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iPad-to buy or not to buy 32GB?

(32 Posts)
Pippaandpolly Sat 22-Oct-11 11:49:36

I'm thinking of buying DH an iPad for Christmas but don't know which one. We don't (and, for a variety of reasons, can't) have wifi at home so this means it would need to be 3G. Would we then need a contract for that? (Am seeing the expenses totting up!) He would probably use it mostly for the internet, emails, music and films. I have a 16GB iPhone 4s and have used about 13GB with my apps and music. This suggests to me that 16GB wouldn't really be enough for an iPad then-right? Am I looking at a 3G 32GB with a pricey contract? So about £550 plus contract? I can afford it by saving like crazy between now and Christmas (and I guess I'd be mean and the contract would go in his name-bit odd to give someone a present and then tell them it'll cost £X per month?! Don't know how much they are.) but it does seem like an awful lot of money. Are the 16GB ones worth it at all? Don't want to spend £500 and then regret not spending a little bit more to get much better functionality but equally don't want to waste money on unnecessary GB!

Thanks for any advice smile

Pippaandpolly Sat 22-Oct-11 13:47:04

Also, can anyone cleverer than me explain how it's possible to use your iphone as a hotspot? i.e. maybe I could buy the wifi ipad and he could use his phone to access 3G? Or would his phone bills then go up? blush am a technical idiot, I know!

nikos Sat 22-Oct-11 13:52:16

Go into the apple shop they are really good with info. He should be able to use his mobile phone to get a wifi connection. Guy in apple store showed me n it was easy

GuillotinedMaryLacey Sat 22-Oct-11 13:52:27

Firstly, unless you absolutely don't download apps, store music, video, photos etc then buy the biggest capacity you can afford. You'll never regret having too much space but you'll definitely regret not having enough.

The wifi thing would concern me a bit tbh. My dad has an iPad and no wifi. I put him on the highest tariff I could, £15 per month with o2 which is 2GB data. I frequently get emails to say he's exceeded his limit and then he's stuck without internet until it refreshes. He's not a heavy user either, his worst crime is a bit of Youtube but nowhere near as much as I watch over wifi.

I'm not too sure about tethering your phone as I've never done it but doubtless someone here will have smile

Pippaandpolly Sat 22-Oct-11 15:04:24

Three have a 10GB plan I think-will investigate that if you think 2 isn't much? He does use the Internet a lot on his phone. He's with orange and I can't find any info about whether they allow tethering-lots of out of date info online. Will have to call them to check I think.

VivaLeBeaver Sat 22-Oct-11 15:27:29

I'm with orange and tether my android phone to my wifi iPad no problem. I have a 1gb data plan Inc on my phone contract. If I was to go above that eithernthrough phone use or through tethering I'd need to pay. However I have wifi at home so it's never been an issue. Not sure how likely I'd be to go above that if all iPad use was in that 1gb, prob quite likely as I'm on the iPad a lot.

I emailed orange last week and asked about tethering using an iPhone and they said theynallowed it. Some providers disable the iPhone hotspot feature and you have to pay to be able to use it.

Pippaandpolly Sat 22-Oct-11 16:48:24

Hm, so even if he can tether to his phone he'll be restricted by his data plan...I hadn't thought of that, obvious as it is! Sounds like I definitely need to get 3G then, and 32GB to be worth it. Think will get the iPad from John Lewis and the contract with Three, though might leave him to sort out the contract...if that's not too mean!

VivaLeBeaver Sat 22-Oct-11 17:17:52

Another option would be to get a wifi only ipad.

Then get a mifi on a PAYG plan from Three. Not sure how much mifi yop ups are, but its worth looking into if it would be cheaper than an ipad contract. Plus you can use the mifi for other devices.

Pippaandpolly Sat 22-Oct-11 17:21:51

I haven't heard of that-will do some investigating, thanks!

niceguy2 Sat 22-Oct-11 17:24:35

Initially the idea of using a MiFi occured to me but you are limited to the amount of data you use. The other option is to go on a SIM only "The one plan" from 3 which is £25 a month. Your husband can either use it as his main number and tether it to his phone or pop it into the ipad.

