For my entire life, I have had the conflicting struggle of living in the middle of nowhere. Sure, I don’t have any neighbors, but that also means I don’t have anything to do. When the internet was invented, it was like a miracle. Suddenly, I could talk to my friends and make new ones. However, things started to go sour when faster internet was invented. Dial-up quickly became a thing of the past, and the trouble was, I was living in that past. Many years later, I am still working on dial-up. There just isn’t an option to get broadband or DSL where I live, so I am forced to hear that annoying modem sound every time I want to check Facebook. For those of you out there who share my similar dilemma (though there can’t be many), let me just say – there is hope. Here are some of the ways I have survived and continue to survive the age of technology even though I still live in the 90’s.
1. 1. Get a USB modem. Chances are, if you ever buy a new computer, it will not come with a modem inside it. At first, you may panic, and take it somewhere to get a modem installed. Don’t do this, it’s a waste of money. I bought my modem off Amazon for $15 and it works fine. As much as you hate dial-up, you may still need it when your other options aren’t available. At the very least, just buy it and keep it for the day when you upgrade to fast internet, so you can throw it out the window with satisfaction.
2. Drive to a place with free wi-fi. This is what has kept me going through the years. There is absolutely no way to download anything on dial-up, especially these days when every webpage is loaded with photo and video. Therefore, I have compiled a list of the places near my house that offer free internet. Of course, this suggestion is only valid is you have a laptop… but seriously, who still uses desktops these days? Oh wait, probably dial-up users.
a. Places with free wi-fi
ii. King’s Family Restaurant (a Pittsburgh-area thing only)
iv. Panera Bread (limited between 11:30 and 1:30, so be careful to budget time)
v. Some hotels
ix. Some malls
2. 3. Go to college. Seriously, best decision of my life. For the first time ever, I had an instant fast connection and could download until my heart’s content. Oh, and also, I got an education, and stuff.
4. 4. Get a friend with fast internet. Chances are, you already have a friend with fast internet. Now you just have to bring your laptop over the next time you are at their abode, steal their wireless code, and then pilfer all their bandwidth! Naughty you, but so much better than waiting ten minutes for your Twitter page to load.
5. 5. Get a data plan on your phone. Scratch that whole college thing – this was seriously the best decision of my life. I don’t even use my computer anymore. I have instant access on my new smartphone to anything. I don’t have to drive anywhere or mess around with a USB modem. Sure, it costs $30 a month, but so would fast internet if you had the option to buy it. I use my phone for everything, from streaming pirated episodes of True Blood, to writing business emails. Be sure to get an unlimited plan, because if you use your phone as your computer, you will need as much as you can get. It’s day 13 of my cycle and I’m already at 3.049 GB of data.
For now, my internet woes are cured, and I hope this list has instilled some vestige of hope in you as well. Godspeed, my internet-less comrade. The web shall find you someday, I swear it.