AT&T or Verizon: Which iPad 2 data plan is best?

iPad 2 users can choose between 3G data plans provided by rival carriers Verizon and AT&T.

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    iPad 2 users can choose between carriers – Verizon and AT&T – and various data plans. Here, a user tries out the Apple iPad 2.
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The iPad 2 is here. And as we reported yesterday, the new Apple device is an improvement on almost every level – processing speed is up, size and weight are down, and the thing even has a gyroscope, which should make gamers happy. (iPad 2 price points will remain the same across the board: A Wi-Fi-only iPad 2 will set you back $499, while 3G models start at $629.)

Furthermore, unlike the original iPad, which initially launched only on the AT&T data network, the iPad 2 will be available through both AT&T and Verizon. So which carrier is offering the better deal? Well, Verizon is certainly offering more options. According to Computerworld, Verizon will tier its monthly data plans thusly: $20 for 1GB; $35 for 3GB; $50 for 5GB; and $80 for 10GB.

AT&T, on the other hand, will offer just two options: $14.99 for 250MB and $25 for 2GB. Exceed your allotted amount of GBs, and AT&T will charge you $10 per 1GB. Still, all things considered, AT&T is providing the cheapest monthly rate – one that could be very appealing to light users. For instance, if you're going to use your iPad 2 at home, and you have a Wi-Fi connection, 3G capability starts to matter a lot less.

There is one more further distinction of note, and that distinction has to do with how you pay for your iPad 2 data plan. Beginning with the launch of the iPad 2, AT&T will allow users to choose a postpaid plan – in other words, AT&T will tally up your data usage, and add it to your monthly wireless bill. Verizon, on the other hand, is sticking with a prepaid plan, which requires you pay for the data by credit card before consuming it.

Both plans – Verizon and AT&T; prepaid and postpaid – are month to month, which means you need not sign a contract with your carrier.

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