Have you ever thought about how a car has wifi? I mean, your house has wifi… but it has cables going to it, your local coffee shop has wifi, but it’s just like your home and also has physical cables going to it as well. So then, how does your car, that is constantly moving able to have a wifi signal.
Cars have wifi, because they are much like a cell phone, where it works off of local cell towers and is able to receive and interact with the signal. Then you can connect to it with your cell phone, tablet, laptop and more to be able to use it just like you would anywhere else.
According to Edmunds, Audi was in fact the first car manufacturer to offer this capability into their cars. Since then, many manufacturers have joined in on offering this capability.
So why would you want wifi in your car?
Having wifi in your car can benefit in a couple of different ways.
It is great for business people
So many people out there, travel for business, and having wifi in their vehicle would be imperative to their job. This includes white collar workers that need to be able to access their emails constantly on their computer, as well as blue collar that may need to be able to access different systems for repairs on the go.
It’s great for families
My family was much more of a drive everywhere type of family, rather than the fly everywhere. So long road trips were always long, and sometimes were completely cross country. I can see how now days, a long road trip like this would highly benefit from having a wifi signal that you can connect to.
Saves battery on your devices
So let’s talk about the elephant in the room. Cell phones now days can cast a wifi signal just like a car. However, what people don’t really think about it the battery power it takes to keep that signal going, causing your battery to drain, and even heat up your cell phone.
Being able to have that in-car wifi is ideal, because then you can let your car do the work, instead of your phone.
Additionally, even if you were just using your phone on your phone’s networks, batteries last a lot longer attaching to wifi, then pulling from a network.
Pros of in-car wifi
- Easily connect anything to the internet, anywhere you have signal
- Saves battery on your other devices, allowing your vehicle to do the work
- Able to have over the air updates to enabled vehicles
- Able to utilize larger antenna that cars will have, so better service
- It’s an additional cost to have wifi enabled in your car
- Cell service isn’t everywhere, and this is reliant on that
Can you get WiFi in your car?
If your car has wifi built in, all you have to do is contact your manufacturer to enable the feature and set up your payment plan and service plan.
Not every car out there has wifi built in unfortunately, even into 2020. However you can add wifi into your car in a slightly different way.
I believe all of the major cell carriers have a wifi hotspot that you can add to your already existing plan, then you can just keep that in your car and it will essentially do the same thing.
How much does it cost to get WiFi in your car?
Based on some research I have done, if a car is able to have wifi in it, it tends to be included in the price, and not something that you can option into, or out of the vehicle. So there really isn’t any specific cost for install.
Outside of that, you can generally either pay monthly, or annually for the data itself. However it seems $20 to $25 per month seems about standard.
What cars have built in WiFi?
It appears that all of the domestic USA cars have the ability to have wifi, and other imports like Toyota, Lexus, VW and more have been jumping on board as well.
I’m sure no matter what car you buy that is brand new, it will likely have this feature in the near future, or it currently has it.
Onstar wifi is an extremely popular style of wireless internet in cars, more specifically in GM vehicles like Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac and GMC. It isn’t really much different than the rest of the types of in car wifi, and runs on the 4G LTE network.
This internet service is through AT&T, so make sure your local area and wherever you go regularly is able to connect to that network.
At the time of this writing the Onstar plan is as such:
- Unlimited Data – $25/mo
- 12 month prepaid data plan – $250*
- 24 month prepaid data plan -$450*
Having WiFi in a vehicle isn’t for everyone, and not everyone really sees the need. I think unless it is necessary, your probably are best to just not include it in your car.
Most phones can do everything this needs to do, and that would be just fine without it.
However if the benefits I have talked about in this article seem to fit your lifestyle, and what you do regularly, then maybe you should look into either making your vehicle WiFi enabled or make sure your next one is.