Pay as you go Internet is a way to access the Internet without signing a contract or paying a monthly service fee. There are a few different types; the type designed for home use is often provided through a dial-up connection, whereas the type designed for use on the road makes use of mobile broadband services from cellular companies. It is typically not possible to receive this type of prepaid Internet in the home through a cable connection, which is currently the most common type of standard Internet connection, but this could change in the future.
Many people find that pay as you go services are a great choice for those who do not regularly access the Internet, or only need to use it for a few minutes per day. In addition, it can be very helpful when traveling in a foreign country. Those who want to use this type of Internet access in their homes will generally only need to have a phone line available and to contact an Internet service provider to purchase minutes.
Once minutes have been purchased, the user is then free to use them as needed. When the time runs out, the user will need to purchase more to continue to access the Internet. This is very similar in structure to a prepaid cell phone plan, and it is an excellent choice for very budget-conscious people or for people with poor credit. In this way, they can use a varied amount of Internet minutes each month; typically, the minutes do not expire, but users should check with the service provider to be sure.
Pay as you go Internet that uses mobile broadband is a very different service. In this type, the user must purchase a USB device that connects to the computer and can receive a signal from the mobile Internet providers. These USB devices are typically proprietary, and the user will usually need to have an account with that particular provider. Occasionally, these wireless devices are built in to new laptops sold through the provider.
All the user needs to do then is to enter his credentials and select the amount of Internet time that he wishes to add to his account. In general, the smallest amount of time that must be purchased is 24 hours. In addition, users should be mindful of bandwidth limits, which are set by the cellular provider and may cause overage fees if the user goes over the limit, such as by downloading a lot of music.