What Is The Deal With Slow Hotel Internet?

So I get about 12 Mbps at home and am getting 0.35 Mbps on the road in a hotel. This is a fairly decent business dude type hotel, so how is this in anyway acceptable?

A few days ago I was at another hotel and they made me pay 15 bucks for their high speed internet and when I did a speed test I was barely getting dial-up speeds.

This outrage most be put to a stop! Business dudes and info workers must unite and demand our God given right to have free high speed interwebs wherever we go!

originally posted on productive life


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39 thoughts on “What Is The Deal With Slow Hotel Internet?”

  1. I had the same problem recently at a major business hotel in Las Vegas. I complained and was told that there was not enough bandwidth to handle the dozens of people who were online.

    I also had a weak wireless signal in my room.

  2. if it’s free I guess you can’t complain, but if they ask to pay for high speed Internet and you getting dial-up speeds that’s a problem…

    1. Free? Like the free breakfast? BS. Nothing’s free in a hotel.

      In most cases there is a cap on Bandwidth for each machine logged in and it’s generally pathetic. I’ve found in most hotels the cap appears to be set about .5 to .99 Mb but if the hotel is too cheap to get the appropriate amount of bandwidth to maintain the load of several users then you won’t even get that much. You can bet the front desk and the manager’s office are prioritized and they don’t see this issue.

      Now the fix. There is a comment card in every room that can be sent to the hotel’s corporate office. If you’re a member of the loyalty club it’s even easier, you get an email survey. We all need to be noting this on there. All we have to do is get one hotel chain to make it a priority and they will start advertising it or word of mouth will get it to the others. Like the high quality cookies at the front desk one day of week at one hotel chain and before you knew it was 5 days a week at all of them.

    2. Free? Like the free breakfast? BS. Nothing’s free in a hotel.

      In most cases there is a cap on Bandwidth for each machine logged in and it’s generally pathetic. I’ve found in most hotels the cap appears to be set about .5 to .99 Mb but if the hotel is too cheap to get the appropriate amount of bandwidth to maintain the load of several users then you won’t even get that much. You can bet the front desk and the manager’s office are prioritized and they don’t see this issue.

      Now the fix. There is a comment card in every room that can be sent to the hotel’s corporate office. If you’re a member of the loyalty club it’s even easier, you get an email survey. We all need to be noting this on there. All we have to do is get one hotel chain to make it a priority and they will start advertising it or word of mouth will get it to the others. Like the high quality cookies at the front desk one day of week at one hotel chain and before you knew it was 5 days a week at all of them. Or the newspapers at the door, the phone call 20 minutes after check to make sure the room’s okay or the hot food on the breakfast bar. They will all step up.

      The solution for hotels? They could add less than a dollar to the price per night of all rooms and it’s bought and paid for. The way not to do it is one thing I’ve seen in the past which is have standard internet that was free or pay for accelerated internet. Most of our employers will not allow us to expense something that’s free even with the increase in productivity. The people who make the decisions like that inside most of our companies have never walked a mile in our shoes. Another way to do it is have a login for the internet using our loyalty program information and upper tiers in the programs would get better speeds. This way such a great expansion in bandwidth would not be required. For the occasional traveler a night or two of pathetic internet isn’t a big deal but for a lot of us 5 days a weeks of it or more is a kill

    3. I’m paying $2800 to stay in this hotel for 2 weeks, after 300 mb of download in 24 hrs my speed is limited to 6 kb/s. You think thats reasonable?

  3. I have just come across your blog, great content. This is a very interesting topic, one must remember that Internet here is normally free, so one can’t really complain about it being slow and the hotels properly have the bottom of the range in bandwidth, having said that, also remember how many people are using it at one time, it is a hotel after all.

  4. I disagree, if they say they have high speed internet it should be high speed whether it is free or not should not matter. In my opinion a 1.5 mbps should be about as slow as you can go and still qualify as high speed. I am staying in a Hampton Inn in Casper Wyoming and I am only getting 400 kbps. I need to teleconference and access my offsite computer which is a joke with these speeds. I will complain and see if they can do anything before I decide to choose a differnt hotel.

    1. Well, I complained last night and was surprised with the outcome. The GM personally came to my room to resolve the issue. He tried the room next door and it was also slow. He contacted the company they buy thir internet service from and they said that 500 kbps was the maximum speed that they pay for. He said they will look into updgrading as he also thought that it was too slow. He was very apologetic and took measures to make it up to us. We were very satisfied with the efforts and resolution. Thanks, Hampton Inn

  5. I’m in Turkey, staying in Venera Hotel, And I’m getting 10 KB/s, I’m literally jealous of 400KB/s, It took 3 minutes to load this page, And I’m gonna guess it’ll take 3 minutes to post this. It takes 10 seconds to send a short message to a friend on MSN. AND the Modem is ontop of my door outside. This is just stupid.

