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dennis thompson
04-12-2015, 2:01 PM
Is it possible to get the internet on my computer in my home without subscribing through Verizon, ATT, etc?
thanks

Chuck Wintle
04-12-2015, 2:22 PM
Is it possible to get the internet on my computer in my home without subscribing through Verizon, ATT, etc?
thanks

if there was a wi-fi active near you and if it was not password protected then in theory you could surf the new for free.

Pat Barry
04-12-2015, 2:35 PM
You can still get low speed thru a dial up modem and a standard phone line as far as I know

Bill Huber
04-12-2015, 4:01 PM
If you have a smart phone with the internet you could get an adapter for the computer and use the smart phone as a hot spot.

Charlie Velasquez
04-12-2015, 6:13 PM
There are several that offer free internet, with limits, without a cell phone subscription. Freedompop comes to mind.
I have no experience with them, though.

Myk Rian
04-12-2015, 9:59 PM
if there was a wi-fi active near you and if it was not password protected then in theory you could surf the new for free.
Although it's illegal.

Myk Rian
04-12-2015, 10:02 PM
If you have a smart phone with the internet you could get an adapter for the computer and use the smart phone as a hot spot.
If the computer already has Wifi, you're all set. There are apps to make the phone a hot spot.
Make sure you have an unlimited plan on the cell phone.

Curt Harms
04-13-2015, 8:22 AM
AFAIK, Netzero/Juno are still in business. It's dial-up only and limited to I think 10 hours/month. These are the same company - United Online

http://store.netzero.net/account/showService.do?serviceId=nz-dialup

http://www.juno.com/free/

Years ago I used Juno for internet access. It's still an option for free email. There may be other similar, these are the only ones I know.

Fred Belknap
04-13-2015, 9:01 AM
There are several satellite internet systems. I use DishNet. They work much better than they use to but there is times the service is poor.

Wade Lippman
04-13-2015, 10:38 AM
Although it's illegal.
Is it? If someone is putting out a wifi signal unprotected, why is it a crime to log into it?

I did that on a train a few years ago only to find out it was just phishing.

It probably is a violation of your agreement to use your phone as a hotspot unless the company specifically allows it.

Mike Henderson
04-13-2015, 10:55 AM
If your house is close enough to your neighbor that you can receive their WiFi signal, go to them and make a deal to share the connection. You pay them a fee per month and they give you the security code (log in code) to their WiFi.

Mike

Art Mann
04-13-2015, 11:00 AM
Ultimately, I think the answer to your question is no. Free dial up connections are so slow as to be unusable in my opinion. The only way to take advantage of open Wi-fi hotspots is to be very close to the source from which they are generated. You might be close enough to an ignorant neighbor who doesn't secure his connection but that is really stealing and as someone pointed out, it is illegal. My daughter lived in an apartment complex and she went in with a neighbor and they shared the cost of a cable modem internet connection. That is a little bit unethical but neither she nor her neighbor would have subscribed at all otherwise. In addition to a cable internet connection, I also have a Wi-fi hotspot feature on my phone and I can get pretty fast internet anywhere there is good 4G wireless service. That isn't free and requires a subscription from the cell phone service provider.

Jerome Stanek
04-13-2015, 11:36 AM
If your house is close enough to your neighbor that you can receive their WiFi signal, go to them and make a deal to share the connection. You pay them a fee per month and they give you the security code (log in code) to their WiFi.

Mike

That would violate their TOS

Mike Henderson
04-13-2015, 11:46 AM
That would violate their TOS
Yes, it would. You and your neighbor would have to trust each other, also, because you would be sharing a network. However, it would be similar to sharing a network at work.

Mike

Dan Hintz
04-13-2015, 12:03 PM
Is it? If someone is putting out a wifi signal unprotected, why is it a crime to log into it?

I did that on a train a few years ago only to find out it was just phishing.
Even if left unprotected, it's not legal to connect to a wi-fi signal (I'm leaving out certain fringe cases) without specific permission from the signal owner (and as already mentioned, TOS issues come into play, too.


It probably is a violation of your agreement to use your phone as a hotspot unless the company specifically allows it.

Your phone can be a hotspot without issue... but only for you (reference text above). Carriers used to charge for that feature, but the courts shot them down (eventually).

Wade Lippman
04-13-2015, 12:50 PM
Free dial up connections are so slow as to be unusable in my opinion.

Who's old enough to remember using bulletin boards on 300 baud modems? I didn't do WW then, so I don't know if there were any WW boards.

Jerome Stanek
04-13-2015, 1:00 PM
I was on a freenet one of the first in the country also some bulletin boards.

Larry Browning
04-13-2015, 1:35 PM
I would like the OP to expand on his question.
Are you simply wanting to get internet on your home computer? Or are you specifically want to use your cell phone plan with your PC?

