Ipad wifi or 3g?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by thegirlys, Dec 25, 2011.

  1. thegirlys macrumors newbie

    Aug 27, 2009
    Just got an Ipad for xmas. So excited!, but received the wifi. Worth exachanging to 3g?? I have an Iphone 4s, can I tether with Iphone?
  2. seeharrison macrumors regular


    Nov 8, 2011
    Congrats on the awesome Christmas present! I have an iPad with 3G and I've never activated the 3G in on it. I already had a Verizon Mifi, so I just use it for mobile internet access. You can tether to your iPhone 4s, but you have to have a tethering plan which is a little bit more expensive each month. I hope this helps!
  3. jsh1120 macrumors 65816

    Jun 1, 2011
    Yes, you can tether the iPad to the iPhone. Just how much extra (if any) this will cost on your iPhone data plan is dependent on your carrier and your specific data plan.

    And as the poster above notes, you may also purchase a mobile hotspot to provide carrier-based wifi for your iPad. Again, there are numerous options depending on your specific carrier (and whether you live in the US or elsewhere.)
  4. thegirlys thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 27, 2009
    I thin , I will stick with the wifi, im on att & have unlimited plan right now. So i have to change plans, or it a feature i just add on?

    Thanks so much for you help!! I knew mac rumors ws the place to come to!!!
  5. jsh1120 macrumors 65816

    Jun 1, 2011
    I'm a Verizon customer but I strongly suspect that you can add the tethering feature to your existing AT&T data plan for an additional charge (probably $20) per month. However, since it sounds like you have a "grandfathered" unlimited data plan with AT&T, you may be forced to change the data plan to add the tethering feature. Furthermore, be sure to see if you can "turn off" the tethering feature for months in which you don't need it. That, too, may vary according to whether you have a grandfathered plan.

    Despite the higher monthly charge for 3G access on the iPad, it has the advantage of being a "non-contract" feature. So if you do the arithmetic, you'll find that you may be better off with a 3G service plan for the iPad (even considering the $130 additional cost of the iPad) than by tethering your iPad to your phone if you must pay for tethering whether you use it or not.

    You should check with your carrier and even more importantly be sure you're being given the correct information when you do. Sorry that this is so complicated. The carriers intentionally make it as difficult as possible for a consumer to figure out what they should do.
  6. takeshi74, Dec 25, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2011

    takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011
    You have to decide that for yourself. Do you think you need it? Don't want to deal with tethering or MiFis? Want GPS? If so, get the 3G. If not, don't.

    I opted for 3G even though I don't currently use it in case I'm traveling and want to take the iPad with wireless coverage without having to lug around additional equipment. YMMV.

    Call to verify. The site seems to indicate that you'd have to change data plans.
  7. jsh1120 macrumors 65816

    Jun 1, 2011
    Common misconception. GPS is available via a bluetooth GPS receiver for about $50 less than the additional cost of the 3G iPad. The GPS receiver is both more sensitive and because it is separate from the iPad can be placed where reception is optimal (e.g. on the dashboard of a vehicle.)


    As far as whether a new data plan is required to tether, that's not the case on Verizon. I can move both my unlimited data plan to a new phone and add tethering. But as you note, it's important to check with the individual carrier.
  8. TWO2SEVEN macrumors 68040


    Jun 27, 2010
    Plano, TX
    This is correct. Also, myself and many others with the grandfathered unlimited plan have recently been victims of AT&T throttling down the data speed. Mine is so slow at this point my phone is pretty much useless on 3G.

    Merry Christmas and congratulations on your new iPad!
  9. applefanboy4739 macrumors member

    Jul 10, 2011
    personally, id prefer the 3g version. I have a 32 gbwifi only ipad 2 and i use the texxt free with voicemail app instead of my phone. I also take my ipad to school and cannot get on the wifi there so no internet. I would love to hvae gotten the 3g version because it wold be extremely useful. If youre fine tehtering then dont bother. but i dont have that luxury so im getting a 3g/4g ipad 3. :)
  10. jsh1120 macrumors 65816

    Jun 1, 2011
    Doubtful you'll be getting a 3G/4G iPad 3. I doubt that 4G support will be available in the initial release of the iPad 3. But you can get 4G/LTE support now via a mobile hotspot.
  11. torbjoern, Dec 25, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2011

    torbjoern macrumors 65816


    Jun 9, 2009
    The Black Lodge
    I got an iPad 2 WiFi for Christmas, which I tether with my iPhone 4. Bluetooth tethering uses less power, but WiFi gives the same speed and GPS functionality as if I had 3G on my iPad.

Share This Page