5 Ways to Save Money On Wifi While Traveling
Last year I finally invested in a decent smartphone. I was shocked, while I was shopping for them, to find out how much mobile carriers charge for the hotspot feature. You know, the ability to turn your cell phone into a modem that can connect your computer or tablet to the internet. It varies by carrier, but you pay $5-$20 per month for this feature.
Sure, that ‘s handy when you travel, but I’m cheap. I don’t want to pay $60-$240 per year for that. Instead, I’ve found 5 lower-cost ways to get an internet connection on the go:
Wi-Fi Finder app. Android and iPhone users can locate the nearest public wifi using this free app. Whether they are restaurants, yoga studios, coffee shops, oil change joints or libraries, this app will hook you up to a publicly-accessible wifi connection.
CableWifi.com. If you have cable at home from one of the country’s 5 biggest providers, then you have access to a nationwide network of 50,000 hotspots. Bright House Networks, Optimum, XFINITY, Cox Communications and Time Warner Cable all participate in this program. Before you leave home search for hotspots on their website or use a CableWifi app for your Android or iPhone.
#FreeWifi. Tweeps can follow thie #FreeWifi Twitter hashtag to be tipped off to public wifi options. If you’re having trouble finding a hotspot, then tweet out a request with this hashtag to get some input.
pdaNet. Although the pdaNet app for Android isn’t free, it’s the best $16 I’ve spent in a long time. After paying a one-time license for the app, your phone operates as a mobile hotspot. The app runs over your phone’s data plan, so be sure your plan is large enough. (iPhone users can download a version too, but since they’d have to jailbreak their phone to make it work it voids the warranty and probably isn’t worth it.)
Freedom Pop. After buying a $49 hotspot stick from FreedomPop, you get 500MB of free 4G internet connectivity every month. They sell monthly plans starting at $9.99, but 500 MB is free (be sure to disable the function that allows them to bill you once you’re within 100 MB of your limit). 500 MB isn’t enough to watch movies or stream music, but is plenty for a casual internet user.
As you are traveling this holiday season how will you stay connected?