  6. I am a business dude, and I stay 100+ nights a year, mostly in Hilton properties, mostly Hamptons, and I ALWAYS bitch about the slow speeds- typically sub-500k… Since I’m a Diamond in their loyalty program, I get requests for feedback all the time, and I tell ‘em every time. I also tell the manager on duty, and last week I got one who actually admitted what the deal is; according to him, Hilton has a deal, company-wide, including Hamptons and Garden Inns, even though those are franchised, with AT&T for their crappiest DSL. They pay for 500k, and that’s the BEST you’re going to get. I have a speed-test app on my phone, so I have lately been driving through hotel parking lots checking their speeds… (Most of the time, if a code is required, all you have to do is tell ‘em at the desk you want to borrow their WiFi for a minute, and they’ll give you the code). I find that Best Westerns usually have at least 6Mbps, and no code required. I hate to switch, got a lot of Hilton points, but damn.

    1. I am sick of slow Hampton speeds. I typically (always) get 60 kb/sec (kilobytes). The
      56 kb/sec modem went out with the mid 90s. I’m switching to Holiday Inn Express. Co-workers tell me they have very good download speeds. I need it as I’m often downloading software for clients prior to coming onsite. It’s a pain to have to take time
      at the client to download when it should be done off hours.

  7. Just found your site after being feed up with my connection speed. Everyone who says if is free you can’t complain….well nothing is free and they work it in to the price structure somehow. Besides if it is advertised it should at least be adequate I get better connection at Coffee Bean. I downloaded a Quicktime Movie that was 5 minutes long for school and it took 36 minutes that is just plain crazy.

    Also having problems using Word while the internet is opened because other people who are running Word interfere. It keeps coming up with a dialogue that says to many computers are using and it exceeds the copyright. What is that about?

  8. I’ve stayed at Hampton Inns from Maine to Florida and the service is uniformly bad. 50 KB per sec actual download speed is about as good as it gets . I’m on vacation at this very moment at the Embassy Suites in Williamsburg, VA. Apparently it’s no better at Hilton’s high-end properties. What’s really funny (or not) is that the free internet provided for the Merchants Square area adjacent to Colonial Williamsburg covers an area one block by three blocks in size, requires no sign-in and pumped out a respectable 800-1000 KB per sec.

    I needed to re-download a game file from Steam (which was corrupted by an update to your crappy Vista, Microsoft). I got about half-way there at the motel after two days. When I found out about the free Williamsburg internet, I parked my truck with my laptop inside and after walking round Colonial Williamsburg for about three hours, the deal was done.

  9. I google searched “why is hampton hotels internet so slow” tonight, for obvious reasons, and you were the first hit…congratulations!!

    I am a diamond member of hilton properties, and hampton seems to be the worst, but “better” (such at Embassy) really isn’t saying much….uniformly bad all across the country…

    Whoever said it is free so you can’t complain is a moron…if they travelled and took “airplane trips” more than once very 5 years, they would appreciate how frustrating it is for a business traveller to have to endure this terrible “service”…you’re paying for it somehow toots, don’t kid yourself…

    Anyway, back to the grind…

  10. I cannot add anything other than another voice of a frequent business traveler who is exasperated by dial up internet masquerading as “High Speed WiFi!”. The worst offenders being those chains that supposedly cater to the business traveler. They don’t. So, I agree with those who say to state your complaint whenever the opportunity arises. And I whole heartedly disagree with “toots” (!!!). Whether or not the internet is advertised as free is beside the point. If you call it high speed internet, it should be high speed internet.

  11. I plan to build a hotel in the next 5 years and I will have a 20MB connection backed up by a second provider with a 10mb connection. you will all be invited to stay at my hotel. although I have not come up with a name yet.

    Back to making the bucks.

  12. My wife and I are full-timers without an RV, so we stay in extended stay hotels. Several have recently added the option of upgrading to higher speeds for additional fees. For a business traveler, I think paying an additional $25 a week for 3 Mbs is not too shabby. My wife and I spend 4-6 hours each day online with two laptops, so we have begun going to the McDonalds across the street. They have 1.5 Mbs for free and the food is OK. Most public libraries have around 1.5 also, but get there in the mornings before the students arrive. I’m at this site now because we are at a Studio 6 and getting a ping time of 665! At 8am this morning it was 55. FYI at the Banyon Tree Hotel in Bangkok we got 12 Mbs. For free. Talk about being spoiled!

  13. I’m in a hotel 130+ nights a year. Hilton diamond, marriot gold… I’ve had the same bad experience with Hiltons. I’m in a Hilton in Phoenix now, and getting .5M down and .3M up. Hyatt by the way has been the best for me. Got 22Mbps down and 8Mbps up at the Hyatt in CVG.

