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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2008

    Default Tethering Options

    Hi Guys,

    Just thought I would get your opinion. Currently I have been putting an extra data pack on my Post-Paid iPhone 5 plan. While this is only an extra $15 dollars a month for an extra 1GB I find myself nearly reaching that limit again and again every month.

    I also have an iPad mini that I use and require Internet on while out and about. Usually I tether to my iPhone for this.

    Question: What would be the most convenient way to tether to these 2 devices while getting the best bang for your buck.

    From what I see I have 2 options.

    1) Sell the 32GB iPad Mini Wi-Fi & buy a 16GB iPad Mini Wi-Fi + Cellular coupled with a 8ish GB/mth data plan.


    2) Keep my current iPhone and look for some wireless dongle plan that I can share the Internet to the 2 devices.

    In both cases, cancel my current extra data packs. Also when the new iPhone comes out, I wouldn't need to choose a plan with oooodles of includes data.

     Space Grey 64Gb iPhone 6  Space Grey 64GB Retina Cellular iPad Mini  Apple TV Gen 2  Apple TV Gen 2 
    www.kleggy.com ~ www.trailstat.io

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Melbourne, Australia ;)


    So what's your current total data on the iPhone 1GB + ???

    I've currently got 2GB on my iPhone + 8GB on a WiFi dongle each month + the iPad has it's own 12 month pre-paid SIM with 12GB for the year. Some months I come close on the iPhone, most months I use about 50% of the 8GB on the dongle and the iPad uses bugger all most of the time.

    While I'm at home everything reverts to WiFi and when I'm at work the WiFi Dongle is plugged into power and keeps everything humming along nicely and keeps the data off the other two but mainly it services my MBP.

    I'll be in a similar place to you by the end of the year when my 12 month iPad mini SIM runs out. At that point I can either keep going like I have been OR I cancel the pre-paid SIM and put the 8GB/month SIM into the iPad and tether from there to the MBP.

    The upside to the dongle is that once it's on it just works with everything and it stays on my desk so all devices connect and disconnect as I walk to and from the desk. Perfect when you have power to plug it into.

    The downside to relying on a dongle is that the battery in mine only lasts about 4 hours. Fine in most cases but if you are planning to be out and about all day you will need a battery pack for it (ie one of those USB re-charging battery thingies). You also need to turn it on/off to conserve battery and it's something else to carry.

    For me carting a laptop bag around it all just goes in so isn't a problem and I could probably get by on my iPad with no SIM in it, but there is a lot to be said for the "Just Works" concept when you can pick it up and anytime and it already has a data connection and off you go.

    The concept of switching to tethering the iPad sounds interesting, it would save me $180 and get rid of a device. If I only use it for tether it has a much better battery life than a dongle (although is somewhat bigger). Sure I could leave it on power at work and it would be fine (just like I do with the dongle).

    The downside is that if I was to talk away from my desk with the iPad (which is what it's for) the MBP would loose its connection. Not a huge issue except for all the messages from Outlook telling me the connection failed and when I walk back I have to poke the iPad to get it to turn the WiFi back on for the MBP... which would be multiple times a day and get irritating quickly. It's a shame that the MBP can't poll nearby devices via bluetooth or something (much like a handsfree car kit) and turn WiFi tethering on as needed to solve my mild annoyance.

    The best option for my case would be a shared data plan across multiple SIMs. That way I can still have 3, not have to worry about data limits per device, don't have to worry which device I might be using for tethering to what other device where ever I am.
    This is possible, but actually costs me more $$ for less GB than I currently have.

    My phone costs goes up because my old plan is a little cheaper, 8GB on Telstra is now $60 (to add data to your phone) vs the old $49 stand alone plan I'm currently on and then the iPad SIM would be an extra $10, cheaper that pre-paid yes, but overall everything ends up being more for the lot with about 1.5GB / month less data.

    tl;dr The dongle is likely to be the cheapest and simplest option for you, depending on when and where you want to use it and how much battery life you need although it's not as "just works" as a new cellular iPad.
    Many Shiny Toys with Apple Logos | Some Microsoft Toys too
    If it has an engine or a heartbeat it's going to cost you.
    Drive a VW?

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Aug 2008


    Thanks for your lengthy & informative post :P currently I have 1.5GB + 3GB. While I tend not to run out on my phone (surfing conservatively) most of that data is going to tethering. If I have a larger screen to surf on, I'm always going to use the ipad over the iPhone. Hence the reason why I'm leaning towards the ipad cellular.

    Not to mention it erks me the facts that the $30 I'm paying to telstra for the privilege of getting 3GB extra, I can get 4GB from sloptus or vodafail. I know it's only an extra GB, but it's exactly that. Ultimately the plan would be to lower my data usage on the iPhone in favour for my ipad.

    Next question is do I wait for the new iPad mini to come out or jump on the current one. Problem is I have an event to go to in Oct that having an ipad cellular would be very handy. However from my quick searches on the inter web it seems November is the time. As fun as having a hot iPhone in my pocket tethering to my ipad sounds, a cellular would be the key. Guess I'm delving into another topic here.

    Feel free to chime in

     Space Grey 64Gb iPhone 6  Space Grey 64GB Retina Cellular iPad Mini  Apple TV Gen 2  Apple TV Gen 2 
    www.kleggy.com ~ www.trailstat.io

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