rickkey2

OnStar WFfi from GM

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rickkey2   

Just purchased a 2017 Chevy Cruze hatchback which is our toad on a dolly. We have WiFi from OnStar in this vehicle and wonder if anyone has used this feature to access the internet while traveling with your RV ? We have a WiFi extender and I have Verizon and my wife has Sprint and do OK most of the time traveling. Just wondering if at a CG such as Palo Duro in Texas we had to drive up out of the canyon to get service to pay bills and check email ect... Would the OnStar WiFi work without needing to go hunt for service? I realize the car needs to be running and I think you need to be within 50 ft so that would work as we have a 40 ft coach. Thirty to sixty minutes of run time and bills paid and emails checked.

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A wifi extender should work fine, be sure to check the onstar rates, and allotted time. On star does not work like a lot of people think it does, they just have contract with several cell companies, depends on which tower is closest that they have a contract with. Of course if you can contact an onstar operator, then the wifi should work also. http://auto.howstuffworks.com/onstar2.htm

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jgallego   

The data plan service on my previous tow Equinox was with ATT.  So you can add it to your account if you have a share plan. I never really used it.

Jaime

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Not sure why you are addressing me.  I only said that if you want to get ANY use out of your OnStar service you need a cellular connection to be available.

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Understand. I just remember that OnStar offered calling in the past but  the cos per minute was very high. Not sure which service, AT&A, Verizon, T Mobil or who. Now with so many vehicles equip with Bluetooth through the radios it doesn't seem needed.

Good info.on the program.

Herman 

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rickkey2   

Thanks for the replies about OnStar. So it looks like it becomes a WiFi hotspot that has much more power than the antenna on your phone due to the shark fin antenna on the roof of the car. We have not had any problems in our past travels with my Verizon or my Wife's Sprint although the Verizon has better coverage and we do not need it for work as we are both retired :D We will try the OnStar on our trip to Maine in June as it came with one year free with the purchase, so they say but I bet you I paid for it somehow. Anyway it comes with 1GB of data per month and if I need to I can buy another GB for 10 dollars . That's just what came with the car but as Herman said it is a little expensive because it would normally be 200 to 300 per year for OnStar and not sure what the data plan would cost, but I'm sure that they have allot of different plans. It also said they use AT&T towers, Anyway we will check it out when we have no service on our phones as we both have unlimited data and hot spot on both our plans. Thanks, Rick

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6 hours ago, hermanmullins said:

Understand. I just remember that OnStar offered calling in the past but  the cos per minute was very high. Not sure which service, AT&A, Verizon, T Mobil or who. Now with so many vehicles equip with Bluetooth through the radios it doesn't seem needed.

Good info.on the program.

Herman 

Bluetooth and cellular internet have nothing to do with each other.  Without cellular you have no way of using any of the services offered by On-Star.  I don't believe they are a per minute cost these days but rather a data package with which you can contact On-Star or make phone calls.  Not terribly expensive but likely no longer necessary as all the same services are available via your smart phone.

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rickkey2   

Bill I think you are absolutely right. We have a much better package with our cell phone packages then we can get from OnStar. What  my question is-- does OnStar have a more powerful antenna that (might) get more signal from a cell tower than the small antenna that is in my phone to act as a hot spot? We will test this out on our next trip and see if there is any difference in reception.

As we have a one year free OnStar 4g WiFi service we will check it out and report back. And yes OnStar has different data packages.

Thanks for the input.

Rick

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Bilme55   

And it use the wifi aboard the toad, the vehicle must be running. Thus, while in motorhome going down the road, you won't have internet via wifi onboard toad vehicle. 

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rickkey2   

As I stated in my first post this was to use the On-Star wifi while at a cg where we have little or no cell service with the phone antenna would the on star antenna get more signal. As Bill Adams pointed out it needs to have a cell signal to work. In April we did try to see if it made a difference while we were in a cg in FL and it did, I had two bars on my Verizon and my wife had 1x on her Sprint. When we used the on star as the hot spot my Verizon went to full signal and when my wife used it as a hot spot her Sprint went to 3 bars. We are leaving on June 4th for a two month trip to Maine and sure we will have more situations to check it out. Just another tool if needed. 

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If you were wifi'ing from your toad to your cell phone, the signal that you saw on the phone was from the toad, not the cell service, just like using any hot spot wifi, that signal is from the hotspot, not the internet provider.

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I doubt most readers will understand what you said which is why I did not respond.  What I am not sure about is what service OnStar uses.  Maybe they have agreements with all providers to ensure coverage and why it is so expensive.  If so, this would explain the improved service but has nothing at all to do with the # of bars shown.

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rickkey2   

Sorry about the confusion I'm not to good with this stuff but now I think I see how it works. The car hot spot is showing me the signal from they're service not from my provider. We only have this because it came with the car for I think six months and will most likely not renew as it has not been an issue in the past for us. But it's still pretty cool to have these different options. 

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