All tablets can connect to the Internet and download books, movies, games and more so that your tablet becomes a multimedia hub. While you might understand the capabilities of your tablet, you may not know which type of Internet options to choose. After all, tablets offer wireless connectivity as well as options for 3G Internet (and likely 4G soon). Each type of connection has its pros and cons, which means that you will have to balance your decision between your needs and your budget. Of course, any Internet is good, but how you use your tablet may have a big influence on the type of Internet service you choose.
Regular wireless connectivity is the standard option on the majority of tablets. This options will search for nearby wireless signals and then give you the option to choose which one you want to use. You will still have to input passwords to gain access to any protected Wi-Fi signals, but you should be able to connect easily through your home's wireless connection and at public hot spots. Most tablets will save prior connections, so that you won't have to login anew each time you go to visit the in-laws. This easy wireless option is great because it doesn't cost you extra money and it allows you to connect to an open signal wherever you go. If you want to download movies, books, games or other content, you will need to be near an open signal, which means that you might have to occasionally pay for service at a hotel or other public location. The added fees can be a burden when you are travelling but are usually not as costly as having a full-time 3G plan. Additionally, free connections are shared connections; the same Wi-Fi you are using is likely host to many other users as well, which means that your response and download time can slow to a crawl. It also means that any data you enter through that connection is at an additional security risk. If you plan to stream movies or games, stick to private connections, where the server won't get bogged down.
If you like the guarantee of having fast Internet wherever you go, or you're worried about sending private information over open networks, then you will want to purchase a tablet that is equipped with 3G connectivity. The 3G option works over cell phone data systems to provide you with Internet anywhere you go. The Internet is almost always fast, and you won't have to worry about surprise fees when you login somewhere new. Using a 3G account also has the added bonus of security; the data you have moves directly from you to the cell phone towers, without a stop in a stranger's routers or on a network susceptible to nearby hackers.
Of course, just because your tablet comes with 3G connectivity doesn't mean that the connection is free; you will have to sign up for a 3G plan to give you access to the signal wherever you go. If you want to stream movies, this may be worth it for you, since you know you will be able to download even large files without it taking hours. You also won't be stranded if you end up in a remote location without Wi-Fi; if your cell can get a signal, then you can probably access Internet through your 3G connection. However, most 3G plans come with data ceilings, which can mean costly overages and progressively slowing service if you run above your plan.
Don't count other Internet options out, either. You can create a mobile hotspot with another device, such as your cell phone, and then use the Bluetooth capability on your tablet to connect to the Internet signal. This can be good if you need to hook up multiple devices at once, as you may need to do when traveling with the family. Bluetooth is a great way to interconnect all your devices so that you can play a movie from your tablet on your television screen or access the Internet remotely even when there isn't a wireless signal for miles.
If you are trying to choose the right Internet options for your tablet, Sears can help. Our online community can point you towards a tablet that suits your needs and gives you the type of connectivity you want at a price you can afford. Once you have the basics down, it's time to shop our great selection of tablets and E-readers to stay connected wherever you go, whether you are on or off the clock.