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Thread: iPhone + Airport Express only

  1. #1
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    iPhone + Airport Express only

    Hi folks, I'm researching international internet access options right now with an eye toward light travel. The hotel chain I'll be staying in most of the trip supposedly has complimentary high-speed wired internet. I'm hoping to be able to just travel with an iPhone 4 and an Apple Wireless Keyboard... and possibly an Airport Express + Ethernet cable to take advantage of the provided internet access. But would it actually work? From what I understand it seems you'd need a laptop to set up the Airport Express before you start using it?

    I tried searching this online but didn't come across any definite answers.

    My other option is to add an international data plan to my iPhone for the duration of the trip (3 weeks). It'd be ~$200 for that, vs. ~$100 for the Airport Express. Going without the Airport Express + Ethernet cable would be lighter though.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Registered User jannilee's Avatar
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    When I went to Iceland I discovered a cool trick. For my iPad I just bought a cheap pay as you go 3 g Phone card (eg vodaphone) and cut it down to iPad size maintaining the magic gold part and it worked like a charm. 2 weeks $15 or so. The card was good for a month but I was only there for 2 weeks. Intend to try the same in Spain in oct.
    Last edited by jannilee; 09-21-2011 at 09:51 PM.
    ncb4 likes this.

  3. #3
    Registered User Lani's Avatar
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    Wow Jannilee, I had no idea you could do that! Do you know if that works for both the AT&T and Verizon versions of the 3G iPad? I have a first-generation 3G iPad from AT&T; I wonder if that would work?

    I looked around and found some interesting discussions: A Guide to iPad SIM Cards and Comparing 3G Broadband Plans or https://discussions.apple.com/thread...art=0&tstart=0 and whatnot.

    I've just kind of winged it... as a general rule, I put my phone on airplane mode, and only use wifi. Depending on where you go, many places have free wifi (you can always look for a Starbucks!).

    Let us know how it goes.
    Lani Teshima: A Dyneema diva with a closetful of Tom Bihn products!
    Publisher, The Travelite FAQ: Don't get saddled with baggage—free yourself & your mind by packing lightly!
    Editor, MousePlanet: Detailed park guides, daily news & stories from all over the Disney kingdom | Technical writer | Marathoner

  4. #4
    Registered User jannilee's Avatar
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    Mine is a g2 bell iPad but it doesn't seem to be locked to one provider. I learned how to do this as I watched the guy in a phone store cut down a regular phone card to fit an iPad. Seems that the odd size thing is just apple's way of trying to control the market.

  5. #5
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    My goodness, I never even knew that option existed! I wonder how tough it'll be to find something similar in China and if it'd work with a locked iPhone...

  6. #6
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    Just
    I carry an Express everywhere to do just what you are describing.

    Unlike every other router/access point which uses a web interface to set up initially the extreme uses the Airport Setup Utility to set it up.
    Once set up then you shoud be good to go probably.

    I say that because I have never had an issue using one as you are thinking but I have installed plenty of them that can lose the settings for unknowable reasons from time to time?

    I am sure though that someone where you will be will have a computer you can use if needed to set it up again?
    But you will likely not need to.

    I am also fairly certain that US ipad are locked to the 2 US carriers?
    I wouldn't want to get there to find out that it is a no go?

    Ed

  7. #7
    Registered User Lani's Avatar
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    Oh wow, there are companies that even make punchers for these!! Amazon.com: Noosy Micro Sim Card Cutter + 2x MicroSim Adapter For iPhone 4 & iPad: Electronics

    I just looked up "sim card cutter ipad" and came up with a bunch of shopping hits.
    Lani Teshima: A Dyneema diva with a closetful of Tom Bihn products!
    Publisher, The Travelite FAQ: Don't get saddled with baggage—free yourself & your mind by packing lightly!
    Editor, MousePlanet: Detailed park guides, daily news & stories from all over the Disney kingdom | Technical writer | Marathoner

  8. #8
    Registered User Lani's Avatar
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    AVService -- Once you set up your Airport Express, you said you can take it with you anywhere. I have a quick question.

    When we went to Istanbul, our hotel had wifi but we were on the third floor, and the signal was not strong enough to reach our room. If I wanted to use the hotel wifi to check my email on my iPod Touch, I had to sit in the hotel lobby. Not too shabby a thing to do, unless you want to stay up and catch up with the Internet and stuff while you're in bed.

    Does the Airport Express have an ability to boost the wifi signal when your iDevice can't do it on its own? I guess what I don't know is, does the Airport Express have the ability to pick up wifi signals? Or does it require fiber jacked in (network cable)?
    Lani Teshima: A Dyneema diva with a closetful of Tom Bihn products!
    Publisher, The Travelite FAQ: Don't get saddled with baggage—free yourself & your mind by packing lightly!
    Editor, MousePlanet: Detailed park guides, daily news & stories from all over the Disney kingdom | Technical writer | Marathoner

  9. #9
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    Yes and No.

    The Express can act to repeat with an Airport Extreme as the base and maybe even with another Express as the base.
    I have done this to extend a Network about 1/2 mile between buildings at a Polo Barn before and once set up it works well.
    I also use them all the time in business and residences to create large seamless networks although they work better when hard wired together.

    Unfortunately you can not use one to pluck another signal and repeat it,sorry.
    There are devices sold that claim to do this but I am dubious of their effectiveness.

    I know people who travel with an iPad as thier main computer and of course most also have an iPhone too.
    I am loving the 11" Air I had to try for this as it is not too much larger than an iPad but a lot more capable and universal for me.

    Ed

    Quote Originally Posted by Lani View Post
    AVService -- Once you set up your Airport Express, you said you can take it with you anywhere. I have a quick question.

    When we went to Istanbul, our hotel had wifi but we were on the third floor, and the signal was not strong enough to reach our room. If I wanted to use the hotel wifi to check my email on my iPod Touch, I had to sit in the hotel lobby. Not too shabby a thing to do, unless you want to stay up and catch up with the Internet and stuff while you're in bed.

    Does the Airport Express have an ability to boost the wifi signal when your iDevice can't do it on its own? I guess what I don't know is, does the Airport Express have the ability to pick up wifi signals? Or does it require fiber jacked in (network cable)?
    Last edited by AVService; 09-22-2011 at 06:00 PM.

  10. #10
    Registered User jannilee's Avatar
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    From what I can see on the forums iPads are not locked but iPhones are. Also there seems to be far more problems using Verizon iPads than AT&T ones abroad. Since JUST is planning to use an iPhone, my idea probably won't work for her but it may work for others.


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