The Hotels with Best WiFi Revealed
April 23, 2020
Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, if you need reliable internet, include hotels with the best WiFi in your search. In today’s digital age, tourists of all ages frequently rely on access to their social media accounts, email and other platforms to communicate, especially when they’re our biggest connection to friends, family and work.
If you’ve ever researched “hotels with best WiFi near me” while planning your travels, you’re not alone. Studies have revealed 60% of people can’t (or won’t) go without WiFi access for more than one day.
While plenty of hotels offer WiFi around the world, you don’t want to settle for mediocre. Opt for a hotel with fast WiFi to allow you and your family to still be able to stream your favorite shows, upload your latest holiday pics, or FaceTime your loved ones back home – even if you’re on the other side of the world.
Location matters for finding hotels with the best WiFi
One thing to keep in mind when traveling is that not all places have great WiFi access. This will vary depending on your destination and the hotel location. For example, bustling Singapore has the fastest internet speeds in the world, clocking in at 153.85 Mbps. Take a remote island getaway, however, and you could be clocking just 3.61 Mbps.
Some parts of the world are simply more technologically advanced than others. Many densely populated locations (e.g., cities) tend to have greater resources for the required WiFi infrastructure than, say, a rural village with just a handful of residents.
What speeds do hotels with the best WiFi have?
“Fast” internet is one with download speeds at or above 25 Mbps (megabits per second, not to be confused with megabytes), as set out by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Additionally, upload speeds of 10 Mbps or higher are generally considered fast because they can easily handle common upload activities such as basic browsing, streaming, gaming or video conferencing.
The hotels with the best WiFi will allow you to do all of these things without running into any issues, but to help you out further, we’ve outlined what speeds you need for different uses below.
- 5 Mbps: At this speed, you can browse the web (1-2 Mbps), use email and other basic computer programs (3-4 Mbps), stream videos in standard definition (at least 3 Mbps) and stream live TV with services (at least 2.5 Mbps).
- 20 Mbps: At this speed, you can stream video in HD on multiple devices (requiring at least 13 Mbps), game online (at least 10 Mbps is recommended) and partake in group video calls (10+ Mbps is recommended).
- 100 Mbps: If 25 Mbps is considered fast, then 100 Mbps is an impressive speed. At 100 Mbps, you can handle most things internet-related (streaming movies in 4K HD, downloading large files or playing online games) while avoiding lag or buffering issues.
- 1,000 Mbps: 1,000Mbps is roughly equivalent to 125 MB per second. To put this into perspective, this internet speed would allow you to download a 15 GB movie within just two minutes. With this speed, you would have no issues streaming, video conferencing, gaming or browsing despite many users connected to the same network.
Methodology for choosing hotels with the best WiFi
These top 10 hotels with the best WiFi were selected using data from Hotel Wifi Test. We assessed the top hotel chains by looking at individual hotels from each chain across ten of the largest cities within the United States. We recorded the estimated WiFi speed from these ten hotels before arriving at a single average WiFi speed score for that hotel chain. We also checked the WiFi score for each hotel on Booking.com, ensuring it resulted in an eight or higher.
While we’ve aimed to present as accurate a list as possible, keep in mind that these speeds are only estimates, as data within this area is limited. Many factors can affect the speed and quality of WiFi within hotels, including location and the fact that bandwidth is shared among a large number of guests.
Top 10 hotels with the best WiFi
Ready to find out the top 10 hotels with the best WiFi? Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, these are the hotel chains offering high-speed internet worth taking advantage of.
|Hotel||Fastest internet speed offered||Cost||Best for|
|Marriott Hotels & Resorts||45.9 Mbps||Free in lobby and for loyalty program members, otherwise starts at $14.95/day for high-speed||Video chat, downloading large files + streaming HD video across multiple devices|
|Four Seasons||22.1 Mbps||Free||Internet browsing, email, video chat + streaming HD video|
|InterContinental||30.7 Mbps||Free||Internet browsing, email, video chat + streaming HD video|
|Best Western||32.4 Mbps||Free||Internet browsing, email, video chat + streaming HD video|
|Ritz-Carlton||76.2 Mbps||Free for loyalty card members who book directly. Otherwise, $12.95 – $16.95/day.||Streaming movies in 4K HD, large group video calls, downloading large files + playing online games|
|Sheraton Hotels & Resorts||22.3 Mbps||Free||Internet browsing, email, video chat + streaming HD video|
|Westin||28 Mbps||Free in public areas, otherwise $11.95/day for in-room WiFi.||Internet browsing, email, video chat + streaming HD video|
|Holiday Inn / Holiday Inn Express||42.1 Mbps||Free||Video chat, downloading large files + streaming HD video across multiple devices|
|Hyatt||20.8 Mbps||Free||Internet browsing, email, video chat + streaming HD video|
|Hilton Hotels||16.2 Mbps||Free in lobby and for Hilton Honors members (which is free to join), otherwise $14.99/day.||Internet browsing, email + streaming videos in basic definition|
Like many hotel chains, Marriott offers free basic WiFi in public spaces, such as their lobby, as well as to members of their loyalty program (which is free to join). Guests can upgrade to high-speed WiFi in their room for approximately $14.95 per day.
Guests state they have no issues connecting two or three devices to the hotel WiFi, however, it’s best to double-check with hotel reception, as each hotel may have different conditions. With speeds reaching as high as 45.9 Mbps, you can video chat, download large files and stream HD video across multiple devices. This is especially beneficial if you’re traveling for work.
