For many travelers, access to a high speed Internet connection is high on the priority list and often the deciding factor when it comes to choosing hotel accommodations. However, most hotels fail to deliver Internet speeds as advertised. What is the solution?
There are many different websites that rank hotels based on a variety of different amenities and consumer reviews. The ratings are based on whether or not the hotel has a spa, workout facility, heated pool, quality cuisine, and much more. The ratings also typically cover cleanliness, maintenance, track record for proving quality service, and more.
What you do not see as often is reviews and ratings on the speed of the Internet connection that is provided. As a general rule, many hotels are not overly concerned about the speed of their Wi-Fi connection. As long as they can advertise that Wi-Fi is available as one of the amenities, that is about as far as it goes. This means you may be paying a few hundred dollars per night but you may not be able to stream Netflix or video conference on business.
Additionally, the larger the hotel accommodations are the more equipment that is needed to offer high speed Internet. If the infrastructure is not configured properly and you have too many people trying to connect simultaneously, someone is bound to get bumped off the network. For this reason, many of the larger hotels offer Wi-Fi however, it is a far cry from being defined as high speed Internet.
In an effort to counteract the problem of ineffective and slow hotel Wi-Fi, a number of websites have been setup for the sole purpose of evaluating and reviewing the speed of hotel Wi-Fi connections. If you have already checked in to a hotel, the websites are designed to help you determine the speed of the Wi-Fi connection by allowing you to run a speed test. You can then review the Internet connection and enter the results in the website database.
Hotel Wi-Fi websites may also tell you whether or not Wi-Fi service is available at no cost or if you must pay an access fee which, in some cases, can add up very quickly. There are a lot of hotels that will charge in upwards of $35 per day which is also important to know ahead of time before you decide to book a reservation.
Hotel Wi-Fi Test
Hotel Wi-Fi Test is one of the websites you can visit to determine the speed of a hotel’s Internet connection is up to par before you decide to stay there. When you first log on to the site, it will ask you if you are in a hotel right now so you can perform a speed test. There is also a search option that allows you to locate hotels with a fast Internet connection that has been confirmed by other reviewers.
A website such as Hotel Wi-Fi Test is designed to encourage hotels to invest in the infrastructure required to deliver true high speed Internet. The website allows the consumer to connect to the Internet in a hotel where you are staying, run a speed test right from the website, and then share the results on a variety of social media sites within one click of your mouse. As most of us know, social media can be very powerful and is a part of our daily lives, especially when you want to get honest reviews on a product or service. And businesses are well aware of this.
The consumer reviews help other travelers that place high speed Internet high on their priority list when making reservations for hotel accommodations. Additionally, the feedback on the quality of a hotel Wi-Fi connection is communicated to the specific hotel by allowing you to post the results on the social media site for that particular hotel. If you want to keep your comments private, you can at least add the results of the Wi-Fi test to the database on Hotel Wi-Fi Test.com.
Other benefits to use a website such as Hotel Wi-Fi Test include:
When consumers send the test results to Hotel Wi-Fi Test, the website verifies the test results to ensure accuracy. The test is verified for accuracy and correct location using an algorithm process. This prevents inaccurate test results, especially in areas that have a large number of hotels that are within close proximity to one another. When the locations are too close together, this can affect the outcome of the test results.
Once the results are verified, then they are entered into the website database. Hotel Wi-Fi Test uses high quality content delivery networks which ensure accurate and fair test results. This is the same technology that is utilized by large websites such as Amazon and others.
Improved Hotel Wi-Fi Service
Hotel Wi-Fi Test not only exposes the hotels that are not delivering true high speed Internet, the service also encourages the hotels that are offering quality Internet service. The website tests help those establishments that are providing a great Internet connection to identify areas that can be improved to provide even better Wi-Fi connectivity.
This is accomplished by helping hotels focus on specific parts of a network to help them identify exactly where the weak spots are in the infrastructure. The staff at Hotel Wi-Fi Test provides hotels with a comprehensive analysis of the test results, including the exact location where there are network issues. This tells the hotel where the service is in need of improvement.
In terms of the hotel companies that are offering inferior quality Wi-Fi, the fact that consumers using Hotel Wi-Fi Test to test the Internet connection where they are staying coupled with the ability to post feedback on social media encourages hotels with poor Wi-Fi to improve their reputation. The ability to post the results of a verified slow connection allows hotels to quickly see how their Wi-Fi service is affecting business and is an indication that you must do more than simply advertise access to Wi-Fi as an amenity.
SpeedSpot.org is a hotel Wi-Fi test company that was established in early 2013 and allows you to perform a Wi-Fi speed test at a hotel where you are staying. You can also locate hotels that have a verified high speed Wi-Fi connection before you book a reservation. SpeedSpot.org also provides you with apps for your mobile device that allow you to easily test a hotel Wi-Fi connection. The SpeedSpot apps are available in both the Apple Store and the Google Play store.
The following video provides a quick demonstration of how the app works.
SpeedSpot.org utilizes an advanced infrastructure for collecting and analyzing the results of hotel Wi-Fi connections across the globe. The servers are distributed throughout more than thirty datacenters and provide algorithms that produce reliable and accurate results.
Speedspot.org provides a way for you to test the speed of hotel Wi-Fi where you are staying. You can also test and review Wi-Fi speeds in other public venues and submit the results to SpeedSpot.org for analysis.
