Access to free public wifi for software update???

Access to free public wifi for software update???

Hey everybody,

Where do you suggest I can go to get a wifi connection publicly?

I will not have access to my own wifi for 3-4 months and I was hoping not to miss out on the software updates.

Thanks in advance

hokiegir1 | 2019年11月1日

If you have a service center near you, that's the best bet -- just park close enough to get on their network. Otherwise, I've seen Whole Foods and Chick-fil-A both have networks without login pages (which the car can't currently handle). If those aren't convenient either, look into something like a travel router, where you can log in to the splash page from the router on your phone, then add the car to the router's network.

Example router:

EVRider | 2019年11月1日

If your phone’s data plan isn’t restrictive, you can use your phone as a WiFi hotspot.

cosmicwarrior | 2019年11月1日

Thanks everybody, I'll try the either whole foods or chickfila, if that doesn't work for me I'll call AT&T to get a hotspot added to my plan.

hokiegir1 | 2019年11月1日

@cosmicwarrior - consider Google Fi as an option for this. The reason would be with AT&T, you will be paying for it if you use it or not. With Google Fi, you can activate and deactivate the line as needed, only paying while you actually use it, and you only pay for the data you use @ $10/GB. Ultimately, depending on what AT&T is going to charge you, it could go either way, but might be worth looking into.

rxlawdude | 2019年11月1日

Another thing to note is that open WiFi networks that take you to a screen with terms for accessing the internet will likely not work, reason being that until you click past that type of screen, you are not connected to the internet.

@TTap might know, but before you see the WiFi icon in the Tesla, I believe it requires the wireless network to actual connectivity to the Internet, not just an open WiFi network.

Anyone have any experience with that variant of open WiFi networks that can confirm the Tesla works with those?

hokiegir1 | 2019年11月1日

@rxlawdude - That's what I was talking about in my post. You can't do them directly, but a travel router can get you past those by setting up a different network to connect the car to.

rxlawdude | 2019年11月1日

@hokie, indeed. The hotspot is the trick I used to get V10 downloaded while I was at work a few weeks ago. :-)

Why, in 2019, anyone has a wireless plan in the US without hotspot capability and at least a few GB allowance, is beyond me.

CharleyBC | 2019年11月1日

We've gotten free WiFi by parking right outside a public library and using theirs.

rxlawdude | 2019年11月1日

@Charly, did the library WiFi require you to click past terms of service?

cosmicwarrior | 2019年11月1日

@RXlawdude, well aren't you the little troll. lol

It is clearly "beyond" you, so let me tell you why:

Lots of people don't have it because they'd rather not spend $10-$20 extra per month when they never use it a majority of the time. Keep your condescending comments to yourself...

Tronguy | 2019年11月1日

So: I know this works with Cablevision, an ISP on the East Coast.
One can log in with a regular computer. There's a setup page for wi-fi hot spot access where one enters the MAC address of one's electronic object, be it a cell phone, laptop, tablet, etc, and names the object. Once that's been done, the electronic object gets access without, I think, any prompting whatsoever.
I don't know how the likes of Cablevision prevents scammers from using a legit MAC, but there it is.

Further, Cablevision, Comcast, and Time-Warner (I think) have entered into an alliance where their hotspots also dump out an SSID named, "CableWiFi". The first time one connects to this SSID one has to identify which company one has an account with but, after that, the connection is automatic and not prompted.

I haven't actually tried either of the above but I believe I heard reports last year where people had managed to pull it off and get connectivity. And, if one does get connectivity this way, one is not cheating anybody: You're paying for the hotspots with your cable bill in any case.

rxlawdude | 2019年11月1日

@cosmic, thanks for your feedback.

CharleyBC | 2019年11月1日

@rxlawdude: "@Charly, did the library WiFi require you to click past terms of service?"

Hmm. Good question. I honestly don't recall.

But let's suppose it did. If you used the in-car browser to accept the terms of service, then the car has a viable WiFi connection. Wouldn't that work?

Obviously, the same would apply at a coffee shop or hotel (etc) where you were hopping onto their WiFi.

rxlawdude | 2019年11月1日

@Tronguy, if one can get to the authentication web page, then there's no problem. The question is whether Teslas will even show a WiFi connection for a network that doesn't (till authenticated) connect to the internet.

Your report suggests you can. I'm going to kill my cable modem and check things out...

rxlawdude | 2019年11月1日

Ok, back with results. First thing was I enabled the guest network with no security. The Tesla recognized (listed among live WiFi SSDs) it but would not connect. I explicitly added it using the WiFi dialog. Still no workie.

Then, the big test: disconnected cable modem from router. Went out to car (which was on LTE) and tapped the icon. My SSID for my main network (WPA2) did not appear, even though the router was still broadcasting.

It appears, then, that a WiFi network must be up AND connected to the internet when the Tesla negotiates the connection.

