Today, most people are used to being connected all of the time—to the Internet, that is. When you go into a coffee shop, the Wi-Fi network name and password are posted somewhere in plain view so that customers don’t repeatedly ask the busy barista for that information. Airplanes offer Wi-Fi to their customers in the sky. If guests check into a hotel to discover the Wi-Fi costs extra, that establishment can expect some nasty online reviews. And if the Wi-Fi is down…those guests might just move to another property. Yup, we all expect access to Wi-Fi most of the time, so it only makes sense that starting in 2015, Buick started making built-in Wi-Fi available in most of its vehicles.
If you’re shopping at a used Buick dealership, ask them which models are Wi-Fi compatible. Luckily, at this point, Buick has been making Wi-Fi-ready models for a handful of years, so you can go back a bit in the generations and find a vehicle with available Internet. Still, even though most of us are accustomed to having Wi-Fi everywhere we go, not everyone is certain whether or not they need it in their vehicle. You don’t want to discover how much you need it at the wrong time (like when you need to look up directions on your phone and you are out of data for the month). So, before you decide not to add Wi-Fi to your Buick, here are some considerations.
Connect Up to Seven Devices
Buick’s current Wi-Fi plan lets you connect up to seven devices to the Internet. So that’s seven smartphones, tablets, laptops—whatever device you need Internet on. And it’s fast, so you shouldn’t notice a slowdown when you are taking advantage of that seven-device capacity. Even your home Internet probably slows down when more than a few devices are using it, so seven devices is a pretty impressive capacity.
Connecting up to seven devices also means no conflict among passengers. Everyone knows that when the Internet can only support a few devices, tensions can grow quickly as one person resents another for monopolizing the Wi-Fi.
It’s Stronger Than Your Phone’s Wi-Fi
You might be thinking, “I have a hotspot on my smartphone. Why do I need it in my vehicle?” Great question. Your vehicle has a great antenna that gets you a stronger signal than your smartphone. You’ve probably noticed that when you’re driving through certain areas, the signal on your phone gets very low. Even in your home, the hotspot on your phone might not work too well in certain areas. Your Buick’s built-in Wi-Fi is stronger than most mobile Wi-Fi, so it can step in when your phone is getting a weak signal.
Sometimes, the Coffee Shop Fails You
Many drivers just rely on pulling over and finding some Wi-Fi on the road when they need it. There’s always a coffee shop somewhere with Internet, right? Not exactly. Sometimes, you go to a coffee shop, buy your expensive blended drink, and learn that their Wi-Fi is down. Or, it’s just so busy in there that the Wi-Fi is incredibly slow. At other times, there’s simply nowhere to sit.
If you rely on public establishments when you desperately need Wi-Fi on the go, you could find yourself out of luck. Alternatively, you could calmly take that iced latte to your vehicle, knowing you can just open your laptop in there and use the built-in Wi-Fi. You can even use it as a backup when the Internet in your neighborhood goes down (Don’t tell the neighbors, or they’ll all try to crawl into the backseat to get online).
Here’s another excellent way to take advantage of in-vehicle Wi-Fi: if you’re a remote worker, and so is your co-pilot, you can take turns working from the road. One can drive while the other handles some laptop tasks. Then, pull over and switch places.
When Plans Don’t Go as Planned
If you’re on a long road trip, having built-in Wi-Fi is especially important. Sometimes, things don’t go as planned. There’s a storm along your route, and you just have to pull over until it’s safe to drive. There’s terrible traffic, and you might miss your flight. If you could just hop online, you could change your flight to avoid losing those funds entirely. But, if you’re nowhere near an offramp and your smartphone’s signal is too weak to finish the job, you could be out of luck (and a lot of money).
It just makes sense to have built-in Wi-Fi if you travel long distances in your vehicle. You never know when you’ll need to get online to change a reservation or look up directions, and you can’t always count on a Starbucks being nearby. Even if you have your phone’s hotspot, everyone knows handling more complex transactions like changing flights is difficult (if not impossible) on a little phone screen. You’ll be grateful when you can pull over and use the full-size keyboard on your laptop to change plans on the go.
Keep Kids Entertained So You Can Stay Sane
When you’re traveling with kids, the secret to keeping yourself calm is keeping your kids entertained. Kids have a low tolerance for long car rides. Usually past that two-hour mark, you can count on the restlessness to begin. It’s the “Are we there yet?” complaints and “My sibling is breathing too loud.” As the driver, you must focus on the road, not backseat battles. Having built-in Wi-Fi can help with that—a lot.
When you have built-in Wi-Fi that connects to seven devices, your kids can kick back and watch shows or movies on their laptops, phones, or tablets. They can even play video games, read e-books, and do homework. If there is one thing kids are great at, it’s staring at a screen for hours on end. Maybe at home, you try to limit screen time, but in the car, it’s a godsend (Plus, it gives you a reason to tell them, “No more screen time” once you get to your destination—they had enough in the car).
So, Can You Afford In-Vehicle Wi-Fi? When You Think About It, You Can’t Afford Not to Have It
There are just too many unexpected events when you’re on the road, and being able to access Wi-Fi right from your vehicle can be tremendously helpful. It can help you manage tricky situations and lets your passengers stay entertained as you go. Today, we simply require the Internet to handle most tasks. If you spend a lot of time in the car, you can’t afford to be disconnected that entire time. And between weak signals and limited data plans, your smartphone cannot always be trusted.
Most used Buicks made in 2015 and after will have built-in Wi-Fi. The free trial will have been long gone after the original owner, but you always have the option of adding Wi-Fi back on. Buick designs vehicles with features that today’s drivers want and need, and the Wi-Fi capability of their models is evidence of that. Don’t find yourself stuck on the side of the road, with no coffee shop in sight, needing to turn in that one work document you forgot to turn in. Get the built-in Wi-Fi.