Skift Take

The apparent abundance of free Wi-Fi at U.S. hotels may be enough to overshadow their sluggish Wi-Fi speeds, but not for long.

As the conversation about hotel Wi-Fi continues querying whether or not it’s available and free at a property, some hotels forget free Wi-Fi means nothing if connection speeds don’t resemble elite marathon runners.

And apparently the race isn’t on at American hotels, since about 80% of the top 50 most frequently tested countries on hotelwifitest┬áhave better quality Wi-Fi than the U.S. The U.S. sits at number 40, behind Brazil, China, and Russia, (among others) but ahead of France and Spain. Hotels in more than 4,000 cities around the world have Wi-Fi test results on the site, with 241 hotels in Manhattan and 83 in San Francisco alone showing results.

The U.S. score is 35.9% for hotelwifitest’s ranking which considers all tests since the site was founded in 2013. The New York Hilton Midtown’s average tested speed is 16.2 megabits per second (Mbps) and The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park is 1.2 Mbps, for example.

South Korea’s 92% score makes it the best country for Wi-Fi quality, and the first page of results for Seoul, South Korea show much higher scores than New York City’s first page, as the Grand InterContinental Seoul Parnas average speed is 26.2 Mbps and the Grand Hyatt Seoul is 15.9 Mbps.

Japan (84.9%) has the second highest score, though only half of hotels tested in that country offer free Wi-Fi. These scores correlate to Asia having the best Wi-Fi overall, scoring 50% and narrowly besting Europe (46%).

If free Wi-Fi access matters more to guests, U.S. hotels have a lot to offer seeing as 85.4% tested around the country offer some type of free access.

Portland, Oregon is the U.S. city with the best hotel Wi-Fi, scoring 66.7% and is tied with Albuquerque, New Mexico and Austin, Texas for the free access hotels in these cities offer (86.7%). Stockholm, Sweden’s hotels have the best W-Fi for an international city (88.9) and 89.5% of hotels in that city offer free access.

Top 10 U.S. Cities With the Best Hotel Wi-Fi Quality

Rank City Wi-Fi Quality Score % of Hotels With Free Wi-Fi
1 Portland 66.70% 86.70%
2 Seattle 56.70% 64.60%
3 Albuquerque 50% 87.10%
4 Chicago 47.50% 67.40%
5 Los Angeles 46.30% 69.30%
6 Orlando 45.90% 75.60%
7 Las Vegas 45.50% 59.10%
8 New York 44.50% 65.40%
9 Dallas 43.90% 74.80%
10 Washington, D.C. 43.10% 58.00%

Top 10 International Cities With the Best Hotel Wi-Fi Quality

Rank City Wi-Fi Quality Score % of Hotels With Free Wi-Fi
1 Stockholm, Sweden 88.90% 89.50%
2 Budapest, Hungary 84.40% 75.80%
3 Tokyo, Japan 81.90% 51.20%
4 Dublin, Ireland 77.50% 72.30%
5 Montreal, Canada 69.00% 85.80%
6 Portland, United States 66.70% 86.70%
7 Moscow, Russia 63.60% 86.80%
8 Amsterdam, Netherlands 61.90% 84.90%
9 Toronto, Canada 61.50% 76.00%
10 Kowloon, Hong Kong 61.30% 64.40%

Source: hotelwifitest

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Tags: wi-fi

Photo Credit: The U.S. scores poorly when it comes to Wi-Fi quality compared to Europe and Asia. Pictured is a Wi-Fi-equipped hotel guest room at the ZAN Hotel in Voineasa, Romania. Mihai Dragomirescu / Flickr

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