AT&T iPad 3G vs Verizon Mifi

Discussion in 'iPad' started by blackberrypilot, Nov 20, 2010.

  1. blackberrypilot macrumors 6502

    Jan 6, 2010
    Well I fell in love with the iPad... I purchased one at Best Buy not more than a week ago and have a load of games and apps. I simply can't leave home without it. However, with ATT's data plans I am limited to 2GB which blows.

    I can stream Netflix though, with only a 30 seconds buffer prior to starting.

    I tried tethering my iPad to my HTC Evo over 3G (through wifi ofcourse) and the quality of Netflix is aweful.

    My question is, does anyone have the Verizon Mifi? How are the speeds in most areas? Does Netflix streaming work fairly well? I've read quite a few reviews where streaming video is buggy because the Mifi randomly disconnects & reconnects? I'm considering returning my iPad to Best Buy and taking advantage of Verizon's deal.

    Any advice/thoughts?
  2. Battlestar macrumors 6502

    May 9, 2010
    Overall you will get better performance using the iPad's built in 3G. Tethering any 3G device never really produces favorable results.
  3. ArcAngel66 macrumors regular

    Jun 26, 2009
    Im guessing the quality is poor because it's technically connected via Wifi, but the speed is horrible. So it's attempting to do Wifi quality at horrible speeds.

    When on 3G, Im guessing it compensates knowing you're on 3g.
  4. leomac08 macrumors 68020


    Jul 12, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA
    It varies per city/county/state/country

    If I had tried the HTC EVO 4G in my city the quality would be fantastic...

    Again it varies....
  5. Halon X macrumors regular

    Sep 22, 2005
    Malibu, CA
    I have a Sprint MiFi and with WiFi iPad and have been very happy with it. The biggest selling point for me is that I can connect both my iPad and laptop, or any other WiFi device to it when traveling. I already had the MiFi when the iPads came out so WiFi vs. 3G was an easy decision for me.

    My girlfriend has a 3G iPad and I've run a speed test on both many times, in many different locations. They are almost always close to being even in download speed though on occasion one is better than the other depending on coverage in a particular area.

    I've had no problems streaming Hulu or NetFlix video and I stream a lot when traveling.
  6. reckless2k2 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 10, 2008
    I have a 3G iPad but have a Clear Spot 4G+ for other reasons and I have no problems tethering to the Clear Spot when I need to. The fact that I'm in a 4G area only makes the experience even better.
  7. George Knighton macrumors 65816

    George Knighton

    Oct 13, 2010
    My personal experience in my part of the world, where I usually live, work and travel, is that AT&T 3G is clearly superior to both Verizon and SprintPCS "4G." I can easily stream with AT&T where I wouldn't be able to even consider it on Sprint or Verizon.

    The only advantage with Verizon is going to be that it might offer data connectivity at 3G speeds in places where there is simply no AT&T 3G array, or an array in a remote rural area is overwhelmed with activity. The AT&T devices like the iPhone 4 and iPad will try to hold a more distant array with fewer demands on it, but it's not a hell of a lot better because the more distant array might be -100 dBa or worse, so it's kind of a toss up.

    The only advantage with SprintPCS is that they might offer very, very aggressive combinations of packages in areas where they are trying to compete. But let me warn you that in most of the country, connecting with a "4G" signal doesn't really mean much. AT&T 3G is consistently faster in my part of the world, and that includes frequent travel in the DC Metro/Pentagon area. And with a carrier like Sprint, you will really have to research carefully to make sure you have coverage everywhere you want it.

    I can't overestimate the importance of research as far as coverage goes. Talk to people. Use the trial period. Drive all over the place and make sure you have *any* coverage where you will need it before you worry too much about caching and streaming. :) Recently I had to take a very unusual drive from DC to Orlando area, and there were huge, huge gaps in AT&T coverage of any kind when compared to Verizon. In these areas, I wouldn't have been able to stream on either AT&T or Verizon, but at least I could make clear calls on Verizon.

    I've been careful to say that this is my personal experience in my part of the world, where I will usually live, work and travel. So please do not crucify me.


    I know that it's entirely possible that somebody else's experience, especially in another part of the world, might be completely different.
  8. reckless2k2 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 10, 2008
    Clear basically equals Sprint and I recently drove from Philly to Orlando. If it wasn't for the Clear Spot 4G+, using the iPad would've been painfully possible if at all. Many areas were EDGE only but my wife was able to watch Netflix much of the way down using the Clear Spot. We were in 3G country most of the way down with the Clear Spot. I don't know if I could stream on Verizon 3G though. I can only comment about Sprint.
  9. Rob.G macrumors 6502


    Jan 17, 2010
    AT&T's 3G performance on my iPad was so awful that I canceled it and now exclusively use my Droid X's Wifi hotspot, and it's easily 10x faster. I've only tried video once and it worked pretty well.

  10. vidsmart macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2010
    I have a Mifi and it is terrific (Philly/ Dela/South Jersey commuting area.) I listen to the XM satellite radio app every day during my long commute, as well as the occasional Netflix stand-up comedy performance (obviously not watching while I am driving, but rather listening through the car speakers.) Yesterday I had to be on the road during the football games and was able to watch live (while my wife drove.) One of the best gadget purchases I've made.
  11. Kenal0 macrumors regular

    Sep 15, 2007
    I use the Sprint Overdrive in the Chicago area which connects to 4g. It is very fast and has no problem streaming video. Whenever I am out of town it connects at 3g and will stream but will occasionally buffer. I find it faster to connect my iphone to this then to use the native 3g on ATT. There are very few places I have been that the Overdrive was not faster.


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