WiFi connection is now required!

WiFi connection is now required!

I just got off the phone with Tesla Support and I was told that WiFi connection is now REQUIRED.
Small software updates might still go over LTE but major updates (maps, SW-V9, etc) will NOT be delivered over LTE.
My car hasn't been updated lately for the simple reason that I never connected to WiFi.
They also mentioned that they couldn't force the latest software update to my car until connected to WiFi.

rxlawdude | 5 septembre 2018

I call "BS" on this. Not you, the poster, but the information given to you. It's simply not true.

bddaughe | 5 septembre 2018

Check out If you only have standard connectivity, then that information is true:

"Standard Connectivity offers basic maps & navigation, music & media over Bluetooth® and software updates over Wi-Fi. Note: Important safety updates will continue to be available over the car’s cellular connection."

According to that note, anyone who ordered after June 30 will have standard connectivity unless they upgrade to premium for $100/year.

broncochrissy | 5 septembre 2018

I ordered July 1 and got the premium upgrade free for a month. Got my car on Thursday and already had an update Friday without using WiFi.

Alex_SD | 5 septembre 2018

They refused to push the latest update over LTE because it contains a major maps update which is very large... Nothing I can do about it... I do have the premium connectivity for life...

lbowroom | 5 septembre 2018

So connect it to WiFi

mbouchti57 | 5 septembre 2018

Wait I though the premium connectivity is free for the first year. Isn't that true?

SolidWhite60DX | 5 septembre 2018

Yes the premium connectivity is free for the first year. Check the FAQs people.

bddaughe | 5 septembre 2018

Free for the first year for Model S and Model X owners. Or Model 3 owners with Premium Interior. I realize everyone at this time has premium interior, but wanted to clarify for completeness.

PaceyWhitter | 5 septembre 2018

Anyone else think OP is burying the lead? There is a large update available!? New maps? Is it V9? I'm excited, and connected to WiFi.

Alex_SD | 5 septembre 2018

Premium connectivity is free for life for cars ordered before July 1st. After July 1st, you get only one year free.

bobgriswold | 30 octobre 2018

I received my Model 3 in March of this year, and it did not have WiFi enabled at that time - I was told that it would come in a future update. I never received that update, and now I hear that all future updates will require WiFi. WTF??? I need a software update to even enable WiFi, but that software update will not be delivered until I connect to WiFi. What can I do - I have WiFi in my garage, and my Model S has been connected to it for several years. I really don't want to freak out about this yet, but I'm starting to get really angry. Can someone tell me if there is an easy solution to this?

ebm | 30 octobre 2018

@bobgriswold What software version are you on?

bobgriswold | 30 octobre 2018

v8.1 (2018.21.9 75bdbc11)

gballant4570 | 30 octobre 2018

I asked the question using the account page ask a question function. My question was about receiving software updates without WIFI, considering that I have lifetime connectivity. I was told WIFI was recommended and needed for software updates, via an email reply. Two days later, on 27 Oct, I received a notification of available software update, and scheduled it for 2:30 am the 28th, the following morning. I had received 2018 .39.7.1 over LTE when I checked the next day.

gballant4570 | 30 octobre 2018

bobgriswold, the other part of my email reply I did not mention above was to go to a service center for updates in lieu of hooking up to WIFI. It sounds like you should schedule a service to get caught up, and then hook up to WIFI.

I will need a network extender to connect my car to my WIFI from out in the barn.... I am certain that relying on LTE will end up with my car in a behind position as well, so I'll fix that.

CharleyBC | 30 octobre 2018

My son finally joined the V9 crowd this past weekend, getting the update over LTE. Where he parks at his apartment he can't connect to WiFi--never has. So while it may be preferred, and may explain why his update was so late compared to others (like mine), it seems it is not absolutely required.

bobgriswold | 30 octobre 2018

I haven't received ANY software update notices for several months, so I'm afraid I have been left hopelessly behind. I have fantastic wifi coverage in my garage, but terrible cell service. I don't think I will get any software updates over LTE since the cell network coverage at my home is terrible. So, do I now have to take time off of work and bring my car in to a service center just so I can get a software update that should have been installed over the air to my car months ago???

gballant4570 | 30 octobre 2018

bobgriswold, another option would be to retire, like I did. Not only you never have to take off work again, you never even have to go to work again. I have been enjoying a life of leisure ever since. I would recommend it.

Alex_SD | 30 octobre 2018

The reason why you don’t get updates it’s because of the poor LTE coverage at your residence. You need to bring your car to a service center. You’re WAY behind with software updates...

EVRider | 30 octobre 2018

Nobody required WiFi for updates yet, though it will improve your chances of getting one. Once people lose premium connectivity, they will need WiFi for most updates. Details here:

Nakid | 30 octobre 2018

V9 was installed over LTE, but I can't download the new maps unless I'm connected to WiFi.

