6 Replies Latest reply: Dec 22, 2011 10:08 PM by michaelfromkearny
michaelfromkearny Level 1 (0 points)

I have an iPad 2 64GB with 3G (Verizon). This is my only computer. I only have a regular cell phone, not an iPhone or smart phone. I don't have an iPod either. The only way I access the Internet is through 3G. Not being computer savvy, I thought this would be the easiest method.  Are there many others out there like me? Things seemed to be more geared toward WiFi. I guess the 3G was meant only for people on the go who could not access WiFi, such as in a moving car? Just using 3G seems to have many limitations I did not realize. For example, the only reason I had to go to the library to try to connect to their WiFi was because I could not install an update to Skype. When I tried to install the update using 3G, I got a message saying it was over 20 MB and had to be done via WiFi, which I do not have. I connected to the WiFi at my local library, but I kept getting message that I could not connect to Internet. It's weird, because it did show I was connected to the library WiFi in General settings. It is a bit frustrating to have to go to  a hotspot to download anything that is 20MB or larger. I would get WiFi, but I don't want to buy a laptop or desktop. I was told that a wireless router has to be first set up with a laptop or desktop and not an iPad. Another limitation is I can't use Facetime with 3G. I can't print using airprint on 3G.  I also read that using 3G uses up the battery faster. Downloading a rented film from iTunes would eat up too much of my data plan using 3G. (And it is probably over 20 MB again.) I still haven't been able update to iOS 5.0 because I don't have another computer to connect to iTunes. WiFi seems to be cheaper if you you are a heavy user. I only get 20 MB a month for $20. Verizon charges 20 bucks for home Internet connection, but it is unlimited data usage. Sometimes I exhaust my data so quickly, I have to add more data before the month has ended. That gets expensive. So, my main question was about the public WiFi problem, but I also wanted to detail some of the limitations of using an iPad 2 as your sole computer using 3G. I was able to connect to the Apple store WiFi when I tested it out a while back, so I know it can be done using my iPad. Any hints on how to workaround the limitations of using 3G would also be appreciated. Thanks.

iPad 2, iOS 4.3.3
  • Demo Level 10 (87,945 points)

    Are you getting any error message when you try to connect at the library? Often, public WiFi sopts have a sign in screen and you must agree to ther terms of use before you can log on. Did you see any such message when you tried to log on at the library? Did you ask anyone for help at the library? Maybe someone there could provide some insight for you.


    The limitations that you described about 3G have always been that way. The 20MG download limit .... you could never download a movie over 3G since movies are way too big for that.


    There is no way to work around it other than to find ways to connect to WiFi when you are out and about - or get internet service in your home and use WiFi there.

  • michaelfromkearny Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for the quick response. No, I did not get any error messages or any terms-of-usage screen. The employee I told my problem to was not computer savvy either. She just suggested I move to different spots w/in the library to see if that would make a difference. It didn't. When I connected to the library WiFi it did change the Verizon 3G that is usually in the upper left corner to iPad with two to three emanating arcs. I may have to go to the library in the next town. I was able to connect to theirs in the past when I had to download something greater than 20 MB. Unless I really want it, I will probably not even try to download something more than 20 MB due to the hassle. Yeah, I may have been better off getting a normal desktop or laptop and getting WiFi at home. To do that now would mean having my iPad 2 and a desktop computer, which I feel is extravagant. (I know there are a lot of big spenders out there who got the iPad as additional gadget for fun. This is a rich country.) A Verizon rep told me I couldn't set up a WiFi router at home just using an iPad. So it seems like a person who just uses 3G is limited to surfing the net (not even much YouTube because it eats a lot of data) and using email. I read about an app that helps print wirelessly using 3G, but a reviewer said you had to be an engineer to get it done right. BTW, I like the Steelers. I'm old enough to remember Franco Harris and that blond guy whose name escapes me back in the '70s. Since I live in North Jersey I feel I have to support the Giants. But I know football about as well as computers.

  • Demo Level 10 (87,945 points)

    I cannot swear to this but I think that you can set up a wifi network with another computer and then remove the computer and still use the wifi network. It would be no different than if you set up the network and then your computer crashed. The network would still be available once it was set up. You would have to do some research about it, but I think it can be done. Of course you would have to borrow a computer in order to do this but it might just work out for you.


    The three arcs that you see in the upper left corner means that the iPad does recognize the WiFi network. Did you tap on the WiFi setting to bring up all of the available networks and then tap on the library's network to join it?


    I am plenty old enough to remember Franco Harris and the blonde guy - Terry Bradshaw. I was in my early twenties when the Steelers were winning their first Super Bowl! No you do  not have to support the Giants either!

  • MitchellMacHelp Level 1 (30 points)

    Here's what might be happening, and it may be simpler than you would imagine: the library has some type of login or splash page. Here's what you do. Go back to your wifi settings, tap on your library's network, and tap forget this network. Go back to your wifi settings and tap on the network. If nothing else happens, go to Safari, type in a website, and hopefully a splash page would come up asking you for your card number or just telling you their terms. Hopefully this helps!

  • michaelfromkearny Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks MMH. Wow, you forum guys are fast and smart. Yes, I will give that a try. I did notice that forget network tab, but I did not know what it meant and was scared to try it. I have familiarize myself with all that other stuff, such as DHCP. Oh BTW, I get 1GB for $20. I erroneously put 20MB in my first post. That data would be used quickly!

  • michaelfromkearny Level 1 (0 points)

    Yes, I did tap on the library WiFi and it had the blue check mark. I even made sure the celluar tab was off, too. Thanks for the WiFi suggestion. My uncle also suggested that same method. Oh, my first post said $20 for 20MB. It is actually $20 for 1GB, more reasonable. Yeah, Terry Bradshaw, how could I forget. The '70s were a great decade for Pittsburgh. You also had the Pirates doing their thing on the diamond. I can still remember "We Are Family" by Sister Sledge pumping up the fans.