These days, just about every communication device comes with an option for cellular connectivity. But do you want to spend money connecting each mobile device one at a time? The majority of phones–and even some tablets–can be turned into Wi-Fi hotspots, but do you want to drain precious battery power connecting to the Internet this way?
Fortunately, more and more options for connecting multiple devices to the Internet while on the go are popping up.
As crazy as it may sound, cars now offer built-in Wi-Fi hotspots. Ford has been at the forefront of championing this concept and it won’t be too surprising if more car manufacturers jump on board.
If your car didn’t come with Wi-Fi — and it’s rare that cars do at this time — plenty of other options for connectivity are available. For example, Autonet, one of the more well known after-market solutions, offers a router very similar to the one you probably have at home. This device can provide data connections to multiple devices, can tell you how fast your teenager is driving, or help you locate your car if it gets stolen.
Although built-in and after-market Wi-Fi devices for your car are great, what if you want to take the Wi-Fi along with you when leave your automobile? In that case, you need what is sometimes called a MiFi. These devices, which are about the size of a pack of playing cards, can range anywhere from 3G to LTE (long term evolution) speeds. Nearly every mobile carrier offers such a device and a service contract to go along with it.
The trick to choosing wisely is to assess your needs, then balance convenience, cost, and connectivity.