About to buy a brand new iPad 2 3G soon, and still unsure about which data plan will work best for you? When combined, both at&t and Verizon offer no less than eight different plans to choose from, enough to confuse most buyers in the market for a new tablet. CNN came to the rescue, as the news channel put together a nice little graph to fond out which plan you should pick, depending on the amount of data you need on a monthly basis. But how much data will you need? If all you plan to do is to surf the web, do some emails, and download a couple apps per month, the smallest data plan – 250MB, at&t – will likely be your best option. On the other hand, if you plan to stream movies, download a slew of apps, and watch videos on YouTube, a beefier plan will likely help you avoid any potential overage fees – in this case, a 3 GB or 5 GB Verizon plan will likely plenty.
As for the actual data plans costs, the two wireless providers offer distinct options, ranging from about 6¢ per MB, to less than 1¢, depending on the plan. Verizon offers four plans, 1 GB for $20 per month, 3 GB for $35 per month, 5 GB for $50 per month, and 10GB for $80 per month. at&t only offers two plans, 250 MB for $15 per month, and 2 GB for $25 per month.
In short, users who consume a lot of data should pick Verizon, while frugal users might want to pick at&t instead. As a rule of thumb, try to pick a medium to large plan to start with, such as 2 GB or 3 GB. At the end of your first month, go to your iPad’s Settings app, and look at how much data you consumed over the month. If you happen to have consumed very little data, say 250 MB out of 2 GB, simply use the Settings app – or go to your wireless provider’s website – to adjust your plan accordingly. On the other hand, if you’re afraid to go over your limit, simply check your data usage via the Settings app on a regular basis, to check in real-time what your data consumption looks like. To avoid overage fees, try to make any necessary adjustments to your plan before reaching your cap.