As the rate of inflation steadily outpaces the average wage growth, people everywhere are desperate to save money wherever they can. For people who love movies, music, books, and games, it’s been a real challenge. That’s the bad news. The good news is that there are some simple methods you can use to access free content with the devices you already own. Keep reading to find out how.
Easy Ways You Can Access Free Online Content With Your At-Home Tech
1. Use the Google eBookstore to Read Free Books
Instead of dropping an average price of $5.99 for a paperback, you can enjoy an entire library of great titles for free! Using your native e-reader and an internet connection, you can enjoy a substantial offering of new and classic books at absolutely no charge.
What do I Need?
All you need to access the Google eBookstore is a Google account and a device that supports Google Play. You’ll also need to download the Adobe Digital Editions app.
What do I Get?
Google maintains a rotating list of its 100 top picks of free ebooks. Common genres represented include:
2. Jailbreak Your Streaming Devices
The term jailbreaking causes some people to recoil because there’s such a negative connotation that comes with it. The reality is that jailbreaking is an easy, safe way to access a wealth of free content that you couldn’t otherwise enjoy.
What is It?
Jailbreaking is the process of altering DRM and restrictive programming so that you can access software you wouldn’t otherwise be able to. The process is legal in most territories, China being a notable exception. Media companies just don’t like it because you can access their competitors’ software on their devices. But with the economy being what it is, whose interests do you care more about – yours or some rich CEO’s?
Is it Hard to Do?
Just the opposite. Jailbreaking is incredibly easy to do, and it’s applicable to most streaming devices. In particular, the Amazon Fire TV Stick is incredibly simple to jailbreak. Doing so will allow you to enjoy great content for free, both for your home and international regions.
3. Download Free-to-Play Games on Your Laptop
As video game development costs have gone up in recent years, approaching $500 million in some cases, players are feeling the pressure. The standard MSRP for a brand new game is $59.99, and that’s not counting special editions and any required subscriptions. It can be tough to justify spending that kind of money but with a free-to-play model, you choose what you pay.
You Choose the Cost
Free-to-play works like this – you download a complete game, for free, to your console or PC. You’ll typically experience slower progression, less in-game items, and perhaps even less overall content than other players. You can unlock this additional content with a subscription or microtransactions if you want, but you don’t have to pay a penny if you choose.
What are the Best Free-to-Play Games?
Some of the best free-to-play games right now include:
- Fortnite: Battle Royal
- World of Tanks
- League of Legends
- Dota 2
4. Play Music on Pandora
Whether you’re listening on your phone, laptop, or TV, Pandora lets you listen to thousands of songs at no charge whatsoever.
What is Pandora?
Pandora is a web-based radio and music-streaming service that allows you to access songs by artist, genre, or song title. It will then play your selection, followed by songs that the station believes you’ll enjoy based on your selection. You can opt to up-vote, down-vote, or skip the songs the station selects. As you continue, Pandora will refine the list of songs it streams to you.
Do I Get Everything for Free?
Sadly, no. In order to access a wider selection of songs, you do have to pay a subscription. You’ll also have to endure ads at regular intervals with the free model. Certain features, like offline mode and music downloads, will be disabled. Don’t worry though – there’s more than enough songs available for free to keep you entertained.