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Tesla Software Updates -- how large and will they download over "premium connectivity?"

warsh

Member
Aug 12, 2021
16
6
Washington, DC
I am a brand new owner (Model 3 LR) and haven't yet figured out how to get wifi to my car. After asking me to connect to wifi 3-4 times, it looks like the car downloaded the last software update (2021.32.21) using the "premium connectivity" in the car. For another update (that seemed to only update games), I used my Iphone hotspot while sitting in the car. I don't know how large these software updates usually are and if they will all eventually use the premium connectivity to download, or if I should use my phone as a hotspot to do so? Sorry for the newbie question and thanks for your information and recommendations.
 

Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
9,689
8,835
Visalia, CA
I am a brand new owner (Model 3 LR) and haven't yet figured out how to get wifi to my car. After asking me to connect to wifi 3-4 times, it looks like the car downloaded the last software update (2021.32.21) using the "premium connectivity" in the car. For another update (that seemed to only update games), I used my Iphone hotspot while sitting in the car. I don't know how large these software updates usually are and if they will all eventually use the premium connectivity to download, or if I should use my phone as a hotspot to do so? Sorry for the newbie question and thanks for your information and recommendations.

When first started in 2012, we didn't need wifi for firmware updates. It used free 3G if there's no wifi. I guess they were small enough for the purpose.

After a while, Tesla put out a policy to stop doing that without wifi. You might get lucky once in a while if you can update firmware without wifi but that's not its goal.

If you have a hard time getting reliable wifi then sure, you can connect to a hotspot from your phone as needed.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
11,421
13,285
Riverside Co. CA
I am a brand new owner (Model 3 LR) and haven't yet figured out how to get wifi to my car. After asking me to connect to wifi 3-4 times, it looks like the car downloaded the last software update (2021.32.21) using the "premium connectivity" in the car. For another update (that seemed to only update games), I used my Iphone hotspot while sitting in the car. I don't know how large these software updates usually are and if they will all eventually use the premium connectivity to download, or if I should use my phone as a hotspot to do so? Sorry for the newbie question and thanks for your information and recommendations.

To answer your thread title,..

"no, most updates will not download over the cellular connection", unless its considered a critical update by tesla. They can designate an update to download over the cellular connection if they wish. Note that, premium connectivity does not appear to have much, if anything to do with whether you get an update over cellular.

Subscribing to that will not let you get more updates over cellular, for example.
 

Gasaraki

Active Member
Oct 21, 2019
2,190
1,518
Syracuse, NY
Available update notifications will happen over cellular but the updates themselves will only download over wifi unless they are critical updates.
 

DeltaOne

Member
Mar 19, 2021
186
110
Mount Airy, MD
I am a brand new owner (Model 3 LR) and haven't yet figured out how to get wifi to my car.

I have great WiFi coverage in my house. The signal was sketchy on my carport, where I park my Model 3. So I ran an ethernet cable out to the carport and added a WiFi access point there.

Now the Model 3 gets great WiFi, even with the new access point set to its lowest power output setting.
 

Kevy Baby

Dis-Member
Supporting Member
Aug 11, 2019
2,175
2,282
Brea, CA
I cannot get a wifi signal to my garage so almost every one of my updates in the past two years have come via my cellphone hotspot. I have a 20-25 minute commute and it is typically enough time to make the DL.
 
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laceyboy

Member
Aug 9, 2020
230
129
Lacey WA
I cannot get a wifi signal to my garage so almost every one of my updates in the past two years have come via my cellphone hotspot. I have a 20-25 minute commute and it is typically enough time to make the DL.
I am using mesh routers and put one in garage, it works great
 

Kevy Baby

Dis-Member
Supporting Member
Aug 11, 2019
2,175
2,282
Brea, CA
I am using mesh routers and put one in garage, it works great
Trust me: I spent a LOT of time trying to get a signal to my garage. It is separated from my condo by two other condo units. The best path I could come up with had two external walls and about 200' separating the base station and the satellite (Netgear Orbi) in the garage, both placed high and the signal just wouldn't get back there.

I've had zero problems getting the downloads via my phone's hotspot on the drive between home and work: every single update has been handled this way. Map updates take a couple of trips.
 
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Knightshade

Well-Known Member
Jul 31, 2017
13,641
23,157
NC
only safety critical updates download over cellular.


FWIW FSDBeta has been getting pushed over cellular as well. I was in a hotel parking lot without wifi the first push of that I got for example.

Wouldn't read much into that for general fleet purposes though.
 

warsh

Member
Aug 12, 2021
16
6
Washington, DC
FWIW, I put in a new wifi system at home (ASUS ZenWiFi AX6600 if you care) and now get wifi all the way out to the street in front of my house where I park my Tesla, so problem solved!
 
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