Without a doubt, all WiFi is not created equal. From place to place, all over the world – and for all sorts of different technical reasons – getting online is just not a consistent experience. Some days are better than others, and some localities seem blazing fast – others, not so much. Someone out there saw the same need and developed a cool tool to measure our connection pain, and even shape our decisions about where to stay.
Slow inflight connections are not surprising given the technology challenges at 30,000 feet, and perhaps it’s understandable that airport WiFi is inconsistent, in light of the demands on bandwidth. But what about hotels? With rising investment in the lodging sector, hoteliers are now dedicating serious efforts and retrofits to gain connectivity for – and loyalty of – their best customers. Enter the new wizzywig to help us measure the success of those investments and decide which hotels deserve our business.
The hotelwifitest.com website offers a simple WiFi test that guests can run while staying in a hotel. To ensure that the basic quality expectations for Internet access are met, the test measures upload and download speeds, latency and stability, and then tabulates the adequacy of property’s WiFi. We know the quality of hotel WiFi varies widely and now we can measure property-byproperty and city-by-city.
Looking at NewYork, where 212 hotels were tested, I found several interesting branded and boutique hotels with lightning fast speed. I also noticed The NewYork Hilton Midtown, the largest hotel in the city with almost 2000 rooms, was on the top of the ranks for confidence and connectivity. Following a multimillion dollar renovation it goes to show that – when it comes to connectivity, anyway – size is not an obstacle.
In addition to measuring the adequacy of download and upload speeds, latency and stability, today hotelwifitest.com formulates a factor that will interpret those tech stats into your approximate happiness with your hotel connectivity. In the example of the NY Hilton, you should expect to experience five stars of connected happiness on their paid WiFi.
After gathering all this great data and applying the mathematical wizardry, hotelwifitest.com has compiled a list of 20 destination cities globally, ranked by the percentage of hotels that fail to meet its criteria for having adequate WiFi. Among the 20 most tested cities, Stockholm had the lowest percentage of hotels with low- quality WiFi (4 percent), while the city with the highest percentage of hotels with inadequate WiFi is Las Vegas (57 percent).
So far, hotelwifitest.com has racked up tests on hundreds of hotels crossing multiple countries. Here are the cities in order of below-par WiFi hotels (the lower the percent, the better). City Percent of hotels with inadequate WiFi Stockholm 4 Hong Kong 8 Amsterdam 17 Tokyo 19 Rome 27 Dubai 29 London 30 Berlin 31 San Diego 33 Barcelona 35 Washington 37 Singapore 38 Chicago 38 Vienna 40 Bangkok 41 NewYork 41 Orlando 44 San Francisco 48 Paris 53 Las Vegas 57 It’s also interesting to note that speedy WiFi and high room rates do not necessarily go hand in hand. While the pillows may be fluffier and the bathrobe cushier, paying more for your room is no guarantee of better Internet performance.
For example among the 200-plus hotels tested in NewYork City, at the posh 5-star Plaza hotel – with its 5th Avenue address and $925 a night rate – the WiFi’s‘expected speed’came in at a leisurely 1.6Mbps. On the other end of the spectrum, the speediest WiFi on the list belongs to the Da Vinci hotel, which clocked in with a blazing 53.1 Mbps – and rooms that start a more modest $279 per night. Plus the WiFi is free.
As we continue about our business, this new wizzywig may or may not drastically change our behavior. However the power of being in the know will definitely level the playing field for our expectations. BT