Mobile Internet for iPad vs. Laptops

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iPad vs Laptop

An important first step with any Apple device is figuring out your wireless Internet situation for streaming media. The obvious trend is toward a heavy focus on mobile Internet capability, and you can get that with both laptops and iPads.

Wi-Fi networks typically give you Internet service in a well-defined area (i.e. a house, apartment, office, or school). Mobile Internet, on the other hand, lets you get online in more places, without seeking out Wi-Fi networks. So whether you’re in a hotel, a restaurant, or a friend’s house, you’ll still have Internet access on your devices.

Today we’ll give you a quick breakdown of the different ways to access mobile Internet on

your new iPad or Macbook. Particularly with the recent release of the iPad Mini, it’s an important time to understand the differences.

Mobile Internet for your iPad

Whether you have an iPad Mini, an iPad 2, or an iPad with Retina Display, you’re likely interested in the mobile Internet capabilities of your new device. All three can connect to a Wi-Fi network, and are mobile-ready in some way.

The iPad with Retina Display (iPad 3)and the new iPad Mini both offer Wi-Fi and cellular data options. That means you can sign up through a cellular provider (Verizon, AT&T, or Sprint), and your iPad can access the Internet in the same way as your smartphone. So, whenever you have cell service, you have Internet service on your iPad as well. This feature costs extra, however, and cellular data can be turned on and off at any point .Both of these devices are compatible with any 3G or 4G network that your carrier may offer.

The iPad 2 does not have 4G internet capability, but it is compatible with Verizon and AT&T’s 3G networks. If you sign up via one of those two providers, you’ll have 3G access wherever it’s available. Otherwise, you’ll need to purchase an external USB or mobile hotspot device to access mobile Internet.

Mobile Internet on your laptop

None of Apple’s laptops currently have built-in mobile broadband capability, and thus require an external device. Wireless Internet companies like CLEAR offer devices that give you access to 4G Internet while you’re on the go. CLEAR is MAC compatible, making it a great option for mobile Internet on your laptop.

Why should I sign up for a mobile Internet plan?

Even if your laptop or tablet already has Wi-Fi capability, adding a mobile Internet plan can still be a great idea. A strong mobile Internet service gives you a lot of flexibility for where you can get online. On top of that, mobile Internet plans are affordable and have small, easy-to-use devices.

If you choose a Wi-Fi only tablet, you can always add mobile capabilities through CLEAR or another provider. This can actually be a good way to save money up front, while still giving yourself the freedom to upgrade later.

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