How to Get Wifi in a Car?
Setting up a Wi-Fi connection inside your car is no rocket science. Thanks to the Wi-Fi-enabled smartphones and dedicated Wi-Fi hotspot devices, you can get a stable and high-speed car Wi-Fi connection. There are several options to get car Wi-Fi. You can use your smartphone/tablet or laptop as a mobile hotspot or get a dedicated device such as a Wi-Fi dongle or a hotspot device.
Methods to Set Up Car Wi-Fi
As mentioned earlier, there are several ways to turn your car into a Wi-Fi hotspot. So, let’s find out how to get Wi-Fi in a car by using different devices.
4G Smartphone/Tablet: One of the simplest ways to access a Wi-Fi internet connection inside your car is through a mobile hotspot from your smartphone/tablet. With the 4G connection, you can turn on the mobile hotspot and can enjoy a stable internet connection. Also, it is very convenient as you carry your smartphone every time you travel. But by doing so, you might drain the smartphone battery, or you may run out of data usage as there might be daily or monthly limits.
Mobile Hotspot Devices: A small router or a mobile hotspot device can solve your problem of poor internet connection inside your car. It is portable and offers better connectivity when compared to smartphones/tablets. It doesn’t drain your smartphone battery, but you have to purchase a dedicated data plan for the device.
Wireless Routers: If you are looking for a better range and high-speed connectivity, a wireless router is the best option. The internet speed on this type of routers is on par with the built-in routers. You can access high-speed internet and perform tasks such as uploading/downloading heavy files, live streaming, etc. These kinds of routers also need a dedicated data plan or subscription, and usually, they are more expensive than mobile hotspot devices.
OBD-II Devices: OBD (On-Board Diagnostics) ports are generally used to diagnose the vehicle. But you can also plug in an OBD-II device to the port that provides better Wi-Fi connectivity and high-speed internet. These devices are more portable than in-built routers and less portable than a smartphone or a tablet. Also, OBD-II devices are more expensive than mobile hotspot devices.
Built-in Wi-Fi Router: High-end cars are equipped with an in-built Wi-Fi router. These in-built routers offer a seamless experience as you can get an internet connection without any hassle. They also have good signal strength, which translates to high-speed internet. The in-built router also comes in handy when it comes to receiving OTA (Over-The-Air) updates for your car or sending diagnostic reports to the manufacturer.
Old Hardware: Mobile hotspot devices and portable routers are expensive. If you are looking for an affordable option, you can make use of the old hardware at your disposal. For example, you can use your old phone or a Wi-Fi dongle as a mobile hotspot. Leave your phone connected to your car charger and use the hotspot. By doing so, you will not drain the battery of your primary smartphone, and you will also have a secondary phone in case of emergencies.
Need for Internet in a Car
The Internet has become a universal mode of communication, be it connecting with your loved ones, sending emails, or consuming content. High-speed internet has become a necessity, whether you are at home, office or travelling. So, a car is not an exception when it comes to Wi-Fi internet connectivity. Here are some of the tasks you can perform using a car Wi-Fi connection.
Access work emails and files if you are a working professional.
Join online virtual meetings on the go.
Listening to music or internet radio.
Watch/Stream videos online.
Receive weather updates and traffic updates on the go.
Download or upload files.
Connect with your loved ones via social media or video call.
To sum it up, the car internet is more useful for the passengers than the driver. Especially if you are on a road trip, you will appreciate the stable and high-speed in-car Wi-Fi hotspot.
Car Wi-Fi Plans
Currently, there are no dedicated car Wi-Fi data plans available in India. But you can purchase a mobile hotspot device or a wireless router from the leading service providers and subscribe to the standard 4G data plans. You can choose the plan as per your needs. It is recommended you opt for a plan based on your usage of the car and the need for the internet.
How is Wi-Fi in Your Car Different Than a Mobile Hotspot?
Nowadays, most smartphones and tablets come with the mobile hotspot feature, which lets you share the internet with other devices. So, why do you need a dedicated Wi-Fi hotspot in your car if you can manage it with your smartphone? Here are the advantages of car Wi-Fi over a mobile hotspot.
Wi-Fi in your car receives strong signals and delivers a reliable and stable internet connection.
If you use an OBD-II device, you will get Wi-Fi internet whenever your vehicle is on.
An in-car Wi-Fi system saves your smartphone battery.
You can also save mobile data by using in-built Wi-Fi.
The Wi-Fi also works with your car for location sharing, sharing diagnostic reports with the manufacturer and receiving OTA updates.
Setting up Wi-Fi in your car is an easy process, given the advent of technology. 4G smartphones/tablets, mobile hotspot devices and wireless routers make it easier to access high-speed internet from your car. Also, make sure that your car’s Wi-Fi is secure so that nobody else on the road can access your network. Lastly, drive safely and do not get distracted by gadgets when you are on the road.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions related to car Wi-Fi.
Can I install a Wi-Fi router in my car?
Yes, you can install a wireless router in your car. You can opt for a mobile hotspot device, a wireless router or an OBD-II device to set up a wireless network inside your vehicle. You can choose the device as per your budget.
Do mobile hotspot devices work while driving?
Yes, mobile hotspot devices do work when you are driving the car. You will have a stable internet connection even when your vehicle is in motion. But avoid using the internet when you are driving, as it may distract you and cause a mishap.
How much does it cost to set up Wi-Fi in my car?
The cost of setting up a Wi-Fi network in your car depends on the device you choose. For example, mobile hotspot devices are affordable, and the installation process is simple. On the other hand, wireless routers are expensive, and you may need an expert’s help to install the router and set up the connection.
Which device should I use to get Wi-Fi in my car?
You can consider purchasing a mobile hotspot device to get Wi-Fi inside your car. Mobile hotspot devices are inexpensive and portable. Setting up such devices does not require much effort. You can subscribe to a data plan and start using a hotspot device.
Are there any cars in India that have built-in Wi-Fi routers?
Currently, there are no cars in India that come with a built-in Wi-Fi router. The technology is still nascent in India, and we can expect the carmakers to provide in-built Wi-Fi routers in the coming years.