Prepaid mobile Internet can save you quite a bit of money, whether you surf the web on a PC, a laptop, a mobile phone, or some other kind of device. With mobile phones in particular, the prepaid option is growing fast these days, especially among younger consumers. Many consumers are unaware of prepaying plans and what they offer, however, as mobile companies tend to spend much less money advertising their pay-in-advance programs than they do their contract-only programs.
The prepaid system was originally developed to accommodate people who could not qualify for a typical mobile phone contract, usually because of some issue with their credit history. Originally, many consumers viewed this prepaying system with suspicion, seeing it as a cut-rate way of obtaining phone service. And it was true that the amount of data a person could secure by paying in advance often paled in comparison to a typical contract-based service. Times have changed, though. Now, the options for prepaying have expanded greatly, and in many instances this system is not only a money-saver, it's also just as convenient as any other plan.
A prepaid service involves no contract. All you have to do is decide how many minutes or how much data you want to buy for the following month, and pay a set fee. There are no extra fees involved, as there often are with contracts. Thus, when you prepay for your Internet, you avoid large roaming charges. On the downside, if you're interested in mobile Internet, you have to pay the full price for a new handset. When you sign a contract, on the other hand, you usually get a handset at a really cheap rate, sometimes for as little as one dollar, or for free.
Even with all the advancements in pay-ahead-of-time Internet service, there are some limitations with this option. Don't expect to receive too many perks with such a plan. If you're used to phone contracts, you're probably used to such benefits as times of the day when using your mobile device is free, or free weekends, or the opportunity to roll over any unused data you might have. When you pay ahead of time for minutes or data, you might not get the super speed of a 4G network, either, and you may discover that certain places have limited coverage.
As a final tip, if you often use a computer to go online, you want to make sure that your computer is in good working order before you prepay for your Internet. If your laptop keeps freezing on you, then for as long as it’s frozen you could lose the minutes for which you already paid.