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Cellular travel wifi hotspot

This is a discussion on Cellular travel wifi hotspot within the iPad Help forums, part of the Apple iPad Discussions category; Does anyone have experience with using a cellular wifi connection with their wifi only iPad? If so what do you recommend? My wife travels a ...

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  1. #1
    iPad Junkie!
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    Cellular travel wifi hotspot

    Does anyone have experience with using a cellular wifi connection with their wifi only iPad? If so what do you recommend? My wife travels a lot and I am wondering if I should have bought the 3G version.

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  3. #2
    iPF Super Guru
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    Cellular and WiFi and two completely different things. Cellular uses the same type of connection as your cell phone and is available (almost) anywhere you go. WiFi depends on your proximity to a "Hot Spot" or wireless access point.

    There are many WiFi finder apps, but here is a free one you might try:
    Wi-Fi Finder App for iPhone - JiWire.com

  4. #3
    iPad Junkie!
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    Thank you. I guess buying a portable cellular modem to grab WIFI would to much of a pain to carry around.

  5. #4
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    They sell MiFI devices at most carriers, verizon, sprint, etc....

    I have one from Verizon, they are small and very portable. It runs on a battery and you just turn it on and have a portable wifi hotspot where ever you are. The problems I see with using it just for an iPad are...

    #1 The prices are more than double the ipad 3G plans.
    #2 each time you want to use wifi you will have to wait about 30 seconds for it to turn on and start working.
    #3 The ipad has a 10 hour battery life, while the MiFi's battery only lasts for 4 hours.

  6. #5
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    When your wife's traveling, does she need Internet access on the iPad just in the evenings or all day? I travel quite a bit on biz too and I've done alright with my wifi-only iPad. Most hotels have wifi these days, as do most decent-sized airports. Starbucks now offers free unlimited wifi. There's so many places to grab a wifi signal in most large or medium sized metro areas that, in my view, it may not be necessary to incur the extra cost for a 3G device and all the recurring data plan charges. Just my $0.02 worth.
    iPhone 3G 8GB (black) / iPad 16GB wifi / Apple folio case => tucked into a Timbuk2 Freestyle Messenger

    ~Follow me on Twitter: @iDharma~

  7. #6
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    Do you mean tethering? If you have a smartphone you can tether it to the iPad I have the 3g but I only use it in this manner. Works for me though...

  8. #7
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    I use the Verizon MiFi device, and I think it is well worth the money for many reasons:

    1) I don't have to do business with AT&T. Nuff said on that subject.

    2) MiFi can connect up to 5 devices at once.

    3) MiFi is not tied to one device, as the iPad 3G is. For example, my husband can use it with his laptop on trips.

    4) MiFi boots within the same amount of time it takes the iPad to boot, so delays are not an issue.

    5) Wifi is faster than 3G and video quality is sharper.

    6) MiFi is very small (think stack of 6 credit cards), and very lightweight, so not at all hard to carry around.

    7) I had a Verizon broadband card for several years, and my unlimited service plan was grandfathered with this device.

    To respond to the battery life comparison, it's true that the MiFi battery does not last as long as the iPad's 10-hour battery, but I'm rarely online for 4-5 hours straight where I'm away from both a wireless network AND an electrical outlet. The unit is usable while charging.

  9. #8
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    I had a USB modem for my old notebook that I used in the road before my iPad. When I got this I bought a personal wifi router by cradelpoint and the modem plugs in there. It is the size of my blackberry storm and runs off battery, 12v or 110. I just leave it plugged in my car on the back seat floor and have 4g any time. The nice thing is more than one device can use it if my kids are in the car. I think the 3G would have a small edge on convince but cost, multiple user and already had service oh and 4g made this an easy choice.


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