5 Best Portable Car WiFi Devices to Keep you Connected

If you want network access in your car, consider these car WiFi devices

by Milan Stanojevic
Milan Stanojevic
Milan Stanojevic
Windows & Software Expert
Milan has been enthusiastic about technology ever since his childhood days, and this led him to take interest in all PC-related technologies. He's a PC enthusiast and he... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • Having Wi-Fi access in your car is possible if you're using the right devices.
  • Pick any of these devices and enjoy fast Internet access even while driving.

If you’re looking for a car WiFi device to stay connected on the go, we share the best models you can use right now.

Now that the world has gone digital, there’s an increasing demand for staying connected wherever you are, whether traveling or even relaxing at home.

For car owners, especially when stuck in traffic, in-car Wi-Fi comes in handy, taking off the hassle of having to convert credit to internet bundles before browsing. There are several ways you can get Wi-Fi in your car, including:

  • Using your smartphone

This is very popular, but your phone has to have the capabilities to become a Wi-Fi hotspot before using it in your car.

However, it may not be your best bet owing to the huge amounts of data it consumes, plus draining your battery meaning you have to keep it charged as you drive along.

  • Mobile hotspot

This is a small router, usually square or rectangular shaped, that lets you connect multiple devices at the same time.

A mobile hotspot is flexible, portable, and saves your phone’s data and battery as it uses a different data plan, but this means added costs monthly.

It is a good alternative if your car doesn’t come with a car WiFi built into it already.

  • Wireless router

This can be installed in your car, eliminating the need to keep carrying around a mobile hotspot device. It is more expensive though as you’d have to buy it, have it installed then pay for a data plan for the router.

  • Built-in Wi-Fi

In-car Wi-Fi that’s already built into your car is the best due to its signal strength, as well as how easy it is to use because you need not carry anything around.

However, its use is limited to whenever you are inside or near the car. Plus, you’d have to really be a heavy internet user if you want to pay for monthly subscriptions.

If you’re looking for an car WiFi device or mobile hotspot that you can use in your own jalopy, here are the best that will keep you connected on the go.

In this article

What is the best car WiFi device that I can buy?

Spectrum Smart-in Car WiFi – Best overall

  • Easy to use
  • Compatible with any Wi-Fi device
  • Works in North America
  • Doesn’t come with additional fees
  • No major issues

If you’re looking to use Wi-Fi in your car, then this device might come in handy. The device is certified to work in most North American countries.

You can use it to create a wireless network in your car and connect any Wi-Fi-compatible device to it. The device doesn’t come with any additional feels, so you can use it without restrictions.

However, you’ll need to have a SIM card and a contract with a mobile operator if you want to access the Web. Overall, it’s a great car WiFi device for your car, so be sure to consider it.

GlocalMe Mini – Can be used without SIM

  • 4G support
  • Doesn’t require SIM
  • Can support up to 10 devices
  • 3000mAh battery
  • Available plans might be expensive

If you need portable WiFi for car, then this hotspot might do the trick. According to the manufacturer, this device doesn’t need a SIM and you can pay as you go. However, the option for a SIM card is available as well.

This hotspot supports 4G and it can work in over 140 countries around the world. It’s important to mention that this device has a touchscreen so you can easily see battery level, signal strength, and other information.

The device can support up to 10 devices and thanks to a 3000mAh battery, it can last up to 10 hours on a single charge. If you’re planning a road trip, this will be a perfect addition to your car.

NETGEAR Nighthawk M6 – For advanced users

  • 5G support, speeds up to 2.5Gbps
  • WiFi 6 support
  • Can work with up to 32 devices
  • 2.4-inch touchscreen display
  • Expensive
  • Speed issues when used out of the US

Advanced users that look for the best car WiFi will surely be interested in this model that comes from Netgear.

This mobile hotspot provides speeds up to 2.5Gbps and it supports 5G signal, WiFi 6 is available as well, and it delivers speeds up to 3.6Gbps. As for the number of connections, this model can work with up to 32 devices.

This model also has an Ethernet port, so you can connect it to other network devices if needed. This is an advanced hotspot, but if you want the highest quality Wi-Fi signal in your car, this is the perfect car WiFi device for you.

GlocalMe Numen Air 5G – Offers 5G support

  • Speeds up to 2.5Gbps
  • Works in 50 different 5G countries
  • Can work with up to 16 devices
  • Touchscreen display
  • Wi-Fi name can’t be changed
  • The front button is too sensitive

Another great portable WiFi for a car is GlocalMe Numen Air 5G. This model offers speeds up to 2.5 Gbps, which should be more than enough for most users.

This car WiFi device can be used without a SIM card, but if you own one, you can use your own data plan. As for compatibility, this model works in 50 5G countries and supports more than 100 operators.

Thanks to the Wi-Fi 5 technology, you can share your network with up to 16 devices, and a built-in 5400mAh can also be used for charging your USB devices.

ZTE ZMAX Connect – For less demanding users

  • Can support up to 10 devices
  • Dual-band network
  • Works with all SIM cards
  • 4 LED indicators
  • No touchscreen
  • Minor Wi-Fi signal issues

If you want a simple-to-use car WiFi device, then ZTE ZMAX Connect might be what you need. This model accepts all SIM cards but it works best with T-Mobile and AT&T cards.

Using this model you can make 2.4 GHz or 5GHz network, and connect up to 10 devices. As for encryption, this model uses WPA and WPA2, which should provide some level of protection.

To monitor the status of your network, this model has four LEDs, and all the configuration is made via an online interface. Overall, it’s a simple but powerful car hotspot.

How can I get Wi-Fi in my car?

  • Using your smartphone hotspot is a popular solution, but you have to consider the huge amounts of data it consumes, plus draining your battery.
  • Use a dedicated tool for mobile Wi-Fi: portable Wi-Fi hotspot device.
  • In-car Wi-Fi that’s already built into your car is the best due to its signal strength, as well as how easy it is to use because you need not carry anything around.

What are the advantages of in-car Wi-Fi?

  • You get a wider range of data plans that suits everyone’s use from light users to heavy internet surfers
  • You can plug in without worrying about your batteries, or even charging
  • In-car Wi-Fi allows you to charge your phone while driving, so you need not worry about running out of juice
  • In-car Wi-Fi delivers fast connection speeds owing to the 4G compatibility
  • You can also connect multiple devices with in-car Wi-Fi
  • It’s also a good way of keeping everybody occupied especially on a long road trip or journey

The downside with in-car Wi-Fi, however, is it can be more expensive, depends on network coverage, its availability is pegged on the network provider, and there’s practically no way you can drive while browsing.

Mobile hotspot faster than Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi is obviously faster than 4G LTE Mobile Data, but downloads can get stuck over Wi-Fi. Some smartphone brands include a sanity check to switch your connection from a slow Wi-Fi to a faster cellular connection.

If you also want to assess your Wi-Fi connection, check out the list with the best Wi-Fi software to do just that. Also, check out the best Wi-Fi hotspot software for Windows 10 to make an informed decision.

For any other suggestions or questions, don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments section below.