Yes Chip your post was enough to to get me started. I have the iPad and a line phone. Iam not interested in getting a cell phone at this time. It would be nice to be able to use my iPad on the city bus. I will continue to look into the subjec. thanks for revisiting the topic. Sent from my iPad On Aug 23, 2012, at 9:38 PM, "Allison and Chip Orange" <acorange@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote: > Hi Lynn, > > Well, I can’t remember if you have an I-phone; or any cell phone, but if you > do, some of them will act as a mobile hotspot (there’s a slight charge from > your cell carrier), but perhaps the first thing to look at is: can your cell > phone act as the mobile hotspot, and how much will they charge you? Give > your provider a call. Be sure to ask if you can take a voice call at the > same time you’re using it as a wifi hotspot; it may keep you from receiving > calls, I don’t know. > > If that does not work out, I’m afraid what I know isn’t all that good: you > can buy a mobile wifi unit such as the Mi-Fi from Walmart. It’s made by > Virgin Mobile, is 3g technology (uses CDMA if that’s meaningful to you, and > Virgin Mobile resells you time on the Sprint cell network). You don’t have > to have a contract with Virgin mobile, you can pay as you go, but the minimum > payment is $20 per month, and your time doesn’t build up from one month to > the next. Even if you don’t use it at all in the month you paid for, your > time is gone at the end of the month. And for this $20 you get half a GB of > data. (If you buy your Mi-Fi unit from Walmart, there’s a deal where Walmart > customers will always be given twice the amount of data you pay for, but you > still have to pay the $20 a month my memory says). > > There’s a competitor’s portable hotspot unit which uses 4g technology (GSM if > that’s meaningful). It’s usually faster. The unit itself costs more, but I > think the monthly charge, on the pay as you go plan, is still a minimum > around $20. I think T-mobile makes it. > > Here it’s T-mobile (and maybe AT&T?) who offer the pay-as-you-go monthly data > plans, so you’ll have to call each one of them up to see what their minimum > charge is. I think though it’s for a month, like VM, so that at the end of > the month, any unused data just disappears. I seem to recall they will sell > you smaller amounts of time for a smaller minimum (something like $10 for a > week sticks in my mind). > > These are great if you just want your I-pad to work the two weeks your on > vacation and away from home; but if you want it to work all the time > regardless of where you are, I have the idea from when I looked into this a > year ago, that you’ll end up paying at least $20 a month. > > Just in case you didn’t know, the units like the Mi-fi allow you to have up > to 5 devices connected at once, so if you have an I-pad and a laptop, or > someone else, you can share the hotspot; I’m not so sure if you use your cell > phone that more than one is allowed; if that’s important, you’ll want to ask. > Sharing does impact the speed, so you won’t want to have two people trying > to download movies at the same time; but sharing the connection among many > devices is one of the big advantages over just turning on the cell data > service for the I-pad. > > Alternatively, there are websites which will help you find all the public > free wifi spots in your city, or near a specific location; maybe you’ll find > enough free hotspots so you won’t have to buy a plan? I know that’s no help > if you want this to work on dial-a-ride. > > I hope this was of some help; let me know if I need to clarify anything. > > Good luck, > > Chip > > > From: tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf > Of Lynn Evans > Sent: Thursday, August 23, 2012 1:20 PM > To: TABI Mailing list > Subject: [tabi] buying a mobile wi-fi service > > I think we may have talked about this topic back in May. I am looking into > purchasing a mobile WI-FI hotspot for my I Pad. Right now I just can’t manage > paying for a cellular account with AT&T at maybe $30 a month. > > My way of understanding this technology is I broke it down into 2 parts; the > hardware or base unit and the data plan. > > I am hoping this will be cheaper than a cellular plan. I would own the mobile > unit. I would only use the data plan when the tap is on so to speak so I > wouldn’t have to pay anything when not in use. > > I am still trying to get a grasp on the terminology. If I buy the base unit > from a retail store it would be up to me to choose a data plan. This is > provided I don’t purchase the unit from Verizon or AT&T or another provider. > > > Buying the base unit may be the easy part. I found one on buy.com today for > $29 marked down from $79. > > The hard part would be to choose the data plan. It would be nice to just go > to “Data plans are Us”. > > So to you who are knowledgeable about such things I invite you to put forth > your best arguments on this topic.