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Troubleshooting Car WiFi Connectivity Issues

  • Things To Do
  • Jeannie Assimos
  • 11 minutes

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By guest blogger Dmytro Sokhach, an entrepreneur and the 6-Figure Flipper Club member.

The luxury of having a stable Internet connection in your vehicle is too enticing to turn down.  You may listen to your favorite music, read your emails, and even obtain GPS instructions without depleting your data package.

So what if your car’s WiFi begins acting up? This can be aggravating, especially if you’re on a lengthy family vacation and depend a lot on your vehicle’s connectivity. Thankfully, the most common WiFi difficulties in automobiles can be resolved with a little research. Let’s take a look at some typical issues related to WiFi connectivity in cars and identify their resolutions.

Weak Signal

A poor WiFi signal is among the most prevalent connectivity difficulties in automobiles. This might happen when you’re too far away from the WiFi provider, or if there are impediments in the path, such as trees or structures.¬†

If you’re getting a poor signal, try and move closer to the Internet source or parking in an area with fewer barriers. You may also want to shut off other WiFi-enabled devices to free up bandwidth.

Password Issues

If you’re experiencing problems connecting to WiFi in your vehicle, it’s possible that you’re using the incorrect password. Verify that you’ve used the right login and that you’re entering it correctly. If the problem persists, try to reset the WiFi connection and input the password once more.

Compatibility Issues

Another possible issue is compatibility. This can occur if your vehicle’s WiFi is incompatible with the equipment you’re attempting to connect to.¬†

For example, attempting to connect an older device to a newer car may result in compatibility concerns. In this scenario, you may need to update the software on your device or upgrade your vehicle’s WiFi system.

Network Congestion

WiFi connection troubles in automobiles can also be caused by network congestion. This occurs if there are a lot of devices sharing the same network and causing the bandwidth to be overstressed. 

You should know that there may be an excess of devices on the network if you’re experiencing sluggish WiFi speeds or outages. Try unplugging some of the devices or wait until the network is less crowded before attempting to join.

Software Updates

Software upgrades are required to keep your car’s wireless Internet system operational. If you’re having difficulties accessing WiFi, it’s possible that the software in your vehicle needs an update. Look for any applicable software upgrades and download them if required. This will enhance your vehicle’s WiFi performance.

Antenna Problems

Lastly, antenna faults might create WiFi connectivity troubles in automobiles. If your vehicle’s antenna is broken or malfunctioning, it might disrupt the WiFi connection. This might happen if you’ve been in an accident or if your car’s roof has been damaged. If you believe that antenna damage is causing your Internet issues, get your truck inspected by a professional.

When it comes to troubleshooting vehicle WiFi connectivity difficulties, having some resources at your disposal might be beneficial.

How Do You Troubleshoot WiFi Connectivity Issues?

In-car WiFi access has become a common standard for contemporary vehicles, allowing drivers and passengers to stay connected while on the road. But, there are several drawbacks to in-car WiFi access that can be aggravating to deal with.

According to Tech expert Xtrium, here are some suggestions for avoiding in-car WiFi connectivity troubles and maintaining a solid Internet connection.

Before purchasing a plan, check the signal strength

Check the signal strength in your location before purchasing an in-car WiFi package. This can assist you in selecting a package that is appropriate for your requirements and will enable you with a solid connection.

Restrict the number of devices that can be connected

Too many devices connected to your in-car WiFi network might cause network overload issues, resulting in poor performance or failed connections. To increase network performance, reduce the number of devices attached to the network.

Place your vehicle in an open area

While utilizing in-car WiFi, it’s critical to park in an open location that is not obscured by trees or other structures. This can boost the signal strength and speed of your network connection.

Huge files should not be streamed

Large digital files, such as videos or audio tracks, can consume a considerable amount of bandwidth and cause bottlenecks. Limit your access to streaming services while utilizing in-car WiFi to avoid connectivity troubles.

Use a WiFi range extender

Consider purchasing a WiFi range extender to improve your connection, especially if you know that you often have to travel to locations with weak connections. These gadgets can improve your overall connectivity by extending the range of your WiFi signal.

By following the above-mentioned recommendations, you may prevent problems with in-car WiFi access and enjoy the comfort of keeping connected while on the road. If you do have connectivity difficulties, try troubleshooting following the procedures given in this article or seek professional help to identify and address the issue.

How to Properly Connect WiFi to Your Car

You can use your smartphone or tablet to quickly connect to the Internet in your car. There’s no need to buy a costly device; it’s enough to own an Android-powered smartphone with everything you need to receive/distribute the Internet and perform as an access point. To enable this mode, go to the settings menu and follow a few simple steps:

  • Find the “Sharing” – “Wireless Networks” submenu;¬†
  • Enter the “Modem Mode” tab;
  • In Settings, find “Wi-Fi Hotspot”;
  • Connect your device to the new network.

WiFi Internet using your phone or tablet is convenient and easy. However, the device working in the access point mode will quickly run out of power. Thus, you want to make sure you have an unlimited plan in advance.

Another disadvantage is that a mobile device or tablet can lose its signal when traveling out of town.

Alternatively, you can use your phone as a Bluetooth modem. This option is used on older models of mobile devices with operating systems like Symbian and Windows Mobile. The phone will deliver Internet access in normal mode. To connect to the network, other devices must have a Bluetooth module.

