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Topic: 3G iPad vs wifi tethered off iPhone 4s?

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Old 01-01-2013, 11:34 AM
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3G iPad vs wifi tethered off iPhone 4s?

My husband has an AT&T iPhone 4s. I bought him a refurbished iPad 2 with Verizon 3G for Christmas. He hasn't opened it yet because he's trying to decide if it's the best choice. Here are the options we are considering:

1. Keep the iPad and sign up with Verizon for data plan. If we did this, he would have access to AT&T on his phone if there was no Verizon signal.

2. Trade in the iPad for a refurbed iPad 3, wifi only. Switch AT&T phone plans to a shared plan, opening up the possibility of tethering the iPad to his 4s. He is a photographer, so the retina display option is appealing, and we can get this iPad for slightly less than I paid for the current one.

3. Trade in the iPad for a 3G AT&T model.

The real question I have is -- are tethering speeds off an iPhone 4s the same as, faster, or slower, than and iPad with 3G? Also, while I'm thinking about it, is there any discernible speed difference between Verizon and AT&T's 3G data service?

Thanks for the help.
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Old 01-01-2013, 05:09 PM
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The speeds are basically going to be the same. The iPhone 4S is going to be a little faster if you live in an area with HSPA+ service from at&t, not much faster but still a little faster (4-5Mbps compared to 3Mbps). The bigger issue comes from Verizon vs. at&t and if he has ever been in an area not supported by at&t. Verizon has a much, much, much larger network than at&t (or anyone else in the U.S. for that matter). It is a little slower than at&t's but there is always a signal. at&t is faster than Verizon but you have to be in an area with a strong signal and that can be problematic.

Have you looked into getting him a refurbished iPad 3 with Verizon LTE access? That would be a good route if you live in a Verizon LTE supported market as internet speeds would be much faster than Verizon 3G and at&t 3G/HSPA+.



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Old 01-02-2013, 11:38 AM
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Thanks, Korn. I will have to look into that. Not sure if our area has Verizon LTE or not. We don't normally have a problem with AT&T access except when we visit my dad. On the other hand, my husband shoots in some more remote locations, so the Verizon access issue is something to consider.
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Old 01-02-2013, 01:19 PM
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I would look into where he travels. Even if you don't live in an LTE covered area, he may visit one (or multiple) on a regular basis. I think the best option would be to either go with an iPad 3 with LTE functionality or use the iPhone 4S as a hotspot. Just keep in mind that doing so will eat into his iPhone's monthly data limit. It's very easy to eat through 2GB of data with an iPad in a few days. I had my iPad on my family plan with 4GB of monthly data being split between it and two iPhone 5's. The two iPhones were using about 2.5GB of data a month, not very much. I almost went over the limit once the iPad was added and I didn't put it on my plan until half way through the billing cycle.

It would be best to have an iPad with its own data account if he plans on using it a lot (unless you guys are going to get a large data plan that is ~3GB over what you and him use on a regular, monthly basis).



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