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Thread: Tricks and workarounds to backup/update iPhone and iPad without home WiFi?

  1. #1
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    Tricks and workarounds to backup/update iPhone and iPad without home WiFi?

    The most simple, but most inconvenient way would be to use WiFi at Starbucks/McDonalds and keep spending a few dollars on food and drink each time. $5 buying food/drink that you would not have otherwise purchased every few days could add up to the cost of home cable/DSL internet assuming cable/DSL is even offered for your address. Plus the inconvenience and transportation costs to get to the locations.

    Assuming you have either unlimited mobile data or at least a large enough mobile data plan to cover all your data needs, I found a workaround to get around Apple blocking installing iOS updates and doing backups via mobile data.

    With a Windows laptop PC, you can install iTunes then plug your iPhone into the USB port while the laptop has active internet access. It will download drivers from Windows Update that will turn the iPhone into a modem that will provide internet access.
    Then you turn on internet connection sharing on the laptop and connect the iPhone and iPad to that new WiFi network and then iCloud backups and iOS software update installations will work.
    This saves you from ever having to leave home, but it’s convoluted and now you have a 3rd device (the PC that you need to keep around and install Windows Updates on that may add an additional 1 GB or 2 every month to your data usage). You also need another user name and password to deal with (though you could set the Windows password to be the same as your appleID). New Windows laptops good enough to just run iTunes are available for under $250.

    You could also apply iOS updates and backup locally to iTunes, but then your backups are on the local disk which you will lose if the laptop drive crashes or the laptop is ever lost or stolen.

    Another idea is to replace the iPad with a MacBook Air so you are back down to only 2 devices instead of needing three.

    Can you do the same trick of tethering your iPhone to the MacBook and sharing the internet back to the iPhone via WiFi to do backups and software updates on mobile data?

    A new MacBook would be $1000, but would have integration with the iPhone, iCloud, keychain, iMessage etc and, the iPad in use is an iPad Air 2 that’s near the end of getting further updates. After subtracting the $329 that the cheapest new iPad would have cost, maybe the net cost of the MacBook would worth it.
    It would still be kind of inconvenient because you need to to keep the laptop running and manually run iOS updates instead of having it happen automatically overnight.

    Does anyone know of a different workaround to use mobile data for iOS backups and updates on mobile data that would be more seamless and simple if either you can’t get WiFi at your location at all or it just isn’t worth the cost to pay for home WiFi just so you can backup and update an iOS device or 2?

    The ideal mobile plan for this seems to be the Visible Wireless plan that includes unlimited talk and text plus unlimited deprioritized 5mb speed limited hotspot data for $40 per month.

  2. #2
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    How about the library? And lots of non-paying people use SB/McD free wifi.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colecaz View Post
    How about the library? And lots of non-paying people use SB/McD free wifi.
    Maybe a library would work.
    I just thought of another idea that avoids having to get a PC or Mac at home.

    What about getting the cheapest phone Visible sells (ZTE A3) and using it as a hotspot? Then the iPad and iPhone can connect to it for updates and iCloud backup.

    It still would be more work than it should because Visible only allows one device to connect to the hotspot. So, both devices would not be able to automatically do their iCloud backups overnight since you would have to micromanage which device uses the hotspot at a given time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by web1b View Post
    Maybe a library would work.
    I just thought of another idea that avoids having to get a PC or Mac at home.

    What about getting the cheapest phone Visible sells (ZTE A3) and using it as a hotspot? Then the iPad and iPhone can connect to it for updates and iCloud backup.

    It still would be more work than it should because Visible only allows one device to connect to the hotspot. So, both devices would not be able to automatically do their iCloud backups overnight since you would have to micromanage which device uses the hotspot at a given time.
    If you have an iPhone on Visible then you can have up to 5 devices using the hotspot at one time.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orlimar1 View Post
    If you have an iPhone on Visible then you can have up to 5 devices using the hotspot at one time.
    Can’t use the iPhone as the hotspot because the iPhone has to be connected to another network to do iCloud backups and install software updates.

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