    I agree with complaining. Respond to the follow up email with a link to the speedtest.net result; no whining, just hard facts. Also mention it caused problems with you business during your stay, and you won’t be staying there anymore (you then have to stay somewhere else next time). Furthermore, ask for 3000-5000 loyalty points for your trouble and taking the time to write in… The only way they’ll change their business practice is if it’ll make their business better.

    Lastly, when you check out, tell them the connection was unacceptable, and you’d like them to refund the charge, they might be able to do it for you.

  14. Hotels are to slow the help desk states they give 512/256 LOL. Get an air card 4G card will give you what you need for $50 a month. Thats what the hotels force you to do. of course you need to be able to get cell signal not always available. The HILTON chain went to crap after they introduced free WIFI for gold and dimond members they should call it free dial-up
    i get a faster connection thethered to my 3g connection that the hotel speed ad a vpn tunnel your out of luck your speed is to slow for business. thye blame users in the hotel for the speed. i laugh no way not in this hotel it’s not even sold out. i pay $100 bucks a month for a comercial line with Comcast 64mb down 7mb up thats less that $3 a day that would be less than 3 cents per room per day who are they kidding.

  15. I’m here at a Hampton in Denver for a month. No Youtube, No Netflix, No Scype, No Fun. This sucks, I’m going across the street and checking their speeds.

  16. I’m in ocean city MD and im downloading a program thats only 15.6 MB and it has a hour to go. on Thursday i had no trouble with the internet. maybe since its the weekend more people are using the internet. but i am really mad about this. but 54 mbps is better then some of yours. hopefully soon hotels will invest in faster internet

  17. I’m shocked. All of you complain. All of you say you stay in Hilton, Hampton, etc. If you have that kind of money, why don’t you get your own and take it with you everywhere you go? Why rely on motel internet if you know it’s no good? Jiminy! Go to Verizon and get you a card or usb or whatever it is these days and you can have internet on the go….yippee! Better yet, have your company pay for it!

  18. That’s a silly comment Linda. You are missing the point completely. The point is that a hotel is offering “High Speed Internet” and not delivering on their claim. I have a Data Plan that I pay for through my cell provider but things like signal strength, roaming fees, capped data and convenience come into play. Using your logic, why have internet at all.

    Your comment “Have your company pay for it” tells me that you have never run a business or dont really care if your company has to spend money.

    I am somewhat curious how you came upon this forum if it was not an issue for you as well. I and if it treally isnt an issue why take the time to batter those of us who have issue.

  19. I see that there are many others that find it important to get a decent broadband speed. I too, like many other here am Hilton hhonors diamond member. I stay exclusively with Hilton properties. About 150 nights per year. When you are on the road that much, internet speed is important for your sanity. Its really starting to piss me off. Is this just a Hilton problem or do other chains have this same cap on speeds? In a previous career, I stayed pretty much exclusively with Holiday Inn Express. I used to get 3-10Mb back in the day. I then saw those speeds begin to dwindle. Nothing like this 350-500K b.s. And this silly crap about why complain when its free is ridiculous. Its not free people! Nothing is free. Nothing. From here on out I am going to complain, complain, and complain some more. Obviously it doesnt do any good, but maybe I will feel better.

  20. Ditto!. If they are going to give us slower speeds, don’t call it high-speed internet. The chains just need to be honest. I have a Verizon 4G Mifi, but there are caps and I travel a lot, so I reach that cap quickly. I had to buy it because I can never find high-speed internet at any of the hotels I stay at, that include Holiday Inn Express/Hilton properties, as well as Marriott properties.

    I am afraid to ever buy internet access at a hotel that charges because I expect them to be just as slow. I have wasted many hours in my hotel room waiting for a simple forum post or thread page to display.

    Oh, one other hotel complaint. I hate when they leave the plug in the shower/tub in the closed position every day. It happens all the time to me.

  21. I am currently staying at the hampton inn at the Atlanta Airport. The internet that is free is horribly slow. Speedtest.net just gave me 120 kbs on the download and roughly the same on the upload. There is a Hyatt right beside me, I repeat HYATT in case anyone would like to start testing them out and sending business their way because I just jumped over onto their system, no password required and speedtest.net just gave me 6.36MB/s down and 1.0MB up

  22. Staying at a Residence Inn (Marriott’s version of an Extended Stay) for a two week stint. The internet here is pretty bad as well. I stayed here a few months back, and it was disheartening that they haven’t changed the internet password since my last stay. Though, this is more of a business district and the web seems the worst in peak (evening) hours.

