What is Tesla Premium Connectivity?

Tesla Premium Connectivity

What is Tesla Premium Connectivity?

Premium Connectivity is a subscription-based upgrade that enables Tesla vehicles to access features that require data usage.  Upgraded features include live traffic visualization and navigation, music and media streaming, live viewing of Sentry Mode cameras, satellite-view maps, caraoke and internet browsing.

We compare it to Standard Connectivity and WiFi/Hotspot.

What is Tesla Premium Connectivity?

Premium Connectivity is an upgrade available to all Tesla vehicles through a paid subscription. It enables drivers to access features that require data usage.

What Does Tesla Premium Connectivity Include?

  • live traffic visualization and navigation
  • streaming music and media
  • video streaming e.g. Netflix, YouTube
  • live viewing of Sentry Mode cameras
  • satellite-view maps
  • Caraoke
  • internet browsing

How much does Premium Connectivity Cost?

Premium Connectivity is a subscription-based feature that costs $9.99/month or $99/year plus taxes (U.S. prices). New Tesla vehicles include a free 30-day trial of Premium Connectivity, starting from the delivery date. 

How do I know if my Tesla has Premium Connectivity?

If you have access to satellite view on your maps, then your Tesla has Premium Connectivity.

You can also check to see if you have Premium Connectivity by selecting Software from the menu on your vehicle’s touchscreen. You’ll know if you have this feature if an expiry date is displayed under Premium Connectivity.

You can also check for Premium Connectivity by using the Tesla mobile app:

  • Select Upgrades>Manage
  • Premium Connectivity will appear under the “Active” tab, with an expiry or automatic-renewal date.

If you don’t have the Premium service, your vehicle will likely have Standard Connectivity.

What is Standard Connectivity?

Standard Connectivity gives drivers access to most connectivity features over WiFi. It offers basic maps (without satellite view), navigation (without live traffic conditions), access to Tesla’s mobile app, and music streaming over Bluetooth®. 

Does Tesla come with Standard Connectivity?

All Tesla vehicles come with Standard Connectivity, which is free for 8 years from the delivery date of a new vehicle.  Tesla no longer offers lifetime Standard Connectivity. 

What is the difference between Standard and Premium Connectivity in a Tesla?

Premium Connectivity adds features that aren’t included with Standard Connectivity, including: Caraoke, internet browsing, live traffic visualization, satellite view, live sentry mode viewing, media and music streaming. Netflix and Spotify are available if you have active accounts with those services.

Tesla Premium Connectivity vs Hotspot

If you don’t have Premium Connectivity, you can still access most of the features using your phone’s Hotspot feature. We have a chart below that outlines what features you can still access using your phone hotspot.

Simply turn on your phone’s ‘Personal Hotspot’ feature and connect your Tesla to your phone’s Wifi (Hotspot). You will then be able to use your Tesla browser, video streaming feature, Caraoke and music streaming. All other features require a Premium Connectivity subscription.

Hint: If you connect a Wifi Hotspot to your Tesla, be aware that any software updates that come down could use your phone’s data. 

Tesla Premium Connectivity is Expired warning on the touchscreen

What’s the difference between WiFi/Hotspot, Standard Connectivity and Premium Connectivity? 

Standard Connectivity offers basic maps (without satellite view), navigation and phone notification plus access to the mobile app. 

Using your phone’s Wifi/Hotspot enables drivers to access caraoke, internet browsing, music and video streaming.

Premium Connectivity unlocks live traffic visualization, satellite view, media and music streaming and Live Sentry Mode viewing.

All options enable drivers to access Tesla’s mobile app, basic navigation and phone notifications.

Scroll to see more of the chart

FeatureWiFi/HotspotStandard ConnectivityPremium Connectivity

Internet BrowsingX
Live Traffic

(No Satellite View)
Music Streaming
through phone
or USB

(No Live Traffic)
Video Streaming
(Netflix, Youtube,
with a related account

with a Netflix account
Phone NotificationsXXX
Satellite View Maps

Sentry Mode
Live Viewing

Spotify, Apple MusicX
through phone
with an account
(Spotify, Apple Music)

X with an account
(Spotify, Apple Music)
Tesla App UseXXX
CostDepends on your cellular plan data feesFree for 8 years$9.99 USD per month

Is Premium Connectivity Worth It?

Tesla Premium Connectivity may be worth it to drivers who enjoy music and media streaming, rely on live traffic visualization for busy commutes, or park in high traffic areas where Live Sentry Mode viewing provides peace of mind.

Some drivers prefer to avoid the monthly subscription fee and use WiFi/Hotspot for data-based features, or simply stick with Standard Connectivity.

Read about our team’s experience with Premium Connectivity and our full report and recommendation.

How do I know when Tesla Premium Connectivity has expired?

Using your vehicle’s touchscreen, select Software from the menu. The expiry date is displayed under Premium Connectivity.

Alternatively, check using your mobile app by selecting Upgrades>Manage.

