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iPad 2: The Missing Manual, 3rd Edition by J.D. Biersdorfer

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Chapter 3. Get Online

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You get content onto your iPad two ways: by pulling it down from the sky—or rather, the Internet—and by copying music, videos, books, and other media from your computer to your tablet via iTunes. This chapter shows you how to get your iPad set up for that first option. (And if you just can’t wait to read up on syncing, jump ahead to Chapter 11.)

Every iPad can tap into the Internet over a WiFi connection. You can get online from your home wireless network, for example, or from a WiFi hotspot at a local tech-friendly coffee shop. But some iPads don’t need to be anchored to a stationary WiFi network. Wi-Fi + 3G iPads can reach out and connect to the Web not only through the air, but also through the same network you use to make cellphone calls—the 3G network. Whether that’s AT&T or Verizon’s 3G service depends on which 3G iPad you bought.

This chapter explains the difference between WiFi and 3G, the difference between AT&T and Verizon’s offerings, how to set up each type of connection, and how to stay safe online as you use either. So if you’re ready to fire up that wireless chip and get your iPad out on the Internet, read on.

Should You Use WiFi or 3G?

If you bought a WiFi-only iPad, you don’t have much of a decision to make here—you get to the Internet by jumping onto the nearest wireless network (like a home network) or onto a hotspot (also a wireless network, but ...

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