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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > iPhone, iPad & iPod > ipad 2 question

ipad 2 question
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KenJJ
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Mar 11, 2011, 12:06 PM
 
I've never owned an ipad but am considering purchasing an ipad 2. I'm way behind on technology so this may sound like a stupid question but do you need to purchase a data plan to get on the Internet with an ipad?

I'm so far behind on technology I'm not even sure exactly what wifi is but I assume if it's in the area you can log on the Internet via wifi without having a data plan? Could someone explain this to me?
     
iomatic
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Mar 11, 2011, 02:28 PM
 
i just asked this -- you can see my own response....
     
subego
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Mar 11, 2011, 03:06 PM
 
You pay for a "data plan" in the sense you pay for a basic Internet connection. A cable modem through your cable company, or DSL through your phone company.

Assuming you already have one of these (in other words, you already have Internet access at home), all you need to buy is a wifi base station. It beams the Internet connection (that you're already paying for) to your iPad.

Which base station is ideal for you depends on what your current setup is and how much money you're willing to spend (we're talking $50-$150). Spending more gets you things like ease of setup, or extra features (hook up a printer, hook up a stereo and beam music to it, etc.).

Starting at ground level. Do you already have an Internet connection?
     
KenJJ  (op)
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Mar 11, 2011, 03:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
You pay for a "data plan" in the sense you pay for a basic Internet connection. A cable modem through your cable company, or DSL through your phone company.

Assuming you already have one of these (in other words, you already have Internet access at home), all you need to buy is a wifi base station. It beams the Internet connection (that you're already paying for) to your iPad.

Which base station is ideal for you depends on what your current setup is and how much money you're willing to spend (we're talking $50-$150). Spending more gets you things like ease of setup, or extra features (hook up a printer, hook up a stereo and beam music to it, etc.).

Starting at ground level. Do you already have an Internet connection?
Appreciate the response I do have internet access at home so I'll buy a base station. Let's say you travel via plane or train with an ipad I assume both train and plane would have to have wifi to access the internet?
     
subego
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Mar 11, 2011, 04:12 PM
 
Yup.

If they offer wifi, you can just connect to that. Same at a coffee shop, etc.
     
subego
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Mar 11, 2011, 05:25 PM
 
Wait... Maybe I misunderstood your question.

If you're asking how common it is to have wifi access on a train or plane, I honestly have no idea. It's not available on the commuter rail I'm familiar with, but that only tells you about things in Chicago.
     
iomatic
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Mar 11, 2011, 05:55 PM
 
Delta has wifi, but you pay. Airports are now more and more free wi-fi (of the 3 I've been to in the past month).

So bottom line, yes you can get it without the data plan. AT&T is offering the first month free, but you have to cancel via phone or store (read the fine print), in order to not get recurring charges for cellular network access.
     
KenJJ  (op)
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Mar 11, 2011, 06:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Wait... Maybe I misunderstood your question.

If you're asking how common it is to have wifi access on a train or plane, I honestly have no idea. It's not available on the commuter rail I'm familiar with, but that only tells you about things in Chicago.
You got my question right...thanks! I plan on taking Amtrak from Los Angeles to San Antonio this summer and unfortunately they don't have wifi on that route at least not at this moment. Some Amtrak routes have wifi mostly on the east coast I believe.
     
Phileas
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Mar 11, 2011, 09:11 PM
 
I bought an iPad wifi when they first came out, thinking I wouldn't need the always on that 3G provides. Looking back, that was the wrong decision, there were many times when I would have loved having access to the net and didn't. .

Of course, now that the iPhone offers personal hotspots this is becoming less of an issue.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Mar 11, 2011, 09:24 PM
 
Except that personal hotspot sharing apparently results in about 4 hours of battery time on the phone, from what I've read.
     
   
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