Taxonomy of Hotel Internet

I’ve been travelling again. It’s got me thinking about different kinds of hotel internet access:

I see four basic kinds:

  • Just plain on — This is great, but unusual. Walk into the hotel room, flip on your laptop, find wireless network, connect, go.
  • Free but signup — Courtyard by Marriott has this. It’s quite good. You need to sign on, but once you’re on, it works pretty bulletproof. Plus, you have a choice between wired and wireless.
  • Outside vendor — I was in a hotel recently that had teamed up with T-Mobile. I had to sign up for a daypass from T-mobile to use Internet. A bit of a pain (and I did not like paying), but it worked.
  • Fancy hotel, in house system, barely works — That’s where I am now. I paid $12.95 for a system where I had to sign up through multiple screens including pop-ups, could only use wired (no wireless available at all) and . . . once I was on, the connection failed reliably every four minutes or so. Come on, people!

Let me know in the comments what kinds I’ve missed!

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