MIFI or AT&T 3G Service ?

rm2092

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 30, 2008
393
1
I'm so on the fence on getting a Ipad but not sure to just by a MIFI and have another $60.00 2 year contract or just go with AT&T for the month to month plan but I think AT&T's 3G sucks. I do know with the MIFI I could use it with multable devices and your thoughts are ?
 

jav6454

macrumors P6
Nov 14, 2007
16,876
1,532
1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
You think AT&T service sucks in your area? Why not try it? Also, you are going to pay $1440 + tax just because someone told you AT&T sucks and you didn't verify it?

Do yourself and your pocket a favor and ask around your area. For my area, AT&T is the strongest thing and Verizon is left in dust.
 

k5every1

macrumors newbie
Jun 15, 2009
22
0
I'm going to stick with the AT&T service basically because the MIFI's battery will die hours before the iPads 10 hour battery will.
 

undrpsi

macrumors regular
Mar 28, 2010
223
1
Gastonia, NC
Get the 3g iPad and use ATT.

1. Mifi (unless you already have it) is a contract / monthly thing..whereas the ATT is a monthly 'as needed'.

2. Nothing else to carry...grab iPad and go. What happens when you forget your MiFi?

3. Reception varies in my area. Verizon is strongest..but..slower services (mail, voicemail, forwarding..YMMV). ATT is not as strong but everything seems to run faster (again YMMV).

4. Battery power (already mentioned) iPad is around 10 hours (we don't know what kind of hit the 3g will do to power)...BUT...you don't have to worry about the battery strength in another device (or if you remembered to charge it).
 

Chupa Chupa

macrumors G5
Jul 16, 2002
14,834
7,394
ATTs 3G service is fine as long as its not SF or NYC. It's bigger downfall is that service is limited to larger cities.

For occasional use the PayGo ATT makes a lot of sense. If you are going to be using 3G daily and maybe have a laptop as well or are in a non 3G area for ATT then MiFi could be a better solution.
 

chris y.

macrumors regular
Feb 27, 2006
121
0
los angeles, ca
Ive been toting around my MiFi with iPad when I am on-the-go and it works like a charm. In the Los Angeles area of California the speeds Ive experienced are comparable to broadband which is nice web pages load very quickly.

The huge downside is having to carry an extra device, but I simply leave the mifi in my bag which goes with my ipad anyways.
 

ReallyBigFeet

macrumors 68030
Apr 15, 2010
2,934
100
Its hard to argue based on cost, as you can go AT&T month-to-month without any commitment. So if you've got a travel schedule where you can predict your whereabouts, thats an easy decision.

I have a MiFi and the battery lasts me pretty much all day (as it sleeps when not being accessed constantly) and the speed is really good no matter where my business takes me. My 3G speeds on my iPhone is spotty. So from a performance perspective....no contest, MiFi is far, far faster almost everywhere. You have the added bonus of having WiFi access for all of your other devices or your friends/coworkers as well. Its a very useful gadget...best of breed in my opinion.

Its also possible that 3G power consumption might be less than WiFi power consumption.
 

msduncan

macrumors 6502
Jan 27, 2010
498
0
I can report that on gameday Saturdays in Tuscaloosa, Alabama -- AT&T's network goes belly-up.
 

ZBoater

macrumors G3
Jul 2, 2007
8,307
1,018
Sunny Florida
MiFi is available on a pre-paid contract basis. You only pay for the months you use. The difference here is being able to connect 5 devices vs. just the iPad, and the convenience of having it integrated and ready to go without another gadget to carry. Both have pros and cons and depends on your usage patterns and tolerance for spending more money on yet another internet access charge.

I, for one, rather have it built in and able to turn on/off right on the iPad. I prefer the convenience. I do miss my MiFi as my other devices can't get Internet love outside of a WiFi area...
 

