iPad why 3g?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Sandman1969, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. Sandman1969 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 5, 2007
    Well we are going to be getting an iPad. The wife thinks for Christmas, but I am thinking next week for our Anniversary. She wants it, almost as bad as I do.

    I definitely want all the storage I can get, so going with the 64gb. Is there anyway to add storage through the charging port? Buddy thinks you can, but I am not sure.

    Now I have talked to a couple of friends who have the wifi only version and one recommended going that way and then pay for a tethering plan through AT&T my carrier.
    I don't know when I would ever be without my iPhone if I am away from the house.

    So instead of paying $130 more and $20 a month for 2gb, why not get tethering option?

    Currently I have the unlimited plan, but I am usually in the 100mb - 500mb range. So that is $30 a month.

    I can get the 4GB Datapro with tethering for $45.
    So for $15 more than I am paying I can tether up to 4gb. 95% of the time we will be on wifi at our house, or someone else's house with wifi or hot spots.

    So I save $130 on the iPad, save $5 a month on the data plan and get twice the bandwidth.

    I "may" do this to the wife's phone since I already ditched the unlimited with her anyway.

    So why get 3G?
  2. jesterscourt macrumors regular


    Mar 4, 2009
    3G is only needed if:

    You need to be mobile with your iPad
    Don't have a smartphone to tether with

    Hope that helps.
  3. poloponies Suspended

    May 3, 2010
    It really depends on how you use it. If you're using it in your house "95% of the time" then I probably wouldn't bother. But I travel abroad and to Mexico and it's extremely useful in those cases. And I enjoy having 3G independent of my phone. That's why they sell 2 different variants, because not everyone uses it in the same way.
  4. takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011
    ...or you want GPS built-in.

    ^ This. Never assume that your preferences are universal. I opted for 3G. It's not a one-size-fits-all thing despite what people seem to tend to assume.
  5. LeandrodaFL macrumors 6502a


    Apr 6, 2011
    I would never need 3g on my ipad, but some people , a lot of people, do.

    In most cases are business mans, who absolutly need internet conectiviy anytime and everytime, wi-fi is not available everywhere...on the road or moutain for example...
  6. Sandman1969 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Nov 5, 2007
    Another plus I could think of with having the separate 3g, is battery life. If phone is dead no tethering.

    Though I am probably gonna go the Wifi only route. When I am mobile, a phone will be with us to tether. And if not, I can manage without it! :)
  7. oiuh151 macrumors 6502

    May 18, 2011
    If you select a 3G iPad on a network other than your iPhone then you could possibly be getting 3G where you wouldn't with your iPhone. I personally like it mostly for the GPS.
  8. Sandman1969 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Nov 5, 2007
    That is a good point about wider 3g with a different carrier. However, I am thinking I can't justify the 130 extra for 3g, if I can tether when I can. At least where i travel currently I always am covered.

    As far as GPS, I have my phone, my garmin, and both vehicles have GPS.

    Wife is gonna crap when she see's it. We have been talking about getting it for a Christmas gift for both of us. I think I might be able to finally surprise her.
  9. jsh1120 macrumors 65816

    Jun 1, 2011
    Good luck keeping it a secret from your wife. Mine could uncover the DoD nuclear codes if they were in my possession.

    I have a wifi only iPad and a 4G/LTE Verizon mobile hotspot. It's a solution that works very well for me. My phone has GPS with turn-by-turn navigation. The speed of the hotspot in a 4G area is 7-10 times faster than 3G. Battery life of the mobile hotspot is about 4-5 hours in 4G areas and about an hour more in 3G areas. I would have considered tethering if I had had a 4G phone but I don't.

    Overall, my plan is similar to yours, 5Gigs for $50 per month on a two year contract. When my phone contract expires I may opt for tethering with a 4G/LTE phone.

    Like you, I saw no point in paying for an additional data plan (I already had the hotspot for my laptop) and paying the additional $130 for the 3G iPad.
  10. bembol macrumors 65816


    Jul 29, 2006
    When I bought my iPad (64GB), I went with 3G even though I have Super Phone to use as a Hotspot. Battery Life is important.

    TBH, I wish Tablets was also a Phone, I would cancel and sell my hTc EVO 3D. There are Earbuds with MIC, Bluetooth and Speakers, holding up your Phone to talk is in the past. LOL
  11. theDUB macrumors 6502a


    Nov 15, 2008
    SLT, CA
    Um...you're buddy thinks you can add more solid state memory to the device via the dock connector?
  12. mrsir2009 macrumors 604


    Sep 17, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    If your using it at home 95% of the time don't even bother with anything other than Wifi. ;)
  13. plumosa macrumors regular


    Mar 17, 2007
    yes and no. its requires a camera connection kit, a SD card and some fiddling around. its definitely *not* plug-n-play and requires some effort. If you're not tech savvy its probably easier to get the biggest ssd you can afford...