Four Seasons offers free WiFi across their hotels for an unlimited number of devices, with an estimated maximum speed of 22.1 Mbps. While not as fast as Marriott Hotels, this speed is still ample for web browsing, email, video chat and streaming HD video — great for staying in touch with loved ones back home and remote work. There are no paid WiFi upgrades available.
InterContinental is another hotel chain that not only offers free WiFi for loyalty program members (also free and simple to join) but fast WiFi, too. With an estimated maximum speed of 30.7 Mbps, guests can enjoy all of the online services you’d expect from a high-end service, including internet browsing, email, video chat and streaming HD video.
There is unlimited device connectivity, and the hotel even boasts the “ability to manage bandwidth spikes for surge periods, including during large meetings and corporate events.” This makes the InterContinental chain ideal for work travelers.
Best Western is another hotel chain offering fast WiFi at no additional cost to all of its guests (including those without a Best Western hotel membership). With an estimated maximum speed of 32.4 Mbps, guests should have no problems browsing, accessing email, video chatting and streaming HD video across multiple devices in every room and area of the hotel – no upgrade necessary.
This chain has hotels within the USA reporting an estimated maximum speed of 76.2 Mbps. This makes it highly efficient for guests wanting to stream movies in 4K HD, handle large group video calls, download large files or play online games. Ritz-Carlton offers free WiFi access at participating properties for loyalty card members who book directly. Otherwise, prices can run from $12.95 to $16.95 per day. Up to six devices can connect.
Sheraton offers WiFi at speeds of up to 22.3 Mbps for free in rooms, meeting areas such as lobbies and conference halls and outdoor areas. Like with many hotels, this allows guests to partake in web browsing, email, video chats and streaming HD video at no extra cost. There are no paid WiFi upgrades available.
At most Westin hotels, you can access free high-speed internet of up to 28 Mbps in public areas, such as the lobby. To access this high-speed WiFi in your guest room, however, it will cost $11.95 per day. This is a must-have if you want to browse the web, email, video chat or stream HD from the comfort of your room. As of this publication, there is limited information as to how many devices can connect at one time.
With estimated maximum WiFi speeds of 42.1 Mbps, the Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express chains are great for guests wanting to stream movies in 4K HD, make large group video calls, download large files or play online games – all at no extra cost for loyalty program members (which is free and simple to join). And because they are part of an IHG Hotel & Resort, there is also unlimited device connectivity.
Since 2015, Hyatt has allowed hotel guests to connect to their high-speed internet (with max speeds of around 20.8 Mbps) for free for an unlimited amount of devices – no membership necessary.
Coming in at the tenth spot on the list is Hilton Hotels, but with high speeds of approximately 16.2 Mbps, guests can still perform basic online tasks (internet browsing, email, streaming videos in basic definition) for free – that is, if they’re a Hilton Honors member, which is free to join. Otherwise, guests need to pay around $14.99 per day for the service.
Tips for staying safe while using free WiFi
If you’ve ever logged into the free WiFi at a hotel or public place, you know that security isn’t exactly their main concern. Often, these free WiFi networks will have a shared password, or none at all, making them prime targets for cyber-attacks, identity theft and data breaches.
Here’s how you can stay safe:
- Make sure your device’s firewall is turned on and you’ve disabled file sharing to avoid unknowingly broadcasting your private files to everyone connected to the free WiFi.
- Avoid logging into your online banking accounts or making any financial transactions. If possible, use mobile data for this instead.
- If in doubt, double-check with hotel staff which wireless network is theirs. Sometimes, cybercriminals can create malicious networks with the same name to try to steal information.
- Make sure the login page to the free WiFi starts with “https://” to ensure it is secure and encrypted to protect your personal information.
- Use a VPN (virtual private network) to encrypt all of your data that passes through the network.
Travel bloggers on which hotels have the best WiFi
Michael Miszczak of Just a Pack:
“The best WiFi we have experienced in the USA would have to be the Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriot in Washington D.C., as the WiFi was fast enough to stream and make video calls pretty much everywhere in the hotel, which is always a BIG plus for us.
As digital nomads and travel bloggers, our entire careers are based around being able to get on the internet, therefore a hotel with bad WiFi means we can’t work efficiently (or at all). We always check reviews for any potential WiFi issues customers have experienced in the past.”
Robson of Love and Road:
“The WiFi at the SO Sofitel Bangkok was extremely fast and available all around the property. We choose hotels based on the WiFi review. Yes, we are that crazy about the internet connection. As we are working all the time, the quality of the WiFi is very important to us.”
Jessie Festa of Jessie on a Journey:
“As a full-time travel blogger who makes their income online, WiFi is essential for me when choosing a hotel. I’ve always found Andaz brand hotels to have great, reliable complimentary WiFi. This luxury hotel chain is part of the Hyatt brand, though each property has a boutique feel with locally-inspired decor — which also means you get work in some pretty inspiring settings!”
The bottom line
With this round-up of the top 10 hotels with the best WiFi, you can hopefully avoid being without a reliable and fast internet connection ever again while you’re away. Whether you’re looking to catch up on your favorite Netflix series, share your latest holiday photos, or connect via video chat with your loved ones back home, all of this is now more possible than ever when traveling.
Author bio: Melanie Clarke is a freelance writer based in Sydney, Australia. She has obtained university degrees in both creative writing and journalism and possesses a decade of experience in creating educational, SEO optimized and heavily researched articles. You will find her work on sites such as Fiverr, BeFunky, and RVshare, just to name a few.