Verizon's Mifi Card vs. AT&T 3G for iPad?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Eye4Desyn, Apr 14, 2010.

  1. Eye4Desyn macrumors 6502

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    #1
    Anyone care to comment on this? BTW, apologies if this is a duplicate of a previous thread. I'm curious to know if which of the two delivers the quickest data or are they equal? My concern isn't so much about coverage areas/reliability -- as I live in and travel to excellent coverage areas for both carriers -- but it's more about what sort of performance I would see when I'm in an area in which I can send/receive data.

    Yes, the iPad 3G data plan with AT&T is markedly cheaper but again - I'm only curious from a performance point of view. Would I get wi-fi performance similar/equal to what I get from the wireless router in my home with their Mifi card?
     
  2. bossxii macrumors 68000

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    #2
    It's all going to depend on where you use it/where you live. For me AT&T speed blows away VZW, nearly triple the speeds here in Kansas City. I can easily drive 50 miles north to south and the same east to west and pull 2mb to 3.5mb down on AT&T and after trying out a VZW Mifi for a few weeks I was lucky to pull 1mb at best, avg for VZ was in the 600kpbs range, AT&T avg more like 1600+kpbs.

    I am however looking at Sprint this summer along with the HTC Evo to become my offical "hotspot" so I can have unlimited 4G data vs the 5gig cap on both ATT or VZW.
     
  3. Kenal0 macrumors regular

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    #3
    I think it will depend on the area you are in as to which service has the fasts throughput. I am in Chicago and have been comparing my Sprint Overdrive with ATT 3g on my phone and the Sprint service is faster 9 out of 10 times.
    Some time by a little and some time by a lot. Btw when the Overdrive is running in 4g, it screams. No problem streaming from Netflix without any buffering breaks.

    Kenal0
     
  4. racer1441 macrumors 68000

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    #4
    I love the mifi -iPad matchup. It works great, and I love the ability to hook my laptops up as well if needed.

    I also like the second network backup. My AT&T on the iPhone is great, but I love having a separate network for backup reasons.
     
  5. shady825 macrumors 68000

    shady825

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    #5
    I was debating sprint or Verizon but I think I'll go with sprint if your claiming it's faster.
    Thanks
     
  6. Travisimo macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 22, 2009
    #6
    Speed, coverage, and reliability are all a product of service area. Both services are 3G, so they will at least be "in the same ballpark". Speed will probably not be the differentiating factor when choosing miff vs iPad 3G. Here are some things to consider once you've researched carrier speed and coverage in the area you will be using your ipad the most:

    The main advantage to using a MIFI is that you can use it with multiple devices. So if this is something you need or would like the take advantage of, then a MIFI is a good option. The key to the MIFI is versatility.

    The AT&T 3G option, however, also has several key advantages. First of all, you have the convenience of having 3G built in, without the need for a secondary device. Also, you have two different options for 3G service, both of which are heaped than the MIFI plan. Perhaps the $15/mo plan will be sufficient for you? Otherwise, you can't go wrong with unlimited for $30/mo. And remember, AT&T has specifically stated that the unlimited plan has no cap, whereas the MIFI is capped at 5gb/mo. And finally, you also get the GPS receiver in the 3G version of the iPad.
     
  7. Eye4Desyn thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #7
    Thanks for the info guys. BTW, what are you using for benchmarking these data speeds?
     
  8. jedolley macrumors 68000

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    #8
    The app I use is speedtest.net (i think it's by speakeasy).
     
  9. Eye4Desyn thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #9
    Awesome! Thanks.
     
  10. bossxii macrumors 68000

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    #10

    One thing to note if you go with Sprints Overdrive mifi unit, 4G data is unlimited, plus the device has a GPS chip built in as well as a micro SD card slot. Also as stated before serves up to 5 devices at once. Still all depends which carrier best covers your needs via coverage. Fastest speed doesn't mean much if you can't connect. :)
     
  11. xraydoc macrumors demi-god

    xraydoc

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    #11
    Bingo. Around me, AT&T is faster, but if my iPhone is any indication, won't really matter since I'll only be able to connect 50% of the time.