    details here:
  14. donnaw macrumors 65816

    Apr 19, 2011
    Austin TX
    Like you i use my ipad at home so have wifi 95% of the time. I bought the 3G because I travel and didn't want to drain my battery on my phone to tether. That being said I only activate the 3G when I do travel so I don't pay for it every month. I don't use it around town because I rarely take my iPad anywhere I don't have my phone. But when out of town I love having 3G. I bought my iPad in April. I've only activated the 3G twice so it hasn't been that expensive.
  15. NeroAZ macrumors regular

    Jun 23, 2009
    Phoenx, AZ
    I opted to get the 64GB with 3G

    I started off just tethering to my iPhone, but found this to be a hassle.

    the phone seems to turn off hotspot after its inactive for a relative small amount of time. so every time i wanted to use my iPad i'd have to turn tethering of and back on again and reconnect.

    so after a month or so, i said screw it and just activated the 3g on my iPad and dropped tethering on my iPhone. I've been much happier and tend to use my iPad way more than my poor neglected iPhone 4.
  16. Hammie macrumors 65816


    Mar 17, 2009
    Wash, DC Metro
    AFAIK, you will lose your unlimited plan when you opt for the tethering plan on the iPhone. Just a thought.
  17. mreg376 macrumors 65816


    Mar 23, 2008
    Brooklyn, NY
    Convenience. Or if you don't minding having to futz with two devices to look up the weather in the car, then tether away.
  18. Sandman1969, Oct 19, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2011

    Sandman1969 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Nov 5, 2007
    Hmmm, that is good to know about just using 3g when you want it. I didn't realize you could just turn on the plan when you need it.

    Then I could get access to the GPS chip if I ever want to use it.

    Maybe I will go that route and not turn on the 3g until we need it.

    Also, thanks about the external storage information. Doesn't sound too involved to get some extra space. Though with 64gb shouldn't need it for awhile.

    So stoked to get this thing, way earlier than expected. :D

    Is the price of the data plans the same for AT&T and Verizon? Maybe I should go Verizon for that.
    Is it just as easy to turn it off and on with both?
  19. netdog macrumors 603


    Feb 6, 2006
    Don't you have a sort of pay as you go plan for the iPad in the USA as opposed to a by the month option?

    Given the prevalence of WiFi in London, my first iPad was WiFi-only, but when O2 introduced a £2/day option, I bought the 3G.

    I still don't use it often via 3G, but when I do it's fantastic and only costs me £2.

    I probably use 3G once a month or less so it definitely pays for me.
  20. jsh1120 macrumors 65816

    Jun 1, 2011
    It's true that the iPad data plan allows you to turn it off and back on "when you need it." However, AFAIK, you purchase 3G access in 30 day "chunks." Thus if you need 3G once in a 30 day period, you purchase it for the entire period. (Hopefully, someone will correct me if this is inaccurate.) Thus, if you need 3G coverage for an occasional trip such as a vacation, it can amount to significant savings. But if you need coverage every few weeks, the on/off feature may have limited utility for you.

    The data plans for AT&T and Verizon differ slightly. Best to check each and determine which works best for you. The differences are minor and it may be important to determine the quality of the signal you're likely to get for your specific location than to base the decision about a carrier on the price of the data plan.


    Unfortunately for the consumer the choices of data plans is far more restricted in the US than in Europe. Our "free market" bias is actually a laissez faire bias and that means far less competition among carriers.
  21. Ecoh macrumors 6502a


    Oct 30, 2009
    This might be way your buddy was thinking of, have not used it myself but have seen adds for it .

    Hyperdrive for the iPad

    I don't have a smartphone so I got the 3g version. Now I am amazed at the number of places I go to that have free wifi, but it is still nice to have 3g for when I am on the road and just need gps or to do email.

    250MB per month $14.99
    2GB per month1 $25.00

    1GB1 $20.00
    2GB per month $30.00
    5GB per month $50.00
    10GB per month $80.00
  22. poloponies Suspended

    May 3, 2010
    The Hyperdrive is certainly an option as is the Seagate Satellite. Neither are perfect options but they are effective ways to access large volumes of media on the go.
  23. Number 41 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2009
    I'm finding exactly the opposite -- more and more WiFi spots are requiring you sign up for a paid access pass or be a member of one provider or another.

    I can't remember the last hotel or airport I was in that had free WiFi available either.
  24. jsh1120 macrumors 65816

    Jun 1, 2011
    You're clearly staying at premium level hotels. :) They tend to charge for WiFi.
  25. Number 41 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2009
    I usually stay in Hyatts or Hiltons whenever I travel -- I guess you can call that "premium," though I prefer to term it "reducing my odds of sleeping in the residuals of a previous occupant" or "the don't get bed-bugs plan."

    Can't remember the last time I had free WiFi in either of those hotels beyond the lobby.

    Maybe it's just me, but I also notice that tons of "Free" WiFi spots require that you be a member of one cell phone provider or another (or worse, a member of the major local carrier or local phone company's DSL service). Others require you sign TOS agreements, which raises my concerns about privacy and sending any password data over the air. Still others simply don't work due to overwhelming number of connected users (or users who connect as their phones pass into range and jam up the system).

    Overall, I feel like bumming WiFi was a lot easier 4-5 years ago.

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