iPad Wifi+3g VS iPad Wifi And A Sprint Or Verizon Mifi

Filed under: iPhone iPad iOS | Tags: , , , |

After using the iPad for two weeks, I decided to return the wifi model and order the 3g. I currently have a Verizon Mifi, and I strongly considered keeping the iPad wifi for a wifi + Mifi one-two punch. However, I ultimately decided the ipad 3g was a better fit for my needs. Here is a break down of the pro and cons of a Mifi + wifi iPad versus a 3g iPad:

Mifi plus iPad wifi:

PROS
  • Network diversity. Having internet access on a non-AT&T network gives me access at times when AT&T is congested, or when I am in areas with poor AT&T connectivity.
  • Connectivity for 5 devices. A Mifi lets 5 devices connect to the internet at the same time. One of the less known features of a Mifi is that it also works as a router. A Mifi can create a network between computers and even printers. You can share files, even print files, via a Mifi network.
CONS
  • Battery life. At best, a Mifi gives me a little over 3 hours of battery life. Considering the iPad’s all day battery. I do not want my internet connection to conk out before my connection device.
  • Two devices to carry and charge. Each day I use the Mifi, I have to remember to take it out of my case and charge it. If I do not, the next time I need to access the internet while away from the office, I risk facing an empty battery.
  • Expensive monthly charges. At $60 per month for 5gb, the Mifi is pricey (although comparably priced to other wireless modems). However, if I can connect to every service I need to via a 3g iPad (at present, only an aspirational goal), cutting my mobile internet charge to $15 to $25 per month would be a substantial savings.

3g iPad

Pros
  • Longer battery life. The Wifi iPad gave me all day battery life. I will test the battery life of the 3g iPad when it arrives. Currently, I expect at least 6 hours of connectivity.
  • Cheaper monthly charges. Since I have wifi both at the office and at home, I am going test out the lower tier internet service: $15 per month for 250mb. Apple states that you will get three warnings as you approach the bandwith cap. If 250mb is not enough, I may upgrade to the $30 unlimited connectivity plan.
CONS
  • Stuck with AT&T. Having one network for both my phone and iPad increases the chance of being without any network access as I travel around Colorado. When going to mountain towns, having a second carrier (whether Verizon or Sprint) can make the difference between getting online and having no connectivity.
  • No tethering. At present (and for the foreseeable future) there is no way to tether the iPad to other devices. This will likely change with jailbreaking and unauthorized applications. However, that adds an additional layer of complexity, the risk of service termination, and the risk of incompatibility with software.

Which iPad are you choosing and why? Tell me in the comments!