Do You Need Separate Internet Service for an iPad?

By Erica Leigh

Apple's iPad requires a wireless connection or cellular data plan for Internet access. You can obtain this wireless connection through your existing home Internet service, service at your workplace, a paid cellular data plan, or public Wi-Fi at coffee shops, restaurants, airports and other locations.

Wi-Fi Service

You must have a wireless router for your home Internet service to enable your iPad to access the Internet. Once this is set up, you can connect your iPad to the wireless router using the network name and password. Many coffee shops, restaurants, hotels, libraries, airports, trains, and buses offer free or paid Wi-Fi.

Cellular/3G Service

iPads can use monthly cellular data plans to connect to the Internet in one of two ways. You can purchase an iPad that specifically includes cellular capability as well as a paid monthly data plan from a cellular service provider. You can also use a smartphone with a data plan and the "tethering" feature as a Wi-Fi hotspot for your iPad. You may have to pay extra for this capability.