Getting Wifi in Your Car
These days, an internet connection is equally if not more crucial than other utilities like a telephone line or power supply. Gone are the days when you had to connect to the internet as we now live in a state of being permanently online even when we aren’t doing anything with our devices.
This article isn’t trying to argue the pros or cons of that reality; it is simply the way the world is today. While we are always connected to the internet, how those connections take place aren’t always done in the same manner. In the case of mobile devices, we often switch between the mobile data that comes attached with our mobile phone number, and whatever Wifi network we are physically closest to at the time. While staying connected to Wifi may help us save a lot of money on our phone bills, they provide very limited coverage, which means that once we leave our home, office, or the coffee shop from which we are getting that connection, our devices will switch back over to using mobile data.
So how do we get Wifi when we’re between two locations? Or more specifically, how do we get Wifi when we are travelling in our cars? This is an important question not only for short drives, but most definitely on long-distance drives when we are with passengers who need a good internet connection to stay entertained or to stay productive.
Here are a few possible ways of providing all of the users in your car with an internet connection:
This option was already discussed above, but we’ll look at it again just so we have the right context before moving on to the following options. ‘Mobile data’ refers to the internet access provided to our devices through our telecommunications provider. Typically, our phone service provider places a cap on how much data can be used, and any use beyond that cap will incur charges. This might be a feasible option if you are only sitting in the car for short periods of time, but less so for long car rides when you’d want to stream entertainment or to complete work.
So what if we had a separate device that provided internet access to our mobile devices without forcing us to rely on our own mobile data? That’s where we come to the Portable Modem.
A portable modem is just like the modem you might have at home, serving the very same purpose. Multiple devices can connect to the modem at the same time and through it, gain access to the internet. The major difference here is that instead of being connected to internet cables like home modems, these often-called “MiFi” modems connect to internet service providers through a SIM card, much like a phone. Depending on the provider and the package that you sign up for, the amount of usage that you can get through these portable modems could be enough to last your entire road trip for everyone in the car!
Another benefit of having a portable modem is that you can carry it wherever you go, which means that it’ll benefit you in the same ways even if you’re on a bus, train, or just going into a building that does not have its own wifi network. Take it with you, keep it charged, and it’ll keep you connected always!
If you’re the kind of person who is constantly on the road taking long road trips all over the country, you might be looking for a more permanent solution. While not as popular as portable modems, there are brands that produce modems for the sole purpose of being permanently installed in cars.
These will operate in the same way as portable modems, with one exception: seeing as how it’s built into your car, it’ll also draw its power from your car instead of relying on battery power. Great news, since you’ll never have to worry about the modem’s battery running out unlike with portable modems!
As cars are becoming more technological these days, some car brands have been known to install modems in their cars as a standard feature, therefore providing the entire car with Wifi from the get-go. If you’re in the market for a new car, be sure to consider this feature when you’re deciding on which car brand to go with. If not, you can always just use a portable or built-in modem to achieve the same outcome.
And remember, don’t use your mobile devices while driving!