How does in-car Wi-Fi work and is it worth it?

Car Wi-Fi systems are becoming more and more common, but it’s not always easy to know how these devices work, how fast they are, or what to look for when buying one. .

Besides the price, there are a lot of things to consider before settling on a brand new car Wi-Fi system. And if you’re new to this automotive tech, stick around to learn the basics.

Cars with Wi-Fi: what you need to know

Tesla screen

If you are planning to buy a new car, be aware that many of them are already equipped with Wi-Fi. It is also possible to install Wi-Fi in older cars.

Before we get into the pros and cons of in-car Wi-Fi, let’s take a look at what it actually is and how it works.

How does car Wi-Fi work?

The short answer to this question is that your car’s Wi-Fi setup works as a hotspot. Your car has a transmitter and a receiver, just like your home router (although usually less powerful). And this transmitter and receiver are connected to the internet through a cellular data connection.

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This means you can access web content, stream your favorite TV shows, check emails, and more while driving. You can even make calls or find directions without touching your device. The car’s system will take care of everything for you.


But, like anything wireless, there are limitations and drawbacks.

How fast is the wifi in the car?

photo showing an in-car screen displaying road navigation

Car Wi-Fi speeds are slower than home broadband speeds for two reasons. First, your car’s transmitter is usually not as powerful as a home router’s. Second, your car is not in the same place. It’s constantly on the move and there’s always something blocking its connection to your cellphone provider’s network.

Look at it this way: the metal walls of a car are like any large, solid object. They can block a signal from a router or cell tower, requiring you to adjust your Wi-Fi network accordingly. Essentially, the fewer objects between the car and its signal source, the better your Wi-Fi will perform.

A few other things you need to know about in-car Wi-Fi

Of course, there are a few other things you should know about car Wi-Fi before you decide to invest in one. For example, the Internet provided by your cell phone provider is spotty. In some areas, you might have excellent reception. In others, it might be non-existent. Before opting for car Wi-Fi, therefore, make sure that your provider’s network covers the areas you pass through.

Car Wi-Fi is a great alternative to using your phone while on the road, but it won’t be as fast (or as cheap) as home broadband.

Why You Might Need Wi-Fi in Your Car

photo of the phone attached to the dashboard of the car

Now that you know how car Wi-Fi works, let’s see why you might want to invest in it.

1. Security

It goes without saying that using the Internet while driving is not the safest thing you can do on the road. But streaming movies and TV shows is the kind of thing that many people are tempted to do while behind the wheel. A Wi-Fi feature in your car can provide an alternative to using your smartphone while you’re on the road and reduce some temptations.

2. Convenience

If you’re doing a lot of work on your commute (or if you’re bringing the kids and need to keep them busy), a car Wi-Fi system can make things much more convenient. And it can do more than just entertain you. Business owners can use it to take notes and organize tasks while driving, for example.

3. Reliability

Most cars now come with at least some sort of entertainment system. But, like home entertainment systems, they can be unreliable and easily damaged. If you’re planning a long trip and want peace of mind that your kids won’t fight over a faulty DVD player, you might consider going with a Wi-Fi option.

4. Cost savings

There’s a lot of talk about the high cost of in-car Wi-Fi, but the truth is that it’s just another feature added to our vehicles that we pay extra for. And that can be expensive if you want an advanced, feature-rich system. But if you do a little research, it’s easy to find everything you could want in your car at a very reasonable price.

How much does an in-vehicle Wi-Fi system cost?

photo showing the tesla screen

The price of on-board Wi-Fi varies depending on the features desired. The best car Wi-Fi systems on the market today offer features such as:

  • 4G/LTE speeds
  • Wi-Fi hotspots you can connect to from up to 30 feet away
  • Dual band support
  • Device charging ports

It’s pretty much the kind of stuff you’d get if you built your own home Wi-Fi network but in your car. These systems can cost anywhere from $100 to $2,000 or more. Some include all the bells and whistles you could want, while others offer a simple service you can add to any car.

So, is in-car Wi-Fi worth the money?

If you feel like your current commute doesn’t leave you enough time to take care of your daily chores, or if you get bored quickly on the way to work, it might be worth buying a Wi-Fi system. for your car. As long as you know you can use the internet instead of taking your eyes off the road, it can be a wise investment and even increase your safety.

Related: The Hidden Dangers of Smartphone Vent Mounts

However, if you’re just looking for a bit of entertainment while driving, you should probably save your money for now.

If you’re looking for a car Wi-Fi system, it’s essential to do your research before committing to anything. Figure out which features you value the most and choose a system that offers them at an affordable price.

With so many options to choose from, it’s easy to find a high quality product that will make your travels easier.

wifi in car
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