    I keep my iPhone because I can't seem to part with it, but most of the time it just sits. I have a Verizon phone (a Droid) that I carry since AT&T is sooo unreliable. I see little point in buying a 3G iPad for myself where I am now.

    Plus, I can tether my iPad to my Droid. May not be as fast, but at least it works. No point in having a Ferrari if you don't have any gas.
     
  12. Rob.G macrumors 6502

    Rob.G

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    #12
    I considered the MiFi as an alternative to getting the 3G, but I didn't want to have to carry it around with me or worry about it's comparatively-limited battery life. Plus I already have a USB760 modem and would have to pay full sticker to get the MiFi, which made getting the 3G cheaper.

    Rob
     
  13. zenntench_oni macrumors regular

    zenntench_oni

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    #13
    how about comparing the cost your gonna be paying?
     
  14. Mpalmieri1203 macrumors member

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    Jul 4, 2007
    #14
    I'm running a mifi setup. It's awesome. The size of a credit card and weighs literally nothing. I've received about 4 hours battery life on one charge with heavy browsing. Well see how awesome the iPad battery is after the 3G starts sucking down the power. Not to mention the service in NYC destroys AT&Ts 3G. If you're looking to connect more than one device and/or the price per month isn't an issue, pick one up it's really impressive.
     
  15. akal575 macrumors member

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    Apr 8, 2010
    #15
    I picked up my iPad 32gb wifi last week and made the decision to purchase it instead of waiting for the 3G for a few reasons.

    Where I live I don't get any reception with AT&T on my iPhone 3GS in my apartment I get like 1 bar of reception and I'm on edge. Im a college student and where my university is I don't even get 3G which further sucks.

    After some investigating I found out about the mifi from verizon and picked it up for the sole purpose of replacing the need of buying the 3G iPad and I must say for the week I have used it, it is awesome.

    The Pro's of Verizon Mifi:

    1. Have connectivity pretty much anywhere
    2. Up to 5 different computers/laptops/smart phones can be connected to it
    3. It is fairly small, depth wise I'd say it's about equivalent to 10-12 credit cards if stacked on top of each other.

    The Cons:

    1. Data usage is capped at 5 GB in comparison to the 20 GB offered by AT&T
    2. For the 5GB option it's 60 dollars a month
    3. Another thing to carry around

    For me, the mifi was the best decision. Although it's a lot more expensive than going with the 3G iPad with AT&T, it's worth it knowing that pretty much whever I go I'll have connectivity.
     
  16. Rob.G macrumors 6502

    Rob.G

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    #16
    I've had Verizon's 3G since 2007. I pay $59 mo unlimited (and my plan pre-dates the 5gb clause, so it's true unlimited). I use it constantly, as it's my primary internet connection. I don't mind the occasional $15-30/mo for the iPad 3G plan, since it's no-contract, no fee, etc. Like how you can start out at the $15 plan, then if you exceed 250mb, it will let you upgrade for $15 more for the 5gb plan for the rest of the month, and only do it when you need it.

    Rob
     
  17. akal575 macrumors member

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    Apr 8, 2010
    #17
    Searching on ebay I found you can actually buy a verizon mifi for really cheap, don't know how it actually works or if there is a catch to getting one so cheap.

    Here's a link

    http://shop.ebay.com/?_from=R40&_trksid=p3907.m38.l1313&_nkw=Verizon+mifi&_sacat=See-All-Categories
     
  18. Chris Rogers macrumors 6502a

    Chris Rogers

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    #18
    W/ the iPad or your Verizon service?
     
  19. michael1963 macrumors newbie

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    Apr 26, 2010
    #19
  20. ScottNWDW macrumors 65816

    ScottNWDW

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    #20
    When the iPad was first announced I decide to get the 64GB with 3G.
    When the iPad WiFi was released, some friends of mine got them right away and I was able to play with the 16GB and 64GB models. After seeing how they used theirs and what they had on them, I realized that for MY purposes 64GB was way too much. One of those friends is using the MiFi set up and he loves it.

