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21 Jan 2020

Adapting to Hotel Internet: Tips and Tricks

Post by Jordan Toplen

Depending on personal preference and how you choose to travel, spending time in hotels can be either an enjoyable experience or an unfortunate reality. Conveniently, an increasingly common advantage of modern hotels is that of free Wi-Fi. Unfortunately, this Wi-Fi is often slow and limited. This means that our at-home uses might not be available – but not all is lost.

With a slight change of how you use your internet, it is quite possible to still get a lot out of even the more limited internet connections which hotels have to offer.

Watching TV and Movies

Depending on where you are staying, it might not be possible to access accounts like your at-home Netflix, due to regional limitations and locks. To overcome this first step, it might be worth it for those who travel a lot to invest in a Virtual Private Network service (VPN). These can trick an internet connection into believing you’re at home, thereby unlocking an at-home library.

The other main step is to lower your video resolution and/or bitrate. The lower these are set, the less data a connection will use, allowing video to run on slower internet. It won’t look as good, but this can be massively preferable to constantly stuttering playback and can often make all the difference in the world.

Gaming

If you’re a big fan of fast-paced traditional video games that you have installed on a laptop, phone or console, then the chances of being able to enjoy an at-home experience are unfortunately slim. Wi-Fi is notorious for high amounts of delay (latency) in these situations, and hugely shared hotel internet often generates this issue.

Instead, it can be a better idea to turn to games that have lower bandwidth requirements. These are ones that tend not to rely on instant reactions, such slower strategy or turn-based games. For example, many online casino games like slots, poker, and table games are perfect for this. Even online live casino games work well in this regard, as – despite their live video links – they can scale well for different bandwidths, and aren’t hampered by overly fast gameplay. There are also a lot of bonuses available for casinos like these, giving deposit matches and free spins to keep players engaged longer for less.

Preload your Entertainment

An alternative but also potentially helpful avenue, especially if you don’t know what sort of internet you’ll be facing, is to download and store any media you want to enjoy ahead of time. Many streaming services now allow this option, though it might require an exterior hard-drive storage solution (especially so if you’re on an SSD laptop whose disk is already almost full).

Luckily modern external hard drives are quite cheap and sturdy today, able to fit hundreds of hours of videos and dozens of games on devices no larger than a small book.

If your hotel room happens to have a relatively modern TV, it might even be possible to plug an external hard drive into a USB port to run media without the need for a laptop, phone, or tablet.

Whatever your preference might be, some potential issues with hotel Wi-Fi can be anticipated ahead of time. Often, the property’s official website will list what type of connections are available under ideal circumstances, and online reviews can help illustrate what sort of real-world performance a user can expect.

Just as with digital maps and GPS, this world is a hard thing not to love, and too often we find ourselves asking, how did people manage before?

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