Access Free Basics on Desktop in Other Mobile Providers [How To]


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Free Basics or Internet.org is a Facebook initiative that aims to bring internet connectivity with basic services to people who has got no access to internet before. Basic services include health, agriculture, job, knowledge and other essentials. Internet.org has been initiated in 37 countries by Facebook and some countries seem to be against it as it violates Net Neutrality. Despite the common citizens, most of the big internet companies are against the Facebook's initiative too. This article later tells how to access Free Basics on desktop.

Free Basics is available for free on a specific mobile provider in each country. Facebook has provided this service only on one mobile providers and it still believes it can connect all people who have not connected to internet yet.

Facebook provides free basic services that are verified by them.

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Free Basics Full

Things you cannot see on Free Basics:

  1. You do not have Google
  2. No ecommerce websites for shopping
  3. No entertainment sites
  4. No banking sites
  5. No Coursera-like sites

However, Free Basics provides different alternatives than popular sites like Google. It provides Bing instead but no other alternatives for the ones listed above. WikiHow is available that provides basic how-to articles.

No Google on Free Basics

Accessing Free Basics with the help of suggested mobile provider will provide you free access to Free Basics. Using this trick will help you to see what services are provided by Free basics but not for free if you are on a different mobile service provider.

This trick will help you to access Free Basics on a desktop.

How it works?

Free Basics has been provided for free on only certain mobile service providers. However, we can access from any mobile service provider (but charged). As Free Basics works only on mobile, we could switch to a mobile user agent on a desktop to utilise the services.

Chrome

To access Free Basics on Google Chrome, you need to install a chrome extension, User-Agent Switcher for Chrome. (Link given at the bottom of this post)

After installing the extension, you just need to click on the extension icon to switch to a mobile agent, say iPhone 6 under the iOS option.

Free Basics on Desktop - Google Chrome

Firefox

Firefox can help switching the user agent with the help of an add-on. Add-on link given at the bottom of this post.

The add-on will add a menu and a tool on the toolbar to easily switch between user agents. Choose any mobile user agents to access Free Basics.

Safari

Safari does not require any extension but you need to enable Develop menu if you haven't enabled before.

Go to Safari > Preferences.

Under the Advanced tab, check on Show Develop menu in menu bar option.

Now go to Develop > User Agent > Safari -- iOS 9.1 -- iPhone.

Free Basics on Desktop - Safari

After configuring your browser...

Once you have done switching, you need to go to mobile.freebasics.com. For the first time, it will warn you if you are on a different mobile service provider but later you won't be seeing the warning.

Free Basics on desktop - Other Network Warning

This trick just lets you to preview how Free Basics will be as you will be charged for data if you are on mobile service provider other than the Facebook's recommended one.

Are you against this initiative? Though Facebook's Free Basics is against Net Neutrality, it can affect the usual internet in future. Tim Bernes Lee, founder of World Wide Web says NO to this initiative. (Source: theguardian.com)

However, Mark Zuckerberg says that Internet.org can co-exist with net neutrality.

Over the past week in India, there has been a lot written about Internet.org and net neutrality. I’d like to share my...

Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday, April 16, 2015

Even though what Zuckerberg's statement is good enough, people suspect that Facebook's motive for this initiative is a different one and which is why it is asking people with newspaper ads and road-side ads to support Free Basics by Facebook. What's your thought on this? Share with us in the comments below.

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