AT&T personal hotspot & WiFi iPad = Bliss!

Discussion in 'iPad' started by phpmaven, Mar 16, 2011.

  1. phpmaven macrumors 68040

    phpmaven

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    San Clemente, CA USA
    #1
    I just thought I would post this for any of you who are thinking of going from a 3G iPad to a WiFi only version and tethering. I had a 64GB 3G and decided when I was getting my new one to just use the new personal hotspot and tether. The 2GB iPad data plan is $25 a month and changing my iPhone data plan from unlimited data to the personal hotspot plan cost me $15 more per month for 4GB of data.

    The performance of the hotspot has really been terrific. I am very impressed with the speed. I actually had case just just two nights ago where the Internet went down at my office and I was trying to work and was getting frustrated and then I thought about tethering my MacBook Pro through the hotspot, and it worked amazingly well. I was really impressed with how well it performed. Obviously, it was a bit slow, but very usable.

    The caveat here is that you will lose your unlimited data plan permanently if you do this, but if you are like me and you are not a heavy data user, this works really well and I highly recommend it. You can save $130 bucks on your iPad. I don't need to use the GPS either as I just use my iPhone.

    Also, this may sound dumb, but I think it looks sleeker and sexier without the big strip of black plastic across the top:)
     
  2. CrAkD macrumors 68040

    CrAkD

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    Feb 15, 2010
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #2
    I'm having the opposite experience. My last iPad was wifi and I'd use mywi with my unlimited iPhone data plan. This time I decided to get a 3G iPad. I'm loving it that it's just online as soon as I go to use it without having to turn on mywi and it's good to leave work with alot of battery life on both my phone and iPad without having to keep my phone plugged in all day.
     
  3. ChiliBlue macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2008
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #3
    I've been thinking about this. Currently using MyWi on a JB iPhone 4 and I'm getting random resets 2-3 times per day. It was annoyance until yesterday when I needed to use the phone and saw that it was in the middle of a reset. :mad:

    And I'm reluctant to move from my unlimited plan because occasionally I do go over 2GB.
     
  4. djransom macrumors 68040

    djransom

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    Chi-Town
    #4
    I definitely agree that this is nice combo :cool:
     
  5. SSpiro, Mar 16, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2011

    SSpiro macrumors 6502a

    SSpiro

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    Mar 30, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #5
    I do this also, but with bluetooth from my rooted Droid from VZW (unlimited data)
     
  6. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    Location:
    US
    #6
    Could you answer a recurring question about this setup? What is the degree of location accuracy on the ipad using this setup in Maps or similar apps? i.e. does the phone in some way convey its location to the ipad? (and is it different if you're away from all other wifi sources?)
     
  7. dehlz macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    #7
    Can you ellaborate on the resets? I've never used mywi before, but was planning on tethering my ipad with it.
     
  8. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #8
    Wifi + Unlimited dataplan on a tethered and jailbroken iPhone + Verizon iPad for when I inevitably don't have ATT signal = Bliss.
     
  9. phpmaven, Mar 16, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2011

    phpmaven thread starter macrumors 68040

    phpmaven

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2009
    Location:
    San Clemente, CA USA
    #9
    I didn't mention it but you can also tether using Bluetooth with the personal hotspot.

    I actually had the same experience when I was jail broken in the past. So far this combo I have has been rock solid. Also, as I mentioned, the hotspot plan gives you 4GB of data.

    That's a good question. I'll play around with it as soon as I can and report back.

    I was a bit concerned about the battery issue as well, but I've actually left the hotspot enabled the whole day and I didn't even realize it. It would connect up whenever I brought my iPad out of sleep. My battery has been holding up quite well. Admittedly, I haven't really "torture tested" it yet with hours of use, but I have used it quite a bit, even tethering to my old iPad for the 4+ hours I was in line at the iPad launch, and it doesn't seem to be a big battery drainer.
     
  10. CommanderData macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2007
    #10
    This may be fine for some people, and it sounds like it is great for you. Unfortunately I'd never do it!

    1) No way I'm giving up my unlimited data plan. Had that since the original iPhone, launch day in 2007 :p
    2) Don't want to drain my iPhone battery just to enable 3G surfing with my iPad
    3) I actually want the GPS chip in the iPad... going to use it as a backup system for the Raymarine charts on my boat this summer

    My hunt for an AT&T 3G iPad will probably go on until the summer, but it'll be worth it in the end :D
     
  11. TheCheapGeek macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    #11
    I agree with the OP, I used mywi with my first gen wifi only iPad and it worked reasonably well but it occasionally locked up the phone and prevented me from updating when apple released a new version of iOS. I have been very happy with the official hotspot functionality and had no issues giving up my unlimited data to get it. I feel that the battery performance is substantially better than with the jailbroken phone and mywi.

    I do with there was some way that the iPhone could pass its GPS coordinates to the wifi iPad.
     
  12. Scarpad macrumors 68000

    Scarpad

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    Jan 13, 2005
    Location:
    Ma
    #12
    Same here I have a 3g 64gb Ipad 1 and I decided instead of going for the same again I'd order the wifi, and upgrade to the hotspot I did'nt have unlimited I had the 250gb, and then I'd have wifi for my macbook air, my archos tablet , etc and its worked out great, I don't have the Ipad 2 yet, but I tried it on my original and it was pretty fast, no descernable difference between the hotspot and the built in 3g.
     
