Ralph asked: “Is there a way that I can have Wi-Fi in my car? I know they are making cars with Wi-Fi, but is there a way to take that technology and add it to an existing car? I want to buy a newer car with the theater system inside it to watch movies and I’d love to be able to have wi-fi in there to pick up Netflix and other streaming movies inside my vehicle.”
There are a few ways to get WiFi in your car without it being put there by the manufacturer. The simplest one would be to just use your phone’s hotspot.
Alternatively, you could buy a MiFi device, they’re still around and this seems like a good use for them.
The big problem won’t be the device though, it will be the plan. If you happen to be on T-Mobile, they have something called Binge On that allows it users to stream music and video from many sites (including Netflix) without it counting against their plan.
Having said that, if you’re with any other company, it will probably cost you a great deal of money to stream video if you go over your data plan and video is very data hungry.
Also keep in mind that if you’re moving fast the quality of your connection may change rapidly. You may drive in areas with poorer coverage and your video streaming may suffer.
If possible, downloading the video first will still give you the best quality and you won’t have to worry about data caps. However, if you want to stick with streaming, your phone or a MiFi unit will do the job.
Also remember that the reason the built in WiFi works so well in modern cars is that they use the body of the car as an antenna. Your smartphone also limits the amount of power it uses to transmit back to the cell tower because you might have it pressed up to your head. An integrated car system has no such issues.
However, the integrated systems come with very small data plans. Although they are popular with the remote office crowd who needs to check email from their pickup truck when they’re parked in the official middle of nowhere, they aren’t very practical for streaming lots of media, especially video.
We are also compelled to point out that you should never watch videos while you are driving. We’re sure all of you know that, but it still must always be said.