Wireless for non 3G

Discussion in 'iPad Accessories for iPAD 1, 2 and 3' started by BuzyMum, Sep 4, 2011.

  1. BuzyMum
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    BuzyMum iPF Novice

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    I was wondering if there is a way to get a portable modem for my non 3G iPad 2 so I can have access to the Internet any where I roam. Does one like this exists and what are the better modems to buy? I looked on Amazon and not sure if the modems where what I wanted!

    Simcerly, Korinne
  2. Darkstar2007
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    Darkstar2007 iPad Addict

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    If your speaking of a portable 3G modem, you can grab one of these at any of the US carriers. Verizon even has 4G LTE models (if you live in an area with good 4G coverage).
  3. debbied88
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    debbied88 iPF Novice

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    I just bought the virgin peel for $29 plus $20 for 500mb monthly plan. You just get the $20 plan on the months you need it. It was designed to go on the back of an iPod 1 or 2, but it will be a hotspot for two wireless devices as long as it is in range. I took it to the game last night and it worked perfectly. I have used it on my iPad It is not perfect but serves my needs. I do have the 3 g for my iPad if I want it, but I wanted to have access to my iPod. The ipod is easier to carry but I still wanted to be able to access iPad. This way I have both.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2011
  4. jsh1120
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    jsh1120 iPad Addict

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    I have one of the Verizon 4G/LTE models (Samsung). A couple of points bear noting.

    () 4G hotspots are "backwards compatible." In areas where 4G service is not available the modem will use a 3G signal.

    () "4G" (unlike 3G) is a term without any standard. Carriers can claim to offer "4G" service for virtually any service that is marginally faster (or even different) from a 3G service. Thus, 4G from Verizon is different from 4G from Sprint or AT&T. The Verizon 4G/LTE network is much, much faster than other providers' networks. Mine rivals the speed I have with a cable modem in my home.

    () 4G coverage is spreading rapidly but if you opt for a 4G modem you should check to see if the places you expect to use it are covered by a particular carrier. No point in getting 4G if you cannot use it.

    () If you're going to use 3G/4G connectivity only occasionally, meaning you'll go for entire months without needing it, you're better off with a stop/start contract (such as that offered for the iPad 3G.) A few carriers offer that option (one mentioned in an earlier thread, I believe) but none offer 4G in those plans.

    () On the other hand, if you're going to use 3G/4G at least once (even for a minute) every month, you might as well opt for a plan with a longer commitment. Such plans typically offer more data access (or at least the same) as a start/stop plan.

    () Shop carefully for a device. Some smaller carriers (e.g Virgin Mobile) offer start/stop plans but require you to buy a modem at a much higher price. Virgin, for example, charges $149 for a modem. Verizon offers a better modem (with 4G coverage) for $30. Of course the latter is with a two year commitment, but it's a $120 difference in price, as well.

    () Finally, note that you may want to consider an alternative in the form of a tethering the iPad to a smartphone. If you do this "legally' (according to the requirements of your phone contract) you may or may not save any money. But if you always carry a smartphone with tethering capabilities when you need 3G/4G for your iPad, it may be a more convenient alternative. Of course, you'll share the data limits between two devices, but it may still save you money over the alternative of having two data plans.

    P.S. People often wonder how much to spend on a data plan. If you're doing nothing but email and very occasional web surfing and mainly use a separate wifi network, the cheapest plans are probably sufficient for you.

    If you expect to use the 3G/4G network on a regular basis with occasional streaming of audio a 2 gigabyte per month plan is probably sufficient. If you're going to use the 3G/4G network as your primary internet connection expect to use at least a 5gigabyte plan.

    If you routinely stream films and tv shows and have to do it over a 3G/4G network, it's going to be expensive compared to other alternatives. Consider something like "Clear" to support both home and mobile connectivity. If it's available in your area it may be less expensive (though not necessarily as reliable) as having a separate internet provider for your home and your mobile devices.

    P.S. One other point that is sometimes confusing. The "prepaid" plans such as those from Virgin Mobile (and for the 3G iPad) typically charge on a calendar month basis. So if you are going on a vacation from, say, September 29 to October 5, and want 3G coverage throughout that period, you'll have to buy two months of access while coverage from 10/1-10/31 will require only a month of coverage. Some carriers may offer pro-rated coverage charges for a partial month. I'm not sure. But if you go with a start/stop (i.e. prepaid) plan, check with the carrier to determine their policies.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2011
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  5. debbied88
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    debbied88 iPF Novice

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    I have done prepaid through AT&T and virgin. Both have been for thirty days. It is good to know that some do calendar month. That is definitely something to look out for.
  6. BuzyMum
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    BuzyMum iPF Novice

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    Thanks for all of the comments! All of my question have been answered!
  7. jsh1120
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    jsh1120 iPad Addict

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    Thanks for the correction about Virgin. I wasn't sure how AT&T works.

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