How to Keep Free Internet at Home or in Your Pocket or Purse

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Last year we did a story called “You Can Now Get Free Internet at Home and Away.” It was about a couple of companies offering free, albeit limited, Internet service. One of the companies we mentioned in that article was FreedomPop.

When you sign up for FreedomPop, you get a small wireless Internet hot spot. Anytime you want to browse the Web, turn it on, connect a computer and you’re ready to go. You can connect up to eight devices on one account, like laptops, smartphones and tablet PCs, including iPads.

FreedomPop has different costs depending on how you browse the Web, from free on up.

First, you’ll need to buy the hot spot, which retails for up to $99. (We’re offering a much better deal, so read on.) But here’s the best part: They offer 500MB of 4G wireless Internet usage free every month. While that isn’t a lot, you can do some basic things.

For example, uSwitch says it takes 100KB to browse a Web page or read an email. Other things are bigger data hogs. Downloading a photo takes about 2MB and downloading a song, 5MB. So, you could do one of the following with 500MB:

  • Browse 5,000 Web pages.
  • Check 5,000 emails.
  • Download 250 photos.
  • Download 100 MP3s.

That’s probably enough for a very casual user, but if you use streaming services like Netflix, download a lot of music, or stay online for hours at a time, you’ll need more data.

With FreedomPop, you get 500MB free as long as you want and they never require contracts. If you go over, the next service tier is $17.99 for 2GB of data. The next tier is $28.99 per month for 4GB.

A special deal for Money Talks News readers

We’ve done two stories about FreedomPop over the last couple of years, which steered a lot of business their way. So we recently contacted the company and asked them if they wanted to partner with us by providing our readers a special deal and giving us a referral fee for new customers we help sign up. They agreed.

Here’s the special offer they came up with for our readers:

Photon 4G wireless hot spot (normally as much as $99) + 3GB of data (first month only) + free shipping for $19.99

So what you’re getting for $19.99 is a hot spot and 3GB of data during the first month. After that, you’ll get 500MB free every month.

Some important caveats:

  • As with a cellphone, before you order this or any wireless Internet service, make sure you’re in a covered area. Use this coverage map to check your area. (If you receive the hot spot and it doesn’t work, they offer a 30-day return policy.)
  • After your trial month, unless you cancel you’ll continue on the 2GB plan at the $17.99-a-month rate. Note: You must cancel within 30 days to avoid being charged. (The FreedomPop folks assure us it’s not hard to cancel. You can either do it online or by calling (888) 743-8107.) If you cancel, after the first month you’ll be on the free monthly Internet plan, which offers 500MB of free data every month — no strings attached. FreedomPop’s services don’t come with any contracts.
  • To make sure you don’t get charged for going over the 500MB limit, after opening your account, uncheck the “Automatic Top-Up” feature. Otherwise, should you exceed 500MB, you’ll automatically get more data and be charged for it.
  • Download the FreedomPop app and you can use your smartphone to keep track of your data usage. This is another method to make sure you don’t use more data than you intend.

Interested in the offer? Click here to get started!

Note: As mentioned above, Money Talks News is being compensated by FreedomPop.

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Comments & discussion

We welcome your opinions, but let’s keep it civil. Like many businesses, we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone. In our case, that means those who communicate by name-calling, racism, using words designed to hurt others or generally acting like an uninformed bully. Also, comments that include links to email addresses or commercial websites typically aren't posted. This isn't a place to advertise your business.

  • Sally

    What are the options if I checked the coverage map and they say that 4G isn’t available at my location but 3G is available? Do you know if this deal (and the hotspot) work if only 3G is available where I live?

    • Jcatz4

      Oops! I need to re-read the article. I’m pretty much a Senior citizen novice who keeps trying to figure out all this new (at least to me) techy stuff.

    • http://www.moneytalksnews.com/ Stacy Johnson

      I checked with the company, Sally, and it doesn’t. It works only with 4G WiMax

  • Sally

    I checked the coverage map and my area only receives 3G service. I was wondering if this deal (and hotspot) works if 4G is not available in my area.

    • http://www.moneytalksnews.com/ Stacy Johnson

      This is a guess, but I assume it work as 3G. In any case, they’ll take it back within 30 days if it doesn’t satisfy.

    • http://blog.freedompop.com/ FreedomPop

      The Photon is a 4G WiMax only device. You won’t be able to connect to it if you’re not in a 4G WiMax coverage area.

  • ponce

    Guess I’ll check back next decade. My area might get 3G coverage by them.

  • Jcatz4

    I checked multiple places here in SJersey and 4G is not yet available here. I even put Atlantic City, NJ and tried Philadelphia, PA and 4G is not available. Oh, well – thought I would look in to this deal but no luck.

  • pattyjo

    FreedomPop only works in a 4G network. There are not many places with 4G. I bought the hotspot and then tried to use it in Nebraska and it doesn’t work. I talked to someone who said I should have read the fine print. I can buy a monthly service for 3G. So it is not free. I also tried to cancel the device 10 days after ordering because they had not told me it was backordered. Needless to say it didn’t get cancelled so it came 2 weeks later and I am still trying to get connected. No service in Nebraska. Yet. I am not giving up.

  • Jack Mabry

    If you are low income, you can get a great deal from Century Link. If you’re not in the area they cover, check with your cable or phone company, most of them have special deals. This is partially funded by a federal tax on everyone’s phone bills.

  • Joel Zobitz

    Unable to access coverage map. Appears to be a message here. Not a positive reflection on Money Talk News enthusiastic endorsement.

