How to Connect to the Internet Without an ISP

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When setting up a home internet service you typically need to contact an Internet Service Provider (ISP), such as Time Warner Cable or Comcast, to create an account and give you access to the World Wide Web. However, this service does not come free and, especially in the current tough economic conditions, is an extra expense. There are a couple of ways to connect to the Internet without having to deal with an ISP, thus saving you some money, by using a Wi-Fi network at coffee shops or restaurants.

Things You'll Need

  • Laptop with a built-in wireless network card (wireless network interface controller) or a stand-alone wireless network adapter.

Connecting to the Internet through Public Wi-Fi in Coffee Shops

  • Find local coffee shops that offer Wi-Fi Internet, such as Coffee Bean or Starbucks (see Resources section).

  • Go to the "Start" menu on your laptop and click on "Connect To," which will show you available wireless networks around you.

  • Click on the wireless network for the coffee shop (Coffee Bean free Wi-Fi has a network name CoffeeBeanWiFi, for example) and click on "Connect."

  • Open your web browser and type in the web address you want to go to.

  • Fill in the code that is required to access the web provided by coffee shop employees (some coffee shops, such as Starbucks, charge a fee for using their Wi-Fi) and start surfing.

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