Laptop

Laptops with built-in and external modems are suitable for connecting your car to the Internet. The main disadvantage of this method is the large size of the device compared to the phone. However, the laptop has a higher capacity battery and receives the signal better.

To organize the in-car Internet using a Windows-based laptop, you need to:

  • Go to the “Settings” menu;¬†
  • Find the “Network and Internet” tab;
  • Go to the “Mobile Hotspot” setting;¬†
  • Allow the use of the online connection on other devices.

USB Modem

USB modem with a WiFi function is structurally simple equipment for the Internet in any car. Basically, it’s a “flash drive” that is plugged into the USB port of the car radio or multimedia-navigation system. The main advantages of the device are its compactness and inconspicuous appearance. The car owner gets permanent access to the Internet, as the modem remains in the cabin. 4G or 3G modem in the car allows you to use a separate SIM card designed only for online access.

You can choose an advantageous plan without the ability to make calls and send messages. The disadvantages of this Internet connection are the low quality of signal reception and transmission and the small number of connected devices.

Tip: It’s best to get universal modems. Devices tied to a single operator are cheaper but offer less functionality. In particular, you can’t change your SIM card. And while this is not an issue for urban residents, active travelers are better to have alternative options. It happens when the signal of one operator disappears in a certain area, but everything is fine with the other network.

Note that there are USB modems that can only be connected to laptops, which are controlled through the computer’s OS. Such devices are not suitable for work in the car as they are not autonomous.

That’s why you need devices for WiFi distribution. Some of them can be simply plugged into the jack of your car radio, navigation system, or in-car TV, and can configure themselves to launch automatically.

Other models require a prior connection to a computer to adjust the settings. To make the USB modem work more efficiently in your car, you want to buy an Internet signal booster. Especially if you often leave the city (in rural areas, the signal is often lost). An antenna-amplifier 3G modem can provide a more stable connection and high-speed online connection.

OBD-II

In vehicles, OBD-II devices with built-in WiFi modules are designed to connect to the port of the same name to perform diagnostic work. They allow you to detect errors and malfunctions, monitor fuel efficiency, prevent unsafe driving, and so on. Due to their comprehensive functionality, most OBD-II devices can distribute WiFi. Thus, a car access point to the Internet without a USB modem is created.

In addition to accessing the web, as a car owner, you also get access to a variety of information. Manufacturers like Delphi Connection Systems release smartphone apps and provide vehicle movement data. You can track your car’s performance in real-time and check information about your previous travels.

Among the disadvantages of OBD-II, note the high cost of communication quality compared to a phone or USB modem.

The price of diagnostic devices with a WiFi module and extensive functionality can go up to several thousand dollars. A car Wi-Fi-router is less expensive.

Stationary WiFi Modem and Router

A wireless router in the car is a device that is distinguished by its functionality, reliability, and high quality of communication.

Such a device is able to “catch” the signal of cellular operators and often requires stationary installation. Therefore, it’s not suitable for moving from one car to another. However, there are exceptions to the rules that involve mobility. This can be compared to DVRs, which come with 2 mounts (based on 3M scotch).

The main advantages of the fixed modem and router are a strong and stable WiFi signal and a decent Internet connection. The equipment often has UBS ports for local connection to other devices, for example, a phone without a wireless data module.

A WiFi adapter may also have a LAN connector for a laptop.

Note that setting up a modem is more complicated and requires more time when compared to a regular USB device. However, an average wireless router does not require the purchase of additional signal boosters.

What Is Automotive Mobile Satelite Internet?

Mobile satellite Internet allows you to get a stable online connection anywhere in the U.S. and other countries. You can use web resources and corporate apps, as well as receive/transmit information in places where there are no mobile providers. It is characterized by a much higher efficiency when compared to a USB modem or router.

This option of connecting to the web provides access to a variety of functions, e.g., it allows you to organize video surveillance in the car via the Internet on the basis of cameras with a WiFi module.

To connect to the satellite Internet, you need a set of equipment. An antenna can be installed on the roof or inside the vehicle. In the first case, the device must have dust and moisture protection, full water resistance, and the ability to work stably in a wide temperature range.

The main disadvantages of in-car satellite Internet are the cost of equipment and the complexity of installation. Therefore, it’s best performed at a professional service center.

Which Option to Choose?

Satellite Internet in the car is an expensive pleasure. However, if you need a high-quality connection, regardless of the location of the vehicle, this option is optimal.

For less sophisticated users, a fixed modem is enough. For a stable online connection within the city limits, a simple smartphone will suffice.

Conclusions

Having WiFi in your car can be extremely useful for some people, and while it’s not yet very common, it’s important to know how to troubleshoot your car’s internet connection.

To summarize, WiFi connectivity issues in autos can be aggravating, but the majority of them are simple to resolve with little or no effort. Try the options mentioned above if you’re experiencing problems with bad signals, passwords, compatibility, restricted bandwidth, software upgrades, or antennas. With a little time and work, you should be able to get your car’s WiFi back up and running.


Author bio:

Dmytro Sokhach is an entrepreneur and the 6-Figure Flipper Club member. Founded Admix Global (web agency) that builds websites, makes them profitable, and sells them as business

Having WiFi in your car can be extremely useful for some people, and while it’s not yet very common, it’s important to know how to troubleshoot your car’s internet connection.

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