    I then decided a week and a half ago to go the WiFi route. I bought the 32GB model. As for the internet, my laptop connect card from AT&T contract is ending soon so I figured I would just switch to that and then I could take advantage of some of the WiFi sync capabilities of the ipHone and several apps that I have.

    This past weekend I picked up a MiFi unit from Verizon through a company discount plan that is offered through my company. I got the card for just $49 and I'll be getting 17% a month off on service, which would put the service cost the same as AT&T (the same discount applies at AT&T as well).

    So far, I couldn't be happier with the MiFi Card. I carry the card in my bag with the iPad, so should I need it and there is o WiFi hotspot around, I can get one instantly. Still using free spots where available will help out on the 5GB cap, but seiously after checking my usage on teh AT&T Laptop connect account, it never showed that I went over 5GB. The absolute most was barely over 4GB, and I feel I am on the internet too much as it is which is roughly 3-4 hours a day on weekdays and probably double that on weekend days.

    As for speed, when comparing syncing actions of some applications, the MiFi speeds are a lot faster over the Phone's AT&T 3G

    Here are some recent times that I clocked using teh same programs on the iPad and iPhone:

    Pocket Informant Full Sync (Calendar and Tasks):
    iPhone via iPhone 3G Connection: 1 minute 19 seconds
    iPad via MiFi Connection: 22 seconds

    Appigo ToDo Application
    iPhone via iPhone 3G Connection: 1 minute 19 seconds
    iPad via MiFi Connection: 22 seconds

    Appigo Notebook Application (several days worth of diary entries)
    iPhone via iPhone 3G Connection: 2 minutes 34 seconds
    iPad via MiFi Connection: 57 seconds

    I'd say look at your situation, I feel by switching to MiFi over the Laptop Connect Card was a good choice for me.
     
  21. timotheezz macrumors regular

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    Jul 6, 2007
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    New Jersey
    #21
    MiFi/WiMax vs. AT&T 3G vs. AT&T 3G tether (MyWi)

    Okay I understand the discussion here is MiFi vs. AT&T 3G. But I would like everyone's thoughts on how a jailbroken iPhone 3GS with MyWi installed (NOT to be confused with VZW's MiFi) compares in terms of speed. I'm using it now, but I'm curious as how much of a real performance boost the 3G iPad will offer compared to my iPhone tether + WiFi iPad.
     
  22. ScottNWDW macrumors 65816

    ScottNWDW

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    #22
    Since the 3G iPad has not been released, it is hard to say, but my guess would be that it would be the same performance that the iPhone gets from the same 3G network.

    As far as the jailbroken iPhone and tethering goes, Haven't done that.
     
  23. shady825 macrumors 68000

    shady825

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    #23
    Im doing the exact same thing. My contract on the USB card with ATT is up in a few months. As soon as that's done I'll be picking up a MiFi with Verizon. Im glad to see your positive review of it! Thanks.
     
  24. ZombiePete macrumors 68020

    ZombiePete

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    #24
    In what plan does AT&T offer a 20GB soft-cap?

    As for 3G performance, I live in San Antonio which was the AT&T HQ city until they moved to Dallas a year or so ago. Our 3G has always been fast and reliable. Guess I'm lucky compared to what most people say, but it's been pretty rare that I've been disappointed by AT&T when traveling for work.
     
  25. 3G4Gexpert macrumors newbie

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    Apr 29, 2010
    #25
    The 3G version of the iPad will be locked to AT&T's network, which doesn't even compare to the 3G coverage that Verizon has. iPad 3G owners would have to pay $30/mo for a data plan that can only be used on the iPad.

    I would recommend getting a Verizon MiFi, which will provide better 3G coverage, on a more reliable 3G network. Not to mention you can connect up to 5 devices at a time to the MiFi.

    3Gstore just announced a No Contract MiFi Option for iPad for only $49.95/mo

    3gstore.com/lease
     

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