Do you ever wonder whether Verizon's cellular data service is faster than AT&T? So did I, so I spent a day driving around San Francisco, testing the performance of a handful of 3G and EVDO wireless Internet devices. The devices in question? A Verizon Palm Pre Plus, complete with Mobile Hotspot feature, a Verizon MiFi 2200, an iPad 3G, and an iPhone 3Gs, which served as our control group. I tested at six different locations around the city, in both residential and commercial areas.
To test upstream and downstream bandwidth, as well as latency, I used Speedtest.net. I've had good luck getting consistent results from that service over the years, and my tests in the field reinforced that. For the iPad and iPhone 3Gs, I tested using the Speed Test app, which is free in the iTunes store. For the MiFi and the Pre Plus, I connected to the mobile hotspots they create using a 13-inch MacBook Pro, and ran the Speed Test inside Chrome. I ran the test two times at every location on each device and averaged the results.
the iPad was consistently faster than the iPhone, even in the same locations.
As for the iPad 3G? It's delivering wireless performance that's certainly nothing to sneeze at.