Apple iPad WiFi


People love the iPad. Everybody wants an iPad. I know a little bit about iPads, so it seems like I get asked some version of the same question over and over again regarding those lovely little iPads. Usually this occurs during casual conversation or small talk type events that happen daily. Occasionally I get a phone call from someone who knows me and is in the store at that very moment. Sometimes I get an email. In any event, I am going to post my most recent response and begin referring people to this post so I don’t have to keep writing the same thing over and over again:)

This time the question came in from my father-in-law, Big Jack, a respected journalism professor at CMU and a diehard traditional literacies type of fellow. It is fairly typical of the question I’m talking about.

We are thinking of acquiring an iPad. Give us your best advice re acquisition costs, program costs, and operation techniques and costs at your convenience.


For casual browsing use, I’d recommend the 16 GB Wifi only model. It will cost you right around $500 and you will be able to use a wireless router to connect to the internet anywhere in the house, most likely out on to your deck too. The 16GB wifi model will also connect to the internet anywhere there is free public access, like Panera’s, Starbucks, Bob Evans, etc… You could purchase this model at Best Buy or the Apple Store. Most likely you could order online as well.

At the home office, you will need to hook up the wireless router to the cable modem and run a wireless network in the house. The cable modem will run into the wireless router and the computer at the desk will be hooked up to the wireless router. If you’d like to set up a secure wireless network, one that would require a password for devices to join, that can be accomplished with a few extra steps.

Programs for the device, or “apps” are plentiful and vary in cost. Not all apps require internet access to run, so you can use the iPad “offline” or at times when you aren’t connected to the internet, like in the car. An example of this would be the iBooks app or the Kindle app which allow you to purchase and sync a book while you’re at home and then access it directly from the iPad whether you’re connected or not.

There are a wide variety of News apps, USA Today, CNN, NPR, New York Times, ESPN, that are free of cost and I would recommend. Also all sorts of games and puzzles the grand children would enjoy, some free, some from $.99 on up to $4.99 or so. Purchasing any type of app requires an iTunes account. These are free to create, but require a credit card. You can set up this account right on the iPad. For security purposes, we can set up the iTunes account so that it will not authorize purchases on your credit card without a password that you will select.

I’ve found the iPad to be a very nice device for surfing the internet, checking email, Facebook, Twitter, etc… while I’m lounging on the couch or in bed. It is lightweight, has great screen resolution and delivers a really nice user experience. One thing I would recommend is some type of cover. Apple makes a really nice cover called the “Smart Cover” that would do the trick. They run about $40 and are available in a variety of colors. There are a ton of other 3rd party cases to choose from as well, available at Best Buy, Target, Apple Store, Ebay, Amazon, Wal-Mart.

Here’s the links to iPad model and case.

Hope this is the information you needed. See you guys soon!