In the age of digital technology, Internet has become essential in our advanced world. For low-income families, the Internet is a means to connect with the outside world and an opportunity for education and economic growth.
Without it, many people are left behind without jobs or access to opportunities to improve their lives. Luckily there are some affordable options out there that can provide you with reliable internet service at your home or business. Here are seven cheap Internet for low income families!
Consider When Searching Internet For Low-Income Families
Unsure where to start your search? Look into the speed of your connection and how much data you’ll need. If you’re the only one using it, 5 Mbps should be plenty of bandwidth for streaming videos, downloading music, and surfing the web.
For multiple users such as a family, you’ll probably want more than that. Also, consider if you’ll be using the Internet for business, schoolwork, or both. That can help determine if you should invest in faster service with more data.\
- Top 7 Cheap Internet For Low-Income Families In 2023
- FAQ About Internet For Low-Income Families
Top 7 Cheap Internet For Low-Income Families In 2023
Here are five affordable providers that offer low-income family internet:
AT&T has a plan that is perfect for low-income families. The Access from AT&T program provides very affordable Internet with no credit check and only requires a $10 deposit. Excellent news for those who have had trouble getting approved in the past due to bad credit or bankruptcy.
AT&T’s plans start at either 1 Mbps download or 768 Kbps upload, which is definitely on the slow side but still a good deal for those who need to conserve data.
That’s roughly enough speed to stream videos with no problems and download songs in about 8 seconds. But don’t expect it works very well if you have multiple users sharing that bandwidth.
- Cost: $10/mo
- Top Speed: 1 Mbps
- Max Users: Unknown
If 1 Mbps speeds don’t cut it and you want something a little faster, Cox has got you covered. They offer both 1 and 3 Mbps download speeds for their lowest tier packages.
This is more than enough speed to handle many users at once streaming videos and music without buffering. With that speed, you’d only be able to download a song in about 10 seconds, so it’s still on the slow side but respectable for its price.
Cox will require a credit check for their lowest tier but offers no deposit options. They provide free email addresses and security software, so you won’t have to worry about additional service fees.
- Cost: $10/mo
- Top Speed: 3 Mbps
- Max Users: 5 per line
3. CenturyLink Cheap Internet
CenturyLink is another affordable ISP with low-income family internet options. They offer speeds of 1 and 3 Mbps for their cheap phone plans for 3 lines, but there’s a catch.
The 1 Mbps option is specifically designed for one device to use simultaneously, while the 3 Mbps plan allows for multiple devices at once. However, keep in mind that this service does not allow streaming videos or music due to its low speeds.
CenturyLink does not require a credit check or deposit, but you must commit to buying service for at least one year. If you cancel before the year is up, expect to pay a fee of $180 for canceling early.
- Cost: $15/mo (1 Mbps); $25/mo (3 Mbps)
- Top Speed: 1 Mbps (1 device); 3 Mbps (multiple devices)
- Max Users: 1 or 5 per line
4. Frontier Communica Cheap Internet
Frontier provides low-income Internet with a faster 5 Mbps download speed for their cheapest plan. This is perfect for multiple users to use at once, whether you’re downloading music and movies or streaming videos. With this speed, you’ll be able to download a song in about 7 seconds, so you’ll still have some buffer time for your daily activities.
Frontier requires a $100 deposit but doesn’t require a credit check, so those who need cheap Internet for low-income families should be eligible. They also have a different of packages that include home phones and TV for an additional fee.
- Cost: $34.99/mo (5 Mbps)
- Top Speed: 5 Mbps
- Max Users: Unknown
5. Verizon Wireless Cheap Internet
If you have a wireless device such as a hotspot, Verizon’s Go Unlimited plan is perfect for low income families. The cheapest plan costs $69/mo and has no data cap. It also provides the best-unlimited talk and text plans, so you won’t have to worry about additional fees on your bill.
This may sound too good to be accurate, but there is a catch. You must purchase this service through the device itself, and it’s limited to a single line.
