I’m sitting in the back seat of 2015 Chevy Volt connected to a OnStar Wi-Fi hotspot as I write this in a detached garage. Yes, I’m not driving, I’m writing. This is the first phase of live auto-blogging using OnStar Wi-Fi hotspots. The next phase will occur while someone else is driving in town and on the freeway.
AUTO Connected Car News’ is based on WordPress that requires an Internet connection and automatically saves backups to an online database. I’m entering the text on a Windows notebook computer.
— A Connected Car News (@AConnectedCar) January 29, 2015
To test the speed of the Wi-Fi connection, I ran tests on several different devices with different programs.
I ran an OpenSignal speed test on an Android Phone connected to OnStar Wi-Fi with the wooden garage door closed, results showed 6.45 Mbps download speeds and 5.9Mbps upload speeds. The speeds were faster with the garage door open 7.8Mbps download and 4.88Mbps upload. These speeds are similar to the speeds I get with a Wi-Fi router and a 60 Mpbs hard-wired cable Internet connection with the same phone.
On this notebook computer connected to OnStar Wi-Fi, Ookla tests speeds are 14.72 Mbps download and 11.67 Mbps upload with the wooden garage door closed and 16.8 Mbps down and 12.7 Mbps up with the garage door open. These kind of fluctuations are normal with wireless devices inside buildings. My garage has few windows, opening the door increased the speeds slightly.
Now for some extreme mode testing, I’m going to turn on four devices and connect them with the garage door half open so I don’t have to keep opening and closing the garage door. The latest test with the garage door half open shows at the left, 16.99 Mbps download and 7.93 Mbps upload.
The Wi-Fi hotspot data speeds were not affected on this notebook with three other devices connected all eating up data.
Right now I’m watching a TV show on Netflix on an Android phone, getting directions form Google maps on a Samsung Galaxy S4 and reading Yahoo News on a iPod Touch all of them connected to the OnStar Wi-Fi hotpsots. Wi-Fi settings show bandwidth at 60 Mbps which is more than enough for a driver to listen to music and three passengers to entertain themselves. In fact, you can connect up to 7 devices therefore some passengers could use more than on device.
Here is the Ookla speed test to left on the notebook computer with the three other devices running all connected to OnStar Wi-Fi hotpots on the same vehicle with the garage door half open. This notebook computer achieves speeds of 15.74 Mbps download and 14.56 Mbps download with three other devices using data for movies, maps and news. That is more than enough speed to do just open any computer function.
After these few tests I can see why OnStar Wi-Fi hotspots won the a Tech CARS Award for Overall Best Implementation of Any New Car Tech to Make Lives Easier or Better. The feature is a great option for road warriors who need connections all the time, for the connected family that enjoys data for entertainment and for all connected GM cars.
Next, we will take Wi-Fi hotspots on the road and if it stays this great, we’re sure it win a five-star rating. OnStar Wi-Fi hotspots are through AT&T and are free for three months with most GM 2015 model year cars and then after that you can add data it an AT&T plan or buy data from OnStar.
All of this article was written using an OnStar Wi-Fi hotspot connection in a 2015 Chevy Volt from the back seat.