Is the cost of your internet bill making you wince every month? Whether you’re on a tight budget or just wanting to save toward some big goals, your internet bill can be a great place to cut back on your spending.
This definitely doesn’t mean giving up on your home internet connection altogether—unthinkable for most of us! Instead, it means looking at ways to cut the cost while still enjoying streaming TV shows and everything else that you use the internet for.
Here are 9 simple things you can try:
1. Drop to a Lower Internet Speed Package
Sure, it’s nice to have fast internet … but how much speed do you really need? If you typically only have a couple of devices using the internet at a time (e.g. you’re working on your laptop while your kids stream a show on the TV) then you might find that everything works just fine with an 18 Mbps download speed.
Switching to a lower-speed broadband package could save you $20/month or more, and those savings really add up over time. Across 4 years, that’s almost $1,000 saved.
2. Consider Using Your Own Router and Modem
If your internet provider charges you for router and/or modem rental, then using your own equipment could save you some money each month.
You may well find you get better performance, too. For instance, using your own WiFi router for multiple devices might mean that your wifi works more consistently and efficiently around your whole house.
Image courtesy of Pixabay
3. See if You’re Eligible For a Subsidy
If your income is lower than $35,000/year, then most states have a program that will get you online for as little as $9.95/month. You can also qualify if you live in public housing, if your kids get free or reduced lunches, and in certain other circumstances too.1
To check out whether you’re eligible, head to EveryoneOn.org and look for offers in your area.
4. Look at Switching to a Different Internet Provider
Shopping around could get you a much better deal—so take a look at other offers and consider moving to a different internet provider.
You may also find that your current provider will offer you a discounted deal if you explain that you’re thinking of moving. Don’t bluff, though: be prepared to go through with moving if they can’t offer you what you want.
5. Consider Whether You Need Home Internet at All
If you spend a lot of time out and about, you might be better off paying for a data plan on your cell phone—rather than paying monthly for internet at home. An unlimited data plan means you don’t need to worry about going over, even if you use your cell phone to watch videos and movies.
While most families will want home internet so that kids can stream TV, use tablets, and complete homework on laptops or desktop computers, if you’re on your own or live a life conducive to it, a full broadband connection might be unnecessary.2
Depending on the terms and conditions of your cell phone plan, you may be able to tether your cell phone to your computer so you can use the internet on your computer through your cell phone’s data connection.
Image courtesy of Pixabay
6. Or … Downgrade Your Cell Phone Plan
Conversely, if you mostly use the internet at home rather than when out and about, do you really need your current data plan on your cell phone?
If you don’t watch videos or stream music on your phone, and only use it to occasionally check emails or update your Facebook status, then you’re probably not using all that much data each month. Downgrading to 500 MB or 1 GB/month of data might save you $10+ every month.
7. Bundle Your Internet Service With Cable TV
If you’re paying separately for internet plus cable, you could potentially save up to $40/month by bundling them together. You’ll still want to shop around for the best deal, of course—and make sure you don’t get lured in by the promise of lots of channels that you won’t actually end up wanting to watch.
8. Or … Ditch the Cable TV
If you have cable TV but mostly watch Netflix, could you cut the cord and ditch your cable altogether? Paying for just an internet connection plus your Netflix subscription is likely to be quite a bit cheaper.
9. Consider Using Dial-Up
If you were born in the 1980s or earlier, you probably still remember the sound that a dial-up modem made.3 Well, you can still experience that with dial-up internet plans (yes, dial-up still exists).
Some providers offer dial-up cheaply or even for free: for instance, NetZero offers 10 hours per month of free dial-up. Note that you’ll likely need to pay call charges, and dial-up internet is really only suitable for very basic tasks like accessing email and websites without too many graphics.
Your internet bill is likely to be one of your larger monthly bills. By cutting the cost, even by just $10 or $20 each month, you can save a huge amount of money over time.
Tech Pro Daily uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
- Romo, Vanessa. Internet Subsidy Gives $50 A Month Discounts For Low-Income Americans. NPR.org. Published 12 May 2021. Accessed 15 Spe 2021.
- Armstrong L, Phillips JG, Saling LL. Potential determinants of heavier internet usage. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies. 2000; 53(4). 537-550. doi:10.1006/ijhc.2000.0400.
- W. Wei, B. Wang, C. Zhang, J. Kurose and D. Towsley, Classification of access network types: Ethernet wireless LAN, ADSL, cable modem or dialup? Proceedings IEEE 24th Annual Joint Conference of the IEEE Computer and Communications Societies., 2005, pp. 1060-1071 vol. 2, doi: 10.1109/INFCOM.2005.1498334.