How I Always Stay Online in the US


It use to be a constant struggle to get wifi. I’d have to pick my cafes and restaurants by who has free wifi. It’s the worst feeling when I’ve already bought my coffee to later find out the wifi doesn’t work and the only reason I’m there is for the wifi.

Who remembers NetZero from the early 90’s? They provided free dial-up internet to everyone if they used their software. It was a brilliant service and I used it a lot. After the downfall of dial-up, I didn’t hear much more about NetZero. NetZero has made a comeback and is yet again providing an awesome service as they did in the early 90’s.

NetZero is still living up to its name by providing free internet access but instead of dial-up, it’s a hotspot offering 4G mobile broadband for up to 8 devices. Nice! They also have several paying plans that increase in monthly data and price. I have the $49.95 plan which has a cap of 4gigs. Granted 200 megs won’t get you far on the internet these days but free is free and you have access from anywhere. Just make sure to limit your access to basic tasks.

My only complaint is their coverage. Luckily I’ve been in the east coast of the US and coverage seems to be the best here. They’re honest with what they areas cover though so you check if you’re in one of their 80 cities. They cover most large US cities. Hopefully they’ll cover more areas as 4G becomes more popular. Good news to all this is that they have no contracts, no commitments, and you can change plans at any time. So if coverage turns out not to be great or you move elsewhere, you can cancel. You do need to purchase their devices to get internet

Another unexpected bonus is that I’ll have internet when the power goes off. We’re expected to lose power today because at the time of writing this article, hurricane Sandy is hitting us.

Thank you NetZero for providing me a free hotspot to use to keep Art of Backpacking updated!

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