In late July of last year, Verizon increased the size of their hotspot data plans, a move that changes the dynamics of what you buy from Verizon and whether or not you place it on a plan or incorporate it into an existing one. It makes purchasing something like an iPad a more thoughtful choice.
You can purchase an iPad from Verizon as a straight purchase, without it being tied to another line, an existing plan, or anything else that is associated with Verizon. However, all iPads sold through Verizon, or any major carrier for that matter, come with cellular data capabilities.
Verizon will hammer this point home if you decide to purchase a “line-free” iPad from Verizon. As salespeople, this is understandable. They will no doubt elaborate on the absolute uselessness of your iPad whenever you are away from WiFi.
They may even tell you that without cellular data, your iPad will essentially be a brick or a particularly strange paperweight. Fortunately, Verizon itself expanded its hotspot capabilities, which makes buying an iPad outright, without a data plan, a smarter choice than you thought, assuming that you have a data plan with Verizon.
Do You Need a Data Plan with a Verizon Purchased iPad?
If you want to play or work on your iPad when you are away from home then it is essential to have some sort of data plan with Verizon. Fortunately, that doesn’t mean you have to have it on your iPad, because using the hotspot on your phone avoids that necessity altogether.
This is especially true for Verizon customers who already have iPhones or Apple products on a data plan. When you are on the road, traveling, on vacation, camping, or whatever the case may be, you can simply fire up your hotspot on your iPhone, or even an Android phone for instant internet access with your iPad.
- Open your iPhone to the Home Screen
- Select Settings
- Select Personal Hotspot
- Toggle Allow Others to Join to On
- Leave your iPhone on this screen for the WiFi Password
- Open your iPad to the Home Screen
- Go to Settings
- Select Wi-Fi
- When you see your iPhone hotspot, select it
- Enter your WiFi Password displayed on your iPhone’s screen
So when Verizon tells you that your iPad is useless away from WiFi, without putting it on a data plan, you don’t need to worry because wherever you carry your iPhone, which is probably everywhere that you go, you’ll have an available WiFi (called MiFi) hotspot.
You can turn on your mobile hotspot with an Android phone as well, and you will essentially follow the same steps, albeit within the Android Operating System, rather than Apple’s.
- Open your Android phone to the Home Screen
- Select Settings
- Select Connections
- Select Mobile Hotspot ; Tethering
- Toggle the Mobile Hotspot option to On
- Scroll down and create your own Password
As instructed above, simply turn on your iPad, go to Settings > WiFi, then select the Android device that you will be connecting to. Enter the password and you are now connected to your WiFi (MiFi) hotspot.
Verizon Hotspot Data Plans
As aforementioned, Verizon upgraded their hotspot data plans, perhaps operating under the understanding that with 5G data speeds now becoming the norm, people are consuming high-speed data at a much higher rate than ever before.
|Verizon Essentials Plan||15GB premium data/unlimited lower speed data/720p HD Streaming||$20/mo. Per line|
|Verizon Plus Plan||50GB premium data/unlimited lower speed data/4k UHD streaming on premium||$40/mo. Per line|
|Verizon Pro Plan||100GB premium data/unlimited lower speed data/4k UHD streaming on premium||$60/mo. Per line|
|Verizon Premium Plan||150GB premium data/unlimited lower speed data/4k UHD streaming on premium||$80/mo. Per line|
Of course, there are always caveats. If you plan on doing a lot of streaming on your iPad, while using your mobile hotspot, then you will have noticed that Verizon offers 4k UHD streaming up until the point where you have exhausted your premium data.
Once your premium data is gone, you will drop down to Verizon’s 4G LTE, which is still plenty fast, but maybe a bit sketchy trying to run 4k UHD. Once the premium data is exhausted, however, you won’t get anymore unless you pay Verizon for a boost or wait until the billing cycle resets.
Also, the iPad will be dependent on your iPhone/Android, which is probably a non-issue, as most people bring their cell phones with them everywhere they go.
Lastly, when you are at home, you will want to turn your hotspot off on your iPhone and allow your iPad to link up with your home WiFi service, rather than sit there and chew up all of your hotspot data without you even realizing it.
The iPad will often want to default to your iPhone’s hotspot before it connects to your home WiFi, so it’s always important to keep it turned off when you are not at home. Once you’ve connected your iPad to your hotspot once, it will automatically connect from here on out, every time you turn the hotspot back on.
Does Verizon Offer WiFi-Only iPads?
Verizon does not offer WiFi-Only iPads. The only iPads you will find at Verizon are the ones that have SIM cards and are ready to be set up on your Verizon Network by replacing an existing line or adding a new one.
While you don’t have to place an iPad purchased from Verizon on a data plan, there are some instances where doing so will help you pay for it. Apple charges a pretty penny for their iPads and a monthly payment in exchange for an additional line may be the way to go.
All Things Considered
Just because it’s not on a data plan through Verizon doesn’t mean that your iPad is useless away from home. Depending on the plan that you have with Verizon for other lines, you probably have hotspot data that you weren’t even aware of and that’s more than enough to get your iPad connected away from home.