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February 14, 2012 - Dave Hecei
The original iPad touted the post-PC era, but you still needed a computer at home to activate it and backup your data. Not what I would call post-PC. When Apple released iOS 5, along with their new iCloud service, the iPad really did bring us into the post-PC era.
Apple sells two types of iPads. They have a 3G version, which is available with either AT&T or Verizon cellular data. The other type only has WiFi networking. If you don’t have Internet coming into your house, then you need to decide on whether to use only 3G connectivity, or get a high-speed Internet connection in your house.
There is, or was, a small problem if you wanted to have WiFi in your house without a computer. Most WiFi systems require a computer for configuration. Apple recently released an App for iOS for configuring an Airport Base Station. Now you can use an Airport WiFi router without a computer, just an iPad.
The WiFi only iPads are less expensive than the 3G models. The base WiFi only iPad 2 is $499, while the 3G model is $629. If you think you can survive without 3G (and GPS, which is only available with 3G models), then you can save some bucks going WiFi only. Hopefully you can get high-speed Internet (probably DSL) into your house less than the monthly 3G data plan. Just remember, when you are out on the road, you will need to find an free WiFi hotspot to get online. The good news is there are plenty out there to choose from.
The Airport Utility App really helps make the iPad an independent device. The addition of iCloud brings online backups into the mix. Now you can have an iPad, WiFi or 3G, as your main, and even only, Internet device. One that can do a whole lot more.
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