Upgrading ipad WiFi only to 3G

Discussion in 'iPad 2 Forum' started by Nostrebluc, Aug 31, 2011.

  1. Nostrebluc
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    Nostrebluc iPF Novice

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    Is it possible?
    Right now I only have an iPad 2 with WiFi only, and no 3G, and was curious if it is possible to upgrade so it has 3G capabilities.
  2. droid2mac
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    droid2mac iPF Novice

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    Only way is to buy a WiFi hotspot device. The iPad WiFi only can't be upgraded to 3G.
  3. Nostrebluc
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    Nostrebluc iPF Novice

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    Thank you that's all I needed to know.
  4. Tim SPRACKLEN
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    Tim SPRACKLEN iPad Legend

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    Yes - a portable WiFi hotspot - sometimes known as a MiFi - is the way forward. They're very small portable devices that provide a local WiFi hotspot by linking to the Internet over 3G. Most cellular operators have such a device available. Also, some mobile phones - such as the iPhone4 and some Android devices - can provide this capability too.

    Tim
  5. danielgfreeman
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    danielgfreeman iPF Novice

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    I use the hotspot on my droid x to provide me with 3G capability of my 32GB wifi only ipad2 and it works quite well. I don't know how it compares to one with built in 3G as far as speed, but I'm on Verizon so the coverage is good. I would like to do a side by side comparison of connection speed tests with a 3G iPad and mine connected via my droid to see the difference, I'm sure there is some lag when using the droid as the hotspot. I have also thought about the dedicated mobile hotspots that are available from many carriers these days. I wonder if they have a stronger signal to make very much of a difference when connoting multiple devices.

    Sent from my iPad using iPF
  6. SweetPoison
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    SweetPoison iPad Legend

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    Hey stranger!

    I never knew this. Great thread!
  7. seikooc
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    seikooc iPF Novice

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    I use a MiFi with my iPad and I have to say it's great! Its pricey to buy to start, around £80 but you can typically get them on eBay cheaper. At times the connection has been faster than the local wifi connection at Starbucks.... Highly recommend

    seikooc
  8. Nostrebluc
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    Nostrebluc iPF Novice

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    Cool, now would I still have to pay a monthly subscription? I'm guessing it's a yes, but I did some research on it and I'm most definentley getting this in the future, this would really come in handy. Thanks!
  9. iLloyd
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    iLloyd iPad Fan

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    I teather a the 3g connection from my iPhone4 and have done it i the past with a N97..

    However i've heard alot about that MiFi thing
  10. seikooc
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    seikooc iPF Novice

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    Yes you do, but if you shop around you can get a good deal without breaking the bank

    seikooc
  11. AvaMoore
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    AvaMoore iPad Fan

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    Just wanted to ask what country you're from? The reason is, in the UK BT offers BTFON/BT Openzone as part of a free service when you take out one of their broadband packages.

    My uncle uses BT and I live about 100 miles away from him. He has log in details for BTFON hotspots which are scattered all over the country. I use Internet from next-door who are BT customers and it is totally above board. Sounds like it may be cheaper than MiFi and I can use it wherever I go (in the uk). If you live here you're all set, if you live elsewhere have you checked out to see if a provider is offering this service?

    Just thought I would put my 2 pence in lol. :-D
  12. nicky_r
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    nicky_r iPF Novice

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    I wonder if anyone offers a pay as you go mifi?

    Sent from my iPad using iPF
  13. Jembie
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    Jembie iPF Novice

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    My Three MiFi is PAYG, I am in the UK. I recently purchased it for £60 from Tesco. It came with 3GB of Data, then I can just top up whenever I need to. It's been great out and about where my Orange 3G is lacking. Most of all it has been a Godsend the last couple of days as there is a fault on my usual BB connection so the MiFi has had a right caning from myself and my son using it for our laptops.

    Sent from my iPad in Derby, England
  14. Czevski
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    Czevski iPad Addict

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    In the US ask at Best Buy. I think Virgin has a pay as you go and there might be others.
  15. alby750
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    alby750 iPF Noob

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    I use joikuspot for Nokia mobile peones in thetering with iPad ...works great!
  16. Tim SPRACKLEN
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    Tim SPRACKLEN iPad Legend

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    Agree with Jembie - I have the '3' PAYG MiFi too. A great device - highly recommended.

    Tim
  17. jsh1120
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    jsh1120 iPad Addict

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    Yes, Virgin Wireless does have such a plan available through Best Buy, Radio Shack, Target, and Walmart.

    However, there are some significant features to keep in mind. First, you must purchase the mobile router ($149), not surprisingly. But you may be able to get a better deal through Verizon or AT&T if you already have cell phone service with one of those carriers.

    Second, the "unlimited" plan is $50 per month and is "unthrottled" only to 2.5 gigabytes per month. That's sufficient if you do little streaming or use it only a few days per month. But if you're expecting to use it as a full-time internet connection, you may be disappointed. (My Verizon plan provides 5G per month at 3G or 4G speeds without throttling ($50) and completely unlimited access at $80 per month.)

    Finally, you won't be able to access 4G speeds with the Virgin device. My Verizon mifi device downloads at from 5 to 15 times faster when I can use the Verizon 4G/LTE network. If you care about 4G access/performance do some research about the actual speeds available. "4G" networks are not created equal and some are several times faster than others.

    All in all, if you're planning to use cellular-based internet a lot, you won't save much money (if any) with a pre-paid plan. If it's intermittent, say on an occasional vacation, it may be worthwhile. But in that case keep in mind the upfront cost to purchase the device.

    P.S. Sprint also offers what they term 3G/4G mobile hotspot devices. The price of the device is about $50 (similar to Verizon) when you opt for a 2 year commitment. They have several plans which apparently don't enforce "throttling" (as I understand it.) However, the term "4G" is very loose. You may not experience the access speeds (or coverage) you can get from another carrier.

    P.P.S. All of the above applies ONLY to the US. The options available in Europe, some of which are mentioned in this thread, are much better.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2011
  18. Wookiee2cu
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    Wookiee2cu iPad Junkie

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    Also, depending on who you work for, they may have a contract with your cell provider and you can get the monthly rate lowered. As far as tethering when you don't have an actual tethering plan be careful, AT&T is really cracking down on this and you will get a warning to stop or if you continue they will automatically change your plan and add tethering to it. If you are grandfathered with the unlimited data, when they make this change you will lose that as well and once they make the change in their system they cannot undo it.
  19. jsh1120
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    Can't speak exactly to the comparison you cite but I do recall a test on the Laptop.mag site (as I recall) that compared the 4G mobile hotspot from Verizon to one of the Verizon 4G cell phones as a tethering device for a laptop. As I recall (and it's a bit hazy), the mobile hotspot was about 50% faster on downloads.

    Further, I happen to have a 4G mobile hotspot from Verizon (Samsung) that I use with my iPad. The download speed I get with it is extremely fast (up to about 16mg per second.) It rivals the speed of my cable modem when it is running on the 4G network.

    There are downsides in terms of the cost (a two year continuous commitment) and battery power (the Hotspot needs to be recharged about every five hours), but the performance is phenomenal.
  20. snowboarder8985
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    snowboarder8985 iPad Fan

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    Verizon has the 4g Mifi for sale at $49

    Sent from my iPad 2 using iPF

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