iPad Internet Connection

When you initially purchase your iPad, you have a choice of a WiFi-only model, or WiFi plus 3G service. The 3G service is sold separately, and as of August 2011, you have a choice of two carriers, which we'll explore further below.

The WiFi-only iPad is a good option for people who have ready access to a WiFi signal most of the time. If you have a wireless router at home or work, or if you normally frequent places with wireless hotspots, this model may be ideal. The WiFi-only model is cheaper than its 3G-enabled counterpart, starting at $499 for the 16 GB model. The 32 GB iPad is priced at $599, and the 64 GB is $699.

If your travels with your mobile device frequently take you out of range of WiFi hotspots, the iPad model with WiFi plus 3G service offers you additional flexibility. That flexibility comes at a higher cost. As of this writing, to purchase an iPad capable of using the 3G network, you'll pay $629 for the 16 GB model, $729 for 32 GB and $829 for 64 GB. Cellular 3G network service is available with either AT&T or Verizon. You'll also have to pay a monthly fee for your data plan, so be sure to check into these costs when deciding how you'd like to access the Internet with your iPad. If you choose a model with 3G access enabled, be sure to purchase the correct tablet for your carrier. An iPad set up to work with the AT&T network will not work on Verizon, and vice versa.

For additional information on WiFi and 3G service for your iPad, be sure to check out our article How the iPad Works.

Now that you've learned about your connectivity options, it's time to look at browser apps you can install on you iPad.