Can i ask why you can't get wifi? The elephant in the room really is to sort out broadband so you are not wasting money getting a 3G ipad, restricted by the puny 3G allowances and/or you don't take the risk of getting home and finding the 3 signal in your house is crap.

BadgersPaws Sat 22-Oct-11 17:26:38

"We don't (and, for a variety of reasons, can't) have wifi at home so this means it would need to be 3G"

If there is some real reason why you can't have WIFI at home then tethering isn't going to be an option. Tethering works by setting up a WIFI connection between a gadget and another that has an internet connection. So if there's something that means WIFI is a no-no then tethering is going to equally be a no-no.

Also don't discount the smaller gadgets, yes the space is lovely to have but it's not that hard to delete things to make some more room, 16gb is no small amount.

Pippaandpolly Sat 22-Oct-11 18:54:03

Long story short, we live at a boarding school (my work) and the phone, internet etc is all on the school's system. So while we could technically hook up to the school's wifi, we wouldn't be able to download anything bigger than an iTune, and even those take about an hour (each!), plus a vast number of sites are blocked and any language on the blocked list also means that even forums etc are frequently blocked. My laptop is on the school network and I can only access about half of Mumsnet! DH point blank refuses to put his laptop on the network because he wouldn't be able to access so much online. To give an example, even the BBC website is blocked! Don't ask me why hmm So to be truly useful, we'd have to have 3G I think.

VivaLeBeaver Sat 22-Oct-11 19:01:44

Badgerspaws, I don't think that's right what you've put about tethering.

I go camping a lot, in places where there is no wifi but there is a 3G signal for my phone. The wifi hotspot function on my phone turns the 3G into wifi for other devices, my iPad or laptop. It's not as fast as wifi at home but it's fast enough.

Putrifyno Sat 22-Oct-11 19:09:32

i would NOT buy an iPad with no reliable WIFI connection available. Everything will start to be Cloud based (ie applications/SW etc based in the ether on external servers). You would spend a fortune on 3G data downloads. I work for a phone company and didn.t even go for the 3G version for this very reason. Without WIFI it makes it an extremely expensive toy.

BadgersPaws Sat 22-Oct-11 19:30:14

"I don't think that's right what you've put about tethering."

It is.

When you're camping your phone, as you say, turns into WIFI. So you've got WIFI.

When you're at home you get this:
Internet <-> Broadband Router <- WIFI -> Gadget

When you're camping you get this:
Internet <-> 3G Mobile Phone <- WIFI -> Gadget

There's the WIFI connection, the link between your gadget and the gadget that talks to the internet. And you'll probably find that the WIFI connection at home between your gadget and your router is exactly as fast as the connection between your mobile and your gadget when your camping. In fact I'd go as far as to guess that when your camping that WIFI connection will actually be quicker than you get at home as you'll have your phone right next to your laptop and there won't be lots of other wireless signals floating around interfering with it..

However your broadband connection at home is much quicker at talking to the internet than your mobile phone is, but still much slower than your WIFI. So the "speed" you "feel" is the broadband connection.

It's the same when you're out and about, your WIFI connection when you tether will be many many times faster than your 3G connection, so the "speed" you feel is your 3G connection.

So home will seem faster because broadband is faster than 3G, it's nothing to do with the WIFI.

So yes it's WIFI, and if you're somewhere where you can't have WIFI for some reason (interference? e.g. a hospital?) then you will not be able to tether. That WIFI "bridge" between your gadget and the device providing the internet connection (phone or modem) is still there.

BadgersPaws Sat 22-Oct-11 19:33:35

"i would NOT buy an iPad with no reliable WIFI connection available."

I'll echo that with the additional statement that if you've got a computer that's got a fast internet connection (and it sounds like you don't) then WIFI on the iPad isn't such a big deal as you could download from the computer.

Think of it this way.

You've got a 32GB iPad and a 3G connection that's limited to, for example, 1GB. It's going to take you 32 months, nearly 3 years, to fill up that iPad if you do absolutely nothing else on that 3G connection other than download things for your iPad.

