Getting on the internet is costly. In the United States, the average monthly cost of a household internet connection is $60. Don’t want to spend all that money? Don’t worry; even if you don’t have a traditional ISP, you can still go online.
You may still access the internet without a broadband connection by using public Wi-Fi networks or cellphone data. So, here are several alternatives to using an Internet Service Provider to receive Wi-Fi.
1. Mobile Hotspot
Using a mobile hotspot is the best approach to guarantee you have internet access on your laptop. Most of us now have smartphones with LTE or even 5G cellular connectivity. So, why not utilize it instead of paying for a new home internet connection?
Of course, there will be an initial cost—you will need to purchase a hotspot gadget and sign up for a mobile internet service. However, many businesses provide mobile hotspots.
We strongly suggest three mobile hotspot models:
Despite being a few years old, the Verizon Jetpack MiFi 8800L is still likely the greatest 4G hotspot available today. It is equipped with Qualcomm’s X20 modem and supports 11 LTE bands. It has both 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi bands, enables guest connections, and can connect up to 15 devices to the network at the same time.
The gadget is exclusively available through Verizon, and it costs $99 if you sign up for a two-year mobile internet subscription. If you purchase the gadget without a contract, it costs $199. If you want a speedier 5G hotspot for your Verizon connection, you may also try the Orbic Speed 5G UW.
If you have Sprint or T-Mobile as your cellular operator, the HTC 5G Hub is the finest 5G mobile hotspot if you already have a 5G-capable smartphone.
The gadget has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 CPU, a Snapdragon X50 5G modem, 4GB of RAM, Bluetooth and Ethernet connectivity, all-day battery life, and the capacity to connect up to 20 devices simultaneously. It is powered by Android.
Unfortunately, 5G is still not accessible everywhere. So, if you want a hotspot that will operate while you’re off the grid, the HTC 5G Hub may not be for you, particularly given its $600 price tag.
If you require temporary Wi-Fi when traveling outside of the United States, you’ll need a mobile hotspot and an international internet service.
As a result, we prefer the GlocalMe DuoTurbo. It is available in over 140 countries, supports over 270 local carriers, and offers data plans beginning at $9 per day. There are other device rental alternatives available.
Naturally, at such costs, it isn’t a viable domestic alternative. However, if you’re on vacation and need to keep connected to home, it’s still less expensive than utilizing your smartphone’s roaming internet.
2. Tether Your Smartphone or Tablet
If you don’t require frequent mobile data and instead simply need occasional access to the internet on your laptop, tethering your smartphone is often the quickest and simplest option to go online. Tethering your smartphone or tablet has three primary disadvantages.
To activate tethering on an Android smartphone, go to Settings > Network and Internet > Hotspot and Tethering > Wi-Fi Hotspot, then move the toggle next to Wi-Fi Hotspot to the On position.
- You are completely reliant on your cell phone carrier’s signal. That’s good if you live in a city, but less so if you live in the country.
- Tethering and mobile hotspots may not be supported by your carrier. Some networks restrict this feature to higher-tier plans.
- Laptops often use much more data than smartphones, which means you may be in for an unpleasant surprise when your next phone bill arrives in the mail.
iOS users must go to Settings > Personal Hotspot and activate the switch.
To ensure the security of your hotspot, create a new username and password on both Android and iOS.
Depending on where you are when you require internet without a provider, you may be able to connect to a local public Wi-Fi network. Libraries, coffee shops, restaurants, and transportation hubs, for example, often offer networks that you may join.
3. Find a Public Wi-Fi Network
Apps like Wi-Fi Master Key for Android and Wi-Fi Finder on iOS may help you discover nearby free Wi-Fi.
Important: Before connecting to a public Wi-Fi network, be sure you’re aware of all the risks involved.
A Wi-Fi USB dongle, sometimes known as a “internet stick,” is a less expensive and more accessible alternative to a mobile hotspot and temporary Wi-Fi. Instead of signing up for a costly long-term mobile hotspot subscription, you may utilize a conventional SIM card and its Internet connection.
Download: Wi-Fi Master Key for Android (Free)
Download: Wi-Fi Connect for iOS (Free)
4. Use a Wi-Fi USB Dongle
Internet sticks for laptops are better suited for persons who require an online connection while traveling since they are lighter and smaller than mobile hotspots. On the disadvantage, signal strength, Wi-Fi speed, and range will not be as excellent as when utilizing a hotspot device.
For additional information, see our article on the best Wi-Fi USB adapters.
There’s a potential that someone in your group has an internet connection on their computer. For instance, someone may have access credentials for a neighboring private network that you do not.
5. Share Someone’s Internet
You may then share the bandwidth with a Windows or macOS workstation.
Go to Settings > Network and Internet > Mobile Hotspot to share an internet connection from a Windows machine. Select the connection you wish to share and flip the switch to the On position.
Go to Apple > System Preferences > Sharing > Internet Sharing if you need to share an internet connection from a macOS device. Choose the connection to share from the Share your connection drop-down menu, then choose how to share the internet from the list of choices underneath.
The easiest technique to acquire Wi-Fi without an internet connection is determined on your location and how you want to utilize the connection. A public Wi-Fi network may be difficult to discover in rural locations, although they are nearly everywhere in cities.
Understand Your Situation Before Choosing an Option
People who do a lot of work on the fly, on the other hand, might consider investing in a full-fledged mobile hotspot to connect to the internet no matter where they are. Tethering or an internet stick will suffice for occasional casual users.
That said, people who do a lot of work on the go should consider investing in a full-fledged mobile hotspot to connect to the internet wherever they are. But occasional casual users will be satisfied with tethering or an internet stick.
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