A computer is an electronic device that allows you to undertake numerous tasks. Almost everyone dreams of having a computer of their own. However, the devices are expensive, and most people cannot afford them. In most cases, computer prices begin from $200. The cheapest Mac computer may cost somewhere around $300. There are various ways you can get a free computer, as you shall see later.
Computers are essential devices since they allow us to carry out numerous activities. You can use a computer in an office to create documents, access information online, control systems, and so on. Additionally, you can use the device for entertainment. You can watch movies, play games, and listen to music. Moreover, kids can use computers for their studies. Numerous sites provide materials for learning for children. College students can also learn online using computers.
Since the devices are that important, there is a need to help people who cannot afford them. The government usually helps people from low-income families to get discounted computers through various service providers. We also have non-governmental organizations that offer free computers to needy households. Usually, such organizations follow similar criteria as the government’s to assist the needy. And by the way, you can also get free phones and tablets. However, we leave that for another day.
Best ways to get free computers from the government
One of the best ways to get a free computer is through the Affordable Connectivity Program from the federal government. Congress introduced the service to replace the Emergency Benefit Program that operated during the Covid’19 pandemic.
The Affordable Connectivity Program, abbreviated as ACP, is an FCC aid program that helps households purchase the broadband they require for healthcare, work, school, and more. The benefit offers a discount of at most $30 monthly to cater for internet costs for eligible households and at most $75 monthly for households on eligible Tribal lands.
Qualifying households can also get a one-time discount of not more than $100 to buy a desktop computer, laptop, or tablet from participating service providers if they pay at least $10 and not more than $50 toward the purchase price. The ACP program offers a one-month service discount plus one device discount per household.
Qualifications for free computers
You must qualify for the program to apply for ACP to get a free or discounted computer. There are various ways you can qualify for ACP. You may qualify by income if your household income is at or below 200%. That is far better than Lifeline, a benefit program requiring a household income of 135% or below the federal poverty guideline.
Secondly, you can qualify for ACP using a benefits program. There are numerous assistance programs that you can use to qualify. They include the following.
- Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch Program
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- School Breakfast Program
- Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program (Section 8 Vouchers)
- Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA)/202/811
- Public Housing
- Veterans Pension or Survivor Benefits
If you live in the Tribal Lands, you can qualify for the benefit through the above programs and get a discounted or free computer. You can also qualify through various Tribal Assistance Programs, which include the following.
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
- Tribal TANF
- Tribal Head Start (income based)
- Affordable Housing Programs for Alaska Natives, American Indians, or Native Hawaiians
Thirdly, you can qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program if you received a Federal Pell Grant within the current award year or meets the eligibility criteria for a participating service provider’s existing low-income internet program. Above all, you can check your eligibility at the National Verifier portal. You need to enter a few details about yourself to proceed.
Applications for the free computers
Once you qualify, you can apply for the program and make the necessary contribution. You can apply online at the AffordableConnectivity.gov website and attach various documents per the requirements. After approval, you will choose your preferred service provider and your discounted computer after paying the specified amount, which should be at most $100.
Secondly, you can apply for the service by mail. You should download the application form, fill in the required details, and attach the necessary documents. After everything is okay, you can mail the form plus the attached documents to the following address.
- ACP Support Center
- PO Box 7081
- London, KY 40742
Another way you can apply for the ACP benefit is through your service provider. Many service providers offer the ACP benefit program to eligible persons. These include Q Link, T-Mobile, Assurance Wireless, Life Wireless, Safelink Wireless, etc.
Our Analyzers Recommended 10 Best free computer providers in 2022
Even though you can get a computer at a discounted price through the Affordable Connectivity Program, the devices are partially free. Therefore, there are better places to get a free computer than ACP. If you want a completely free device, you can get it from non-governmental organizations. We have plenty of non-governmental organizations willing to assist the needy with free computers and, more so, school-going kids, college students, and work-from-home moms.
Some of the best free computer provider organizations include the following.
1. Computers with Causes
The organization invites anyone looking for a working computer to apply on their website. You only need to fill in a form with the necessary personal and contact details and explain why you need the free device. The NGO helps different kinds of people, mainly focusing on students, parents, teachers, the elderly, shelters, foster homes, disabled US veterans, struggling military households, and like-minded non-profit organizations.
To give you a free device, the organization does a strict need assessment and background checks to help them eliminate false requests and help those in need. They also welcome well-wishers to donate free computers to them.
Craigslist is an American classified advertisements site with sections devoted to housing, jobs, for sale, items wanted, community service, services, gigs, resumes, and discussion forums. You can easily get a free computer from the platform since we have communities willing to help those in need. The platform also operates in other countries. It operates in over 70 countries.
3. Computer Technology Assistant Corps (CTAC)
If needed, you can also get a free computer from the Computer Technology Assistant Corps. The organization’s mission is to provide low-income families with computers and support. They have two programs they undertake to help the needy. The first program provides hundreds of low-cost computers to low-income households, non-profits, and schools, plus reduced-rate/or no-cost computer repairs for low-income individuals and seniors.
