Some may say the only solution to this is to keep finding a cheaper service provider – there are actually several other ways seniors can save money on WiFi service. The best of these savings approaches are listed below.
If you are truly happy with your internet company other than the cost, it is best to try the other savings ideas below first. However, if you are not really happy with the service and the cost, then you should consider switching companies. There is stiff competition among the internet companies for new customers. Many companies will give you a great deal and even a reward bonus for switching to them. Plus, some of them will pay any cancellation penalty you might have to pay to the old company.
There are two main factors that determine the cost of your internet service – speed and amount of usage. Everyone touts fast internet, but most people really don’t need such high speeds. Service at 100 Mb is usually more than sufficient for most seniors, unless you stream high definition movies or have many devices being used at once. So, if you have a package with higher than 100Mb – you are probably paying for what you don’t need or use, so cut the speed and cut your cost.
The amount of usage (called data) also affects the price. While limited data usage may seem to be cheaper, if you are a big movie watcher and keep going over your data limit, you’re probably paying overage charges. It may actually cost you less to make your data plan unlimited in this case. On the other hand, if you use way less data than your plan allows, reduce the limit to save money.
Many internet companies have different kind of discounts available – if you ask for them, so ask! Just being a senior may entitle you to a discount or extra services without paying more for them. Sometimes, there are discounts for being a member of groups like AARP and AAA. You can even try to arrange your own group discount – by bringing new customers to the company who are part of a club or church you belong to.
Another way to get a discount is to bundle services that your internet company offers. For example, many internet companies also provide cable TV and cell phone services. If you have these services from another company, you can save money overall (sometimes a large amount) by having all these services provided by just one company, referred to as a bundle.
WiFi service require a special piece of equipment in your home – a router (the box with the blinking lights). Many times the internet company will have a monthly rental charge for the router built into your overall monthly internet bill. You can often buy your own compatible router and have your monthly bill reduced by returning the company’s router.
While you used to have to hunt for a “hot spot” ( a public WiFi connected area), today a large number of places have free WiFi service to use – restaurants, cafes, libraries, transit systems, office buildings and many others. These WiFi areas are usually open and free to the public. So, by maximizing your use of these free connections, you probably will be able to greatly reduce your data allowance on your home plan and thus reduce your bill.
If you are a senior living on a limited income, there are special government programs that will help you pay for your internet service. This is especially true if you are receiving SSI payment or enrolled in Medicaid. Many local governments have such programs and the federal government runs a nationwide program called The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). This is a low-income internet program that helps families afford an internet connection by subsidizing the cost of their internet bill. The ACP provides $30 per month toward a household’s internet bill, though households in high-cost areas might be eligible for enhanced support of up to $75 per month.