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The Best (and Worst) Airports, Hotels, and Resorts for Internet Access

Dan Tynan
Yahoo Tech

The scenery is exquisite, the food is heavenly, and the hotel towels are exceedingly fluffy. But if the WiFi connection is wonky, you could still end up having a miserable time on your vacation, because that’s the kind of incurable geek you really are.

But not for much longer. Now you can plan your next getaway based on how good the wireless internet is at your destination. 


WiFi network management provider Wefi collected data from 45 million WiFi hotspots at the nation’s largest airports, hotels, and beach resorts, then averaged the results over a period of six weeks. The results may surprise you.  

Making connections
Getting there may be half the fun, but it’s also at least three quarters of the frustration, especially when you’re trying to get work off your plate between flights so you can relax and have a good time.

If you’ve got to do multiple hops to get to your destination, try to connect in Detroit Metro; there you can fly the WiFi skies at a speedy 4.63 megabits per second. At 4.33 mbps, Denver International is not a bad second choice for a layover. From there, however, the speeds drop off rather quickly; most major hubs clock in under 3 mbps. At the bottom of the list is, surprisingly, San Francisco International, which registers an embarrassing 2.29 mbps.  Somebody needs to revoke its geek creds.

Sand and surf
Looking to surf the Web with your feet in the surf? Your best bet is Clearwater Beach, Florida. Visitors to the Gulf Coast get to enjoy average download speeds of nearly three megabits per second. The second fastest beach town, Atlantic City, clocked in a hair slower – 2.8 mbps.

Bringing up the bottom of the top ten is Hermosa Beach, California, at a paltry 1.1 mbps. (But to be fair, the actual surfing at Hermosa is much better.)

The inn crowd
Wefi sampled the WiFi at 20 major hotel chains across the US, and this is where the real surprises start.  Some of the lower budget hotels actually outperformed their tonier cousins by a significant margin. Topping the list at was Red Roof Inns (4.34 mbps), followed by Sleep Inn (4.14 mbps) and Ramada (3.69 mbps).  Huddling the middle you’ll find Hilton (3.17 mbps) and Four Points by Sheraton (3.04 mbps). Bottom feeders include Clarion (2.42 mbps) and Doubletree (2.32 mbps).

Bottom line: You may not get a mint on the pillow or sheets made from 600-thread Eqyptian cotton at some of these hotels, but you could get faster Internet.

For the 60 percent of Americans who say they can’t go a whole day without connecting – or the 30 percent who can’t last more than an hour offline —  that could make all the difference.

Questions, complaints, kudos? Email Dan Tynan at ModFamily1@yahoo.com.