Sheltered no longer

Freedom Pop

Tech : Electronics By Photo by Freedom Pop

It’s hard to comprehend, but there are people out there in this great land of ours who don’t have high-speed internet access. Some, by choice (like your grandfather, who asked you to explain what Facebook is) and others by lack of choice, hamstrung by providers that ignore less populated areas due to high installation and infrastructure costs. Backed by Skype co-founder Niklas Zennstrom, Freedom Pop (free+) offers free wireless internet to anyone who has access to 4G cellular coverage.

By putting down an $89 refundable deposit on one of the company’s hot spots or $49 on a USB-type dongle, users get the internet in all its cat-meme glory. Freedom Pop beams in up to 500MB of data per month at WiMAX speeds (that’s up to 10Mbps down and 1-2Mbps up) with no contract, no throttling and best of all, no cost. For those needing a bit more heft in their data plans, the company does offer 2GB and 4GB monthly services at $18 and $29, respectively, with the ability to keep surfing at one cent per MB. They also offer an iPod Touch 4G hotspot sleeve that accomplishes the same 500MB of data for $99 (a payment, not a deposit). Unfortunately, you’ll have to check your area’s availability for Freedom Pop’s services, which was kind of the problem in the first place. In any case, an increase in options can’t be a bad thing. Your time-wasting capabilities may have just increased exponentially. Oh, and good luck explaining Nyan Cat to your Pop Pop.