WPerry66

macrumors newbie
Apr 8, 2010
28
0
My wife & I both have iPads, so for us the MiFi seems like the better option for us. Rather than pay $30/month each for two 3G iPads, we just pay the $60/month for the MiFi. In my area AT&T sucks, so we get more dependable service. Plus, if I want I can also use my laptop at the same time she's using her iPad.

She doesn't have wifi service at work, so she can bring the card with her during the day while I'm at home, and I just use our home service. Then when I go to work at night I just bring the card with me. Admitted that the MiFi doesn't have the greatest of battery life, but it still works up to 250ft. away while plugged in, so no biggie. Plus the car charger for my Blackberry works with the MiFi so charging isn't ever a problem.

I guess your decision shield depend on your particular situation, but for mine the MiFi was a much better choice.
 

xraydoc

macrumors demi-god
Oct 9, 2005
7,699
1,861
192.168.1.1
My wife and I also both have iPads and she frequently needs her laptop as well when outside the home. For us, the MiFi (which we've had for many, many months now) has been the better solution. Plus, I primarily use a Motorola Droid as a cellphone which has wifi tether capability (or at least it does now :p).

However, my soon-to-be 65 year old mother has told me she wants an iPad for her birthday (I suggested it to her; she loves her 24" iMac), so I think I may give her mine and replace it with the 3G version for no other reason than it might come in handy in a pinch (versus the wifi-only plus the MiFi or Droid).
 

wgary

macrumors member
Sep 18, 2007
89
0
I'm going to stick with the AT&T service basically because the MIFI's battery will die hours before the iPads 10 hour battery will.
I have the MiFi, and battery life is an issue. It isn't 10 hours by any stretch. I haven't found it blazing fast either.
 

rm2092

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 30, 2008
393
1
Oh and the price jump for the 32GB for the wifi to 3G is wow, thats allmost another laptop even the 16GB 3G is alot of money.
 

wombat888

macrumors 6502a
May 10, 2008
541
0
Apple says you can browse the Web for 10 hours on wifi with an iPad.

Apple says you can browse the Web for 9 hours on 3g with an iPad.

It's impossible to independently verify the 3g time yet, but people keep raising the question as if there is no published info available on Apple's site. The wifi time is conservative.
 

srl7741

macrumors 68020
Jan 19, 2008
2,091
1
GMT-6
I've also been tossing the idea around for awhile now. I think for me I'm going to stay with the idea of using the iPad 3G. The MiFi battery is good for only 4 hours +|- a few minutes. The iPad battery plus lower cost and no contract is a better option in my area.

I hate to say it but the AT&T month to month deal is better. I cant believe I said that but it's true. :(
 

ZombiePete

macrumors 68020
Aug 6, 2008
2,251
973
San Antonio, TX
Don't forget, too, that AT&T's 3G for the iPad is "truly" unlimited, not a soft-cap of 5GB like most other 3G data services. I know you're not going to be downloading any torrents or anything like that, but you'd be surprised at how much bandwidth a few Netflix movies can take up.
 

mingoglia

macrumors 6502
Dec 10, 2009
447
8
I absolutely love my Verizon MiFi! When on business I can keep the thing connected for days on end without it dropping in the hotel room. I can also drive from Phoenix to San Diego with my wife watching streaming Netflix video without dropping. I'm lucky I can make a call out on ATT half the time. :)
 

nutmac

macrumors 601
Mar 30, 2004
4,566
2,767
If you happen to live in an area served by Sprint's 4G Overdrive and willing to use it as your home ISP, MiFi all the way. Sprint's 4G is fast (3-5 Mbps real world download), totally unlimited (backward compatible with 3G but at 5 GB/month allowance), and can be used by 5 WiFi clients.
 

srl7741

macrumors 68020
Jan 19, 2008
2,091
1
GMT-6
Don't forget, too, that AT&T's 3G for the iPad is "truly" unlimited, not a soft-cap of 5GB like most other 3G data services. I know you're not going to be downloading any torrents or anything like that, but you'd be surprised at how much bandwidth a few Netflix movies can take up.
Very good point. I use Netflix a lot too.
 
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