Others invited to test this and report. Why am I doing this? Because many of the "free" WiFis will require you to accept terms before the actual internet connection is made.

Tesla2018 | 2019年11月1日

I went through a Wendys drive today and it connected. However when I was parked in there lot about 30 feet from the building, it wouldnt connect. When I went to the service center the other day it said it was connected on the top of the screen but when I went to the area that shows it downloading, it said to connect to the internet when previous times it showed the download bar moving. At work we are changing wifi companies so right now I cant connect since I dont get the pop up acknowledgement screen. Will have to see if the cable guy for the new company knows how to get my car to connect to the network.

gballant4570 | 2019年11月1日

Of course, you won't know when the software update is pushed to your car. You'll have to park at the Wendy's all the time to ensure success.....

Tesla2018 | 2019年11月1日

My software update preference is set to advanced. If you use Quick controls and go to Software it will show if you have any updates available and underneath it it has a green bar which shows the progress as it downloads. I don't have to hang out at Wendy's waiting to see if it downloads since it should automatically do it once it makes a connection. But I guess it's a good reason to go and get a Frosty!

Moralak | 2019年11月7日

I didn't have access to my wifi after I moved to Lisbon and bought property in Portugal Try to connect your service center. Or use Wendys drive.

hokiegir1 | 2019年11月8日

@gballant - the V10 rollout included some alerts for when WiFi is needed and allows for watching progress of the download.

kevin_rf | 2019年11月8日

Wonder if you would have a better chance of success parking in the Wendy's handicap spot. They are closer to the building ;-)

But, officer, not having wifi at home is a disability.

NKYTA | 2019年11月8日

@rx “ Why, in 2019, anyone has a wireless plan in the US without hotspot capability and at least a few GB allowance, is beyond me.”

Some of us dinosaurs are still are grandfathered into an ATT unlimited plan for our phones. A plan change would disallow that setting, unfortunately. Since inception.

Probably time for me to revisit that, as well as bothering with paying for a wired phone connection at the townhouse, because that is seemingly just a waste of $160/month to receive robo-calls...and no guarantee anymore that it helps during emergencies.

Home Wifi was a challenge, but solved with repeaters.

@hokie, home is all Apple + ATT; work is all Google + fiber, plus WiFi and Macs.

I’m not at all sure I want to conflate the two with Fi at home. I trust Apple slightly more with my data than Google.

NKYTA | 2019年11月8日

@kevin, twisted, but funny.

gparrot | 2019年11月8日

Does the car recognize 5GHz wifi or is it limited to only 2.4GHz?

flynn.eamonn | 2019年11月8日

I really wish that Tesla would just put wifi at all of their superchargers. It would save them money (cars at the supercharger would not be using LTE for Youtube etc). They have connection there already to authorize the charging. Come on Telsa, help those of use that live in Condos or are terrible data plans out!

hokiegir1 | 2019年11月8日

@gparrot - Consensus seems to be 2.4GHz only. In my experience, it won't work on our 5GHz network, but does fine on the 2.4. Someone else actually confirmed this with a tech when they were having issues, but we all know how that goes.

hokiegir1 | 2019年11月8日

@flynn - As I understand it, it's part of the plan, but just isn't there yet. :)

FFR6288 | 2019年11月8日

I have had the problem of not being able to see the "accept conditions" page every time I try to use my old Android tablet on these types of networks. What works for me is typing in "" in the address bar of my browser (without quotes). This seems to be the default address of nearly everybody's conditions page. I can't try it in my P3D yet, because I haven't got one yet. 7 to 9 weeks from order date puts me towards the end of December. Can't wait! | 2019年11月8日

All Model 3s have 5 GHz hardware as do S/X with MCU2. It should be usable in the car. Keep in mind 5 GHz has less range and penetration abilities through walls than 2.4 GHz, so it seems most owners don't get a strong enough signal into a garage or parking location to make it work. I'd stick with 2.4 GHz unless the router is installed very near the car.

kevin_rf | 2019年11月9日

I seriously considered sticking an additional router as a repeater in the garage. The car only sees one bar. The router is on the opposite side of the house.

Scrannel | 2019年11月9日

Mine hooks up with 5GHz no issue. Easiest solution for me, though, was a repeater where I park. BTW, for a time car wouldn't connect to anything -- it would see wifi signals but refused all passwords. A car, software reset sorted.

SalisburySam | 2019年11月9日

@hokiegir1, my LR RWD Model 3 has connected to our 5GHz WiFi network since we got the car in July 2018 on firmware 2018.24.8. This is confirmed by router administration tools that show each connected device and which service they use. All that is on a Linksys EA9500 router with a Linksys range extender to get to the detached garage. Next step will be to trench an Ethernet line to the garage for better, more reliable service, but I’m working out first to develop the musculature for the trenching so maybe next Spring. But the car is working well now on what is in place.