    Probably the worst part is that it is so inconsistent. I don’t know how these caps actually work, but I’ll be cruising along for 20 minutes then come to a grinding halt. Videos will stop streaming all together and pings shoot up to several thousand.

    I would gladly, gladly pay money out of my own pocket for the hotel to provide me a dedicated line. I’m here for two weeks and I would gladly pay a price that is adjusted to my length of stay. Hotel internet is usually fine for light browsing, but anything else (like we’ve listed above) is trash.

    Yet, I’m with you all on the false advertisement front. Don’t say “High-Speed Internet” if you don’t have it. It shouldn’t require web searches and loose networks of angry customers to find out what hotels have worthwhile internet.

    It sucks to have no options other than, “Fill out a comment card”. They know their internet is trash.

  23. I am staying at a Hampton inn in Fishkill, NY. the internet is so slow, speedtest couldn’t even get the app started. i tested with the App on my blackberry and got a response time of over 2000 ms. connected to Kansas. why the hell are they connected that way? that might be the problem.
    I travel to eastern europe all the time and i always have speeds of over 2mbs in every hotel.

    this is not the 21st Century. it’s backwards.

  24. I think the only thing you can do is what I did. I stopped staying at Hampton. If enough people do that, they’ll get the message and improve their service. I now stay at Comfort Suites and to some extent it’s a crap shoot because a very few of them are dumps and you can’t tell it until you check in and see the room. Their broadband service is, as a rule, very fast and I’ve encountered very few problems.

  25. Honestly is key, right now I’m surfing the web at a blazing 24kbps on the Hampton Inn’s high speed wireless at&t internet. Thanks for bringing me back to 1994 and my 28k modem.

  26. I recently stayed at a Best Western in California for 3 weeks. I’m a Project Manager for commercial construction and I have to say, I switched to Best Western Hotel after being a loyal Hampton customer for 7 years. It’s cheaper, but still nice hotel and internet speed is at minimum 10kbps. I have verified with hotel manager and speed test.

    So what am I about to tell all of you? Quit wasting your money on high end hotels, and get a decent hotel with enough speed to get by for business needs.

    As Ron White said in his stand up, “I’ve stayed in $20 a night motels that had enough hot water that you could cook your nuts with it…you mean to tell me the Ritz Carlton Hotel couldn’t have thought to put enough hot water in for everyone waking up in the morning and having shit to do?!”

    High end hotels seem to have more problems than decent hotels.

  27. candlewood suites and guest net sucks as well. I have had 3 conversations with the people at guest net, regarding problems connecting and slow speeds with 3 devices (iphone, imac and kindle fire) and the only info I got from them was “get rid of your kindle, get a nook”. Whaaat? I finally told them I didn’t want to be rude, but I was giving up and going across the street to panera to connect to the public wifi for my needs. What a F***g joke. I can’t wait to get out of here. Makes me appreciate comcast/insight/cable internet speeds!

  28. PS When I told the guest net people I was going to go to Panera to connect as I was tired of trying with them, they said “OK”. LOL! Unreal! I tried finding guest net online to complain and – big suprise – I couldn’t find it (but maybe that was due to my snail like connection speed). Hmmmfph.

  29. The problem is pay-per-view. Hotels don’t want you to be able to download iTunes movies and watch youTube. If you want to watch a movie, they want to add $12 to your hotel bill by watching pay-per-view. In order to get you to do that, they throttle your WiFi. Most hotels have plenty of bandwidth. They just don’t want you to use it on things that prevent you from spending money on them.

    1. Hotels network operators do throttle your free WiFi and use other traffic shaping techniques at application level. This is both good and bad news. The good one is that eliminates the possibility for a single guest to take up all the available bandwidth with a torrent application, the bad is that it will never measure up with your home broadband. Shared broadband in a hotel network has to be properly managed in order to achieve the functionality the guests expect and need. Applications like VPN, VoIP, Email are very important for the business traveler and are not throttled. Backup, pictures upload and file synchronization applications are assigned a smaller bandwidth. Some applications like torrents are given a very narrow piece of the pipe. Some of the hotels are offering two levels of service with more security features and better speed for business travelers so it’s always good to talk to the hotel manager about your needs.
      I travel and encounter the same problems described in this blog virtually in every hotel with very few exceptions. I also design and administer hotels networks and know the challenges the hotel’s operator faces in order to keep the guests satisfied, watch the cost and comply with the hotel chain policies. The broadband use is evolving with the technology. Social apps, video streaming and the increased number of connected devices per guest are realities the hotel has to plan and budget for years in advance.
      I am sure this was very boring for most of the blog readers with are here to vent their frustration and to answer one of the blogger, the free wifi is not a god given right so relax enjoy your trip and find alternative ways to keep your connected self entertained.

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