If you simply want to have wifi available in your home all the time, then your best option is to get it through the cable company(Cox, Comcast, etc), phone company (ATT, Centurytel, etc) or Satellite (Hughes Net via DirectTv or Dish). The only other way to get WiFi is if your neighbor or some other source like a nearby business give you specific permission to use their wifi. (Otherwise, it is illegal and unethical as well) This is really only a temporary solution at best, due to you having no control over what your neighbor does with his wifi. Also, even with permission, you are basically taking advantage of their generosity.

If you are want to use your cell service as your internet provider, there are apps you can download that can turn your cell phone into a wifi hotspot, but most cell providers either frown on it or outright forbid you from doing it. I really don't know much about it though.

Dan Hintz
04-13-2015, 2:00 PM
Who's old enough to remember using bulletin boards on 300 baud modems? I didn't do WW then, so I don't know if there were any WW boards.

Dragon Keep user here (central Florida BBS)... started on a 1,200 baud, eventually had a 56k modem for a few years before they began to fade into the background in favor of DSL and such. I've had FiOS for so long, I think I'd quiver in pain having to go back to dial-up speeds.

Eric DeSilva
04-13-2015, 3:17 PM
Are you objecting to buying service from specific ISPs or from any ISP? As a practical matter, there is no way of getting to the internet absent some ISP:

-- You can log on to a neighbor's WiFi, but you are essentially using your neighbor's ISP. However, as people have observed, it is probably a violation of your neighbor's terms of service with their ISP and may, if it is considered "unauthorized," it may be illegal (most states have laws against unauthorized use, but there is a lot of disagreement about what constitutes "unauthorized." If you are planning on sustained use of someone else's services, I would suspect you should come to an agreement with them. There are some ISPs that do permit shared services.

-- You can use, in some cases, your mobile phone as a hotspot, but your mobile carrier is an ISP and you are therefore still using an ISP. While most carriers no longer prohibit tethering, there are soft caps and hard caps on data usage that may make using your mobile phone as home internet service expensive or slow. There are also exceptions--I've got an iPhone with a grandfathered unlimited plan, but it does not permit tethering.

-- Satellite services or dial-up services still interpose an ISP. Both are usually pretty slow.

One option no one has mentioned is looking at whether there may be a WISP in your area--a wireless ISP. Unlike a mobile carrier, WISPs tend to offer point-to-point connections instead of networked access. Usually the difficulty there is that the initial install costs are high, but they can have fairly decent speeds if you have line-of-sight to one of their towers.

The other option is going to a local coffee shop or McDonald's every morning and transacting your internet business on their free WiFi.

Myk Rian
04-13-2015, 3:28 PM
I ran a multi-line BBS for 14 years. Started with 300 baud, then to 54,000. I had more phone lines into the house than you could shake a stick at.
I shut my Wildcat under OS/2 board down when the Internet took hold. Started my online life with the Merit Freenet out of Detroit.
Hartland Pride BBS was a lot of fun, and a great learning experience.

roger wiegand
04-13-2015, 5:36 PM
Starbucks, McDonalds, or your public library are sources of a free internet connection. Other than that you pretty much need to pay, one way or another.

I used rec.woodworking in the early days on a 150 baud portable teletype-- no screen, everything printed onto paper. Boy, am I old!

Phil Thien
04-13-2015, 7:11 PM
Who's old enough to remember using bulletin boards on 300 baud modems? I didn't do WW then, so I don't know if there were any WW boards.

I wrote the forum software for Exec-PC, which was the largest BBS in the world (hundreds of incoming lines).

I also designed the search engine for the file system.

They recently made a short documentary about a schoolmate and friends, the first widely recognized group of hackers (the 414's):

http://www.the414s.com/

I went to school w/ Neal starting in fifth grade (so we were about ten or eleven years old I'd say, in 1975 I guess). We had to do a book report, his book was on encryption. He did a presentation at the blackboard on picket fence encryption. Smart guy.

Looks like they only got three of the six to go on camera.

Dan Hintz
04-14-2015, 7:25 AM
They recently made a short documentary about a schoolmate and friends, the first widely recognized group of hackers (the 414's):

I consider that a very dubious title... plenty of groups like them all over the place, but CNN is doing a story on it. I had never even heard of this group until now.

Curt Harms
04-14-2015, 10:20 AM
Starbucks, McDonalds, or your public library are sources of a free internet connection. Other than that you pretty much need to pay, one way or another.

I used rec.woodworking in the early days on a 150 baud portable teletype-- no screen, everything printed onto paper. Boy, am I old!

A caution about using public WiFi - I wouldn't do anything on there I didn't mind sharing with the world. Surfing SMC is fine, I would not log onto sensitive sites like credit card or bank accounts except over a VPN (virtual private network) service and I'm not positive about that. Plus you have to think about shoulder surfers and such in public places.

Phil Thien
04-14-2015, 10:38 AM
I consider that a very dubious title... plenty of groups like them all over the place, but CNN is doing a story on it. I had never even heard of this group until now.

Did you catch the part where this occurred 32 years ago?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_414s

If you never heard of them, you may be too young to remember all the hoopla. See, I'm old enough to use words like "hoopla," so I remember.

