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Does the Tesla browser use a VPNor proxy to get to the net?

Discussion in 'Model S: User Interface' started by wayner, Jan 8, 2015.

  1. wayner

    wayner Active Member

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    I live in Toronto but when I access the Google News page on the browser on my Tesla it shows me local news for Houston. That makes me think that my Tesla is using a VPN or something that gives it a Houston based IP address or an address tied to a Houston based company. Does anyone know exactly how the Tesla browse gets to the internet? Does it use some proxy or VPN to go through Tesla's servers first? Does this differ if you are on 3G vs wifi?

    This appears to have the effect of my Nav system giving me voice directions in miles rather than km, despite the fact that I have my car set to use metric and the speedo shows km/h and range is shown in km. It seems that the Google Nav bases the units on what country you are in.

    How do I change this? Do I log into Google with my Google ID? Will that even work for determining my location since people do travel.
     
  2. scaesare

    scaesare Active Member

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    As of a couple of firmware updates ago, GPS positioning was available for web pages requesting it (altho I seem to recall having to allow it via a permission request). Perhaps Google is picking that up?
     
  3. wayner

    wayner Active Member

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    But Google news isn't - it thinks I am in Houston. So I am assuming that all Google services are using the same geolocation method, except that the Nav/GPS know exactly where I am. But for some reason it is using non-metric units.
     
  4. mgboyes

    mgboyes Member

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    Sounds like you are suffering the same problem as UK owners. The browser in all our cars thinks it is in Spain.

    In our case it's because Tesla have done a pan-Europe deal with Telefonica for 3G service and the SIM cards are obviously registered somewhere so that they get allocated IP addresses that geolocate to Spain.

    It's hugely annoying - for example lots of region-locked internet radio streams (like all the BBC services) can't be accessed over 3G.
     
  5. wayner

    wayner Active Member

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    I was showing off my car at lunch time and now Google News thinks I am in San Francisco.
     
  6. mrElbe

    mrElbe Member

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    Did you get the unannounced flux capacitor option? That is mighty fast travel from Houston to San Francisco in half a day.
     
  7. wayner

    wayner Active Member

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    Unfortunately not. Nor did it tell me to wear flowers in my hair.
     
  8. Gizmotoy

    Gizmotoy Active Member

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    Absent GPS information, Google also attempts to use your IP address/routing to determine location by looking at the location of the ISP to which your IP belongs. Could be some weirdness with your cellular provider up there or with Google itself. Note that both SF and Houston are major Tier 1 hubs for internet traffic, so it's likely your traffic is going through one or both on the way from Toronto. It may be mistaking one of those hubs as your location somehow.
     
  9. wayner

    wayner Active Member

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    I was told that this location may also be linked to why the Nav system is giving me voice commands referencing US units (miles, feet) rather than metric units. And this is despite the fact that I have my Units set to metric and everything else on the car displays in metric units.
     
  10. mikeash

    mikeash Active Member

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    Cellular connections in general have horrible IP-based geolocation. I've seen my phone on AT&T connect from IP addresses in places a thousand or two miles away. IP addresses kind of assume a fixed location, so cellular internet has to play some fun games that mean it's likely there will be some indirection there. The Tesla's 3G connection is surely no different.
     
  11. wayner

    wayner Active Member

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    From what I have read the Canadian Teslas are still tied to AT&T but they are roaming on Rogers' network while in Canada and Tesla has a deal with Rogers to cover the "roaming" fees. I have a Rogers LTE wifi hotspot. I will try using this today and see if things work any differently in terms of either geolocation or units used in voice commands.

    So my premise that the networking is done via a VPN back to Tesla, and then out to the internet is incorrect? With my corporate VPN it can work in two ways when you try to access internet services - either it can send all traffic over the VPN and then you hit the internet from the "mother ship". This always makes it appear that I am in Toronto. Or the VPN only sends corporate traffic over the VPN and all other internet traffic hits the internet locally. The former method is slower than the latter but it allows you to access sites that may be blocked locally, like Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc while in China.
     
  12. mikeash

    mikeash Active Member

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    Try visiting this page in the car's browser:

    http://www.whatismyip.com/

    That will tell you the IP address it sees you coming from, where that IP address is supposedly located, and what service provider it is. I'd try it, except my car won't be delivered for another two months!
     
  13. mgboyes

    mgboyes Member

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    All UK cars get their IP addresses from the same block - it just happens to be assigned to Telefonica in Spain. In this circumstance, there really is no justification for not providing the cars with an IP block that can be marked as at least being within 1000 miles of where we are!

    The 3G SIM in my laptop has a static IP address (so it also always thinks it's in exactly the same location) but that's another story...
     
  14. cleavea

    cleavea New Member

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    When I hit problems like these I switch my phone to be a hotspot and connect MS to it - Telefonica/O2 reception around me is dire.
     
  15. wayner

    wayner Active Member

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    #15 wayner, Jan 8, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2015
    With a 3G connection What's My IP returns a Tennesee address with Jasper technologies as my ISP. When I switch to my wifi hotspot it correctly returns Rogers in the Toronto area. Google News give me the correct local news but the voice commands are still in miles.
     
  16. N4HHE

    N4HHE Member

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    Most GeoIP services have a terrible time with the IP address we use at work. I'm on the same ISP at home but with a dynamic IP address which they do better, but far from perfect.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Really? Am going to have to try GasBuddy.com just for laughs! Drive around in an EV using its built-in browser to report gas prices! :smile:
     
  17. Canuck

    Canuck Active Member

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    Something I have found that is interesting is I can get CNN on Tunein in the car, but on my phone Tunein app it says the station is not available in Canada. So for Tunein at least the car thinks I am in the States.
     
  18. wk057

    wk057 Senior Tinkerer

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    The web browsing does not go over the VPN, but it seems to verify the IP is not local to WiFi before connecting.
     
  19. jbanfie

    jbanfie New Member

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    Hi, did this issue get fixed in the UK at all?
     

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