SDr2d2 | 30 octobre 2018

Wifi is not required, i wrote an earlier post on this. I called support and they pushed update to me over LTE. They are prioritizing wifi during initial push save on LTE cost. I found there is a disconnect between there support documentation and reality.
They needed to push a map update package first then new version of v9. The lady on support had direct visibility and control to push to my car.

Hope this helps.

CharleyBC | 31 octobre 2018

@bobgriswold: That's pretty weird that you've gone so very long. Definitely an outlier case. Sounds like once you do get updated, WiFi will keep you happy going forward. But you've got to get there first. Perhaps a call to Tesla to see what they recommend in your scenario...

mmorg85 | 31 octobre 2018

I'm a noob here, but couldn't you set up your cel phone as a hot spot and make the car think it's connected to Wifi?

millerwb | 31 octobre 2018

Same situation for me as @bobgriswold. Wifi in my garage. Zero cell coverage where I live. I have had my car for a month. I have never received an update.

Kathy Applebaum | 31 octobre 2018

@bobgriswold Since you don't have good cell coverage at home, the solution is clear. You need to take the car for a long drive this weekend in areas with cell coverage. You'll get an update and a grin!

If that doesn't work, call Tesla and ask them for a solution that doesn't involve going to a SC.

CharleyBC | 31 octobre 2018

@mmorg85, yes you should be able to use your phone as a hotspot. The trick is you have no idea when it's going to be your turn for an update. You probably don't want to leave your phone acting as a hotspot for a week or two while you wait--assuming you have infinite phone battery.

calvin940 | 31 octobre 2018


Call customer service. A very helpful individual knew my current firmware status and also knew my car wasn't in the current job queue but I imagine when seeing your circumstance should be able to arrange to escalate a push out. Plenty of people received V9 over LTE that you should be able to get resolution.

bradbomb | 31 octobre 2018

@calvin940 Did you read @bobgriswold post? He is stuck on 21.9 which was before the update that even enabled WiFi on the car. His issue is that his garage has no LTE coverage, but great WiFi coverage. However, he can't connect to WiFi without being updated to 24.6 or higher. Without LTE coverage while the car is parked for an extended period of time, he won't get any update. I never received any of my previous updates over LTE while the car was driving, only when it was parked and had entered sleep. I did receive 39.7 over WiFi the one time I was able to park somewhere and get my car connected on WiFi. Haven't received 42.2, but I have not had my car connected to WiFi since I received 39.7

calvin940 | 31 octobre 2018

@bradbomb yes, I read his post. I suggested nothing about receiving the update via WiFi. I am saying that the car can get it over LTE (as others have received) , but the vehicle is going to need to be left it in an LTE friendly location in order to do so (maybe friend's or relative's place that has better LTE). The other option that is available is the visit to the service center.

gwolnik | 31 octobre 2018

The wifi signal in my garage is very weak, so I mail ordered an extender, but it hasn't arrived yet. I got the notification that an upgrade was ready yesterday and suspected it was version 42. I volunteer at my church and have access to the church office and its wifi, so I went there last night and parked in front of the office door and got a strong wifi signal! I started the upgrade, then went into the office to do some work and waited 45 minutes. I kept peaking out the window hoping to see the headlights flash, but either they stopped doing that on the software upgrades, or I missed it. When I checked the car, it was on 42! However, I don't know if the maps updated, is there a way to tell or to force that upgrade?

wick | 4 mai 2019

Could someone kindly give me the number for Tesla service. I have no Wifi in my garage or anywhere else outside my house. If I go somewhere where I can connect to Wifi, would any updates come right away? Or would I have to stay there for hours or days waiting for an update?

Tesla2018 | 4 mai 2019

I went to the service cemter at night after they closed and connected to their wifi. Once I did it for 10 minutes and nothing happenned. 2nd time I waited about 20 minutes and I got the update. Dont know if service center wifi is different from using regular wifi and knows that a car is linked or not, and if regular wifi update is sent out and if you arent connected at the time if you lose it.

82bert | 4 mai 2019

Buy a WiFi extender. For service, you can contact via app and/or account online.

rdavis | 4 mai 2019

Log into your Tesla account. Click on Support. scroll to bottom of page. click on Chat (M-F) and chat with a representative or google the number of our local service center and call them or drive by and talk to them.

If you connect to a public or another wifi, there is no guarantee when the update will be delivered. You'd be better served to get a cellular hotspot to put in your garage or purchase a wifi extender to get the range of your wifi extended to cover your garage.

EVRider | 4 mai 2019

The OP is incorrect, Unless you have an SR/SR+ without the premium interior, you can still get updates via LTE (except for map updates), so don't worry too much about WiFi if you don't have access. It might take you longer to get updates, but you'll get them eventually.

