3G iPad vs WiFi + MiFi?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by pelicanflip, Jul 7, 2010.

  1. pelicanflip macrumors 6502a

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    NYC
    #1
    I currently own a 32GB WiFi only iPad. It's served me faithfully, with no WiFi problems, no scratches, in short, pristine.

    I'm usually within distance of a WiFi hotspot, whether it's at my house or school, but I find myself at a bit of a loss when I'm on the go, when I feel like browsing the news or checking my mail. Now I'm beginning to wonder if I should have gotten the 3G iPad in the first place, or if there's a way to remedy this.

    My question is:

    Should I just sell my iPad and upgrade to a 32GB/ 64GB 3G iPad? Or should I just buy a MiFi device?

    If I opt for a MiFi device, are there any that you would recommend, and what benefits do they have over other competitors? Keep in mind, I'm located in the US, specifically NY state.
     
  2. bornblind macrumors 6502

    bornblind

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    #2
    Verizon's 3G network is bigger than ATTs. I went the MiFi route so that I could also connect my Macbook Pro, iPhone, iPad to the MiFi. The MiFi unit is solid. Battery last about 4 hours of actual use. The only bad thing is that it is $60/month. Hope this helps.
     
  3. Perihelion macrumors regular

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    #3
    I'm in the same boat as you. For the first few weeks I owned my 3G iPad, I didn't even have a sim card. Just using wifi I found that about 90% of the time I wanted to be online, I had wifi access. It was that last 10% of the time when I was out and about and just wanted a few minutes of coverage that I was left high and dry. I did get the 3G version for that scenario so a few days ago I gave in and got a Rogers sim card. I signed up for the lowest plan ($15/month) and that easily gets me through the 10% moments when I just want to browse some news, check my email, and maybe use Facebook. I like that I don't have to think about carrying another device and that I have good 3G coverage where I live and work. Hope that helps!
     
  4. pelicanflip thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    That did help, thanks. Question though, with Verizon, what kind of data plan is it? Is it 5GB per month for $60 a month, 2 year contract?

    Or are there other prepaid options, or smaller data sizes?
     
  5. peapody macrumors 68040

    peapody

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    #5
    What costs $60/month? The service? the Mifi?


    I went the virgin mobile prepaid route since I don't have an iPhone. I buy the 300mb for $20 a month from my paypal account which always has money in it from sales. It is really nice to be able to connect my mbp, ipad, and ipod touch. I use the mifi device for about 1-2 hours total each day and in the last 10 days since activation, have just used 50mb.
     
  6. DeuxIt macrumors member

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    Oct 20, 2008
    #6
    the added feature of real gps in the 3G model make it worth the add $ alone. Whether you use the ATT 3G or your mifi, not as easy a decision, but i assume the gps will work correctly either way. Check out MotionX GPS. INCREDIBLE for the $2 or 3 it cost.
     
  7. pelicanflip thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    peabody, i'm pretty sure it's 60 bucks per month for the service, not the MiFi itself. How much did the MiFi cost you?

    And also, would I be able to use apps like TomTom or Navigon with the MiFi + WiFi setup? Or is that exclusive to the 3G iPad?
     
  8. bornblind macrumors 6502

    bornblind

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    #8
    Yes 5GB per month @ $60 with a 2 year contract. You get the MiFi for free. There are prepaid options. Best Buy sells the MiFi for $199 outright. You can then choose one of Verizon's Prepaid options. You won't get as good of a deal on the prepaid though. Just visit there website and they have all of the plans. I have used all major carriers across the US. I used to travel 6 days a week across the US. Verizon's coverage will be the most stable VS. any other. Trust me I have tried them all. Also, Verizon is getting ready to roll out their 4G network using LTE technology. Just google Verizon 4G coming.
     
  9. pelicanflip thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    I took a look at it and compared it to Virgin Mobile's plan, and it seems as if Virgin Mobile comes out on top in terms of pricing and data plans.

    Although I'm sure Verizon's network is much better than Virgin Mobile's.

    Honestly, besides using the MiFi device for my iPad, I would also be using it for my iPhone and that's about it.

    I'm still wondering if it's worth it to sell and upgrade, or get a MiFi. Or there's always the third option: deal with it and wait until next spring for the newer iPad.
     
  10. peapody macrumors 68040

    peapody

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    #10
    I have considered going 3g, but since I got my ipad kind of late, I figured I would just deal with what i had now, and wait for the new one to come out before I really commit to getting the best of the best.
     
  11. pelicanflip thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    That's what I think I'm gonna do. I'm going to sit tight with what I've got for now, unless if I can get a MiFi device for cheap or sell my iPad for a good deal.
     