The public locations include restaurants, retail establishments, shopping malls, transportation hubs, and many other venues. This service is especially beneficial to those that are constantly on the go or travel for a living. All you have to do is download the appropriate app for the device you own and then share the results with SpeedSpot.org.
SpeedSpot also provides a way for hotels and other public venues to promote their business by using a Wi-Fi Speed Rating Widget. The widget displays the average speed of your wireless connection which verifies to the consumer that you actually offer true high speed Wi-Fi. Simply advertising high speed Internet is not enough anymore since many consumers have been burned by Wi-Fi speed claims that are not true. The Wi-Fi Speed Rating Widget allows you to display the rating on your company website to help increase business. All you have to do is send an inquiry to SpeedSpot.org to get started.
How to Deal with Slow Hotel Internet Service
If you happen to stay at a hotel that delivers slow Internet, you can voice your opinion by performing a speed test with one of the test sites we discussed earlier. Meanwhile, if you are stuck, here are a few things you can do to try and improve a slow Wi-Fi connection.
Of course, if you have not already done so, do your homework before booking a reservation to avoid having to go through the hassle of getting a refund and wasting time trying to find accommodations that offer high speed Internet. In some cases, some hotels will only provide you with a partial refund or they will try to hold you there by offering upgraded accommodations for the same price. If you are tired from traveling, this can represent a big headache.
That said, other things you can do to try and enhance the connection include:
Travel with an Ethernet Cable
Always carry an Ethernet cable with you. Most hotels have an Ethernet outlet in the wall specifically so travelers can establish a wired connection. An Ethernet connection provides you with access to a hard-wired connection which is typically faster than a wireless connection.
Use Your Own Service
Before you travel, check with your wireless cellular carrier to ensure there is coverage in the area. Sometimes the service with your wireless carrier will perform a lot faster than hotels that offer subpar Wi-Fi. Additionally, make sure you check on the rates with your carrier to ensure it makes financial sense to choose this route if the hotel Internet is slow.
Carry a Wireless Repeater with You.
A wireless repeater is a portable device that will help to speed up a wireless connection. If you know where the wireless access points are in the hotel, a wireless repeater can be placed between you and the access point to strengthen the Internet connection. More often than not, the wireless access points are few and far between and using a wireless repeater may prove to be beneficial in improving the Wi-Fi signal.
Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
Using a VPN not only ensures your connection is secure, it also helps you to circumvent the problem with many people trying to access the hotel Internet connection simultaneously. A VPN can be acquired through the company you work for or there are a number of services online where you can obtain a private connection. There are review sites such as PC Magazine and others that will provide you with recommendations for the best VPN services.
This will also help you to ensure you are accessing a secure connection which is definitely something to be concerned about when access a hotel Internet connection.
Tips on Hotel Internet Security
Depending upon the hotel where you are staying and the quality of their Wi-Fi connection, accessing the Internet could pose a danger to your device and your data. Studies have shown that the majority of hotels offer access to Wi-Fi in the form of an unsecured wireless connection.
This means that both the guests and people in the nearby area can access the wireless network connection. This opens up the connection to hackers that eavesdrop on your activities and potentially allows other users to access your device each time you login.
If access to high speed Internet is high priority, it pays to do your homework before booking an accommodation. In addition to browsing speed tests sites like the ones we discussed in this article, make sure you learn all you can about the quality and security of the Internet connection provided by the hotel in question. Some companies are very conscientious about investing in security technologies where others simply offer an unsecured wireless network connection to save on costs.
Enable Your Device Firewall
With most devices, a firewall is included in the configuration. Additionally, many antivirus applications provide firewall protection or, you can opt to install a standalone firewall application.
A firewall acts as a security gate that blocks unwanted traffic to your device while allowing the traffic you approve to enter your computer. A firewall also allows you to control what information can leave your computer when you access the Internet.
Depending upon the type of firewall you have, you should keep it activated at all times during travel. For specific configurations, you should read the manual or instructions that accompany the firewall application.
Use Secure Hotel Service
If you are paying for access to high speed hotel Internet, there is a good chance that the company is using those fees to invest in security technologies. In this case, the service will allow you to use a Local Area Network (LAN) or Virtual Local Area Network (VLAN) to access the Internet. This type of configuration is password protected with security technologies that block access by unauthorized users.
Most hotel accommodations that offer LAN or VLAN access also provide the option of using unsecured wireless network connections. This allows you to choose which connection to access and provides those that require a secure connection with the option to access a LAN or VLAN.
Use the Hotel Business Center
Many hotels that cater to business travelers are equipped with a business center. The center is outfitted with multiple computers that have access to high speed Internet. The Internet connection is equipped with high security which makes it suitable for business tasks. Although connectivity is over a secure server, you still want to make sure you log off completely after using the service to prevent the next user from accessing your data.
Play It Safe
When accessing any type of hotel Internet service, it is always a good idea to avoid access to financial accounts and banking sites as an added security measure. Although the hotel may have security technologies in place, nothing is one hundred percent foolproof. Instead, make sure you are on a Virtual Private Network or other type of connection where you feel secure before doing your banking or online shopping tasks while on the go.
Hopefully we have helped provide you with some sound advice and useful ways to improve your traveling experience without having to sacrifice access to high speed Internet. In the past, access to a high speed connection during travel represented a major hassle. However, with more Wi-Fi test sites coming on board and the increased awareness by hotel owners, true high speed Internet may become more commonplace as companies strive to improve business relations with consumers.