How to Connect to the Internet with Your iPad
Internet access is important when using the iPad. When connected to the Internet, you can browse web pages, check your e-mail, connect with friends using FaceTime, receive iMessages, purchase media from iTunes, or purchase apps from the App Store.
How you connect to the Internet depends on which iPad model you own.
The Wi-Fi–only iPad connects to the Internet only via a Wi-Fi network. You can set up this type of network in your own home using your computer and some equipment from your Internet provider. You can also connect over public Wi-Fi networks, referred to as hotspots.
You’ll probably be surprised to discover how many hotspots your town or city has: Look for Internet cafés, coffee shops, hotels, libraries, and transportation centers such as airports or bus stations, for example. Many of these businesses display signs alerting you to their free Wi-Fi.
If you own a Wi-Fi and 3G-enabled iPad, you can still use a Wi-Fi connection, but you can also use the paid data network provided by AT&T, Verizon, or Sprint (in late 2011) to connect from just about anywhere you can get cellphone coverage via a cellular network.
When you’re in range of a Wi-Fi hotspot, if access to several nearby networks is available, you may see a message asking you to tap a network name to select it. After you select one (or if only one network is available), you see a message similar to the one shown here. If you’re required to enter a network password, do so and then tap the Join button.
Free, public Wi-Fi networks typically don’t require passwords. However, if you use a free, public Wi-Fi network, it’s then possible for someone else to track your online activities over the unsecured network. Avoid accessing financial accounts or sending sensitive e-mail when connected to a public hotspot.