Selecting the best iPad data plan -- Verizon, AT&T, Virgin, or Clearwire Rover?

Macworld has posted a helpful overview of some of the choices for iPad users who want a data plan. As you likely know, a data plan lets you access the cell phone network to get access to the Internet without having the be in the vicinity of a Wi-Fi hotspot. Your options include buying the iPad 3G, with a cellular transceiver built in, and getting a data plan through AT&T, or using a small, shirt-pocket size device to receive a data signal from a cellular network and then broadcast it to your iPad. The device is itself a highly portable wireless router. This latter category includes the new offering by Verizon (which comes bundled with the MiFi 2200), Virgin (which also entails using the MiFi), and Clearwire Rover (which uses the Rover Puck device). And a third option is using your cell phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot. The Macworld article gives you the costs and the pros & cons of each.

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Jim Karpen holds a Ph.D. in literature and writing, and has a love of gizmos. His doctoral dissertation focused on the revolutionary consequences of digital technologies and anticipated some of the developments taking place in the industry today. Jim has been writing about the Internet and technology since 1994 and has been using Apple's visionary products for decades.