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Ways to Make your Wi-Fi Better

Amp up your connectivity to cater to business travelers, digital nomads and remote workers.

There’s one non-negotiable when it comes to tapping into the remote work trend: fast, free internet.

I recently stayed at a 4-star boutique hotel on the coast of Uruguay, looking for a quiet place to get some work done before a long trip home. I had a spacious room and a balcony with great views of the country’s famous sunsets. But my delight ended when it came time to work. My internet connection kept cutting out, forcing me to go into offline mode while writing in a Google doc. I later tried to stream a video, which froze intermittently. Finally I gave up, shut my laptop and grabbed a book.

Clunky, expensive or malfunctioning internet service can seriously affect guests’ ability to get work done, and their opinions of your property. “For post-pandemic travelers, a reliable internet connection is a utility, not an amenity,” USA Today travel writer Christopher Elliott wrote recently. “It should be fast and stable.”

But a 2022 report on a survey of hotel guests found that many regularly encounter these problems with hotel internet:

  • Slow speeds
  • Dropped internet connection
  • Poor signal coverage
  • Problems logging in

Other common issues include poor security and lack of tech support when things go wrong. Here are 4 ways to improve your internet to attract and serve guests who depend on connectivity:

  1. Make it super fast. The bare minimum speed guests need to be able to work at your hotel is 25 mbps (megabits per second). This would allow them to participate in a Zoom call while browsing through their email, or other similar tasks. If you want to blow past the competition, you’ll need to go even faster – about 100 mbps, according to HotelTechReport. The “gold standard”? It’s 1,000 mbps, also known as gigabit speed.
  2. Amp up your security. Hotel Wi-Fi security is a concern for more than 90 percent of hotel guests, according to the 2022 report from Hotel Internet Services. Take common-sense steps like keeping your router firmware up to date and changing the Wi-Fi password regularly. Create two separate networks: one for guests and one for you and your staff to use while running the property. Secure both networks with WPA2 encryption, and use a firewall.
  3. Make it easy for guests to access. One common guest frustration: trouble logging into the hotel Wi-Fi. While you need to make sure your Wi-Fi is secure, you also need to make sure it’s quick and easy for legitimate guests to access. Providing the network name and password to guests at check-in, without being asked, is one way to make logging in a snap. Also nix the pop-up log-in screens, especially the ones that time out. These are almost always a hassle for guests.
  4. Offer a way to get support quickly. Choose a hospitality Wi-Fi provider that offers round-the-clock support in case something does go wrong with your internet at 2 a.m. Providing a separate tech support contact for guests can help them get back online quickly without having to talk to your front desk staff about the issue.

Investing in lightning fast, secure, easy-to-use internet access is key to creating better guest experiences, getting great reviews and keeping travelers coming back to your property.