That’s how WiFi and the internet operate in cars!

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By Miro Stoichev

Practical benefits of WLAN in the car include live streaming from the vehicle, video telephony in the front passenger seat, or, to put it simply, regular network communication while driving is possible with the appropriate technology. Especially on lengthy journeys, passengers will value being able to access the network without difficulty. With a dependable internet connection in the car, anyone who regularly makes their vehicle available for car sharing has a significant competitive advantage.

It is common sense, though, to concentrate on that task while driving rather than browsing the internet. Still, there are valid arguments for adding Wi-Fi to your car. To begin with, you can’t really live for hours without a network connection these days because you’re too reliant on the data streams of the modern world.

Worldwide, WiFi in the car is represented by four letters

Worldwide, WiFi in the car is represented by four letters

The acronym WLAN represents “Wireless Local Area Network.” “Accessing your next internet service provider without wires” is what it means when translated.

That’s okay in the house and with a couple next door. Nonetheless, the true assertion of having “Internet from everywhere” is only partially explained by these home networks. because the network is still connected to the router through a cable and it still hangs neatly on the wall. The final few meters are all that are broadcast on the radio. Naturally, this is not a feasible solution for the car, as nobody desires to tow a cable that stretches for kilometers behind them.

What makes this possible is mobile radio

Mobile radio networks can still offer the desired surfing experience in situations where permanently installed network nodes are not feasible. In Germany and throughout Europe, these networks—complete with masts and satellites—are already highly developed. So, there are already a plethora of options for setting up WiFi in cars.

Nothing more basic than a modem.

A laptop’s modem can also be used in an automobile. Therefore, using a modem is the quickest and most convenient way to surf while driving. With a SIM card, modems function similarly to smartphones. All you have to do is plug them into your laptop to begin surfing. Either prepaid or monthly payment options are used for billing.

Sending and receiving performance, however, is dependent upon the surfing device. This method might not be the best for all users because a thumb drive is the simplest but least reliable solution. It can take some perseverance to find a reliable connection, particularly in places with low network coverage and sparse populations. When you surf the Internet using a thumb drive, you are “only” connecting through a cellular network. But with Windows 10, all it takes is a few clicks to turn your laptop into a personal Wi-Fi hotspot. Not only does your laptop’s receive and transmit performance have limitations, but its battery life is another significant drawback.

Through a cell phone, access the WLAN in the car

For surfing, you can use a basic smartphone to set up a Wi-Fi hotspot in place of a laptop and modem. One advantage of the smartphone is that it can be effortlessly connected to a car’s 12V outlet and there are no problems with its battery life. Nevertheless, the phone’s data capacity is constrained. When utilizing it as a Wi-Fi hotspot, substantial volumes of data may rapidly approach the limit. After that, your surfing will either become extremely slow or you will need to purchase more costly packages.

Everything is reliant on the antenna

Setting up a smartphone hotspot and modem for temporary Internet access in the car is highly recommended. However, you’ll need a more comfortable solution if you really want to surf carefree in your vehicle, motorhome, or while operating a truck.

All forms of surfing, however, are contingent upon the presence of an access point. It is more challenging to access the internet when your car is located far from the closest access point. This is predicated on the extremely basic physical tenet that radiation intensity diminishes with increasing transmitter distance. As a result, a larger antenna will be required if you wish to access the Internet from a location farther away from the closest transmitting mast. As a result, these antennas can grow to be fairly large. They are therefore not very useful for standard cars.

Large mesh antennas, however, are now a standard feature of caravans and mobile homes. Nonetheless, one benefit of antenna technology is that standard surf poles can be equipped with strong receivers. To accomplish this, just unscrew the surf stick’s rod antenna and use an adapter to connect it to an external antenna. That being said, this solution is not entirely appropriate for cars. In this case, correspondingly high transmit and receive power must be provided by the routers themselves.

Nevertheless, it can be raised by utilizing a customized automobile WiFi antenna. Here, powerful, cutting-edge antennas are traded. Shark fin antennas are especially good for WLAN reception in addition to standard dipole antennas, which typically have a spiral base in the WLAN version. These shark fins are more than just stylish. In addition, they are very aerodynamic, stable, and unbreakable in a washing machine.

An excellent router with 12V power supply

With its mobile routers, Chinese company Huawei has truly pioneered some ground-breaking work. Huawei has created a variety of plug-and-play gadgets with functional performance. Additionally, mobile plug-in routers function via a SIM card.

Most suppliers of electronics have done the same and are providing comparable services. For example, Telekom’s Car Connect package is very useful. In this instance, the WLAN router is linked to an OBD-2 slot (fault memory plug) rather than a 12V socket. This slot is a standard feature on all vehicles produced after 2006. The WLAN router can now perform better and is less bothersome, which is an advantage.

Integrated into the Telekom model are a few extra features. One of these is an integrated GPS transmitter, for instance. The location of the car can always be found with the aid of the associated app.

Navigators and Wi-Fi hotspots in cars are comparable. Of course, using your smartphone and Google Maps to navigate is also quite simple. But not everyone will be comfortable with the large mounts and tiny screen. Although permanently installed navigation devices cost many times more, they are more affordable and much more convenient.

The same is true for WLAN applications: low-cost, straightforward solutions usually provide comparable performance to a WLAN that is installed permanently. But the limitations of smartphone hotspots and surfing sticks become evident as you get farther away from the nearest cell tower. Nowadays, a reasonably priced permanently installed WLAN in cars is available, and thanks to OBD connectivity, it can be covertly hidden inside the car. Thus, there’s no more excuse for improper emergency solutions to use the internet while operating a motor vehicle.

What is the price of car Wi-Fi?

The cost of the final products has significantly decreased. Similar to smartphones, the terms of the contract have a significant impact on the purchase price. It may even be possible to get the device for free if you buy it along with a fixed contract. Devices with adequate performance but no Simlock start at roughly 150 euros. Subscription costs vary in price just like mobile phone plans do. The range includes hourly and monthly flat rates as well as prepaid offers. Currently, a 10GB volume costs between €20 and €50 a month, though actual costs can vary significantly.

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