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Old 03-02-2013, 09:26 AM   #1
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Tech help...IPhone/IPad internet connection

I am not tech savvy, so I need a little help here. My FIL is in a nursing home. The floor he is on does not have Wi-Fi but we got him an IPad so he can go downstairs and use the WiFi there. A nurse on his floor lets him plug into her IPhone and he can access the internet through her [phone from his room.

How the heck does that work???? And if the IPhone can get internet, why can't the IPad? And is there any way to get internet for his IPad without her phone? (we're not buying him a $600 phone to get internet!).
Thanks!
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Old 03-02-2013, 09:35 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pat fan
I am not tech savvy, so I need a little help here. My FIL is in a nursing home. The floor he is on does not have Wi-Fi but we got him an IPad so he can go downstairs and use the WiFi there. A nurse on his floor lets him plug into her IPhone and he can access the internet through her [phone from his room.

How the heck does that work???? And if the IPhone can get internet, why can't the IPad? And is there any way to get internet for his IPad without her phone? (we're not buying him a $600 phone to get internet!).
Thanks!
The iPhone, like any smartphone, uses a cellular data connection. It doesn't need wifi in the area to connect to the internet because it uses that instead. Most smartphones have a tethering feature, where you can connect it to other devices to use that connection more broadly.

You can get an iPad with cellular data capability as well, but it costs more for the hardware (about $130 more than the wifi-only models) and involves a monthly charge.

Another option, also involving a monthly charge, is a cellular hotspot - a little box that connects to the same cellular data network as a smartphone, but it broadcasts that connection as wifi so that other devices can take advantage of it.
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Old 03-02-2013, 10:45 AM   #3
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Another option, also involving a monthly charge, is a cellular hotspot - a little box that connects to the same cellular data network as a smartphone, but it broadcasts that connection as wifi so that other devices can take advantage of it.
How do you get this? Through Verizon or something? Where do you find out about it?

Wish we had known about the IPad capability hardware when we were buying the IPad, would have just gotten that!
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Old 03-02-2013, 10:56 AM   #4
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Most major cellular carriers have hotspot hardware available. If you're currently a Verizon customer, I'd start with them. I know T-Mobile and Virgin Mobile have inexpensive ones as well.
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Old 03-02-2013, 11:29 AM   #5
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I believe you have to pay monthly for the cellular connection on the I-Pad.
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Old 03-02-2013, 11:52 AM   #6
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If you're currently a Verizon customer, I'd start with them.
Not sure what the phone service is in the nursing home, but I can ask. It would have to be through them, correct? Not what I have at my own home.

Any ideas of what the monthly charges are?
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Old 03-02-2013, 12:19 PM   #7
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It's cellular so it doesn't have anything to do with the nursing home's landline service. You can get whatever cellular service is cheapest or works best in that location.
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Old 03-02-2013, 02:54 PM   #8
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I believe you have to pay monthly for the cellular connection on the I-Pad.
If you bought an iPad that allows cellular service: when your iPad is connected to WiFi, you can sign up for cellular service. You give them your credit card number. A certain amount will be charged to your credit card each month. The dollar amount depends on the amount of data you choose. With Verizon Wireless, $50 gets you 5 GB per month. You can choose more or less. If you don't want your credit card to continue to be charged every month, you have to go back on and cancel.

You can add cellular service and subtract it when you want. For example, I might be fine at home using just WiFi. The day before I go on vacation, I might add the cellular service. When I get home, I might cancel the cellular service. Then I might add it before I go on vacation again. Obviously that's not what OP has in mind for Grandpa, but I thought I would mention it.

If cellular reception isn't great where you are, you want to ask around before you buy. You have to make the Verizon versus AT&T decision before you buy.

When you buy the iPad, you have to choose the model for the cellular carrier you want to use. If you look at a website which sells them, you will see:
- iPad Wifi 16 GB black
- iPad Wifi + Cellular (Verizon) 16 GB black
- iPad Wifi + Cellular (AT&T) 16 GB black
Then more options for other colors and more GB.
And more options depending on whether you want regular size or mini.
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Old 03-02-2013, 04:16 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by pat fan View Post
How do you get this? Through Verizon or something? Where do you find out about it?

Wish we had known about the IPad capability hardware when we were buying the IPad, would have just gotten that!
You can get them thru any cell phone company. Mine is thru verzion wireless and called a jetport, I had a mifi in past. There is also a version that you can pay as you go that I've seen at walmart.
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Old 03-02-2013, 04:20 PM   #10
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If you go with the hotspot option. I would make sure he knows not to stream too much video on it. He'll use up his allotted bandwidth fairly quickly if he does this.
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Old 03-02-2013, 05:22 PM   #11
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Read this article to get an idea of some of the options

http://lifehacker.com/5974761/how-to...rywhere-you-go
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Old 03-03-2013, 12:44 PM   #12
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He'll use up his allotted bandwidth fairly quickly if he does this. - See more at: http://www.disboards.com/showthread....9#post47675079
Do they shut you off if you reach your limit or just let the charges pile up and not tell you (I am guessing it's the latter!)?
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Old 03-03-2013, 02:37 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Do they shut you off if you reach your limit or just let the charges pile up and not tell you (I am guessing it's the latter!)?
Most data plans will send a text to the primary line on the account when you are reaching the limit for data. My plan is a text at 65%, then again at 90%, then again when we reach the limit. Then you pay a charge when you go over.

I have never gone over and I also pay for the ability to use my cell as a wifi hot spot, which is what your FIL is doing.
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Old 03-04-2013, 02:17 AM   #14
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There is a possibility to bridge the downstairs internet to upstairs... you need to find a place that gets good wifi reception and install another router there to bounce the signal...

but a mifi may be a good idea too...
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