Should i get a mifi or new ipad with data plan

Discussion in 'iPad' started by msarway, Jun 28, 2011.

  1. msarway macrumors 6502


    Jul 9, 2007
    New York City
    i need to have data all the time my current ipad is wifi only i was thinking of getting a new ipad or just buying a mifi to carry with me. What is best option in your minds.
  2. sbddude macrumors 6502a

    Sep 27, 2010
    Nor Cal, USA
    unless you need the GPS in the 3G ipad (for navigation apps), go with the my fi. You can share it with other devices and with verizon you have the option of LTE speeds which is not possible on the ipad 3G.
  3. KevinC867 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 8, 2007
    Saratoga, CA
    The battery life of the mifi will probably be much shorter than a 3G iPad. However, if you get one that can charge from a USB port while in use, there are lots of good external batteries you can use.

    I am very happy with my 3G iPad 1. However, I really needed to jail break it and install MyWi to give me the flexibility of a mifi device.
  4. Fernandez21 macrumors 601


    Jun 16, 2010
    A 3G iPad is more convinient and thenplans are cheaper, but the mifi will allow you to share that connection, so if you take your laptop you can connect it too.I have a 3G iPad which I was using with a mifi when I first got it (wanted a wifi version but non were available so got AT&T version). After a couple days it was just a pain trying to ,adage the battery life of the mifi, I would have to turn it on and off whenever I was using it and have to wait for it to connect to use, and if I would forget to turn it off then the batter would die so I got a car charger, then I would have to remember to take it with me when I leave the car (and when your carrying 2 phones and an iPad it becomes a pain to carry and worry about one more thing) I ended up activating the 3G and been much happier.
  5. msarway thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jul 9, 2007
    New York City
    looks like i am going to just buy a new ipad less hassle
  6. bowlerman625 macrumors 68020


    Jun 17, 2009
    Chicago, IL area
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

    Good choice!
    I love my iPad 2 with 3G!
  7. thelookingglass macrumors 68000

    Apr 27, 2005
    If money isn't an issue, I'm not sure why you wouldn't buy the 3G iPad. Nice and convenient to have 3G in a pinch. Plus, the battery life you get surfing on 3G on the iPad is better than any mifi device or mobile phone with personal hotspot.

    Also keep in the mind that the GPS chip is not only used for navigation. There are plenty of non-navigation apps out there that use geolocation data. Pretty cool feature to have and missing (or much less accurate) on the wifi-only iPad.
  8. hcho3 macrumors 68030

    May 13, 2010
    Or buy a smartphone with Wi-fi hotspot function...

    But, if you can afford iPad, then you can afford iPad 3G. iPad 3G does more than iPad Wi-fi, so why not...
  9. jcmeyer5, Jun 29, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2011

    jcmeyer5 macrumors 6502

    Sep 7, 2008
    I went the Wifi/Mifi route. Given that I have 3 kids with their own iPads in addition to my own (the premium for 3G on 4 ipads = $520... Mifi free on contract, Verizon data same price per GB once you hit 3GB), it IS cheaper.

    I also like the versatility. I will be getting a 3G router to compliment (Mifi blocks ports via wifi, but does not appear to do so via USB, which is how it will attach to the router). Mobile solution that is very robust. Good average bandwidth... doesnt have the peak speed of AT&T, but I seem to get better speeds over a wider area.

    Now if I can get it to play well with my GoFlex Satellite.
  10. Alicia4065 macrumors regular

    Jun 22, 2005
    This time around I went with wifi+3G because I like having the flexibility even though I can use my phone to get online. I don't have to worry about my phone dying and Im not stuck with another data plan.
  11. jsh1120 macrumors 65816

    Jun 1, 2011
    iPad wifi only and mobile hotspot here. There are costs and benefits with either choice. I use a fairly powerful laptop on the road and must have an internet connection even if the hotel or customer site doesn't offer it. With a mobile hotspot I get 4G internet connectivity (almost as fast as my cable modem at home) for my laptop, iPad, and my smartphone where Verizon's LTE is available. (It usually is where I travel.)

    Saved $130 on the price of the iPad and I get much a much faster internet connection (up to 10 times faster) than I would have with a 3G iPad or a 4G tether to a smartphone. Upgraded a netbook from Verizon so the cost of the hotspot was only $50.

    (Note: Dedicated wifi hotspots are, as a rule, much faster than tethered smartphones, even the 4G variety. And the 4G LTE Verizon network is much faster than other "4G" networks. I routinely get about 10,000 kbps or more from the hotspot in a 4G area.)

    The downside is that I don't have the month-to-month $30 data plan. I pay $50 for a five gig per month plan (which I literally never exceed) on a two year contract. But since I would have to pay that for my laptop anyway, it's a sunk cost.

    There is also the issue of a battery charge with the hotspot. My iPad reliably runs for 8-10 hours on a charge. The hotspot is about half that. On the other hand, I've literally never needed more than four hours of internet connectivity in a location where I can't recharge the hotspot. (When camping I have a mobile power source that serves the purpose.)

    In addition, keep in mind that your iPad will consume power considerably more quickly if the 3G radio is turned on. So you're sacrificing some of the iPad's excellent battery life for that 3G connectivity.

    All in all, I'd say that if you're interested in taking advantage of 4G internet connectivity, especially that offered by Verizon's super-fast LTE, go with a hotspot. You won't be able to "upgrade" a 3G iPad to 4G. Period. But be aware of the considerably higher monthly data charge, especially if you don't need 3G connectivity on an ongoing basis. Consider the battery consumption issues for each device and as noted above, keep in mind that they cut both ways.

    On the other hand, if your iPad is the only device for which you need a data plan, find 3G connectivity to be sufficient for your needs, and/or often don't need it at all, and need the GPS functionality provided with a 3G iPad, go that route.
  12. msarway thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jul 9, 2007
    New York City
    I have the iphone 4 and when i use it as a hotspot speed is slow. all 4 of my kids have ipads wifi only and all have mac laptops also my wife has ipad 2 and laptop. my home and my office both have wifi so i am covered most of the time. what i am finding now is that when i am in the car or need to go to an appointment i need internet on the ipad and even though is small amount of time i just hate having to be inconvenienced. I love the mifi 4G but again that is carrying another device. i was going to buy a new ipad2 with 3g then i stopped and thought again about it. my ipad and iphone are my office everything i do is on them. i hate carrying a briefcase or backpack so i keep it simple. anyway comments are welcome oh money is not an issue either way.
  13. thekb macrumors 6502a

    May 8, 2010
    One more device to carry around and one more battery charger ... things I just do not need in my life.

    Convenience, battery life, GPS and location tracking = ipad + 3G for me.

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