VivaLeBeaver Sat 22-Oct-11 19:34:52

But I can tether in places where I have no wifi for the iPad. Am I missing something? smile

Maybe I misunderstood what you were saying but I thought you were saying if op can't have wifi then she wouldn't be able to tether.

Pippaandpolly Sat 22-Oct-11 19:39:01

Is the iPad not worth it for the things that are stored on it? That he's downloaded when in places where there is wifi? Or do you need an Internet connection to play games/watch stuff you've already downloaded? Maybe I'm overestimating how much he could download while out and about?

BadgersPaws Sat 22-Oct-11 19:41:03

"But I can tether in places where I have no wifi for the iPad. Am I missing something?"

Yes, the tether provides the WIFI that your iPad will then connect to.

"Maybe I misunderstood what you were saying but I thought you were saying if op can't have wifi then she wouldn't be able to tether.'

Yes I am saying that.

If there is some reason that you cannot have a WIFI network then you cannot tether, because a tether is a WIFI network. So if someone tells you "you won't be able to have a WIFI network in this building, the signals interfere with something important" then you can't go and tether via your mobile.

Think of WIFI as being just a cable that connects two things together.

At home it connects your modem and your iPad, when camping it connects your iPad and your phone.

The WIFI isn't actually the internet connection, it's just that "cable" between two things that are fairly close together. At home your modem then talks to the internet over a cable or a phone line, out and about your phone talks to the internet via the 3G network (or something similar).

BadgersPaws Sat 22-Oct-11 19:43:15

"Is the iPad not worth it for the things that are stored on it? That he's downloaded when in places where there is wifi? Or do you need an Internet connection to play games/watch stuff you've already downloaded?"

Ah, yes it is. Music and video will play fine when you're out and about. I've got an iPod Touch that is really only ever connected to the internet when I'm at home. When I'm out and about I've got all my music with me.

However apps will vary. Some will work fine when the network connection isn't there, but some won't, some will want to connect to the internet and just won't do anything when it can't. For example the Facebook app won't do anything if you're not on the internet, meanwhile many of my games are perfectly happy.

So there's no fixed rule when it comes to apps, it depends on what the app does.

Putrifyno Sat 22-Oct-11 19:45:57

You CAN download stuff when you have a wifi connection - ie when in Internet cafe etc. My point is that Apple is moving to a Cloud based scenario where much stuff will be stored elsewhere - benefit in that is doesn't clog up your memory, downside= no wifi, you won't be able to access a lot of stuff without paying 3g charges. Phone companies make NO revenue from phone calls anymore. Data download and roaming are their main opportunity to earn money. I would NEVER rely on 3G as the only way to access stuff.

cazzybabs Sat 22-Oct-11 19:49:44

Just to inform you my ipad is crap at connecting to our Wifi ... other things don't seem to have the same problems! Drives me mad .. wish I had a laptop instead

BadgersPaws Sat 22-Oct-11 19:52:03

"My point is that Apple is moving to a Cloud based scenario where much stuff will be stored elsewhere - benefit in that is doesn't clog up your memory, downside= no wifi, you won't be able to access a lot of stuff without paying 3g charges"

Apple's current version of the cloud still downloads stuff to your gadget, so it still clogs up your memory, which means that you can therefore access it without paying expensive 3g charges.

So I wouldn't worry about that side of things, and I can't see it changing for some time.

"I would NEVER rely on 3G as the only way to access stuff."

However I'll agree completely with that statement.

Putrifyno Sat 22-Oct-11 19:55:01

I have downloaded lots of games for example, which can be played offline. But MUCH of the functionalty of the iPad and it's appeal to ME as an adult -rely on having an internet connection. Without it, I wouldn't bother. So I use it for FB, MN, surfing the net, BBC iPlayer, Filmon for watching live UK tv, BBC news, weather forecasts, Google Maps etc. None of these are any use without wifi/3G connection.

As I said, I work for a phone company and get 1gb data free I think, per month. Even I would have to pay for a separate sim card. I am not prepared to pay the extra data download charges....expensive!

Bluetinkerbell Sat 22-Oct-11 20:00:35

GiffGaff here do great data plan only gigabags, so no need to get an expensive contract with someone

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