Three Ways to Get WiFi in Your Car

DecisionData Team
April 16, 2020

As recently as a few years ago, if you were on the road and needed WiFi access, you’d have to stop and find an internet connection. Nowadays, getting WiFi in-car is both easy and incredibly common. Whether you want to send emails while your partner drives or entertain the kids with live-streamed videos, there are many affordable ways to get internet in your car.   

How to get internet in your car

If getting WiFi in-car is important to you, there are three main ways to do it. 

  1. The first is to purchase a car that comes with factory-installed WiFi capabilities.
  2.  The second is to take your car to a professional and have built-in WiFi installed.
  3.  Finally, you have the option of purchasing your own mobile hotspot and carrying it with you in the vehicle.

 We’ll walk you through the difference between all three of these options so you can decide how to best go about equipping your car with WiFi.

Cars that come with WiFi

In this age, car manufacturers know that many car owners want the option to have WiFi on the go. Cars.com lists the following brands as offering models with built-in WiFi:

  • Audi: A3, A4, A5, A6, A7, A8, Q3, Q5, Q7, R8, RS 7, S3, S4, S5, S6, S7, S8, SQ5, TT
  • BMW: 2 Series, 3 Series, 4 Series, 5 Series, 6 Series, 7 Series, Alpina B6 Gran Coupe, Alpina 7, X3, X4, X5, X6
  • Buick: Cascada, Enclave, Encore, Envision, LaCrosse, Regal
  • Cadillac: ATS, CT6, CTS, Escalade, Escalade ESV, XT5, XTS
  • Chevrolet: Bolt EV, Camaro, Colorado, Corvette, Cruze, Equinox, Express, Impala, Malibu, Silverado 1500/2500/3500, Sonic, Spark, SS, Suburban, Tahoe, Traverse, Trax, Volt
  • Chrysler: 200, 300, Pacifica
  • Dodge: Challenger, Charger, Durango, Viper
  • Fiat: 500e
  • GMC: Acadia, Canyon, Sierra 1500/2500/3500, Terrain, Yukon, Yukon XL
  • Jaguar: F-Pace, XE, XF, XJ
  • Jeep: Cherokee, Grand Cherokee, Renegade
  • Land Rover: Discovery, Discovery Sport, Range Rover, Range Rover Evoque, Range Rover Sport
  • Mercedes-Benz: AMG GT S, B-Class, C-Class, CLA-Class, CLS-Class, E-Class, G-Class, GLA-Class, GLC-Class, GLE-Class, GLS-Class, Maybach S550, Maybach S600, S-Class, SL-Class, SLC-Class
  • Porsche: 718 Boxster, 718 Cayman, 911, Cayenne, Macan, Panamera
  • Ram: 1500, 2500, 3500
  • Volvo: S60, S80, S90, V60, V90 Cross Country, XC60, XC70, XC90

Devices for in-car WiFi

A cheaper way to get in-car WiFi is by purchasing a device that can be self-installed. These devices present a lower upfront cost and typically don’t require professional assistance. Here are a few options:

  • KuWfi Car WiFi Router: KuWfi’s portable router is specifically designed for use in cars. The device’s SIM card slot makes it easy to purchase and insert your own SIM card from whichever provider you choose. With 4G service, this powerful router can support download speeds of up to 300 Mbps.
  • HARMAN Spark: This device, manufactured by Samsung, is an in-car WiFi router and more. The HARMAN Spark helps you monitor data on your vehicle, tracks your driving habits and uses GPS to record your trips and notify you if something happens to your car while you’re gone. The device can also turn your car into a WiFi router that supports up to eight connected devices.
  • MightyWifi Worldwide High Speed Hotspot: Not only can this device supply internet in your car, but it can also go with you when you travel internationally for WiFi coverage in 150 countries. No SIM card purchase is necessary; the hotspot comes ready to go out of the box. Simply activate it with the provider to take advantage of 50 GB of free data in the first month.

Internet providers that offer WiFi for cars

Purchasing the technology to equip your car with WiFi is just one up-front cost. You’ll also need to pay a monthly fee to a provider for ongoing service. These are a few of the top providers that offer WiFi in-car options:

  • AT&T: Many cars with built-in hotspots come from manufacturers that partner with AT&T for service. However, you can also purchase a separate device from AT&T if your car doesn’t come with built-in WiFi capabilities. Service is available for as little as $20 per month from the provider, $10 if you’re an existing mobile customer.
  • Verizon: Verizon partners with five car brands to supply properly equipped vehicles with WiFi in-car service. Unlimited plans start at just $20 per month.
  • Sprint: If your car doesn’t come with built-in WiFi, Sprint offers a great affordable option. The provider’s smart device is free when you sign up for service and costs just $25 per month after that. In addition to creating a 4G WiFi hotspot, the device pairs with the Sprint Drive smartphone app to provide impact detection, 24/7 emergency roadside assistance and vehicle GPS monitoring.

Use a mobile hotspot for WiFi in the car

One great way to get internet in your car is to simply purchase a mobile hotspot. There are a couple of different advantages to this solution. First, mobile hotspots are significantly cheaper to purchase upfront than having in-car WiFi professionally installed in your vehicle. You can also carry your mobile hotspot with you just about anywhere, allowing you to connect to the internet when you’re away from your car. However, these devices provide less reliable connectivity than professionally installed options.

To sum it up

Getting WiFi in your car can be done in just a few days with a relatively low cost to get started. As always, remember not to use the internet while you’re driving. Only use the service while someone else is behind the wheel or if you’re pulled over somewhere safe.