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iPad: The Missing Manual by J.D. Biersdorfer

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Chapter 3. Get Online

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You can get content onto your iPad in two ways: by pulling it down from the sky—or rather, the Internet—and by synchronizing it with your computer to copy over music, videos, books, and other files through iTunes. This chapter tells you how to get your iPad set up for that first option. (If you want to read up on the second one because you just can’t wait, jump ahead to Chapter 11.)

Every iPad can connect to the Internet over a Wi-Fi connection. You can get online from your home wireless network or from a Wi-Fi hot spot at the local technology-friendly coffee shop. But some iPads don’t need to be anchored to a stationary Wi-Fi network to get to the ether. Wi-Fi + 3G iPads can reach out and connect to the Web over AT&T’s 3G data network—which covers a large part of the country.

This chapter explains the difference between Wi-Fi and 3G, how to set up each type of connection, and how to stay safe online while using 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 Wi-Fi or 3G?

If you bought the Wi-Fi iPad, you don’t have much of a decision to make here—you get your Internet access by jumping onto your nearest wireless network or hot spot. (A hot spot is a wireless network like the one you may have at home, but it’s in a public place, like an airport or coffee shop; it’s sometimes free, but more likely ...

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