This will change once people start to lose premium connectivity -- see this for details:

geedub1023 | 4 mai 2019

@wick Agree with 82bert, see if a WIFI extender will work. I had no WIFI signal in the garage because my router was on the opposite end of my house in my upstairs office. I went online to Amazon and found/bought a TP-Link/N300 WIFI extender for $16.99. I back my M3 into my garage so I plugged the WIFI extender near the nose of my M3 in an outlet closest to my garage door. I now get a strong WIFI signal and have no problem downloading updates from TESLA. If you don't want to purchase a WIFI extender, maybe you can move your router closer to the garage which may give you a stronger signal. Good luck!

vswendsen | 7 mai 2019

Been traveling for the last week and my Model 3 has been in an airport parking lot the entire time. Lots of folks here were getting updates and wondering when I would get one. About two hours after getting home last night and being on WiFi I got an update. It could have been coincidence but it sure seemed like the car waited until it was on WiFi before downloading the latest update. I got the 2019.12.1.2 so skipped right over the 12.1.1 that seemed to have a lot of issues.

Fredvanngo | 7 mai 2019

Still waiting for the 12.1 updates since last month currently at 8.5. My garage Wifi is just okay because the router is far upstair from the other end of the house and i do have an extender in the garage but the signal is still weak most of the time. will get better with more stronger extender perhaps.

Gordon87 | 7 mai 2019

I park in an apt. garage, so no Wi-Fi. Yesterday I connected the car to my iPhone’s Personal Hotspot for 15 minutes. When I went up to my apt. I got a notice that an update was ready to install. I went from 2019.8.5 to 2019.12.1.2. Of course, the Personal Hotspot used up data, my my data plan has more than enough monthly data. Map updates may be a different story.

Tronguy | 7 mai 2019

@bert, @82bert, @geedub1023: The wi-fi extenders may work OK, but "OK" is what you get with these things. The general idea is that one sticks them within the wi-fi coverage of the main router, but they _also_ retransmit, on the same channel, packets going further on out. Equipment that's in range of both of these radio transmitters then gets reduced throughput. So: On the one hand, increased range. On the other hand, data rates drop.
There are a couple of better ways. The one I like is to run an Ethernet cable from your wi-fi router, wherever it may be, to the garage. The two "extenders" I've seen have both an Ethernet jack and another mode: Access Point (AP). They'll take in the Ethernet cable and create a new wi-fi SSID on a different channel, thus not interfering with the main router's wi-fi, and guaranteeing full speed.
The usual use for that Ethernet jack is to allow connection back to the main router. In the AP mode, that jack connects to the router.
The other approach is to invest in Mesh Wi-Fi routing. These are typically a router plus various extender boxes, but, unlike the cheapie wi-fi extenders, these things are _designed_ to work together as a mesh and not step on each others' packets. But they cost $$. If one has a big house, well, then, maybe.

slingshot18 | 7 mai 2019

I downloaded the 12.1.2 while sitting in a restaurant parking lot using my phone WiFi last night. I was already on 12.1.1 so I was able to control the download/install. Pretty quick.

jithesh | 7 mai 2019

@CharleyBC same situation here.. live in apartment.. no Wifi access.
I used to get updates on LTE when I bought the car but not anymore.
I always get my updates when I go for grocery shopping and connect to Wholefoods Wifi.
I do not know if Wifi is required ot not but I think they definitely prioritize Wifi updates

Fredvanngo | 7 mai 2019

Just got a new notice from my app to install the update when supercharging now. Will do it soon after SC complete. I am Using the Tesla Supercharger Wifi in Los Angeles.

richtrav | 7 mai 2019

So no word on when they're going to start the premium connectivity subscription service?

NEKEV | 7 mai 2019

I chatted with support last week to inquire about getting the FSD trial and was told I needed three updates before it would be offered. I'm currently on 2019.5.15. They said that for two of the three I HAD to be on Wifi. I am still within my 1 year of Premium connectivity.

Gordon87 | 7 mai 2019

@NEKEV - When I purchased my model 3, it was on 5.15. I used my iPhone Personal Hotspot to get 2019.8.3 (?), 2019.8.5 and yesterday, 2019.12.1.2.

ozonelives | 7 mai 2019

@NEKEV I can also confirm my car purchased in April had 5.15. Update to 8.5 happened over LTE. WiFi was not required.

zp | 7 mai 2019

I'd be surprised if they didn't move towards a p2p ad-hoc network approach to distributing new firmware. When parked at a Supercharging station, the cars should communicate with one another to get the fleet up-to-date.

soyfoo | 7 mai 2019

I was told the same today by Tesla support, WiFI is required for sw updates. 12.1.2 has been staged for me over 4 days but I never received notification. I have LTE. WiFi is spotty when parked at home. I will try to tether to my iPhone to get the 12.1.2.