  12. aarond12 macrumors 65816

    aarond12

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    #12
    Ask yourself another question: Do you really need the extra speed? I can only think of a few instances where the extra speed would be a great benefit. For myself, I like the longer battery life of the 3G model (vs the 4-6 hours of battery life on the MiFi).

    -Aaron-
     
  13. pelicanflip thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    I'm not considering the 3G iPad for the speed. I'm considering the 3G iPad for the ability access the internet and certain apps without needing to be connected to a WiFi network.

    Also, I believe that the 3G model and the WiFi only model of the iPad utilize the same battery, so I'm not sure what you're talking about when you say the 3G iPad has a longer battery life. If anything, the 3G battery life should be shorter because it's accessing the 3G network.
     
  14. pelicanflip thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    Does anyone know how Verizon's MiFi service compares to Sprint's MiFi in New York City? or Buffalo (I go to college there)?
     
  15. ctdonath macrumors 65816

    ctdonath

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    #15
    It's that the iPad will run a lot longer than the MiFi.
     
  16. pelicanflip thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    Oh, I see your point now. That's something I'll have to consider then :)
     
  17. peapody macrumors 68040

    peapody

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    #17
    How long do people use their ipads on the internet anyways?
     
  18. DeuxIt macrumors member

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    Oct 20, 2008
    #18
    3G hands down for me. I bought a wifi a month ago with the plan to use a mifi and sold it a week later to get a 3G.

    A) another thing you don't have to charge every night.
    B)another thing you don't need to carry around every day.
    C) another thing you don't need to turn on when an ap needs to grab something.
    B) wifi doesn't have gps. I love motion-x gps.

    No question in my mind. Unless you are using the device for a specific purpose in a specific location that has wifi, there is no question in my mind that the iPad is leaps and bounds a more useful tool when it can, without effort connect to the Internet. At least for the way i use / carry mine, the wifi model felt like a crippled device. No question.
     
  19. pelicanflip thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    All great feedback, thanks for the advice. Although I would love to sell my iPad and buy a 3G one instead, I'm not too keen on waiting for 3G iPads to be in stock.

    I'll just have to sit tight for now and be content with my WiFi iPad. Maybe I'll buy a MiFi with my next paycheck, but we'll see. :cool:
     
  20. Giuly macrumors 68040

    Giuly

    #20
    You can use a jailbroken iPhone to setup a MiFi for free. Time to upgrade anyways. iOS 4 on iPad may add Bluetooth tethering, too.

    Greets
     
  21. peapody macrumors 68040

    peapody

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    #21
    Different Strokes for different folks.

    Wifi + mifi hands down for me
    1. Not a big deal to charge stuff. Charge my ipad and mifi every night. It takes two seconds to plug something in and I have enough juice to work on the internet for a full work day on the computer.
    2. Use mifi with my macbook pro.
    3. Use mifi with boyfriends iPad.
    4. Use mifi with friend's macbook pro
    5. Wifi is at home, at work, at starbucks, at caribou. All the places I would use wifi.
    6. 3g for ipad is just that. 3g for ipad. Confined to one device.
     
  22. wyre macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2010
    #22
    Mostly the wifi is sufficient for me - but for getting online when there are no other options I was deliberating between a VM mifi and a sprint 4g overdrive. I like the fact that they can also power the ipod touch or macbookpro, and can be shared with others in a pinch. Finally went with the mifi and set it up last nite. Got between 1.5 and 2.5mbps download, under 1 upload. Nothing spectacular, speedwise, but not painful. I haven't tried AT&T 3g so cant compare. For using it when there are no other internet access options, this no contract virgin mobile mifi seems to be a good solution. I wouldn't want it to be my only internet connection -- but that's not what it's intended for. I think it'd work for you if you're only using it incidentally when away from a better/faster/cheaper wifi connection for your ipad.
     
  23. Capt T macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 20, 2010
    #23
    Virgin Mobile uses Sprint's 3G network. So between it and Verizon it will depend on the area you are using it which has better coverage.

    You can also buy the Virgin Mobile Mifi at Sprint corporate stores.
     
  24. pelicanflip, Jul 12, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 4, 2011

    pelicanflip thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    Tried it, and it absolutely murders my iPhone's battery life. Plus, my iPhone runs on EDGE, so it's even slower than 3G.

    At least with the MiFi, it'll be intermittent use and I can also host four other devices, not to mention faster and I wouldn't kill my iPhone's battery life.


    Does anyone know how Verizon fares against Sprint in New York City and Buffalo?
     

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