modem, which contained Wi-Fi as well (so no router was needed) and it was plug-and-play.  I never had any glitches with the service, although it was a bit tedious to constantly check my usage before downloading phone or computer updates.

Alas, all good things must come to an end.  I got a notice from FreedomPop in October, saying that the service was being discontinued on November 6th, since the modem uses the WiMax network. They decided to terminate their home internet service at the same time.

I looked at mobile hotpots again, hoping to find something decent, but it was really expensive. I’d be paying the same amount as unlimited broadband but only get 10GB.

So, it’s back to broadband. If I didn’t need to occasionally work from home, I would consider dropping home internet altogether since free wi-fi is everywhere.  The silver lining is that I get the introductory rate for 12 months since it’s been a year since I’ve been a customer.

And the mystery of why my broadband suddenly stopped working last year was solved — the line to my house was completely dead.  When setting up the service again, they had to come out to install a new line (which is buried) but the process ended up taking more than 4 weeks to be completed and I was charged a $50 install fee. My neighbor generously allowed me to be hooked up to her house during this time, with a cable running across her patio and over my lawn.  All for the sake of internet service.

How much did I save over the 12 months with FreedomPop? $520.  And I’ll save $324 with the introductory rate with my broadband service.  That’s $844 saved over 2 years.  Not too shabby for making a minor change in my lifestyle. It’s always worth the research to find less expensive options.

What deals have you been able to find but still maintain the same lifestyle?

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