Can You Watch Netflix on an iPad Without the Internet?

By Rosemary Peters

When you don't have an Internet connection, you may feel like your movie watching options are limited.
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Alas, if you can't connect to the Internet, either via a Wi-Fi connection or a 3G network, you cannot watch Netflix on your iPad. However, there are other options you may want to consider when it comes to viewing your favorite flicks.


If you are going on an airplane flight or a car journey where you won't have Internet and you want to watch a movie on your iPad to pass the time, you're going to have to plan ahead. Netflix doesn't enable you to download movies to your iPad or to cache them to view later. However, services such as iTunes and Blockbuster on Demand enable you to buy or rent movies and TVs that you can later watch on your iPad. Many of these services employ a similar viewing tactic: you can buy the item and watch it as many times as you like or you can rent the item for a specified period of time.

Data Usage

If you have a data plan and you are in a place that has data coverage but no Wi-Fi connection available, you can use your iPad to stream Netflix. In this case, you are still connected to the Internet but using a mobile service. There is one caveat when streaming Netflix on 3G: make sure you aren't going over your data plan. According to a recent bandwidth usage test carried out by The iPad Guide, a film clocking in at just over 31 minutes used a total of 143.2 MB. To put this in perspective, a data plan of 1GB per month would enable you to watch approximately seven 30-minute videos without going over your data plan limits. Total data usage will vary from video to video, so keep a watchful eye on how much data you are using over the course of the month.