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Reasons why 'not' to buy 3G..

Discussion in 'iPad General Discussions' started by Wetstuff, May 30, 2010.

  1. Wetstuff
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    Wetstuff iPF Novice

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    Many people are certainly rushing the retail counter and as hot a ticket the iPad is, I think I found one good reason not to buy one: a weak 3G signal.

    I have had mine for a few weeks now and realistically could have done without. I have been a Mac user since the late '80's .. run three at my business and have a Powerbook Pro ... and I will not be selling my iPad, but it will be collecting a bit of dust.

    For me - the perfect use for the iPad is for a 'home' computer ..that slips into a small bag and carries but does not need to run Photoshop CS5. It would be perfect for my wife who has a lot of distant friends where she could check/send email anywhere she happened to be. There's no way she would, or need, to carry the PBP for her uses.

    I would probably buy another iPad had it worked out that way. (Actually, this was to have been the camel's nose under the tent to convince my wife to convert both my business and home to iPhone and give the stalinists at Verizon the boot.)

    My home however is on the fringes of the signal. So far, I have spent about $450 to get an antenna and repeater to snag a signal with little to show for the effort. The iPad works perfectly at my shop, but this iMac is already well connected via DSL.

    I went to Los Angeles for a few days a week before the iPad came .. and it would have been a helluva lot better to travel with it vs. the MBP .. especially given all the space and luggage limitations of air travel these days. If I traveled more than a few times a year, that alone would justify the purchase.

    I do not live a 'poor me' life. I give almost anything a 100% effort if it shows promise. If not, I look forward to the next adventure.

    ...but if someones asks you: tell them to make sure they get a good signal - a really good signal.
  2. yvrgal
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    yvrgal iPad Fan

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    I cancelled a 3G order when I first placed my order on the 10th and just opted for the WiFi. I have 3G connection already on my iPhone and I jailbreaked it to get MyWi. MyWi connects flawlessly to my iPad. So far this weekend because of the rain, I haven't gone anywhere but stay home and enjoy the WiFi connection from my router.

    I get e-mails already from my iPhone. If I need to go online on my iPad, I just connect to MyWi if I'm traveling. That is if I get a 3G connection. Worst comes to worst, I can always go in a Starbucks or Blenz for WiFi access.
  3. MikesTooLz
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    MikesTooLz Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I have had no issues with signal where I live.My ipad 3g has always showed full bars where ever ive been.
  4. NumbLock
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    NumbLock iPad Ninja

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    I went ahead and bought the 3G because I wanted the flexibility, and the GPS.

    Disadvantage: a little more expensive
  5. spinfreak
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    spinfreak iPF Novice

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    I use the 3G network quite a bit...much more than I had originally thought I would. I'm finding that when I'm home, I'm usually reaching for my iPad instead of my laptop, but then I'm connecting to my wifi signal since it's faster. However, When going out, I'm bringing the iPad with me more and more, and I almost always use 3G then. And I rarely have less than a full signal. Even when driving on the road, whoever I have in the truck with me is using the iPad, and the connection is always strong, even on the highway.
  6. DavidNM
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    DavidNM iPad Junkie

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    The 3G costs an additional $130. That's it. If you have a weak signal at home don't turn on 3G.

    I live very rural - I can get an 'edge' connection where I live - but the download speeds are about 30K.

    On the other hand - during the first month I had my iPad I had to travel to a city of 80K people and ended up getting stranded due to weather for 3 days. During those three days I used 470mb of 3G service moving about the city. I was really glad I had the 3G. Doesn't mean I need it all the time - I'm in the process of moving the package to teh $14.99 package - and will bump up if necessary depending upon usage.

    You never know when you'll need the 3G - and for $130 it's worth it to me.
  7. Matth3w
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    Matth3w iPad Ninja

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    I rooted my Verizon Droid..so I get the WiFi tether from a GOOD network...for free (well for no more than I Already pay for monthy service).
  8. Bremen
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    Bremen iPad Addict

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    Like others I just JB my iPhone and tether.... I already pay $30 to AT&T for 3g for the iPhone, I thought it would be a waste to give them another $30..... I should point out that I am rarely out of WIFI when I need to use the iPad.... Seldom use the tethering, but it's there when I do need it....
  9. MikesTooLz
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    MikesTooLz Super Moderator Staff Member

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    dont know about your area, but here in Miami, Florida. I did speed test with the ipads built in 3G and my Verizon MiFi.

    Att 3G on the iPad out performed the Verizon Mifi for connection speeds.

    I would however say that verizons network seemed more reliable.
    Last edited: May 30, 2010
  10. Dr.Gee
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    Dr.Gee iPad Enthusiast

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    Tethered to my Pre is the only reason I need.
  11. Matth3w
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    Matth3w iPad Ninja

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    There isn't a 3G ATT signal within an hour and a half of me. I used to have ATT here and it was the worst service ever. You can't even buy an ATT phone anywhere around here.
  12. MikesTooLz
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    MikesTooLz Super Moderator Staff Member

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    yeah depends where you live, ATT is big here.
    I hate both ATT and Verizon but not much options. T-mobile just recently got 3G.
  13. Wetstuff
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    Wetstuff iPF Novice

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    MTL ... Pop. density is the deal. In Miami 25 acres is a Wildlife Sanctuary or a VL housing complex .. on my road it is one house. (Nothing too fancy - it's not Coral Gables up here.) Verizon does not even deem our land lines worthy of an electronic switching station upgrade so we can get DSL.

    There is also the reality that there is more money to be made in a ghetto than the country. They'd rather slam poor people with payday loan-like fees than provide service to people 10 miles out.

    .... it will come. Rather than the old days of Ma Bell when there was mostly only one game nationally, these cellular providers do attempt to compete - albeit half heartedly. We will need a Carlos Slim to step up Tracfone or one of the Asian Billionaires who now run networks of massive numbers seeking high market penetration rather than the top dollar, skimming system we now have. Cheers.
  14. Ripplinghurst
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    Ripplinghurst iPad Fan

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    I bought the 3G because tethering my iphonevia wifi eats the batteries.
  15. henry2
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    henry2 iPad Junkie

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    i think the fact there is no extra bill comeing at the end of the month for a service that half the times does work right in the area iam in..some of my friend who have the 3g verison say that it not really worth the extra money for the 3g service intill they can get a better carrier for it ..
  16. lowlife
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    lowlife iPad Fan

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    Performance is location specific. I bought my iPad on day one and have had full bars even in my cellar. I actually thought that the bars were some sort of con. Finally, one day I caught it go down one bar for just a second as I drove under some electrical wires. My download speeds are always 1.5 or better.
  17. Bremen
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    Bremen iPad Addict

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    You are right about that. When I tether I can almost see the battery level dropping. But, I seldom use it, and when in the car I have my iPhone plugged into the cigar lighter......
  18. MikesTooLz
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    MikesTooLz Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I just recently signed up for the unlimited 3g plan in my ipad and put my verizon MiFi plan on hold for the simple reason that my iPad has a 10 hour battery life that takes me through the day but my MiFi only has a 4 hour battery at best.
  19. Seadog
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    Seadog Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I got the 3G because of the GPS and the fact that I have occasional need for Internet on the road. My initial experience has been great. Enough so that I may just keep it active full time for now.
  20. spinfreak
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    spinfreak iPF Novice

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    Exactly. Can I get by without the 3G, or find other ways around it? Sure. Is it nice to have 3G "just in case", even if you're not using it? Absolutely. You can always not use it....if you don't have it and then need it, you're SOL.

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