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Save money on high-speed Internet

Cut your cable TV altogether and you may be able to save $1,000 or more a year. Let’s take a look at ways to save on cable, phone and high-speed Internet service. You’ll find links to sites mentioned at www.komando.com/news.

Internet connection

With an Internet connection, you can download your favorite TV shows and movies from sites like iTunes and Amazon. Or rent them from Netflix, Blockbuster or online streaming services like Vudu.

To do this, you need a set-top box that streams Internet content to TVs. Certain Blu-ray players and gaming consoles will do the job. Samsung’s Blu-ray players stream content from Netflix, Blockbuster and Pandora. LG’s BD390 and BD370 stream content from YouTube, Netflix and CinemaNow. The BD390 as well works with Vudu. Sony’s BDP-N460 works with Netflix, YouTube, Amazon, Slacker and Crackle. Players from other manufacturers may as well stream content.

Sony PlayStation 3

If you have a Sony PlayStation 3, you can access anything on the Internet. The Microsoft Xbox 360 can stream content from your computer. You can as well watch Netflix with an Xbox Live Gold membership. Netflix streaming should be available on the Nintendo Wii this spring.

MLB offers live baseball - for a price. Nevertheless most live sporting events are not available online due to media blackouts. You might try the network that’s broadcasting an event. Or, head to a sports bar to catch the big game. In passing, the NFL will be hosting the Super Bowl live on its site.

People all over are dropping their landlines. Finally, many people have cellphones. But like as not you need a landline for babysitters or visitors. In that case, consider Internet phone service. Such services use Voice over Internet Protocol to route phone calls over the Internet.

SkypeOut starts at $3 per month. You get up to 10,000 minutes monthly to landlines and cellphones. A number for incoming calls runs $6 monthly.

Special phone to place calls

You’ll need a special phone to place calls. A cordless one that connects to Skype through your router runs $100. A computer is not required. Phones that connect to your computer start at $27. You can buy them on Skype’s site.

Plenty of other services like Vonage and Magic Jack provide VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) service. These may not save you money unless you make frequent long-distance calls.

Remember that Internet phone services pose problems when calling emergency services. Calls to 911 may not be routed properly. And responders may not get your location.

You may not be able to get rid of your high-speed Internet connection. You’ll need it to watch television online and place VoIP calls. However you can save.

Another solution is cellular Internet. You can use your smart phone’s connection. Or you can use a USB modem. Some providers as well offer portable routers for sharing. You can use the same connection at home and on the go. Expect service to run about $60 monthly.

There are download limits for cellular broadband. You’ll exceed these quickly watching online programming. Be careful. An unlimited plan as a matter of fact gives you 5 gigabytes of data transfer. That’s enough to download 1,600 songs or view about 17,000 Web pages.

Getting rid of your cellphone service sounds scary. However if you’re willing to give it a try, you can use a VoIP app. You can make calls from Wi-Fi hot spots.

Truphone and Fring work on Blackberry and Android phones. They as well run on the iPhone and iPod Touch. Calls to other users are free, however you’ll pay to call landlines. For instance, Truphone’s rates start around five cents per minute.

Pay-as-you-go service

You may as well consider a pay-as-you-go service. You pay only for the minutes you use. Boost, Virgin Tracfone and Metro PCS are some services to consider. Wal-Mart as well offers pay-as-you-go service in some stores. Look for unlimited calling and texting plans around $50 monthly. Or, pay about 10 cents per minute; texting will as well run about 10 cents per message.

More information: Hampshirereview
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