Free Computers

Written by Sarah Provost
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If there's no free lunch, how can there be a free computer? Your first response is probably simple: whether comestibles or Compaq, there's no such thing. With a little research, however, you will see that it is possible.

There are a surprising number of sites that do, in fact, offer free refurbished computers to recipients who meet their specific qualifications. Some send these free computers to underdeveloped countries, which isn't much help to you if you live in Idaho. Many offer free computers to schools and shelters or to the disabled.

Free Computers for the Needy

There are also sites that supply free computers to those living in poverty. Some also offer refurbished computers at minimal prices to those who can't afford one, but don't fall into any official need category. These are usually limited to families with school-age children. This refurbishing and reuse of old computers serves a double purpose: not only does it put computers into the hands of those who wouldn't otherwise have access, but it also keeps potentially toxic waste out of our dumps.

What about those ads you see that offer brand new computers for free, "just for taking a survey"? They mostly fall into the lunch category. Once such site that I investigated asked me to respond to 20 offers for DVD clubs, credit cards, etc., and showed them to me one page at a time. You had to choose one of these offers, which meant providing a lot of personal and financial information and in almost all cases, making a purchase. After that, you had to find other people who would be willing to do the same, in order for you to get your free computer. Frankly, I have a feeling that even if you did all this, there would be other requirements to meet.

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