Mac Format

Connectivi­ty Wi-Fi and 4G/5G

You’re always online and connected with the latest iPads


Most iPad models now support the latest Wi-Fi 6 standard, with only the entry-level iPad still using the older Wi-Fi 5 (formerly known as 802.11ac). However, mobile broadband – referred to as cellular in the US – is an optional extra that costs £120-£150, depending on which model you’re buying.

The iPad draws the short straw, only offering 4G LTE support for mobile broadband. In the UK, the Uswitch comparison website reports that the EE network provides the best 4G performanc­e with average download speeds of 20-30Mbps. All other current iPad models support 5G mobile broadband, which currently provides average speeds of around 150Mbps. However, speeds vary a lot depending on your network provider and coverage in different parts of the country.

If you buy a ‘cellular’ iPad model then it will have a slot for a nano-SIM card that works with most mobile broadband networks. Current iPads also contain an eSIM though, which is a small chip that can work just like a SIM card in order to connect to mobile phone and broadband networks.

Ordinary SIM cards are locked to individual networks, like Vodafone or EE in the UK, so if you travel to another country, or simply want to switch to a different network, then you have to go to the hassle of getting a new SIM card to install in the iPad.

An eSIM is generally a better solution – especially when travelling – as it can work with many different mobile networks. However, not all networks currently work with eSIM technology! So you should check on eSIM compatibil­ity before you go travelling. Find out more at

 ?? ?? Apart from the entry-level iPad, all other models now support Wi-Fi 6.
Apart from the entry-level iPad, all other models now support Wi-Fi 6.

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