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Get Your Apple iPad or iPad 2 Online with Wireless 3G or 4G

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Thursday, 24 March 2011

Get Your Apple iPad2 Online with Wireless 3G or 4G

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On March 11th, Apple launched their iPad 2, which is the latest version of the iPad. The majority of iPad and iPad 2 users are looking for an internet solution that will allow them fast internet accesson their iPad anywhere the go, securely and reliably. We have tested several different options that will meet the needs of any iPad owner, and have described the pro's and con's of each option to help you decide which option will suit you best! One of the biggest advantages to using any of the setups below (as opposed to relying on open WiFi networks or using AT&T or Verizon's 3G network via the built-in 3G chip) is that you'll be able to provide 3G/4G internet access to any device, not just the iPad! Why pay a monthly fee for something that is only going to work with the iPad, when you can also provide connectivity to your laptop, iTouch, PS3, and so on?

Read on to review the options for getting your new iPad online!

HTC EVO 4G/Samsung Epic 4G:

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Sprint's HTC EVO has a 3G/4G hotspot option to connect up to 8 devices - with unlimited access!

The HTC EVO 4G and Samsung Epic 4G are both 3G/4G-capable phones and have an option to be used as a 3G/4G hotspot. For an additional $29.99/mo, EVO and Epic users can use their phone as a wireless hotspot for up to 8 devices! If you're in a 4G area it will connect to Sprint's 4G network, and if there's no 4G available it will default back to 3G. Best of all, both 3G and 4G usage is unlimited while using the hotspot feature (with all other Sprint/Verizon/AT&T devices, 3G usage is limited to 5GB/month).

Carriers Supported: Sprint

3G/4G Compatibility
: Works with Sprint 3G & 4G networks

WiFi Range: 30-80ft through walls, much greater unobstructed.

Battery Life: Up to 6 hours

Pro's: Convenient - it's a phone AND a hotspot; 3G & 4G capabilities; unlimited 3G and 4G usage; hotspot feature can be turned off when you don't need it to save you money.

Con's: Locked to Sprint; requires a phone plan (meaning it's probably not the best option for people who already have a cell phone and only need mobile broadband connectivity); no ethernet port for hard-wired connections (add the Pepwave Surf Mini for ethernet capability); no antenna port for connecting an antenna directly to the device to improve signal strength (if you need to improve signal strength you will need to use a wireless repeater system like the Wilson Sleek, but these will only boost the 3G signal - there are no signal-boosting products currently available for boosting the 4G signal).

Read more about the HTC EVO 4G phone
Read more about the Samsung Epic 4G phone


Novatel MiFi 2200:

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 Verizon offers the MiFi, which allows you to connect up to 5 devices via WiFi to their 3G network

The Novatel MiFi 2200 is an all-in-one battery-powered 3G mobile hotspot available from Verizon. It's the tiniest option available and provides 3G mobile broadband connectivity to up to 5 users via WiFi. Plus, there are more monthly service options than AT&T's and Verizon's data plans for the iPad itself - Verizon gives MiFi users the choice of a 3GB plan for $35/mo, 5GB for $50/mo, or 10GB for $80.

Carriers Supported: Verizon

3G/4G Compatibility: Works with Verizon 3G only

WiFi Range: Up to 30 feet; maximum of five simultaneous WiFi connections (Pepwave Surf Mini can be used if you need to connect more than 5 users)

Battery Life: 2-4 hours depending on usage (an external battery or extended battery can be used for more battery time)

Pro's: Convenient, affordable, very tiny/portable

Con's: Limited WiFi range (add the Pepwave Surf Mini for extra range); locked to Sprint or Verizon; no ethernet port for hard-wired connections (add the Pepwave Surf Mini for ethernet capability); no antenna port for connecting an antenna directly to the device to improve signal strength (if you need to improve signal strength you will need to use a wireless repeater system like the Wilson Sleek).

Read more about the Verizon MiFi


PHS300 + Sprint U600 3G/4G Aircard

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The PHS300 router is extremely portable, and when paired with the U600, your iPad can surf the web via Sprint's 3G or 4G network!

The PHS300 is a portable mobile broadband router with a 2-3 hour rechargeable battery that allows you to connect your 3G or 4G aircard for internet access.  If you are looking to use Sprint's 4G service, then the Sprint U600 3G/4G hybrid card is also a good choice, as it will allow you to have the fastest mobile broadband available anywhere you go using your PHS300 router.

Carriers Supported: The PHS300 supports a variety of carriers. The U600 is only available on Sprint's network.

3G/4G Compatibility: The PHS300 works with 3G and 4G modems from many carriers. The U600 provides 3G and 4G access on Sprint's network.

WiFi Range: 30-80ft through walls, much greater unobstructed.

Battery Life: 2-3 Hours. 3Gstore.com sells additional PHS300 Internal Replacement Batteries and external battery packs for more battery life.

Pro's: Ability to use 3G and 4G networks, freedom to upgrade to a different 3G/4G device in the future, and the freedom to change carriers.

Con's: Not quite as compact as the MiFi; no ethernet port for hard-wired connections (add the Pepwave Surf Mini for ethernet capability).

Read more about the PHS300 Router
Read more about the U600


Other Router + 3G or 4G Aircard:
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Other routers like the Cradlepoint MBR900 (above) can be used with other 3G or 4G aircards, too!

The PHS300 and U600 described above is not the only router + aircard option for providing WiFi to your iPad! For folks who already have a 3G or 4G aircard, you can add a router to create a WiFi hotspot that your iPad can connect to (as well as your other devices, of course). If you're not interested in the Sprint U600, the Cradlepoint routers support a huge variety of aircards from Sprint, Verizon, AT&T, Alltel, CLEAR, and many other providers.

Carriers Supported: Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, Alltel, CLEAR, and more (see router compatibility chart for supported carriers and devices).

3G/4G Compatibility: Works with 3G and 4G modems from many carriers (see above)

WiFi Range: The CTR350/PHS300/CTR500 provide about 30-80ft through walls, much greater unobstructed; the CTR35/MBR900/MBR1000/MBR1200/BC2 provide several hundred feet through walls, much greater unobstructed.

Battery Life: The PHS300 is the only Cradlepoint router that has a built-in battery. External battery packs are available for the other models if you want to be mobile.

Pro's: Most 3G-only aircards and at least one of Verizon's 3G/4G modems have antenna ports (important for folks in low-signal areas); routers can be used with an existing 3G or 4G aircard if you have one; freedom of being able to switch carriers if needed; works with 3G and 4G aircards from a huge variety of carriers; most router models feature at least one ethernet port for wired connections; wireless "N" routers feature great WiFi range; advanced features like load balancing available on some models.

Con's: Not as small/portable as the MiFi.

Compare all routers


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Last Updated ( Thursday, 13 March 2014 )
 
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