Jaguar Connect Pack: Setting up In-Car WiFi

Everywhere, from restaurants and pubs to airplanes to even entire cities, now has WiFi. So it is inevitable then that the next stage of the WiFI revolution will be ensuring that we have a car WiFi connection. Many cars already have smart ‘car-play’ systems integrated into the dashboard that allow the driver to follow a navigation system like Google Maps and to answer and make phone calls from the flick of a button on their steering wheel.

Soon, thanks to companies like Google opening up their navigation operation systems to third parties, cars will include even more internet-enabled features. The latest Jaguar models are no exception. Their connect pro car WiFi system feature allows you to send automatic messages to your friends or workmates to let them know your estimated time of arrival and allows you to see real-time traffic updates on your in-built navigation system.

Did you know that even if you have vintage model Jaguar you can still install in-car WiFi?

Hotspots and Data Plans

The easiest way to use WiFi in your Jaguar car if it doesn’t have the connect pact feature is to use your existing phone data. This can be done by using the hotspot facility to link any internet-enabled in-car screens or tablet computers to that hotspot.

If you have the connect feature then there should be a slot to insert a micro sim card that can be pre-loaded with data or a monthly cell plan.

Your kids or other passengers can also hotspot off your phone or the sim card to access the internet on their own personal devices.

This can be great for the basics like sending messages over WhatsApp or Facebook and for checking text-heavy applications like Wikipedia or news apps. But if you or your children want to stream video over the internet then you might soon find that your data is used up pretty quickly.

Another pitfall that you might find is that your tethering is restricted by your cellular company in some way. Even if your phone has the capacity for a 4G connection, devices that tether to yours could be downgraded to 3G. Some cellular companies also only allow hot-spotting if you pay an extra charge.

This can make streaming video very difficult. And this is one of the main perks of having in-car WiFi. So what options do you have so that your passengers can enjoy hours of Netflix and Amazon Prime or HBO without fear of racking up a huge bill?

Dedicated Car Data Plans

Another option is to buy a portable data hotspot for your car. Phone companies often sell these and advertise them as an alternative to WiFi connections for laptop users who move around a lot. You could buy one and only use this when you are in the car.

The hotspots come in two different variations. One is a USB dongle. This might appear as if it is only useful for laptops but once it has been set up it can be inserted into any USB slot and it will work fine.

Most modern cars have USB slots for charging mobile phones but if you are working with an older model car then it might only have a cigarette lighting connection. This is usually not a problem, however, as you can buy adaptors which will convert them into USB slots and allow you to insert the dongle.

If you have a vintage car, however, this might not be an option. Instead, there is a second type of portable cellular mobile device that you can buy. These are more like WiFi boxes.

Whilst they do have batteries and can be plugged into a power source, at some point they are going to have to be taken out of the car and charged, which can be a pain. If you forget to take it off charge in your house and return it to your car you could find yourself without car WiFI for the whole journey.

WiFI

WiFi is a much better option for streaming movies in the car than a hotspot because it has a much stronger and more reliable signal. It might also be the way most cars connect to the internet in the future because the EU backs WiFi over 5G.

If you have Jaguar connect then it will come with a built-in ability to be able to search for WiFi networks to connect to whilst on the move. So if you know Starbucks has free WiFi and happen to be parked outside you can log on and your entire car will be connected.

However, if you don’t have this feature in your Jaguar, it will cost a lot more than hotspotting and will mean installing a router in your car. This can be big and clunky and will probably require an expert to ensure that it is installed properly.

Some routers also require being wired into the car. This can mean that if you were to ever sell your car or it broke down you might not be able to take the router out very easily. You may have to call an engineer to have it removed and reinstalled in your new car.

All of this can add up and can soon seem as if it is not worth it. If you think you are going to be buying a new car in the next few months anyway then it may well be worth waiting. Then when you buy a new car you can seek out models that already have WiFi built in.

In-Car WiFi: Weigh Up Your Options

What WiFi you need for your car will depend on what your personal needs are, what type of car you have and how much money you want to spend.

Other factors to think about are what you actually want to do with the internet in your car. If you are just looking for an in-car WiFi connection that allows you to use Google Maps whilst driving and for notifications from iMessages and Facebook, then simply hotspotting your phone will suit your needs just fine. You won’t even need to buy an extra plan.

However, if you have little ones and regularly take them on long journeys of over an hour then installing a dedicated router or hotspotting device might be a worthwhile investment.

They can then watch movies on their devices to their heart’s content rather than disturbing you as you drive.

If you’re thinking about buying a Jaguar with a car WiFi system, be sure to check out new cars on our website.

Posted in Jaguar Cars, Tech Tips