Updated: February 10, 2014
There's no question that FreedomPop deserves a spot among the best cheap Internet providers. They offer extremely low prices on all of their 4G mobile broadband plans and even a generous free data plan. With their free package, you can get 1GB of data every month without paying for anything beyond the initial equipment purchase. This is an amazing deal that will be perfect for anyone who does not use the Internet frequently. Of course, it stands to reason that to get such great prices, you will have to sacrifice some speed, as FreedomPop only offers up to 8 Mbps. FreedomPop's plans also have strict data limits, which you do not want to exceed or else you will be charged extra. That said, if you're looking to save money on your Internet service, you won't want to miss out on FreedomPop because even their most expensive plan should fit inside the tightest budgets.
NetZero's 4G mobile broadband Internet also offers a free package, like FreedomPop. Their prices are a little higher and data limits more restricted, but they also have faster download speeds and more plans to choose from. NetZero's free plan comes with 200MB per month and 10 Mbps. If your Internet needs are simpler, that could be all that you need. If you intend to use the Internet a little more frequently, their Platinum package will offer the same great speeds with an 8GB data limit. You do still have to pay a one-time fee to purchase the equipment, but after that, the only thing you should have to worry about paying is the monthly fee.
T-Mobile's 4G mobile broadband earns its spot on the best cheap Internet providers list because it offers a huge variety of plans designed to fit all price ranges and some of the fastest speeds you'll find among mobile broadband companies. There is a small setup fee with T-Mobile's plans, but if you speak to a customer service representative, they may be able to waive this for you. Then, you just have to pay for your equipment as well as your monthly fee and you'll be all set. T-Mobile allows you to select the data limit that you feel you need, anywhere between 500MB and 12GB. They also have Week and Month Passes for those times when you just need a temporary Internet solution. You won't find variety like this with many other Internet providers, especially at this price, so if you find this appealing, it is definitely worth taking a look at T-Mobile.
NetZero makes the list a second time with its DSL Internet service. Speeds are not as fast as their 4G mobile broadband, but there are no restrictions on data usage. Prices are slightly higher than you will find with the mobile broadband companies on the list, but are very good for DSL and include some excellent introductory rates. Some additional fees and a two-year commitment prevent NetZero's DSL from being at the top of the list of best cheap Internet service providers, but that doesn't mean they couldn't be the right fit for certain people. Occasional and even average Internet users will likely find the speeds that NetZero's DSL offers to be more than sufficient.
For the speeds they provide to their customers, Mediacom's prices are extremely reasonable. Their cable Internet offers unlimited data and speeds up to 105 Mbps. Most of their prices are higher than the other companies listed here, though their Launch plan should fit easily into most budgets. But the real reason that Mediacom steals a spot on the list of best cheap Internet providers is because it offers some exceptional deals for cable Internet, which is generally much more expensive than 4G mobile broadband or DSL Internet. You do have to pay an equipment lease fee with Mediacom, but this is relatively minor, and shouldn't stop you from considering what they have to offer.