Like cell phones, remote car starters are only a luxury before you own one. After that, they become a necessity. With winter preparing to rear its ugly head, there's never been a better time to consider one for your own ride. If you live in an area that tends to get cold this time of year, it'll only take one nippy morning to thank yourself for the purchase!

Not every remote starter is the same, however. As with most automated tools, there are a ton of extra features to consider when you decide to fully winterize your car. If the minutes before your car's heater warms up are frequently the worst part of your day, check these starters out to see which option works best for you.

Viper SmartStart

If you watched TV for more than a half-hour in the mid-nineties you probably remember the old Viper commercials. What you may not know is that this product still exists — and that it's generally regarded as one of the best remote car starters the industry has to offer. The gadget, known as the Viper SmartStart, works with most smartphones, allowing you to lock and unlock your doors, pop your trunk and sound a panic alarm from the touchscreen device of choice. Oh, and it'll start your car remotely, too. Don't let the cheesy CGI snake from the old commercial fool you: SmartStart is totally worth your time if you're in the market for remote car starters.

Bulldog Deluxe 500

Forgetting to lock your car can be a bad experience indeed. Worrying whether you forgot to lock your car can be worse, especially if you're too far from your car (or just too busy) to go check it out! Bulldog's line of "Deluxe" remote car starters aims to combat this with a simple LCD keychain: Instead of pressing the lock key and sounding for a horn, you can check the tiny screen to monitor a number of vital car statistics. Better yet, many reviews praise the starter for its long-range capabilities, meaning you don't have to walk out in the cold to ... well, avoid the cold. Is the car locked? Is the alarm going off? Did you accidentally press the start key, leaving your ride to waste a ton of gas while you slave away at the office? A Bulldog can help you eliminate all these concerns.

Computstar Pro 2-Way

There's high-tech, and then there's high-end. Compustar's remote car starters definitely qualify as both. Their devices — specifically the popular, powerful Pro 2-Way — pack an absolute ton of extra features on top of the remote-starting goodness, offering support for manual transmissions, diesel engines, and multiple-car setups. Though its mile-long range (you read that right!) might seem a little excessive, the gadget also offers two-way communication via a color LCD screen, meaning you'll never have to worry about accidentally starting your car from long distances. It can even control other high-end, built-in features like heated seats! If you're fortunate enough to own a nice car, Compustar very well may be the perfect remote starting solution for you.

Python 4206

Another snake-named car-starting system, the Python 4206 works a lot like the Viper in terms of the features it offers: Alongside its usual remote-starting duties, the device comes with optional car alarm connectivity, using its two-way receiver to alert you whenever your alarm is triggered from up to a mile away. If you're more concerned about the temperature outside than your car alarm, however, you'll be pleased to hear the keychain also displays the temperature inside your ride once the remote start feature is activated. Three additional AUX outputs give you control over OEM features like heated seats, too, meaning all your favorite in-car gadgets can be controlled with a single remote. For a good all-around remote car starter experience, you can't go wrong with a Python!

A Cozy Car

Don't freeze your nose off on your commute to work if you don't have to. A remote starter can keep you warm on the coldest winter days, banishing low temperatures to where they belong: outside. Whether you want basic service or an all-inclusive gadget with AUX support to spare, an option certainly exists for you. Now get to shopping — and don't forget to stay warm out there!