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Updated: 11:45 a.m. Tuesday, March 20, 2012 | Posted: 1:01 p.m. Monday, March 19, 2012

Free 4G mobile broadband offering from Net Zero

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ClarkHoward.com and The Clark Howard Show have more money-saving advice about free Internet

By Clark Howard


Free Internet is coming from one of the oldest players in the freemium business.

This one comes from Net Zero, which used to offer free dial-up before broadband became available. With their 4G mobile broadband offering, you either buy a portable 4G USB modem for $50 or a portable 4G hotspot for $100.

Once you purchase the device, you get a free 200 MB per month. That effectively limits you to light web surfing, no video and no audio; just basic email and surfing.

If you want more data, you can pay $10 a month and then you'll get 500 MB. So if you avoid video and music, you should be covered for a whole month for either zero dollars or $10 a month. Again, either plan will really only allow you to do emailing and light web surfing.

As for me, I currently pay $30 a month to my cell phone provider for the ability to turn my cell phone into a hotspot. But I have a ceiling of 5 GB, so I will discontinue it and go to Net Zero and start with the zero dollar offer to see if that gets me by. I expect it will be especially useful if I'm at a hotel or airport that charges for wifi. I may go to the $10 plan if necessary.

The Net Zero deal is good for 12 months only and then you'll have to upgrade to the pay service.

For somebody who travels a lot and sets up their own hotspot all the time, you probably won't find this Net Zero offer useful because it won't give you a robust Internet experience. But for many other people, it might suffice. As long as you can avoid Netflix, YouTube and listening to your music, you'll be just fine at zero to $10 per month.

That's a cheap deal!

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