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View Full Version : OT: Inexpensive or Free ISP in San Jose, CA



Paul Alciatore
04-15-2015, 12:48 AM
I have a brother in San Jose, CA and he has a Win XP laptop. He is presently using NetZero dial up access with a wired, phone company phone line. This is dead slow and he is blaming his computer. But I wonder if the real problem is the connection. I have tried dial up NetZero at his location and it is dead slow with frequent disconnects for my laptop too. But my laptop is normally OK with my high speed connection via Time Warner Cable here in my home.

So, I am wondering if there are any other options that he might try in San Jose. He has limited income so free would be best or a few dollars a month at the most. I do not think the cable company or AT&T or other well known companies will be in his league.

Anybody have any suggestions?

The Doctor
04-15-2015, 05:17 AM
I'm sorry to say, but I believe any dial-up is going to be extremely slow nowadays. I do recall a time when dial-up connections were tolerable, but webpages have changed a great deal since those days. With the widespread adoption of broadband, the size of each page is grown tremendously. There are more and larger pictures, and often times quite a large chunk of code running in the background on each page.


Unfortunately, I can't think of any broadband connections can get for free. But I can make a small suggestion. Use somebody else's broadband connection. And no, I am not suggesting stealing their Wi-Fi, although if they do not have it secured and his morals permit that, I will not try to pass judgment.


What I am suggesting is that if he was close to several other neighbors, perhaps he is friendly with one or two. Talk to those neighbors, explain the situation, and see if one of them is willing to allow him access to their network. Perhaps for free, perhaps for a small fee. If a neighbor is willing, tell him to be a respectful user of their resources. Do not run any peer to peer file sharing stuff, and do not engage in any form of copyright infringement over the neighbors network. It is okay to take a chance on your own account, but do not ever do such things on somebody else's account unless they are fully aware of your activities and do not mind.


Technically, this will be against the ISPs terms of service, but it is not something they will ever get notice of. I know some people who have taken this approach, and others who have let less fortunate people use their connections, none have ever received any type of notice from their ISP.




Good luck
Ed

lwalker
04-15-2015, 08:33 AM
Paul: I just checked and San Jose has community WiFi. I've heard that often when these community projects are put it, there are free or reduced cost options for people below a certain income level. Perhaps he can look into it.

Puckdropper
04-15-2015, 11:50 AM
Some cell phone providers have family plans with shared data. It's some monthly fee for the phone number plus some additional fee for the data.

As for speed, my cell phone data connection is slightly faster than the outdated DSL. If you're not using a lot of data, this might be a good way to go.

Once the phone is set up as a "mobile hotspot" or "internet sharing" or whatever it's called, connecting the computer is exactly like connecting to a WiFi network.

goose
04-15-2015, 12:20 PM
My suggestion is for him to go to Starbucks or McDonalds or any one of many other places with free wifi. You don't even have to go in the premises, just be nearby. He would likely need a wifi USB stick for his old laptop. And the network settings I recall from XP are a nightmare sometimes to connect.

jdunmyer
04-15-2015, 07:16 PM
This reminds me of the joke:

am so sorry Bob. I’ve been riddled with guilt and I have to confess. I have been tapping your wife, day and night when you’re not around. In fact, more than you. I do not get any at home, but that’s no excuse. I can no longer live with the guilt and I hope you will accept my sincerest apology with my promise that it won’t happen again.

The man, anguished and betrayed, went into his bedroom, grabbed his gun, and without a word, shot his wife and killed her.

A few moments later, a second text came in: Damn autocorrect! I meant “wifi”, not “wife”

Paul Alciatore
04-15-2015, 09:33 PM
I will check on that. Thanks!

Edit: I checked their coverage map. It covers downtown San Jose only and San Jose is a big city. Unfortunately my brother is about 5 miles from that coverage. But thanks anyway for the thought.




Paul: I just checked and San Jose has community WiFi. I've heard that often when these community projects are put it, there are free or reduced cost options for people below a certain income level. Perhaps he can look into it.

Paul Alciatore
04-15-2015, 09:43 PM
I've done that when I was there. McDonalds, Panera (my favorite), etc. Lots of free wifi if you want to leave home. I know he is aware of this, but it is a PITA.




My suggestion is for him to go to Starbucks or McDonalds or any one of many other places with free wifi. You don't even have to go in the premises, just be nearby. He would likely need a wifi USB stick for his old laptop. And the network settings I recall from XP are a nightmare sometimes to connect.