Connecting an iPad to WiFi or Cellular Data Service, on Campus

Connecting an iPad to WiFi or Cellular Data Service, on Campus

Before buying an iPad to use on your college or school campus, you have to decide whether you want a model which only uses wireless internet access (WiFi) or one that supports both wireless network access and cellular data service.

To compare iPad models go to Apple’s website at

Below is an overview of the two iPad types to help you make an informed choice.

WiFi-Only iPad

This iPad model only connects to the Internet via WiFi or wireless access. This means that you cannot access the internet if you are in a location without WiFi. It is important for connecting to WiFi on campus.

A WiFi-only iPad model cannot be turned into a cellular data service iPad. This is because it lacks the components which allow cellular data service access.

When to buy a WiFi-Only iPad:

1. You do not intend to use the iPad as a mobile phone

2. You are largely going to use the iPad in areas allowing WiFi access such as on-campus, at home, or in conferences.

3. You plan to download books and other materials to your iPad and use it as an e-reader device.

4. You are going to download media -images/ music /video/ to your iPad and use the device as a media player

5. You will travel with your iPad but do not need going online except where WiFi is available for instance at your campus, conference site, Internet cafes or lodging.

6. You do not want to spend a lot of time on the iPad and do not wish to pay any monthly data charges.

7. You can shoot photos and video using the camera and store them on the iPad then upload them when there is WiFi access

8. The Apps you plan to use do not need you to be connected to the internet.


Cellular Data Service iPad

This iPad model is enabled to access cellular data service. It works just like a cell phone.

Therefore, you incur the cost of purchasing the iPad and monthly data connection charges from the carrier. But why choose this iPad models when you can access free internet? Well here are the reasons.

When to buy a Cellular Data Service iPad:

1. you would like to use the iPad as a mobile phone

2. you will be using the iPad away from WiFi access points and/or while traveling

3. you want to access data coverage in the field where there is cellular coverage but no WiFi access

4. you may live or work in areas with no wireless internet access but where cell phone data coverage exists

5. you want to be able to access books /music/photos/video on the internet without the need to download first

6. you do not mind paying more for data connectivity

7. you would like to shoot photos/video with the iPad camera then upload them/put them online immediately

8. you would like to use Facebook or Skype/ wherever you are and cannot wait for a WiFi signal to be available

9. you want to use GPS applications while traveling, or hiking

10. you are going to use Apps which require Internet access to remain functional (e.g., GPS navigation, interactive games, interactive content production, restaurant/event/site-seeing locators/recommenders etc.)

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