2 Replies Latest reply: Mar 19, 2011 1:06 PM by landoncube
David Blomstrom Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
First, a little background. I have an aging MacBook Pro (~5 years old), and my netbook was smashed on the way to work last night. My cell phone (not an iPhone) crapped out a few weeks ago.

So my first priority is to replace my netbook with an iPad. When I can afford it, I also want to upgrade to a new MacBook Pro. I've also been thinking of getting an iPhone.

One thing that always confuses me is Internet connections. I currently connect my MacBook Pro to the Internet via Verizon and use T-Mobile for my cell phone.

I was surprised when an Apple salesman told me the iPhone has a "hotspot" that I can use to connect both an iPad and MacBook Pro to the Internet. But an Apple salesman at another store told me the hotspot will connect the iPad.

Can anyone offer some details? I've been browsing some of the other threads, but I still don't really understand what a hotspot is. Am I correct in understanding that as long as I have an iPhone with me, I can use it to connect my iPad to the Internet? Can I similarly use it to connect a MacBook Pro (either my 4-year-old+ model or a new model)?

What kind of connection speed does a hotspot offer? I do a lot of websurfing and web design. Would a hotspot connection be about as fast as my current connection via Verizon?

Also, is the hotspot feature available with either AT&T or Verizon?

Thanks.

MacBook Pro
  • David Blomstrom Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Another question: How is your monthly bill computed when you're using a hotspot? For example, let's say your account normally allows you 100 minutes of time on the phone. If you spend 100 minutes on the phone and also use your hotspot to connect your iPad or laptop, using 2 GB of bandwidth, would you be charged extra, or is the hotspot sort of a free piggyback affair?
  • landoncube Level 1 Level 1 (80 points)
    Your hotspot will be billed by AT&T or Verizon based on your iPhone's model. Only the iPhone 4 from Verizon would allow a Verizon hotspot. Others have posted information revealing that the Verizon 3G connection is somewhat slower than the AT&T service. Also, the Verizon service suspends the use of hotspot when you take a phone call. The AT&T service continues during calling.

    Selecting the hotspot feature under General> Settings> Personal Hotspot will change your data plan from your previous 250MB, 2GB, or unlimited amount to a new 4GB plan that includes tethering. AT&T charges me $45 instead of my Unlimited, but No Tethering Allowed, $30.

    You can connect three devices that have WiFi. Verizon hotspots can connect five. Your speed should be about the same as the iPhone 4 browsing speed on 3G. If your phone is on WiFi, the devices need to connect separately to that WiFi, not to your hotspot. I would love to see a software update that allows my WiFi connection to be shared, so I don't have to manually connect the iPods that my boys use one at a time.