- Choosing a Wireless Data Plan for Your New iPad
- Easily Figure Out Which Wireless Network Youre Connected To / Determine How Much Wireless Data You’ll Need Per Month
- Tips for Reducing Your Monthly Wireless Data Usage / Track Your Wireless Data Usage: There’s an App for That
Easily Figure Out Which Wireless Network You’re Connected To
Any time your new iPad is not in Airplane mode, displayed near the upper-left corner of the tablet’s screen is a signal strength indicator, the name of the wireless data service provider you’re using, and either a 3G, 4G or LTE icon (which represents the speed of the network you’re connected to). If you’re connected to the Internet via a Wi-Fi connection, the 3G, 4G, or LTE icon will be replaced by a Wi-Fi signal strength indicator.
Determine How Much Wireless Data You’ll Need Per Month
Everyone’s web surfing needs are different. However, any time your new iPad sends or receives data of any kind via the Internet when you’re connected to a 3G, 4G, or 4G LTE network, this uses up some of your monthly wireless data allocation. However, whenever you’re connected to a Wi-Fi hotspot, this does not affect your monthly wireless data allocation whatsoever.
Thus, while Apple requires you to use a Wi-Fi network to download TV show episodes or movies directly from iTunesfor example, using a 3G, 4G or 4G LTE connectionit is possible to stream audio or video web content from many other online sources, which will quickly use up your monthly wireless data allocation.
Other tasks that utilize a lot of wireless data include constantly checking your email accounts, visiting content-rich web pages, uploading or downloading photos or large email attachments, using Voice Over IP services (like Skype), and playing online games.
Regardless of which wireless data service provider you use, the Verizon Wireless website offers a free online calculator that can help you determine your monthly wireless data needs.
Depending on the type of data that’s being uploaded or downloaded, a 1GB monthly data plan should allow you to send/receive up to 20,000 individual, text-based emails (with no photos, graphics or attachments), visit approximately 3,000 web pages, upload or download 400 digital photos, and stream about four hours’ worth of video in any given month.
Realistically, however, many emails contain graphics or attached files that can be several megabytes in size. Web pages can be rich with graphic content, and digital photos can be saved in a high resolution (which means larger files sizes). All of this will use up your monthly wireless data allocation much faster. So, depending on how you utilize your new iPad’s Internet connectivity, you’ll probably need at least a 1GB or 2GB wireless data allocation per month.
Also, any time you use the Maps app, the new iPad’s Dictation feature, or sync files and data with iCloud, for example, this too utilizes some of your monthly wireless data allocation. So does using any app that accesses the web to send and receive data, such as Twitter, Facebook, Yelp!, Find My Friends, Game Center or The Weather Channel apps, just to name a few.