How do I stop my phone from connecting to random WiFi when driving?


On my commute to work, there are several houses that have strong enough signals to reach the road (30-100 yards). The signals cause my phone to turn on the wifi and attempt to connect, even though I’m cruising past at 55 mph and the wifi has been manually turned off. Is there a way other than airplane mode to tell my phone not to connect when on the move?

I’ve added the question to my other similar post, but I think it warrants its own thread for clarity.



Hi @samuelr.jl1hno,

Generally, Android provides for the ability to turn off notification of available WiFi networks. The means of doing do depends on which phone one is talking about. For an answer specific to your phone, we would need to know brand, model and generation of that phone?


This is the problem with WiFi first – it’s great at home and in fixed locations, but in a moving vehicle, it makes using apps like google maps or voice very difficult. You can’t exclude a signal unless you’ve logged on previously, then you can exclude that one signal – but something like xfinitywifi is everywhere, and if you exclude one, you exclude them all – even when you are not in a moving vehicle, where you want to use them. Don’t use WiFi in a moving vehicle.


Republic phones connect to wifi absolutely no differently that a phone from any other carrier. The connection to wifi is OS controlled and is not altered by Republic. On the older phones the only feature that makes a difference is the one that asks you if you want to connect, but it does not auto-connect.

This has nothing to do with either Republic or “Wifi First”.


If anything, the phone, the OS, the network/carrier, user calling preferences – anything – selects or prefers WiFi over Mobile in a moving vehicle, then your phone will connect to every sufficiently strong WiFi signal encounters. It will abandon a perfectly stable Mobile connection to make that WiFi connection, but will quickly lose it as you drive out of range. The theory is that money is being saved – but many apps used on the road (google maps or voice, in my example) don’t use much data, so the savings are minimal, and do not justify the intermittent connection problems. As I concluded previously, don’t use WiFi in a moving vehicle.

Previously, and again now, I said nothing about how to accomplish this – just don’t use WiFi in a moving vehicle.
I said nothing about Republic Wireless. If you don’t agree with “don’t use WiFi in a moving vehicle” – why don’t you agree with “don’t use WiFi in a moving vehicle” ???


I’m sorry, this is just not how it works. Android phones only connect to networks that they’ve been told to connect to, even if accidentally. Unless you’ve clicked “connect” once to that network, it won’t try to connect to the network. It may let you know there are open networks available, depending on your settings, but it won’t auto-connect. It just won’t. The issue is usually that the user has previously connected to a network like the one provided by their cable company, or to a generically named network where the user never changed the network name when they got the router (Eg “Linksys”). Because these networks are all over the place, the phone tried to connect. The simple solution is to forget the network after each time you intentionally use it.


Sadly, yes. The only wifi available to me at work is the “Xfinity wifi”. And unless I forget that network in the Android settings, my phone will auto connect everywhere I go to any Xfinty hotspot. Although, I have not had my phone connect to anyhot spots while driving, even in the city, even stuck in traffic. It shouldn’t as you are not in close enough range for a long enough period of time.

Edit: Wanted to also add that even in my apartment complex, my phone will hop around the multiple Xfinity hotspots as I walk around or outside the complex just fine. I know many users have had issues with such hotspots, but I have yet to have any. It may be slow wifi at times, but so far, it works.


Being automatically connected to any/all open networks is a user toggle, as is being notified of their existence. AGAIN, a basic rule should be “never connect to WiFi in a moving vehicle.” Just tell Republic users (including samuel, who opened this topic) the best way they can avoid connecting to WiFi when in a moving vehicle.


This is why I stopped using xfinity wifi, but to me that wasn’t a big deal because I either had an alternative or just used data.


Any phone will auto connect to open wifi in rage if the setting is enabled. Simple solution, disable that setting in the phones WiFI settings. “Connect to open networks”. This, however, will not stop auto connect from happening for Saved Networks (wifi that user has already connected to)


Theresa, – it’s why I stopped using it too.


Exactly true, SpeedingCheetah

  1. Turn off wifi before getting in the car?
  2. Use an app like android auto that can be set to turn off wifi when connected to your car’s Bluetooth automatically (and turn it back on when you leave the car).


There are many reasons for people to want to connect to a known WiFi in a moving vehicle,
If one commutes by train or bus many have WiFi for their riders, and many new autos have a WiFi hotspot for passengers [AT&T has a $20 auto unlimited plan] that I been thinking of adding to my van for my Republic phone and son’s tablet]


Only for “Eligible vehicles” though. I looked into that, my 11yr old basic car is not eligible because it does not have the modern built in computer nav system things with built in wifi (dodge Uconnect)…etc.

I had read that they did away with or raised the price to full plan price for the OBD wifi adapter because many folks were taking advantage of it by getting a plug in the wall OBD adapter cable or power bank adapter and using as a home or portable hotspot.

Thankfully, I park right next to my building at work, so the Xfinty hotspot reaches my car.


Yes Louis, turning WiFi off in a moving vehicle, will certainly prevent it from being used.

What does that say about your previously highly-touted smooth transition capability?


I honestly have no idea what you’re talking about. Did I say “smooth transition capability” somewhere? What I said was phones don’t connect to random networks you drive by in the first place, and your phone won’t connect to them on its own. I drive hundreds of miles every single week. Mostly on local roads littered with wifi signals. I have never had a phone (Moto X1, G3, X Pure, Samsung S8) connect to a wifi network that I didn’t previously connect to.


I have this for my car. It works pretty well for long trips. No worries about my son running up the bill by watching hours of YouTube and/or Netflix.



Be logical, “never use WiFi in a moving vehicle” certainly doesn’t apply if the WiFi is in the vehicle, and moving with you. The problem is, of course, relative movement.

One good reason to use WiFi in a moving vehicle is Republic’s $15 (no mobile data) plan. I used that plan a while back, and found it was somewhat useful with google maps and driving directions – although I did have to occasionally stop where I had a good signal (using previously downloaded google map data also helped). It was, as expected, totally worthless for GV phone service, unless I stopped where I had a strong signal. I did find that adding $5 for 1GB of data was well worth the cost, and then I was back to “never use WiFi in a moving vehicle.”


It would be a lot easier and effective to simply download the Google Maps in offline mode as not to need any sort of “drive by” connection.