As home-based or remote work and learning become more popular, computers are quickly becoming more of an essential than a luxury. Luckily, there are places that send out free computers to those who need them.
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Laptops, desktop computers, and tablets certainly don’t come cheap. Depending on the model, buying one can set you back hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
If you desperately need one, look through the list below to know all the ways to score a free computer.
10 Legit Places To Get a Free Computer or Laptop
If you need a free computer or laptop TODAY, check in at your local library. Many now offering free rental programs and at the very least, they should be able to provide you access to a computer that you can use immediately.
If you aren’t in a huge rush, the following resources will send you one provided you meet the eligibility criteria.
1. With Causes
With Causes is part of the Giving Center, a non-profit organization committed to helping those in need. Aside from asking for and receiving fully operational computers, they also reuse and recycle old and broken computers so that they’re functional again. They then distribute these devices to eligible recipients.
To apply for a free computer, simply fill out their request form. Don’t forget to be detailed in explaining your needs and situation to the allotted box.
After the form is submitted, the Board of Directors will review the information provided, review their current inventory, and contact you within 30 days if they can assist you.
They will not be able to take in phone calls, so don’t call them for updates. Instead, if you don’t hear back within 30 days, re-apply using the same form.
2. Computers with Causes
Computers with Causes is another charitable organization associated with Giving Center.
However, as their name suggests, Computers with Causes focuses primarily on giving away refurbished computers from their donors to those in need.
Their priority recipients are those who would need the computers for educational purposes, people living in foster homes, the elderly, and disabled veterans.
Fill out their computer request/application form if you are interested to have a free refurbished computer. Wait for a reply for 30 days. If you don’t receive a response, you can resubmit your request.
3. PCs for People
PCs for People is a non-profit organization that collects end-of-life business electronics and refurbishes them to provide free to low-cost computers to low-income households.
To receive a free computer from them, as well as their other services such as low-cost internet, one must meet certain criteria. Every recipient must be below 200% poverty level or must be currently enrolled in an income-based government assistance program.
Read more about their eligibility criteria and the needed documents to find out if you have a chance to score free used computers from them.
4. Alliance for Technology Refurbishing and Reuse
AFTRR is a group of technology refurbishers aiming to promote technological reuse and encourage a donation to nonprofits and schools throughout the country.
There are over 80 non-profit refurbishers of AFTRR across the US that distribute computers and related services to those in need.
5. The On It Foundation
Opportunities Necessary to Increase Technology (On It) is a non-profit organization that provides free computers to low-income families with students.
To be eligible for a free computer from them, a student must be in a grade K-12 in a public school, receive a free or reduced school lunch, and must reside in the US.
Check out their FAQs to find out more on how to apply for a free computer. And if you are not eligible, you may still qualify for a low-cost computer through their Jump On It! Program.
The Freecycle Network is a non-profit movement made up of more than 5,000 groups worldwide, all coming together with one goal: to give free stuff within their respective communities and save them from landfills.
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Find a working chapter near you, and you might just score yourself a free computer or a free laptop.
7. Give Technology
Give Technology is a non-profit based in New Jersey dedicated to collecting old technology, refurbishing and updating them, and then giving them away to people in need.
To request a free computer, fill out this online form with your information and wait for them to contact you back.
Comp-U-Dopt is a non-profit aiming to provide free computers to under-resourced youth and communities.
If you have a child in school (pre-K to 12th grade), you can register for their computer giveaway in the location nearest you. Although this depends on random luck, it’s still a chance to get a free computer.
9. Salvation Army
Non-profits like the Salvation Army try to help their local communities as much as they can. Find your local Salvation Army location and contact them to find out how you can get a free computer.
10. Buy Nothing Project
Similar to Freecycle, the Buy Nothing Project aims to accomplish exactly what it says.
It connects people in their communities and allows people to give away or request items. With the rise of technology in smart phones, people are ditching traditional laptops and desktops now more than ever.
You’ll be surprised at what people are willing to give away.
Plus, it never hurts to just ask.
You Can Also Find Low-Cost Computers
If you don’t mind spending just a little bit of money on something a little newer and faster, here are some places that sell low-cost computers.
1. Everyone On
This non-profit is committed to opening social and economic opportunities by giving affordable computers, internet service, and digital skills training to low-income families.
Since 2012, Everyone On has deployed thousands of computers. Find internet and computer offers in your area just by entering your zip code in the allotted box.
2. Affordable Connectivity Program
The Affordable Connectivity Program is an FCC benefit program that can provide a one-time discount of $100 to buy a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet to eligible households.
Through this program, you can also get a discount on your internet service.
Read the eligibility criteria carefully and if you’re qualified, you can apply right on their website.
3. ConnectAll (powered by InterConnection)
ConnectAll is an online marketplace for refurbished computers run by InterConnection, a computer and electronics reuse organization that refurbishes donated computers and electronics.
They only donate free computers to charitable organizations, but ConnectAll provides a way for individuals to get low-cost computers.
4. Amazon Renewed
Amazon is an unlikely addition to this list, but you can actually find some real bargains in the Computers section of Amazon Renewed.
While they’re certainly not free, the prices are highly discounted. Plus, they’re thoroughly cleaned and inspected by qualified suppliers, ensuring you get them like new.
Free Laptops for College Students
Getting a free laptop or free tablet is undeniably a big help for students. And the good thing is that some schools and universities provide free laptops and iPads for college students just like the following:
- Bethel University
- Chatham University
- Dakota State University
- Indiana State University (via Sycamore Technology Award)
- Miller-Motte College Online
- Seton Hill University
- Wake Forest University
- University of Minnesota Crookston
Other Ways to Get a Free Laptop
At this point, it’s quite clear that there are several ways to get a free laptop. Reaching out to non-profits and government-funded programs, asking for assistance from an employer, and enrolling in a school that gives a free laptop are just some of the more popular routes to take.
You can also join rewards sites and answer surveys to gain points or cashbacks that can be used to buy a laptop or computer. And with the ever-competitive online marketplace, it’s already a common tactic for business owners to throw a social media giveaway. So, check out your favorite online tech or computer shop every once in a while.
The Bottom Line
Getting free laptops and computers are just some of the amazing offers out there for people in need of these technologies for whatever purpose.
But if you don’t qualify, you can always try other resources online for free stuff such as free electronics, a free mouse pad, and a free flash drive, to name a few.