The second program provides the following:
- No-cost vocational computer repair.
- Recycling training for individuals and recycled e-waste.
4. The On It Foundation Free Computer
The acronym “ON IT” stands for The Opportunities Necessary to Increase Technology. The On It Foundation is a public, non-profit organization that offers free computers, computer training, plus low internet to needy families with students in grades K-12 that get a free or reduced school lunch, go to a public school, and live within the United States.
The On It Foundation started its operations in Calvetta Phair in November 1999. It does not offer free computers for people outside the United States. In such a situation, Computers with Causes can be handy. You can apply for a free computer for your kid by writing a letter and including the following.
- Student & School Name, Age, Grade, Address, and Phone Information.
- Parent/Guardian Name, Phone Number, and Address.
5. Alliance for Technology Refurbishing and Reuse
The concept of reusable technology unites the organization with a shared vision of digital equity for the Alliance for Technology Refurbishing and Reuse (AFTRR). The organization has a nationwide consortium of over 85 mission-driven non-profit refurbishes that assist in renewing computers. AFTRR processes and distributes no-cost and low-cost computers annually to the needy, thus making a remarkable impact on local communities.
You can visit the platform online and find non-profit refurbishes and recyclers in your area.
6. Freecycle.org Free Computer
Freecycle is a non-profit organization that assists low-income communities in getting help from the able ones. Usually, the organization allows you to meet with givers in your town, whereby you can request a free device from others in your area. You can get free computers, phones, tablets, and so on from members in your home town.
Freecycle allows you to post stuff you want to give to others. However, you must not sell anything since the moderators prohibit such behaviors.
7. PCs for People
PCs for People has been around for so long, helping people in need of computers. The organization provides refurbished computers to qualifying customers for affordable prices. They also provide cheap high-speed internet solutions. Interestingly, the organization is among the service providers offering cheap internet solutions to low-income families through the Affordable Connectivity program.
Through electronic reuse, the organization allows all individuals, families, and non-profits with low incomes to benefit from free laptops and mobile internet. So far, the organization has distributed over 190,000 computers, connected about 77,000 households to the internet, and recycled approximately 9,000,000 pounds of technology to keep the environment clean from electronic waste.
8. With Causes
Another place you can get a free computer is through With Causes. The non-profit organization provides free computers to help the youth in their education. Additionally, the organization offers meals to parents without food for their families. They also minister to the needy with a firm commitment to doing the right thing other than making profits.
Besides offering free computers and other stuff to the needy, the organization also accepts donations from good-hearted individuals.
9. Interconnection Free computer
The NGO refurbishes computers and laptops donated by well-wishers. They then distribute them to underserved individuals worldwide, thus helping them access vital technology. Suppose you are looking for a free computer for your studies, work, and other vital uses. In that case, you can easily get a free computer from the organization if you prove you are in need.
Usually, the organization works with various partners such as CenturyLink, Bill Melinda Gates Foundation, Brooks, BrightWire Networks, Expedia, etc.
10. Komputers 4 R Kids
Komputers 4 R Kids provides refurbished and recycled computers and laptops to schools and other community organizations that donate computers to kids. They also offer free computers to churches and other qualified organizations. Their mission is to ensure that children have the computer resources required to learn and develop their skills. Also, they ensure that e-waste does not reach landfills since it can be dangerous to society.
Free computers for seniors
Seniors also require computers to carry out various tasks. Since most lack the capability to find money to purchase computers, there is a need to help them with free computers. We have free computer organizations that provide free or low-cost computers to people or seniors who need them. For example, Microsoft works with free computer refurbishers to provide free Windows operating systems for free computers destined for needy people.
Generally, you can find free computers for seniors from Microsoft Registered Refurbishers, Computers With Causes, and regional programs such as Smart Riverside and Free Geek.
You may also get a free device from your local community center. Another place one may find a free computer to use temporarily is at the local library.
Free computers for students
Computers are essential for students. They help them in their studies. They can research information online, prepare documents for their assignments, and present critical information in their classes. Since we have students from needy families who cannot afford free computers, we need to help them acquire some. Various non-profit organizations assist students in acquiring free computers for their studies.
Organizations that offer free laptops for students include, The On It Foundation, PCs for People, Dell Refurbished, Notebooks for Students, ConnectAll, etc. We also have ways to get free internet to use with your computer at school, home, or office.
A computer is an electronic device that allows you to undertake numerous tasks. Almost everyone dreams of having a computer of their own. However, the devices are expensive, and most people cannot afford them. Through the Affordable Connectivity Program, you can get a free or discounted computer from the government. One can also get a free computer from non-governmental organizations such as Komputers 4 R Kids, PCs for People, Freecycle, With Causes, etc.