Horrible WiFi in hotels

published 2014-05-15, last modified 2018-03-18

I’ve been travelling a bit to foreign countries lately and noticed that all of the places I’ve stayed at (low to medium price range hotels) have one thing in common: their WiFi is absolutely horrible.

Even worse, it seems like the more money you pay, the more horrible the WiFi gets. As an example, I’ve stayed at the NH city centre in Amsterdam recently. Curiously, swisscom runs the WiFi there — I didn’t even know they do more than access and mobile network in Switzerland. We booked a double room (so the hotel knew there are two people staying in the room), but swisscom only allows one login. I’ll repeat: one (1) login. In 2014. Where people travel with smartphones, tablets and notebooks. Per person. Even better: every time you lose connection, you need to re-acknowledge the terms of service. Of course this breaks automated updates of Android smartphones because they try to save battery and connect to the WiFi only sporadically.

Not only with swisscom it frequently happens that WiFi providers offer you laughably low volume limits like 100 MiB, which is less than what I have with my tiny international roaming package. Or 256 kbit/s (!) of bandwidth, which of course is no comparison to mobile data connections these days. Also, I’ve seen latencies as high as half a minute, effectively preventing any internet usage from working.

The horrible WiFi PDF

In order to not suffer in silence any more, but quickly express my frustration, I’ve created a form that I’ll carry with me when visiting a hotel. In case (hah!) their WiFi sucks, I can just leave them that note and hope they’ll eventually take action.

Feel free to do the same: store horrible-wifi.pdf (19 KiB) (Public Domain, please share) and leave it at every hotel with inacceptable WiFi.