  13. Cutwolf macrumors 6502

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    Oct 11, 2010
    #13
    If you don't wanna give up your unlimited plan just jailbreak.

    If you're worried about draining your battery, get a Mophie Juice Plus case that'll double your iPhone's battery, or just get one of those 8000 mAh external batteries that are about the size or you wallet and can recharge your iPhone 3-4 times.

    I just have trouble with the idea of paying two data plans when one of your plans is unlimited.
     
  14. phpmaven thread starter macrumors 68040

    phpmaven

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2009
    Location:
    San Clemente, CA USA
    #14
    I hate to burst your bubble, but if you added the official hotspot feature with AT&T, you have given up your unlimited plan permanently. If you log into your account online you will see that unlimited data is no longer an option. If you added the option online, they have a warning banner across that part of the page that you giving up your unlimited plan forever. If you did this over the phone and they didn't warn you about this, then I feel bad for you.
     
  15. RedRobotWeb macrumors newbie

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    Feb 3, 2010
    #15
    Jailbroken iPhone 4 w/ MyWi and iPad 2 wifi = Enlightenment :)

     
  16. jclardy macrumors 68040

    jclardy

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    #16
    I do this same thing and it is awesome.

    The only thing I miss is the GPS chip in the 3G iPad. The Wifi iPad can get a rough estimate of your location from the iPhone, but since it is using WiFi positioning it only updates every minute or so, and only counts it as being accurate to around a 100m radius. So I don't think it would work well with apps like Navigon.

    But thats what I have my iPhone for, it is much easier to mount an iPhone to your windshield than an iPad.
     
  17. CrAkD macrumors 68040

    CrAkD

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    Feb 15, 2010
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #17
    I have a mophie and if I didn't plug my phone in mywi would kill both the phone and mophie by 4pm on a heavy day of usage. I prob won't pay for iPad data every month but investing in the 3G iPad was worth it for the option
     
  18. ovrlrd macrumors 65816

    ovrlrd

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    Aug 29, 2009
  19. phpmaven thread starter macrumors 68040

    phpmaven

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    San Clemente, CA USA
    #19
    I was a bit worried about that as well, but it does a pretty impressive job of fixing your location using WiFi.

    Wow! That's sweet! I'll do some testing to confirm it myself
     
  20. Cutwolf macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2010
    #20
    I mean, if you're often using data heavily straight through from 6 AM - 4 PM, the 3g iPad is probably a good investment, but I think -- though I may be wrong -- the vast majority of users probably have trouble naming even one time they'll need to use 3g data for more than a couple of hours max with no access to any charging resource if absolutely necessary.

    There'll always be exceptions though.
     
  21. CrAkD macrumors 68040

    CrAkD

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2010
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #21
    Well it's not even that I use a lot of data. It's just mywi had to be on the whole time. Mywi did kind of fix this right before the iPad 2 came out. They would turn it off after 10 minutes of no usage which was better on battery but also a hassle when I needed to check somethingn online quickly after not using it for awhile so I figured screw it and got the 3G this time.
     
  22. netnothing macrumors 68040

    netnothing

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Location:
    NH
    #22
    For anyone wondering the details on the Hotspot with AT&T, here's a new Macworld article:
    http://www.macworld.com/article/158556/2011/03/personal_hotspot_att.html

    I think, if you don't care about the grandfathered unlimited plan (which I didn't have anyway), AT&T is making this really easy to use. Normally I'm on the $15/200MB plan because I work at home.

    If I need to use the hotspot, I login to the AT&T app, switch the plan, and it's active. When I don't need it anymore, I can switch back. Best part is there is no activation fee, or switching fee. They will prorate charges and data (so don't think you can use 4GB of data in 2 days).

    Essentially AT&T told me that if you enable within your billing cycle, it breaks down to charging you per day. $45/31 days = approx $1.45/day and 4GB/31 days = 129 MB/day.

    -Kevin
     
  23. Cutwolf macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2010
    #23
    They've also fixed this with MyWi On Demand, which only activates when you're somewhere that has no WiFi.

    http://www.macstories.net/iphone/mywi-on-demand-now-available-brings-smart-hotspot-to-ios/
     
  24. Cutwolf macrumors 6502

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    Oct 11, 2010
    #24
    I used 300 mb doing normal browsing on a 5 hour train ride. 129 mb/day is less than you think.
     
  25. netnothing macrumors 68040

    netnothing

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Location:
    NH
    #25
    Correct, your personal usage will dicate whether it's a good deal for you or not.

    Obviously, if you need it all the time, your 4GB will be spread out over the course of a month....so even if you use 300MB in one day.....as long as you don't cancel early....you'll be fine.

    I think the ease of on/off that AT&T is allowing is great. No lengthy phone calls and talking to some rep. Do it all yourself at will. If I'm going on a trip....I can turn it on. If I'm home for a few months, no need.

    -Kevin
     

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