If you’re not already using the Internet in your car, you’re probably missing out. If you’re already using the Internet in your car, congratulations, you’re a long way ahead. Just keep your eyes on the road unless you are driving. level 4 or 5 autonomous vehicle . In this case, this list is even more relevant.

Either way, you might be surprised to know that the internet is no longer just for funny felines. memes . Connect your car to the Internet and the possibilities for entertainment and edification are almost endless.

In fact, we’re only going to stick with seven great ways to use the internet in your car, just to try and keep things under control. And here they are:

01
from 07

Ditch Old Fashioned Radio

phone internet car

Streaming endless music from the cloud is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to using the Internet in your car.
Pleasureofart/E+/Getty
What we like
  • Endless Listening Possibilities

What we don’t like
  • Wireless data can be expensive when streaming internet radio

Do you still listen to FM radio? Possibly, but probably not. What about AM Radio? Does anyone even remember what this is?

The radio industry has pinned its hopes on HD Radio and clings to OEM head units for dear life, but now you . probably , switched to phone use in as a music player in the car or even subscribed to satellite radio subscription .

And that’s okay if you’re okay with a limited selection of music, or paying for something you probably only use in your car. If not, then the Internet comes to the rescue.

Internet radio isn’t really radio at all, mainly because it’s a nebulous term that covers a huge range of ways to listen to music over the Internet. Some terrestrial radio stations have internet simulcasts that allow you to listen to a radio station that is halfway across the country, or even halfway around the world, thanks to the magic of a wireless internet connection.

Or, if you prefer, you can opt for a free or paid internet radio service that offers either custom «stations» in the form of playlists that suit your personal tastes or on-demand access to just about any song that interests you. hear.

Some head units come with built-in internet radio support, and some cars even come with built-in internet access (and even act as Wi-Fi hotspots), putting all these options and more right at your fingertips. In other cases, you will have to connect your phone’s internet connection to the head unit via bluetooth tethering or just use your phone to launch the internet radio app and connect it to the head unit with the means of your choice .

02
from 07

Never get lost again

lost in the car

Can the map determine your location and suggest the fastest route from there? I didn’t think so!
Laurie Andrews / Moment / Getty
What we like
  • Offers a free alternative to expensive GPS devices.

What we don’t like
  • Some internet mapping applications stop working correctly if you lose your connection, which can happen eventually.

  • Relying on online mapping applications can get you into trouble, so always follow the directions with common sense.

Your car had built-in navigation ? Big! But what about when this built-in navigation option is several years old and new road construction has rendered it more or less useless?

You can always pay for an expensive upgrade, or simply turn to the Internet, where free maps and route planning services are almost never out of date.

Check out our list the best free turn-by-turn navigation apps, to find out what’s in there.

03
from 07

Avoid traffic

avoid traffic jams

Probably should have gone the other way, huh.
Ron Chapple / Image Bank / Getty
What we like
  • You can use your phone to avoid traffic.

What we don’t like
  • Data on free traffic is not always accurate.

  • Apps like Waze only work when a lot of people in the area are using them.

Some GPS navigators and information -entertainment systems With GPS support come with the option traffic data transmission in mode real time which are provided free of charge or as an optional purchase. This is a great feature if you live and commute in a traffic-heavy area, as it allows you to bypass bad fetters before you find yourself hopelessly mired in the middle lane of a freeway that has suddenly turned into a parking lot.

If your navigation device does not have a direct traffic option or you do not want to pay for it, then you are not there on the Internet either. Whether you’re following an app or simply using the traffic data available for free from most mapping and route planning services, and sometimes from local municipal sources, there’s no surer way to curb road rage than simply avoiding the hassle of the situation in the first place. .

Applications like Waze, by The essence of this feature is crowdsourcing, allowing you to leverage the combined knowledge and experience of hundreds or even thousands of drivers in your area.

04
from 07

Catch up at work (or just play Hookey)

working on the beach

Who needs an office when you have internet in your car?
Britt Erlanson / Culture / Getty
What we like
  • What do you dislike about working on the beach?

What we don’t like
  • Mobile data isn’t cheap, so make sure your laptop is set to use a metered connection.

Internet connection via mobile hotspot or even from a connected phone, as well as a laptop and an appropriate inverter can turn any car into a mobile office. Whether you just need to check your email on a long car or road trip, or start Citrix from the beach and pretend like you’re actually doing some work, mobile internet is where it’s at.

05
from 07

Entertain the kids

kids in the back seat

Mobile Internet access means you never have to hear “Are we here yet?”.
Tetra Images/Getty
What we like
  • This is much more convenient than navigating through physical disks.

  • You don’t have to listen to the same movie or watch it again for the hundredth time.

What we don’t like
  • Again, mobile data is not cheap. Check if any providers offer a plan that offers unlimited data or unlimited data when using a particular streaming service.

Let’s face it. The internet provides a huge variety of entertainment options, including the aforementioned funny cat pictures if you’re into that sort of thing, but most of them aren’t really aimed at you as a driver.

If you want to capture funny YouTube videos over your phone’s internet connection and stream them to your head unit’s HD display while driving on the freeway, that’s definitely your prerogative, although it may not be the safest solution.

Most car entertainment — from watching TV co shift in time to games on social networks — much more suitable for your passengers, whether you are traveling by car or trying to stay sane on a long family trip .

06
from 07

Find the nearest gas station, the biggest ball of twine, a mysterious place, etc…

night refueling

Will the next gas station be cheaper? Can you even get to the next gas station? Better ask online!
VanDenEsker/E+/Getty
What we like
  • There’s almost endless utility here, with the ability to track down nearby businesses and find cheap gas.

What we don’t like
  • There really aren’t any downsides to this.

Some GPS navigators come with built-in data (POIs), but nothing beats old-fashioned Google searches.

Some head units even come with this type of functionality where you can search for specific information over an internet connection, but why not just fire up Yelp for a good restaurant on your route, or check Gas Buddy to see where the cheapest gas is?

07
from 07

Unleash the potential of telematics

phone car telematics

Need to unlock your car or start it remotely? There is an app for that!
Don Bailey / E+ / Getty
What we like
  • Telematics can make your life much easier and even get rid of traffic jams.

What we don’t like
  • This is a more niche option because not all cars have this kind of functionality.

This is a huge category and really one of the main reasons why your car and the internet are two great things that go together so well. Some cars have telematics systems with built-in cellular radio receivers which can be connected to an internet connection and an app on your phone to do anything from unlocking the doors if you left your keys inside, sounding the horn if you lost your car at all, or even turning off the engine if the car was stolen.

Other built-in telematics and infotainment features are only available if you have your own internet connection, such as the built-in internet radio apps mentioned earlier. Ultimately, your internet experience in the car is what you make of it, and you can do quite a bit if you try.

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