Top Internet Services for the Elderly
Many seniors that embrace using the internet do so for a multitude of reasons. There is a wealth of opportunities available to savvy seniors that learn how to use the internet and for other seniors that regularly connect to the internet.Seniors that take advantage of learning opportunities discover how to protect themselves and their personal information when online. Protecting the computer and other equipment that seniors use to make an internet connection is another aspect of being online that seniors need to learn about when connecting to the internet.
One concern affecting the decision of some seniors considering whether to obtain internet service or not is likely the cost. This is particularly true for seniors living on a fixed income that are possibly concerned that internet service is too expensive for their limited budget.Internet service providers today potentially realize that some seniors were probably left out of the opportunity to obtain affordable internet service because of their fixed income. This is particularly true for low income seniors. Several internet providers recently took measures to ensure that seniors have the opportunity to enjoy the internet and experience the same opportunities for learning and enriching their lifestyle as other individuals that use the internet.
Special programs or other features offered by some companies allow seniors the ability to obtain internet service at a lower cost than other customers. Some of the best internet plans for seniors offer additional perks beyond lower cost internet plans. Learn some of the reasons that seniors use the internet, where to find internet services for seniors and how to choose the right internet plan for yourself or for a senior loved one.
How We Chose Our Top List
We selected 7 of the top ISPs on the market and researched what options they have available for seniors. From there, we dug into costs, customer service, service ratings, streaming capabilities and much more to create this list of the best internet service for seniors.
Many seniors likely rely on the internet for the purpose of learning new information. Do you want to find a recipe for your favorite homemade dish? Do you want to learn about your family tree, or stay in touch with friends? Perhaps you want to connect with like-minded seniors that engage in the same hobbies that you enjoy. Some seniors choose to complete online education courses. These are all reasons that seniors use the internet.
Seniors likely do much more when they have internet access, including staying up-to-date on the latest news, local events and keeping in touch with family members. Do you want to plan a vacation? Some seniors take care of all the details online, from planning the trip to booking their flight and hotel, renting a car, and arranging for events and sightseeing tours.
Making new friends via social media sites and having fun online are other reasons that some seniors find using the internet convenient and perhaps an exciting way of engaging with other seniors.
Did you miss the latest episode of your favorite television show? National networks provide online opportunities for fans to watch recent episodes, opportunities to connect with other fans of the same television program and to stay up-to-date on the latest happenings with your favorite stars and television characters.
There are virtually unlimited options when considering what seniors can do with internet access. Exploring the internet potentially leads to new opportunities for seniors to connect with others every day.
The Pew Research Center indicates that when seniors have internet access, going online becomes an, “Integral part of their daily lives.”
Members of the younger generation, researchers, college students and employees that use the internet for their job most likely want the latest, greatest internet service with the fastest speed, along with all the bells and whistles available with internet service. Seniors typically do not need the most expensive internet service plan with the fastest available internet speed and technologically advanced programs.
Seniors using the internet for sending email messages, engaging with loved ones or searching for information online typically need an up-to-date, yet simple internet plan that works for them and their internet needs. Seniors probably do not plan on playing the type of online video games that some younger internet users play for hours at a time, and do not intend on watching social media videos most of the day.
Some internet service providers understand that seniors sometimes do not want all the buttons, links, tabs and features of potentially complicated internet plans. These companies sometimes offer a basic plan that provides basic internet service to individuals that do not need or want a lot of extras. A plan with easy-to-understand features and affordable costs that specifically appeals to seniors is likely the type of internet service plan that seniors feel comfortable with when considering their internet service plan needs.
Are you a senior and a veteran of the U.S. Military? If you meet the qualifications, there is likely an affordable internet plan for you. Internet discounts provided to veterans means that seniors that do not meet qualifications for other senior internet service plans potentially qualify for affordable internet plans offered to veterans.
Comcast offers the Internet Essentials program to low income veterans. If you meet the income limits, receive federal or state public assistance, and live in a Comcast service area, you possibly meet eligibility requirements. The company also offers the service to veterans who are previous Comcast customers that have a debt with the company, as long as the debt is at least one year old.
Eligible veterans have the opportunity to purchase a low-cost computer, complete with Microsoft Office, Norton Security Suite and a 90-day warranty.
AT&T offers several discounts to active duty members of the military and veterans, including a discount of $15 per month on internet services.
If you are a senior and also a veteran, ask the company about internet discounts and plans specifically for veterans.
The cost of internet plans varies greatly by provider, your lifestyle and needs, and even location. We’d recommend calling local providers to find out if they offer free internet for seniors in your area. If the provider doesn’t offer free internet or a senior discount, they may have current deals and discounts that you’re eligible for. You can also negotiate with the provider to get the best rates possible.
Although some companies do not offer plans or free internet specifically for seniors, many older adults meet qualifications for other programs. Lifeline, a government program designed to help low-income individuals afford internet and phone service, offers internet for less than $10 per month to those who qualify.
Maximize your savings by choosing internet service from a company that offers other discounts for eligible seniors, such as waived installation fees, no required deposits, or contract-free internet plans. For more details on affordable and free internet, head to our internet for seniors guide.
Do not limit your internet plan options to the first internet service provider that shows up in your online search or the only name you recognize from television commercials. Trusting in sites that help seniors with their needs and that provides helpful information and resources for seniors is an excellent option for finding an internet service plan that is ideal for your needs and that suits your budget.
Ask trusted family members or friends about their experience with specific companies that provide internet services, no matter which type of plan the person has now or had in the past.
Did you recently move to another residence? Perhaps you did not qualify for service at your previous address but now live in the service area of a preferred internet provider that offers the best internet for seniors.
Do you live in a senior apartment or senior facility? Check with the apartment manager or your case manager to see if there are limitations on which internet provider serves your residence. Although some companies provide services to a particular area, some apartment complexes or senior residences have contracts with specific internet providers, potentially limiting your options.
Most communities have several internet providers to choose from, which means seniors often have no issues with finding ideal internet service.
The most important tip for finding a senior internet service plan that is the right plan for you is to make sure you do your upfront research. Sure, those television commercials and internet service advertisements that you receive in the mail seem like great options. Remember, they are advertisements, not necessarily a true indication of the exact services, monthly costs, installation fees, extra equipment costs or other fees billed to customers.
When you read about the affordable $9.95 a month internet plans for seniors, the fine print usually explains that rates are subject to change at any time. Some companies indicate that internet plans for seniors are for a limited time period and that at the end of that time, the company offers other plan options to the customer. The new plans are sometimes at regular cost or near regular cost of the plan.
Always read the fine print. Several internet providers offer outstanding options for seniors looking for an internet service plan. The fine print provides additional information regarding service limitations and extra costs.
It is your responsibility to make sure you choose an internet plan that meets your needs, is within your budget and is available in the area where you reside.
When you know about the companies providing internet service plans for seniors and have the opportunity to review the pros and cons of each company, there is a strong possibility that you choose the best internet plan available for seniors. You have the opportunity to choose internet service that enhances your lifestyle, puts a large amount of knowledge and resources at your fingertips at a cost that is within your budget.
Since graduating from Harvard with an honors degree in Statistics, Jeff has been creating content in print, online, and on television. Much of his work has been dedicated to informing seniors on how to live better lives. As Editor-in-Chief of the personal… Learn More About Jeff Hoyt