Tethering ipad using Bluetooth vs wifi with iphone

Discussion in 'iPad' started by cujimmyusa, Mar 13, 2011.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    #1
    Trying to decide on dumping my virgin mifi $40 grandfathered unlimited data plan and go for a $50 iphone 3GS or wait for the iphone 5 and hope it looks nicer and has less glass than the iphone 4.

    What is stopping me for going for the great price of the 3GS is only the fact that it will not have wifi tethering, only usb and BT tethering. Our household has 2 ipad 3G's, ipod touch and three pc laptops without BT capabilities.

    Questions are:

    1. How fast is BT compared to wifi and how much battery drain will be on the iphone?
    2. How much will the iphone 5 be?
    3. I know coverage varies, but the virgin mifi does play netflix when we are on the interstate and has good coverage for our geocaching hobby. Both of which we only use at weekends. How will they compare - BT at&t v sprint/virgin mifi?
    4. Buy the 3gs or wait for 5
    5. Keep mifi and the unl. Data plan and old flip phone with at&t

    Love some advice, this Is doing my head in!!
     
  2. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    #2
    Lots of peeks but no thoughts :(
     
  3. macrumors 65816

    ovrlrd

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2009
    #3
    You cannot tether the iPad to the iPhone using Bluetooth or USB. So yeah, if you want to tether from your iPhone without jailbreaking, then currently the iPhone 4 Wi-Fi Hotspot feature is the only way to do it.
     
  4. macrumors 603

    Warbrain

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #4
    If you have an iPhone 4 and a tethering plan from your carrier you can tether to your iPad via wifi or Bluetooth.
     
  5. macrumors 601

    Phil A.

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Location:
    Telford, UK
    #5
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone 4: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8F190 Safari/6533.18.5)

    Actually, you can as of iOS 4.3
    My wife tethers hers to her 3GS and it works perfectly. Speed wise, Bluetooth caps out around 3mbps so its not mega fast but plenty fast enough for most tasks.
     
  6. TheBaconKing, Mar 13, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2011

    macrumors regular

    TheBaconKing

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2010
    Location:
    Northwest Arkansas
    #6
    If you ditch your $40 a month mifi and go to the iPhone and tethering route with AT&T you will pay $45 and be limited to 4GB data
     
  7. macrumors 68000

    hitekalex

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    #7
    [edited]
     
  8. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    #8
    Sorry, but the iphone 3, 3GS and 4 can ALL tether, BUT the iphone 4 is the only one that can do wifi, they ALL can use usb and BT tethering tho. Of course you have to pay the att tether fee and data for a total of $45 to activate the function with the new iOS 4.3 update last week.
     
  9. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    #9


    Thank you :) I agree and still in a dilema if I would miss the wifi tether, which could cost me $150 more purchasing the iphone4 or maybe even more for the iphone5. How good is the wifi over BT, as I have not ever tethered to a phone.
     
  10. macrumors 65816

    ovrlrd

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2009
    #10
    I stand corrected! :)
     
  11. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    #11
    is there a way to bluetooth tether to other phones (not iphone) without jailbreaking yet?
     
  12. macrumors 601

    Phil A.

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Location:
    Telford, UK
    #12
    The iPad tethers using standard Bluetooth PAN services so should (in theory) work with any phone that supports PAN (personal area networking). I don't have another phone to try it on though so can't be sure
     
  13. cRuNcHiE, Mar 13, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2011

    macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    #13
    I dont have an ipad at the mo to try with 4.3 as i'm waiting for UK release, but with Ipad1 and bluetooth to a nokia/android before it wouldn't work without Jailbreaking and using 'ibluever' from cydia.

    This also seems to suggest it wont work http://support.apple.com/kb/ht3647


    BUT: this thread, on post 22 says it does work! http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1113273&highlight=bluetooth+tether

    Won't be getting a 3G ipad now! wifi all the way + my droid!
     
  14. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    #14
    It does work as of 4.3. There is some confusion due to the new feature being undocumented by Apple.
     
  15. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    #15
    Great thread,
    this works perfect with a 3GS sharing 3G to an iPad over Bluetooth.
    No more JB needed.

    I'll list the steps incase I forget :)

    Update both devices to the current firmware.

    1) Turn on Personal Hotspot Bluetooth on the 3GS iPhone
    2) Turn on Bluetooth on the iPad and pair with 3GS iPhone

    Only have to pair once then it remembers.

    Nice.
     
  16. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    #16
    Yes, I'm curious about this as well (battery on BT vs Wifi).
     
  17. macrumors 603

    blueroom

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #17
    Turning off WiFi and just using a Bluetooth Hotspot makes a noticeable difference in battery life.
     
  18. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    #18
    On my iP4:
    Power - BT uses less power. While worse then BT, wifi mode isn't too bad. Maybe 30% more power than BT (it's better then the JB wifi solutions).

    Data - Wifi is faster. Much faster in some cases. In a congested 2.4Ghz area, BT topped out at 0.2mbps. In the same location wifi was running at 3.5mbps. In less congested areas BT is better. I have seen BT as high as 1.5mbps. YMMV
     

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