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How to Install WiFi in a Car?

Team AckoJan 6, 2023

Setting up WiFi in a car can be a convenient way to stay connected while on the go. For instance, you can use it to stream music, for navigation, and for other similar purposes. Setting up WiFi in your car is fairly simple, regardless of whether your car already has this feature built-in or you need to buy a device for it. Interested to know more? Read ahead for a step-by-step guide on how to install WiFi in your car.

Contents

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Need for an internet connection in a car

In this section, we have enumerated the benefits of having internet access in a car.

  • Use navigational apps to determine the shortest route to your destination.

  • For entertainment on long drives, you can stream music or audiobooks.

  • Access work emails and files if you are a working professional.

  • Join online virtual meetings on the go.

  • Utilise social media or video calls to stay in touch with your loved ones.

  • Use voice commands to send texts or make hands-free phone calls.

  • Receive real-time traffic updates and alerts. 

  • Be protected by internet-connected collision avoidance systems.

How to set up Wifi in a car

Here's how to set up a WiFi connection in your car.

1. Check for pre-equipped Wi-Fi capabilities

Some vehicles have Wi-Fi hotspots built right into them, but others might need an aftermarket gadget for Wi-Fi functionality. You can refer to your car manual to find out the available options. Online research can also be helpful.

2. Purchase the required gear

If Wifi isn't already built into your car, you'll need to buy a gadget to add it. Here are your options: portable hotspots, dongles, and OBD-II adapters. You can select the option that best suits your requirements and budget.

3. Install the device

For installation of the Wi-Fi device in your car, follow the manufacturer's instructions. This may entail mounting the device to the dashboard, connecting it to the vehicle's audio system, or plugging the device into the OBD-II port.

4. Start using the Wi-Fi

Once the device is set up, you must join the Wi-Fi network it creates with your phone, tablet, or other device. For detailed instructions on how to do this, refer to the manufacturer's instructions.

5. Test the connection

Once your device is connected to the Wi-Fi network, check the connection to make sure everything is in order. To test the stability and dependability of the connection, try watching a video or visiting a website.

Wifi devices for cars

As mentioned in the previous section, several devices can be utilised to establish a Wifi connection in your vehicle. Some popular options include the following.

  • 4G/5G technology: Using a mobile hotspot from your smartphone/tablet is one of the simplest ways to access a Wi-Fi internet connection inside your car. You can use the 4G/5G connection to activate the mobile hotspot and enjoy a stable internet connection. It is also convenient because people usually carry their smartphone with them wherever they go. However, you risk draining the smartphone's battery or exceeding data usage limits in this case. 

  • Mobile hotspot gadgets: If you have a poor internet connection inside your car, a small router or a mobile hotspot device can help. It is more portable and offers better connectivity when compared to smartphones and tablets. The battery won't run out that easily either, but you will need to buy a data plan specifically for the device.

  • Wireless routers: If you want a longer range and faster connectivity, a wireless router is the best option. The internet speed on these routers is comparable to that of built-in routers. You can connect to high-speed internet and perform tasks like uploading/downloading large files, live streaming, and so on. These routers, like mobile hotspot devices, require a dedicated data plan or subscription and are typically more expensive.

  • Wi-Fi router built-in: High-end vehicles come with an integrated Wi-Fi router. You can easily connect to the internet thanks to these. They also have strong signals, which translates to fast internet speeds. The built-in routers can also be useful for sending diagnostic reports to the manufacturer or for receiving OTA (Over-The-Air) updates for your car.

  • OBD-II devices: OBD (On-Board Diagnostics) ports are commonly used for vehicle diagnosis. Nevertheless, you can connect an OBD-II device to the port to get better Wi-Fi connectivity and high-speed internet. These devices are more mobile than built-in routers but less mobile than a smartphone or tablet. Furthermore, OBD-II devices cost more than mobile hotspot devices.

  • Old hardware: Mobile hotspots and portable routers can be costly. If you're looking for a low-cost option, you can make use of any old hardware you have lying around. You can, for instance, use an old phone or a Wi-Fi dongle as a mobile hotspot. Use the hotspot while your phone is still connected to the car charger. That way, you will not drain the battery of your primary smartphone.

Useful and convenient

In conclusion, installing WiFi in your car can be a useful and convenient feature to have. It allows you to stay connected while travelling and is especially useful for passengers who require internet access for entertainment or work. There are several ways to set up WiFi in your car, including using a hotspot device, installing a dedicated WiFi router, or purchasing a car with built-in WiFi. Whichever method you choose, make sure to carefully follow the instructions and double-check your connections to ensure that your WiFi is operational. With the proper setup, you'll be able to enjoy the benefits of WiFi in your car on all your future road trips.

Frequently asked questions

This section addresses frequently asked questions on how to install WiFi in a car.

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Is it possible to install a Wi-Fi router in my car?

Yes, a wireless router can be installed in your car. To set up a wireless network inside your vehicle, you can use a mobile hotspot device, a wireless router, or an OBD-II device. You can select the device based on your budget.

How much does it cost to install Wi-Fi in my vehicle?

The cost of installing a Wi-Fi network in your car is determined by the device you select. Mobile hotspot devices, for example, are inexpensive and simple to set up. Wireless routers, on the other hand, are expensive. Also, you may need the assistance of an expert to install the router and set up the connection.

Which device should I use to connect to Wi-Fi in my vehicle?

To get Wi-Fi inside your car, consider purchasing a mobile hotspot device. Mobile hotspots are both inexpensive and portable. It is easy to set up such devices. You can sign up for a data plan and begin using a hotspot device.

Do mobile hotspots function while driving?

Yes, mobile hotspot devices can be used while driving. Even when your vehicle is in motion, you will have a stable internet connection. However, avoid using the internet while driving as it may distract you and could potentially cause an accident.

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Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. It is based on several secondary sources on the internet and is subject to changes. Please consult an expert before making any related decisions.

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