The US has the largest number of free hotel wifi spots in the world, but conversely it has the lowest quality connections, a new study has found.
Hotel Wifi Test examined both the performance of various hotel networks in the US, Europe and Asia, as well as the availability of free wifi in properties.
To do so the organisation benchmarked "adequate wifi" by establishing if a hotel could provide an expected download speed of 3 Mbps (using the Netflix recommendation for SD-quality streaming of its content) and an upload speed of 500 Kbps (Skype's requirement for non-HD video calls).
To gather the free wifi percentage, Hotel Wifi Test calculated as a ratio of hotels that offer free in-room wifi to all hotels for which the price structure and availability is known.
The company excluded hotels that offer free wifi only in public areas.
Two of the key results in the study:
- It is 33% more likely in Europe that a hotel has adequate wifi compared to the US, but 14% more likely that a property will offer a free in-room connection.
- Asia has the best quality connections but the lowest volume of properties offering a free hotel wifi service.
On a country-by-country basis, hotel guests in the US will find themselves struggling to find high quality connections, with 79% of other countries offering a better service.
South Korea, inevitably, comes out on top - some seven percentage points ahead of fellow Asia-Pacific state, Japan.
Broken down, the top 50 countries based on quality of hotel wifi networks:
And the best cities:
CEO Yaroslav Goncharov, CEO at Hotel WiFi Test says:
"For most travelers, having super-fast and consistently stable wifi is a great bonus, but their first priority is ensuring that basic quality expectations for Internet access are met.
"Also, this is a more robust approach than measuring the average speed, as such calculations can be misleading because of a few of hotels that have extremely fast wifi and many hotels with horrible wifi.
"The median speed is a bit better for this purpose than the average speed, but it can still give misleading expectations."
NB: Hotel wifi image via Shutterstock.