Internet cost

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Internet for R$9.90 a month in Brazil

In Brazil, you currently can have internet for R$9.90 a month. People on other countries, please report here if it can work for you. It is slow but enough for most of tasks you can do on the web. But remember you should not be doing this. For legal reasons we will not tell much specifics here, but here are the general guidelines so you can find the rest on your own. If you don't understand what is written bellow, just ask some of your friends that is a computer nerd to help you:

  • Get and old cellphone that could be used as a modem connected to your computer via usb. Motorola Z6 is an example of one that works. Put a prepaid chip on it. You may find one of those whose battery is old and doesn't hold charge long. As it will stay connected to your computer via USB, it will be no problem;
  • Charge money on the cellphone and buy the data plan that costs R$9.90 for a month of unlimited web access. It is intended to be used on your cellphone, but it will work for our computer;
  • Plug it to your computer and set it up as you would do in the days of dialed connections. Your computer will see it just as a serial modem;
  • Voila; you have internet.

To tweak it and have a not so slow internet, do the additional steps bellow on your linux. For other systems, see if you can find some similar solution. But really, try linux or some other kind of unix. Debian is nice and easy.

  • Dial with ppp, setting it up to connect on demand and to reconnect every time the connection drops. In my setting, the connection does drop sometimes. But I do not even see it dropping, because it reconnects automatically. Then you put a script on /etc/init.d/ to start ppp on computer boot. It will dial only when some software tries to access internet. You can find more details on these settings on the internet;
  • Set up a proxy dns server. Dns queries are made every time some address is accessed, and every page you access these days will likely have files from a lot of different servers. You can use pdnsd and configure it to query directly the internet dns root servers (easy to do on debian, the system will give you this option on install);
  • Set up squid on your linux or other kind of local proxy to speed up/reduce the data traffic. Take a look at internet for further tweaking of squid for better speed;
  • Most of the bytes on a web page are from images. If you are using the opera browser, turn the automatic image loading off. The browser will allow you to load only the images you want, by right-clicking on them. If you are in some page that gets impossible to understand without images, you just tell the browser to load them all (no need to click on each one). Firefox currently behaves differently: if you disable automatic image loading, you cannot load only one of the images in the page if you want. But that can easily be fixed by installing the plugin ImgLikeOpera. It has options for showing no images on the pages, showing only the ones that are on the browser cache, or for showing everything. And you can right-click image placeholder to load it. For other browsers, you may need to find a similar plugin;
  • Better to disable flash;
  • You could also set up addzapper for traffic reduction. It tries and detects a lot of advertising, blocking them from loading and saving your bandwidth. But if you are loading only the images you want to be loaded, it is unnecessary;

If you want to see same youtube videos now and then, you could install some plugin that allows you to download them. That will allow you to get them even on this slow connection. But then you have to see how much electricity you will spend by keeping your computer on for a long time only for downloading a youtube video. It could work if you use a netbook.

Of course this solution will not work for everybody, it depends on the kind of Internet usage you do. But it is one of the cheapest options you have, and will work in most places in Brazil.