How to connect your Tesla to the internet without the Premium Plan

In the age of connectivity, having your vehicle hooked up to the internet opens up a plethora of functionalities, from streaming music and videos to receiving live traffic updates. However, Tesla’s Premium Connectivity plan, while feature-rich, might not be an appealing expense for every owner. If you’re looking to enjoy some of these connected features without the monthly subscription fee, this guide is for you. We’ll walk you through a straightforward method to connect your Tesla to the internet using your smartphone’s data plan.

Step 1: Setting Up Your Smartphone’s Hotspot

Your journey begins with the creation of a mobile hotspot on your smartphone. This will allow your Tesla to connect to the internet via your phone’s data connection.

  • For iPhone Users: Navigate to Settings > Personal Hotspot. Toggle it on and make a note of the Wi-Fi password.
  • For Android Users: The pathway might vary slightly depending on your phone’s manufacturer and Android version. Typically, you’ll go to Settings > Network & Internet > Hotspot & Tethering. Here, you can set up a Portable Hotspot. Ensure you enable others to join and secure it with a password.

Remember, using your phone as a hotspot may increase your data usage, so it’s wise to monitor your data plan accordingly.

Step 2: Connecting Your Tesla to Your Phone’s Hotspot

Now, let’s get your Tesla connected.

  1. On Your Tesla’s Touchscreen: Tap the car icon located in the bottom left corner to ensure you’re on the “General” panel. Then, look for the connectivity icon in the upper right corner.
  2. Access Wi-Fi Settings: Tap the Wi-Fi icon to display the list of available networks. Your phone’s hotspot should appear here. If it’s not showing, ensure your phone’s hotspot is active and within range.
  3. Connect: Once your network appears, select it and enter the Wi-Fi password you set up on your phone.

The initial connection might take a minute or two, so patience is key here. You’ll know you’re connected once the Wi-Fi symbol illuminates.

Additional Tips and Considerations

  • Data Usage: Streaming services and internet browsing can consume a significant amount of data. Consider adjusting your mobile plan if you find yourself frequently connecting your Tesla to your phone’s hotspot.
  • Battery Life: Operating your phone as a hotspot can drain its battery faster. Keeping your phone charged while using it as a hotspot is advisable, especially on longer trips.
  • Connection Stability: While a mobile hotspot is convenient, it might not always offer the same stability and speed as Tesla’s Premium Connectivity. If you experience connection issues, checking your phone’s signal strength and ensuring your Tesla is in a location with good cellular coverage can help.
  • Security: Ensure your hotspot has a strong password to prevent unauthorized access. This is crucial, especially in public places or crowded areas.


While Tesla’s Premium Connectivity offers an array of services directly integrated into your vehicle, using your smartphone’s hotspot is an excellent workaround for those looking to access internet-dependent features without the additional cost. By following the steps outlined above, you can enjoy streaming music, navigating live traffic maps, and more, all through your phone’s data connection.

Remember, technology is all about making life more convenient and enjoyable. With this simple hack, you can enhance your Tesla driving experience, ensuring you stay connected on the go.

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