The 9 Cities with the Best Hotel WiFi

October 22, 2015
Jared Kaltwasser

A travel website looked at the the availability, speed, and cost of wireless internet at hotels across the globe. Here's what they found.

In an age of video streaming, photo sharing, and near-constant connectivity, many of us take for granted that we’ll be able to access a WiFi network wherever we may go (expect, perhaps, on airplanes).

And then we check into our hotel, walk up to our room, and find… that’s right: The promised WiFi is barely functional. Or extremely pricey. While it might be a nice gimmick to get tourists out of their rooms to explore the city, a lack of free or fast WiFi is one of the greatest frustrations for many frequent travelers.

That’s where Hotel WiFi Test comes in. The firm lets users test the WiFi at their hotels, then uses the crowdsourced data to help travelers pick a hotel with strong, and free, WiFi service.

That data also provides an interesting look at how WiFi is catching on in different regions. For instance, while the US is on the cutting edge of many technologies, the survey found European hotels are 33% more likely to have adequate WiFi than American hotels. (For this survey, “adequate” is defined as download speeds of at least 3 Mbps and upload speeds of 500 Kbps. Those standards are based on the requirements of Netflix and Skype.)

On the other hand, European WiFi quality is more likely to come with a price. US hotels are 14% more likely than European hotels to offer free WiFi.

Overall, Hotel WiFi Test found 35% of US hotels had adequate WiFi, while 85% offered free WiFi. In Europe, 46% of hotels had adequate service, and 75% offered it for free. In Asia, only half of hotels surveyed offered adequate service, though 61% offer free WiFi.

Ranked by Country, South Korean came out on top, with the US lagging far behind at 40th place.

But what about cities?

What follows are the nine US cities with the best hotel WiFi, as ranked by Hotel WiFi Test. Included with each city is the percentage of hotels in the city with quality WiFi, the percentage with free WiFi, and the city’s global rank. Note: cities were only included on the list if the company had enough data for a meaningful assessment.

Quality WiFi: 43.1%

Free Wifi: 58.0%

World Ranking: 34

Quality WiFi: 43.9%

Free Wifi: 74.8%

World Ranking: 33

Quality WiFi: 44.5%

Free Wifi: 65.4%

World Ranking: 32

Quality WiFi: 45.5%

Free Wifi: 59.1%

World Ranking: 29

Quality WiFi: 47.5%

Free Wifi: 67.4%

World Ranking: 25

Quality WiFi: 45.9%

Free Wifi: 75.6%

World Ranking: 28

Quality WiFi: 50%

Free Wifi: 87.1%

World Ranking: N/A (city is not large enough for inclusion in global list)

Quality WiFi: 56.7%

Free Wifi: 64.6%

World Ranking: 17

Quality WiFi: 66.7%

Free Wifi: 86.7%

World Ranking: 6

Read Hotel WiFi Test’s full report here.

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