We are now for more than six months on the road and unfortunately had to realise that the supply with Wifi in hotels or apartments leaves a lot to be desired.
When asked whether Wifi is provided normally the answer is: “Yes.” So far so good. Apart from the fun fact that we Meurers normally get the room, where there is no reception; the provided bandwidth is sometimes ridiculous.
A little bit of internet is like a little bit pregnant
Furthermore it is extremely annoying when there is wifi provided but in one or the other way restricted or limited. We came across funny versions during the last months:
- you can receive e-mails but cannot send any
- certain sites are blocked like google, dropbox, Facebook and co., medium, buzzfeed, onlinebanking, onlineshops, and much more
- hotels own site and others were blocked but questionable sites could be reached
- no excess to our own cloud server
- no wifi after 11 pm!
- access time limited to 3 hours
For some holiday-makers it might be ok that he can only read his mails – though we think that he might also want to answer them.
We are digital
For us unfortunately things are different. We are depending on it. Apart from publishing stories and photos and wanting access to our own blog and some platforms we now live “digitally”. We are so to say digital nomads. Therefore the use of a functioning wifi with a suitable bandwidth is essential for us.
Internet access is our umbilical cord
Let's take mail for example. We have a registered address but we are never there. But our mail arrives there. Kind enough it is scanned and forwarded to us. Among it there are matters concerning health insurance, tax office or other important things. Therefore we need access to them.
Everything that we receive in paper we take pictures of and save them. We cannot carry around files. But we need access to these photos or exchange them with others. Let's talk about online banking. If this is blocked and we cannot pay our health insurance in time it has negative consequences for us. We are not ‘back home' in a week and can take care of these matters. Yes we are also on Facebook and twitter and google once in a while but one week without a connection to our bank is extremely difficult for us.
So the internet access is like our umbilical cord. We need it. Therefor a shut down at 11 pm or a reduction is a catastrophe for us.
Wifi yes, but what about bandwidth?
Also bandwidth is a problem. “We provide wifi” does not say anything about the bandwidth. And furthermore even when the download speed is sufficient, the upload is a weak point.
Why upload is so important for us
Upload is very important for us because we want and have to send photos and texts around the world. That is the reason for booking us. We blog, tweet and post on Facebook about the hotel, the destination or topics we have to deal with with more than one photo. So it adds up to quite some MBs. If we cannot publish them it is more than annoying for everyone involved!
First thing we do after moving is a speed test. We use the app hotelwifitest or speedtest.net. When you talk to the hotel owners about the bandwidth most of them are astonished. Others lament to us about their problems with the providers or that they have to use the expensive satellite connection.
Talking about costs. Wifi comes not normally without costs. We had already 5 Euros per device and week or 2,50 Euros per device and day. But the most annoying was this here:
(Translation: Dear guests, as we here in … can only get a sufficient internet connection via a permanent line which costs several hundred Euros we thank you for your understanding, that we charge for the access. Prices: 1-day ticket: 3,50 €, 2-day ticket: 7,00 €, duration ticket (3 days and longer): 10,00 €)
This is really not comprehensible. Then they could as well write: “We have some 10.000 Euros personnel costs, therefore we ask for 5 Euros per day for the room service.” The costs for providing internet access via wifi should be operating costs. A couple of hundred Euros might be frills and furbelows compared to the running costs of the spa or other free offers for hotel guests.
This also means that there is a lack of significance. I rather buy flower decoration for some hundred Euros each month or supply my staff with expensive traditional costumes…
We have to keep out
There is also a certain educational attitude: The guest should vacation and not stare into this device. The fear and mistrust of and against this ‘internet' is massive. Sometimes we stumble upon such notices:
(Translation: Yes, we are old fashioned. Please refrain from using your mobile phone on behalf of our guests in the restaurant. Thank you)
Our mobile “makeshift”
In case that the house wifi is not sufficient, we still have our “handbag-router”. But depending on where we stay reception might be bad or there is even none. It is definitely nice to live in the middle of nature, but sometimes it has disadvantages; at least for us.
That was the sloooooooooowest we had so far. Can you call that bandwidth at all?
It seems there is still something in disorder. Somehow we thought in the year 2015 it would already be different…
How about you?
What are your experiences with wifi while travelling?