Fred Perreault
04-14-2015, 11:01 AM
I do.... It was 1982-83, and later it was 900 baud-1200 baud, etc. etc. all the way up to 56,000 baud. I also was a subscriber to GEIS (General Electric Information Service), and could log into .gov.... .edu.... and .mil. All kinds of information and then there was Bulletin Boards. It was a wild frontier. And I would wait all night to download 5 songs on Napster.

Brian Henderson
04-14-2015, 6:29 PM
Who's old enough to remember using bulletin boards on 300 baud modems? I didn't do WW then, so I don't know if there were any WW boards.

I am, I first got "online" from home back in 1977. I'd never do it again though, the bandwidth required today is hundreds of times what it was back then, it would take you a long time just to pull a single web page.

Mike Henderson
04-14-2015, 7:02 PM
I do.... It was 1982-83, and later it was 900 baud-1200 baud, etc. etc. all the way up to 56,000 baud. I also was a subscriber to GEIS (General Electric Information Service), and could log into .gov.... .edu.... and .mil. All kinds of information and then there was Bulletin Boards. It was a wild frontier. And I would wait all night to download 5 songs on Napster.
Just a nit pick. A baud is not the same as bits per second. A baud is a symbol and in higher speed modems carries many bits. Additionally, the baud rate of a modern telephone line modem is equal to the bandwidth required on the line (for QAM). In the analog domain, about the maximum bandwidth is from maybe 300 Hz to 3400Hz - and usually it's less. So the maximum baud rate on a telephone line is generally less than 3000 baud.

I don't remember all the baud rates of higher speed modems, but many middle speed modems had a baud rate of 2400 baud. So for a modem that ran 4800 bits per second, each baud carried two bits. For a 9600 bits per second, each baud carried four bits. Very low speed modems, such as 300 bps, carried one bit per baud and that's where it started with people misusing the term "baud".

In the modem field, we generally stopped using the word "baud" because it was so misused and started talking about symbols per second. But it's the same thing.

Mike

Here's a link (http://www.michael-henderson.us/Papers/56Kbps.pdf)to a paper I wrote a looong time ago that attempts to give a layman's explanation of how modems work, including the 56Kbps modem.]

Phil Thien
04-14-2015, 7:52 PM
Here's a link (http://www.michael-henderson.us/Papers/56Kbps.pdf)to a paper I wrote a looong time ago that attempts to give a layman's explanation of how modems work, including the 56Kbps modem.]

AT&T still uses USR V.Everything modems (connected to the console ports) of their client-side fiber installs. So if the "infinitely reliable" fiber connection develops a problem, they can use the modem to dial-in and troubleshoot.

I used to be a big fan of AT&T (Paradyne) modems, particularly those with optically coupled line interfaces (OCLI). They were incredibly bullet proof.

Mike Henderson
04-14-2015, 8:39 PM
I used to be a big fan of AT&T (Paradyne) modems, particularly those with optically coupled line interfaces (OCLI). They were incredibly bullet proof.
I was an engineering manager at ATT Paradyne when we developed that optical interface. Unfortunately, it was more expensive than the transformer coupled interface so it never went anywhere. One of the analog engineers was the champion of that design but I don't remember his name. That was a long time ago.

Mike

Dan Hintz
04-14-2015, 8:55 PM
Just a nit pick. A baud is not the same as bits per second. A baud is a symbol and in higher speed modems carries many bits. Additionally, the baud rate of a modern telephone line modem is equal to the bandwidth required on the line (for QAM). In the analog domain, about the maximum bandwidth is from maybe 300 Hz to 3400Hz - and usually it's less. So the maximum baud rate on a telephone line is generally less than 3000 baud.

I don't remember all the baud rates of higher speed modems, but many middle speed modems had a baud rate of 2400 baud. So for a modem that ran 4800 bits per second, each baud carried two bits. For a 9600 bits per second, each baud carried four bits. Very low speed modems, such as 300 bps, carried one bit per baud and that's where it started with people misusing the term "baud".

True enough, and as you can see from my post, even I still misuse it. The old modems were 56kbps, not 56kbaud... and truthfully, they were limited to 48kbps due to the phone line limitations (for those that might still have a box, they would put a little asterisk next to the 56k title and explain in really small print elsewhere on the box).

Myk Rian
04-14-2015, 9:28 PM
38.8 was always my most reliable connection speed.

Mike Henderson
04-14-2015, 9:43 PM
True enough, and as you can see from my post, even I still misuse it. The old modems were 65kbps, not 56kbaud... and truthfully, they were limited to 48kbps due to the phone line limitations (for those that might still have a box, they would put a little asterisk next to the 56k title and explain in really small print elsewhere on the box).
In the US, that was due to the power limits on the line (your signal had to be at -12dBm or less, if I recall properly). I used to get 52Kbps on my modem at home - but never 56kbps.

Europe did not have as stringent power limits and the modems worked at 56kbps there.

Mike