If you want coverage on more than one phone, expect to pay $20/mo for every additional device. However, this unlimited plan does not allow you to stream HD quality videos on your devices, so keep that in mind as well.
- Cost: $69/mo (smartphone); $60/mo (hotspot)
- Top Speed: Unlimited
- Max Users: 1 per line (smartphone); 3 per line (hotspot)
6. Spectrum Cheap Internet
Spectrum is the last contender for the cheapest ISP with low-income family internet options. They offer affordable speeds of 1 and 5 Mbps for their most inexpensive plan. With that activity, you’ll be able to download a song within 4 seconds or less.
Spectrum’s cheapest package does require a credit check and a $5 deposit, but it has no data caps and allows for streaming videos. It is, however, restricted to a single line so keep that in thought when signing up.
- Cost: $15/mo (1 Mbps); $25/mo (5 Mbps)
- Top Speed: 1 Mbps; 5 Mbps
- Max Users: Unknown per line
7. Xfinity Internet
Coming in as the most expensive option on our cheap Internet for low income families guide is Xfinity. This company provides a variety of speeds up to 250 Mbps, and it only costs $30/mo for its cheapest plan with a one-year commitment.
This service requires a credit check and deposit but does not have any data caps. It also supports various devices to connect and stream high-quality videos without any buffering. However, keep in mind that this service starts at $30/mo for its cheapest option and does require a one-year commitment.
- Cost: $29.99 (50 Mbps); $39.99 (100 Mbps); $44.99 (120 Mbps); $69.99 (250 Mbps)
- Top Speed: 250 Mbps
- Max Users: Unknown
How To Apply For Cheap Low-Income Internet
Signing up for cheap Internet for low-income families can be a bit of a hassle, but if you need the extra speed and features to keep your household running smoothly, it’s worth it.
First, you must meet both state and federal requirements to qualify. This means your family income level needs to fall within the range of the government’s definition of low income, and your state must have programs that can help you get cheap Internet.
If you meet these requirements, the process is relatively simple. First, contact the company directly to see if they offer family cell phone plans with free phones in your area. Be sure to ask what types of speeds are available to know exactly what you are getting.
After speaking with the customer service representative, they will conduct a credit check and request a deposit. If you are approved for services, you’ll be given installation instructions to set up your modem and start using your new cheap Internet for low income families package. Typically this requires plugging your broadband cable directly into the modem and powering it on.
If you do not get approved, don’t give up hope just yet. Your credit may be acceptable, but the installation location may be too far from the central office to allow for service at this time.
These physical limitations can change with time, so stay in contact with them and try to set up a new installation if the area around your home becomes available for cheap Internet for low income families services.
FAQ About Internet For Low-Income Families
Is there a limit to how many devices can connect at once?
No, but the speed of your cheap Internet may be limited by the number of devices currently using it.
What appears if I want to cancel my service?
If you need to cancel your service with a company because you have moved or your financial situation has changed, be sure to contact them before canceling. You may be able to get an early termination fee waived if you are switching to another company for the same type of service.
Is there a contract?
Cheap Internet for low income families typically comes with a 1-year or 2-year contract that you must sign when you get it set up. This gives you time to test the service and make sure you like it before committing to anything further.
Can I get DSL?
No, Internet for low income families is typically only available through cable connections or fiber-optic lines. For those who need faster speeds than typical DSL offers (1-6 Mbps), this type of cheap Internet will provide several times that speed.
All of these cheap Internet for low-income families services offer great value and the bandwidth necessary to handle your family’s usage. If you qualify and can afford to commit to 1-2 years, we highly recommend going with one of these plans as they will give you plenty of speed and features at an affordable price.
For those who don’t qualify for cheap Internet for low-income families (or who don’t want to commit to a contract), we recommend looking into other options like satellite or DSL.
These services often offer comparable speeds but lack the support and technological advancements you get with cable, fiber optic, or cheap Internet for low-income families.