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I am going from Canada to Mexico but I don't want to be dependent on in-flight entertainment. Thus I got seagate wireless plus so I can stream to my iPad. I couldn't find any policies I can use this device during flight or not. At very least I am trying to determine if it is worth asking the flight company?

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    $\begingroup$ There is only one possible. correct answer. Ask the airline. $\endgroup$ – Simon Jan 25 '15 at 9:23
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No, the rules are about any transmitter or receiver, regardless of whether it comes under the specific category of phone/tablet/laptop etc

If anything your device is worse as it transmits at a higher power and range than a receiver.

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  • $\begingroup$ I see I was just unsure with introduction of Wifi on some flights so I thought they might have gotten a little less strict on this issue. $\endgroup$ – Pipsydoodles Jan 25 '15 at 3:05
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    $\begingroup$ @Pipsydoodles The airline can install certified WiFi devices on their aircraft. That doesn't mean passengers can use any random wireless transmitting device onboard. $\endgroup$ – fooot Jan 25 '15 at 3:15
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    $\begingroup$ The access points on the airplane might be certified, but the computers in use are not. The computers transmit as well as receive (that’s how you send email, make requests etc). There’s no huge difference in a computer that mostly receives and a “seagate wireless plus” that mostly transmits. Therefore, no reason why the seagate device would be “worse”. Also, the 802.11a/b/g standard specifies a maximum transmission power which will be the same for computers and for the seagate device. $\endgroup$ – Peter Jan 25 '15 at 3:28
  • $\begingroup$ Do you have any reference for this? $\endgroup$ – raptortech97 Jan 25 '15 at 5:05
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    $\begingroup$ 802.11 specifies: "The maximum allowable output power is measured in accordance with practices specified by the appropriate regulatory bodies." These bodies do not discriminate between access points and clients; the 2,4 GHz band is generally free for anyone and anything to use (up to a maximum signal strength). Though not optimal, in practice, nearly all wifi adapters are configured to transmit with maximum allowable power. If anything, given its uses, the Seagate device is more likely to use a conservative power level. $\endgroup$ – Marcks Thomas Jan 25 '15 at 11:37
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Airlines provide WiFi onboard and invite you to connect to it (for a fee). To connect to WiFi you must have the ability to transmit (internet requires two way communications). If your device is conforms to FCC power limits on the 2.4GHz bands (or whatever your particular jurisdictions regulatory body is) then your device is no different than any other WiFi device on the plane. They are all transmitters using the same maximum power.

If your airplane has WiFi onboard and let's you connect computers to it then there is no technical problem with using your device.

Of course, if a crew member tells you to turn it off, remember you must comply.

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The intention behind is to isolate the electronic devices of an airplane from electromagnetic radiation.

Modern airplanes are pretty well protected at the moment and they don't have any issue of isolation.

However, one thing that is key for authorities is flight safety. So it is better to have stronger restrictions that making any mistake.

So, in order to be able to use wifi on the airplane, you need to have, first the airplane modern enough and the airline shall be authorized by the authorities.

Finally, in any case those radiation devices should be turned off (or in airplane mode) when flying in take-off or landing stages (so the wifi of the airplane does).

My recommendation: ask the airline directly and get information about the airplane you are flying in.

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The airlines will be primed to say No. But you will hardly be the only one on board with an iPad so it's unlikely anyone will notice. Turn it off if the plane suddenly pitches nose-down at the beginning of your movie.

However, I question the need. I have a 32Gb iPad and there's absolutely no way I can watch a full load of video on my entire vacation, never mind the flight at each end.

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    $\begingroup$ Are you seriously suggesting that someone violate aviation regulations since "it's unlikely anyone will notice"? $\endgroup$ – Simon Jan 25 '15 at 12:53

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