Tesla Premium connectivity

Premium Connectivity will appear under the “Active” tab, with an expiry or automatic-renewal date. 


What is the Internet Connectivity Speed with Tesla’s Premium Connectivity? 

The internet connectivity speed depends on the local cell service providing the signal to your Tesla. Our team conducted a speed test  in our Teslas and have observed speeds as high as 50mbps download and as low as 2 mbps download. 

Does Tesla Premium Connectivity have a data limit?

Tesla’s Premium Connectivity does have a data limit. Tesla states that if they deem your usage exceeds fair daily usage, they reserve the right to reduce connectivity bandwidth.

We ran some tests using our Teslas. We found that there is a upload data limit of 15 minutes. This means that you can only watch 15 minutes a day of the Sentry Mode live cameras.

After our daily data limit was reached, we were still able to use all other features of Premium Connectivity except viewing live cameras.

Tesla Data Limit for Tesla Premium Connectivity

Can I see live traffic without Premium Connectivity, even when using WiFi or a hotspot?

Live traffic visualization is an exclusive feature of Tesla’s Premium Connectivity subscription. It is not available with Standard Connectivity, nor can it be accessed by connecting your Tesla vehicle to WiFi or a mobile hotspot. Therefore, to view live traffic on the touchscreen, you must subscribe to the Premium Connectivity service.

Can you watch Netflix without Tesla Premium Connectivity? 

You can still watch Netflix in your Tesla without Premium Connectivity. You will need a Netflix account (with username and password) and be able to connect to a WiFi source.

Is Spotify free with Tesla Premium Connectivity? 

Spotify is not included in Tesla’s Premium Connectivity subscription service. If you have a Spotify account however, you can stream music in your vehicle, using your phone’s Hotspot or Premium Connectivity. 

Do I need Tesla Premium Connectivity for Spotify?

You do not need to have Premium Connectivity to use your Spotify account, but you must connect to WiFi. 

Do Teslas come with free WiFi? 

You cannot connect to your Tesla for WiFi. Premium Connectivity only allows your Tesla touchscreen to use the internet. Tesla vehicles currently do not have the ability to offer WiFi to passengers.

Can you watch Netflix while driving a Tesla?

You cannot watch Netflix while driving your Tesla. As soon as you engage your Tesla in Drive mode, the Netflix app turns off. This is a safety feature that applies to all apps located in the Theatre folder. 

Are there any discounts for Premium Connectivity?  

At this time, there are no discounts for Tesla’s Premium Connectivity service. Subscriptions are charged on a monthly or annual basis. Subscribing and paying for a year of Premium Connectivity does offer some savings. Currently in the U.S. it is $9.99/month or $99 for the full year (plus tax).

Can I subscribe to Premium Connectivity for a month and then cancel? 

Tesla owners can subscribe for a minimum of one month and can cancel at any time. Try the service for a month or read our team’s experience and recommendations to see if Premium Connectivity is worth it to you.

One of the great features of Tesla Premium Connectivity is the ability to subscribe for only a month, then cancel. Consider subscribing to Premium Connectivity to long road trips a lot more fun.

How do I cancel my subscription to Tesla Premium Connectivity?

Cancel your subscription to Tesla’s Premium Connectivity using the Tesla app. 
Upgrades > Manage (at the bottom) > Premium Connectivity. At the bottom is a button to Cancel Subscription.

Your Tesla Premium Connectivity subscription will continue until your renewal date. You can re-subscribe to Premium Connectivity at anytime. This is a great feature if you only need Premium Connectivity for a short period of time. Otherwise, consider subscribing for a full year, as the annual subscription fee provides some savings.

Which Tesla models have Premium Connectivity?  

All Tesla models (S, 3, X, Y) are enabled with Premium Connectivity, which can be activated with a paid subscription. New vehicles come with a 30-day free trial.

Does Tesla Premium Connectivity work when crossing borders?  

Tesla drivers who cross international borders from one country to another will still enjoy uninterrupted Premium Connectivity service at no extra charge.

Does the Tesla app work without Premium Connectivity?  

If drivers do not have Premium Connectivity, all features on the Tesla app will still work, except for the ability to view cameras live.

Do Connectivity plans affect Autopilot?

Autopilot will continue to work normally, regardless of whether drivers subscribe to Premium Connectivity, or use Standard Connectivity. 

Will I receive over the air updates to my Tesla with Premium Connectivity?

All updates to your Tesla will download when your Tesla connects to a WiFi source, whether you are subscribed to Premium Connectivity or Standard Connectivity.

If you are unable to connect to your home’s WiFi network, some Tesla owners will park close to a McDonalds, Starbucks or other public location that offers free Wifi in order to update their vehicle’s software.

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Darren Globe

Darren is a Tesla EV owner, Professional Firefighter and former Paramedic. His experience and passion for EVs inspired him to create EVehiclePro.com, where he works as CEO and Chief Editor. Darren is a recognized Tesla expert featured in gobankrates.com and referenced by MSN, Yahoo and in numerous forums, websites and social media.

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