  • JF287

    Do you have any experience or info on their cell phone plans?

  • Jason

    This deal only works in areas that have Sprint 4G WiMax. The Photon hotspot will not work on Sprint’s 3G or 4G LTE networks.

    I have the FreedomPop 3G/4G Overdrive Pro hotspot. It costs $39.99 for the hotspot and 500 MB of data is $4 per month and then $0.02 per MB. FreedomPop will not sell me the Photon 4G hotspot even though I have full coverage of Sprint LTE. Again this deal is for WiMAX areas only and Sprint is rapidly converting their WiMax network to LTE.

    • http://www.moneytalksnews.com/ Stacy Johnson

      I sent your post to FreedomPop, Jason, for a response. When they send it, I’ll post it here.

    • http://www.moneytalksnews.com/ Stacy Johnson

      Just got word from FreedomPop, Jason. You’re correct. The photon is a 4G WiMax only device only. You have to check the coverage map to see if you have 4G WiMax.

    • http://blog.freedompop.com/ FreedomPop

      Hey Jason, the Photon is a 4G WiMax only device. You’ll be unable to access either the LTE or 3G network while connected to the Photon. If you already have a FreedomPop device and wish to purchase the Photon, you’ll need to make the order from a new account/email address (each account can only be linked to one device at this time).

      • Jason

        I’ve already tried another email address. Your website won’t allow me to buy the Photon because there is no WiMax service in my state. I’m not complaining, I don’t want a device with no service and my Overdrive Pro works fine for me. I’ve been very happy with FreedomPop.

        • http://blog.freedompop.com/ FreedomPop

          Gotcha! Glad you’re enjoying the Overdrive Pro!

  • Tiffany

    Not even available in Washington, DC our Nation’s Capitol?? Huh?

  • Dolly

    Stacy, I really enjoy the info you share in your newsletters, but coverage for this deal doesn’t extend to Alaska!

  • beldujour

    Not impressed with this “deal.” I received an email from Freedompop just a few days ago, offering exactly the same deal for $14.99, a savings of $5.00 over the price offered here.

  • Julie

    I tried my address, not available. I tried an address in Madison, WI, and it was not available. I also tried an address in Milwaukee, WI and still nothing. The map shows green, so it would appear to be available, but it’s saying it is not and wants to sign me up for a “better deal” which is nationwide internet but there are no free options from what I see offered.

    • http://blog.freedompop.com/ FreedomPop

      Unfortunately, there is no 4G WiMax coverage in both Madison and Milwaukee. The Photon will not be able to connect to the network to provide internet in these locations.

  • Jason

    FreedomPop uses Sprint’s network and the Photon hotspot only works on WiMax. WiMax is only available in a limited number of large cities. Sprint in in the process of transitioning from WiMax to LTE and they stopped selling new WiMax devices in 2012. Sprint is actively switching their customers from WiMax to LTE and they are expected to shut down WiMax completely in 2015.

    This is a great deal if you have WiMax in your area but many don’t.

  • fredd3

    shysters – no coverage map without your personal info.

    • Jason

      Personal details? You can zoom and pan on the map to your hearts content without putting in a single piece of personal information. If you want to find your location a little quicker just put in your zip code.

      The coverage map is here: http://www.freedompop.com/retail/coverage WiMax coverage is in blue.

      • fredd3

        That’s not where the ‘this coverage map” or “Click here to get started” links in the article above take you. It has to have at least an email address (and zip code) to do anything.

        • Jason

          Sometimes you have to take that extra step to find what you are looking for. A direct link to the coverage map is listed at least 3 times in the comments. If you don’t want to give out your real email use a fake one or one you have dedicated to spam

  • christian2

    I checked the map and I didn’t have service for my area, but they switched me to the ‘Freedom Stick’ is that the same? Will I still get free monthly internet as with the other?

    • http://blog.freedompop.com/ FreedomPop

      The Freedom Stick 250U is a nationwide 3G/4G USB Modem. The 250U will connect to Sprint’s 3G network when 4G WiMax is unavailable. It does not serve as a mobile hotspot and instead only provides internet for the device it’s directly plugged in to. The Free 500MB 4G Only monthly data plan is available for this device. If you wish to add the ability for 3G fallback on the 500MB plan, it will cost $3.99/month.

  • Tim

    1. there isn’t anything “free” about this; 2. no map by clicking on link; 3. link wants personal info; 4. then comes the junk e-mail from bogus companies,,, thanks but no thanks Stacy Free should mean free, don’t ask for my credit card, what gives? Tim.

    • Jason

      You have to pay $20 + Shipping for the hotspot and then you get 500 MB of data free per month. They need your credit card to pay for the hotspot and for any overages in data (They charge $0.02 per MB after the first 500 MB)

      There is nothing bogus about FreedomPop, I have used their service for 6 months and they are a legitimate company

  • Alisa

    I get an error message on the page

  • http://blog.freedompop.com/ FreedomPop

    Unfortunately, we have no coverage in North Dakota or Montana, but we hope to expand our coverage this year!

  • jhl25

    I work at home and have heavy usage of the Internet over 10-12 hours a day – will I be paying a lot of overage fees? Will it go fast enough for me to be researching on multiple sites at a time plus several email accounts? I would love to find cheaper coverage but I haven’t been able to find these answers so far.

    • http://blog.freedompop.com/ FreedomPop

      If you’re a heavy internet user, then our services may not be the best for you. If you’re on the internet 10-12 hours per day, you will definitely exceed your monthly data allotment. You may be best served by an unlimited data plan.