As we examine our budget this month and look for places where we can save money, we turn to our internet bill. It seems there is just no way to avoid paying for internet in our homes. We are becoming a deeply connected society and for many of us, the simple idea of going without internet causes anxiety. If you have kids in your home, the act of cutting costs by getting rid of internet just might start an uprising. Thankfully, there are ways to save money on your internet bill without having to discontinue service.
1.) Make a phone call.
A simple phone call to your internet provider may be all it takes to save yourself some money each month. Let them know that the bill has gotten too big and you are looking for less expensive options. Mention to the customer service representative that you are looking at their competitors as viable options and a promotional discount may suddenly become available to you. Make a note to call them back when the promotion ends (usually in 6-12 months, depending on the promotion) so you can lower your costs again.
2.) Lower your service speed.
For a month, try out a lower level of internet speed and see if you notice the difference. Depending on your needs at home, you just might not notice. You’ll save yourself $15-50 a month depending on what rate you’ve been paying.
If you are the only one in the home, you’ll definitely be able to stream movies and videos on a lower, economical speed without noticing a change. If you do notice a difference, for example you live with multiple teenagers who are always on their devices, then you might need to increase the speed the next month but try to increase it in slow increments until you find a speed that works best while saving you the most.
3.) Skip the installation service.
Service providers usually charge a great deal of money for installation that is completely unnecessary. Most of us should be able to install our modem and router – if you are using one – easily enough. If you do run into troubles, there are always customer service representatives available to assist you with just a quick phone call.
4.) Skip paying for it all together.
One advantage to living in a big city, like New York City is the great number of free WiFi hot-spots that are available. A friend of ours hasn’t had to pay for internet in the four years she has lived in the city because there’s available options everywhere she turns, including her own home. If you are lucky enough to live in a situation like this, then discontinue your own internet and borrow from others for awhile. (Be sure to return the favor once you can.)
Another option, especially if you live in close proximity to others, like in an apartment complex is to share internet with a neighbor. As long as the range is large enough to reach both homes, then it doesn’t really matter where the modem is located. Split the bill each month and save yourself between $20-40 on each bill.
5.) Buy your own Modem
It will take a few months for the purchase to save you money but buying your own modem (and router if you are looking for WiFi in your home) will save you money on the rental costs of the equipment. Companies charge you a fee each month (currently $6- $8 for Time Warner Cable) for the use of their equipment.
Remember – this is different than the router. The modem is what the coax cable (or fiber optic) plugs into from the wall. The router then plugs into the modem and your wireless signal is broadcast from the router.
These items can be purchased at places like Best Buy, Walmart, or Amazon and will eventually pay for themselves. For example, a cable modem costs around $60. If you purchase it and return the rental equipment to your internet provider, you will save yourself each month and the modem will pay for itself in ten months. The last modem I purchased is still working perfectly more than 10 years later, definitely a wise investment as it has saved me over $700.
6.) Upgrade your service (or your modem).
Okay, I know this sounds opposite of what we're trying to do but follow me on this one. We have multiple devices in our home that use our wireless router (for work and school and play) and that can cause quite a bit of strain on our internet service. We went over our monthly limit and had to pay extra fees for a few months (plus getting throttled on our internet all the while!).
We decided to upgrade our service to get the speed and bandwidth we needed. Rest assured we DID stop going over our bandwidth each month, but we didn't notice a difference in speed. We found out that our 2 year old wireless router was deteriorating our signal and wasn't even allowing our internet to reach the download/upload speeds that we were paying for. So we upgraded our wireless router and IT WORKED! We now get the service speeds we're paying for and the bandwidth we need with NO OVERAGE FEES!
7.) Maximize your savings on internet service by combining these tips.
Shop around to other providers in the area to see what deals are being offered. Call your current provider and let them know you are looking to save money. Don't be afraid to switch companies if it will save you money. And when you have the extra funds to do so, purchase the equipment you will need to save the most money over time.
8.) Use your phone hotspot
If you don't use much home internet, but have a large data package on your phone, consider using your phone as a hotspot to use your home computer. You may pay less money to your phone provider than you would to your internet provider.
Just be careful when downloading files or streaming videos as you could easily go over your data usage.
What other tips do you have for saving money on the internet?