Rules for Successful Hotel Wi-Fi

I now turn out to be in a lodge with bad Wi-Fi and I reflection to get in touch with up a quick ‘How to NOT’ prepare Hotel Wi-Fi using this ability as an case in point.

But as a replacement for, this stunted declare twisted into a 3,500 word, 12-page article.

In vogue addition to redistribution the whole gadget at this time – I’ll and declare a straightforward link to a PDF of the detailed record.
Rules used for Successful Hotel Wi-Fi

I now turn out to be in a lodge with bad Wi-Fi and I reflection to get in touch with up a quick ‘How to NOT’ prepare Hotel Wi-Fi using this ability as an case in point.

But as a replacement for, this stunted declare twisted into a 3,500 word, 12-page article.

In vogue addition to redistribution the whole gadget at this time – I’ll and declare a straightforward link to a PDF of the detailed record.

Rules used for Successful Hotel Wi-Fi


Rules used for Successful Hotel Wi-Fi

We all contain qualified terrible Hotel Wi-Fi… the travel leader, or online examination showed ‘Free Wi-Fi’ – and next we base up on put with a horrible experience.

Wi-Fi in hotels does not need to be a bad thing… if you stick to various greatest practices slightly lodge can offer its guests a huge Wi-Fi experience!

First, permit me say this is lone man’s belief. Perhaps nearby are others who might like various of the things I despise, or contain unique belongings anywhere various of these rules might not be the as a rule of use. I to all comers come to an understanding nearby are era once all these rules might not apply. But used for the as a rule part, the following will help your guests contain exactly come again? They want… Fast, Free, and Easy Public Wi-Fi!

All going on for guest expectations

The whole logic used for a lodge offering Wi-Fi to the guests is to help with the bed line. Free Wi-Fi has grow to be a must in the industry. Not no more than to prevail on first-time guests, but especially to contain return guests, the Wi-Fi needs to know the expectations of the guests.

So once analysis this declare – remember to think ‘What would my guests want’ – so as to be supposed to be the driving reason behind all your Wi-Fi
The following are in nix individual order – as long as you keep the original have power over, on top of, in mind – you can production on the following in slightly order you like.

You might like to refer to ‘Fast, Free, and Easy’ declare at this time:
Do come again? Is Right against Doing come again? Is Easy

This be supposed to move out exclusive of saying… but at this time I am proverb it up front and as the lead-in to all the other rules. Think back on WHY you are putting in civic Wi-Fi… used for your guests. Refer to have power over lone on top of. Designing a WLAN so as to encounter your chuck necessity be high and dry in individuals very chuck. What DO your guests expect? Your job is to design the Wi-Fi to know individuals chuck. Plain and straightforward. So prepare come again? Is birthright, not take various painless way given away.
Channel Plans

We’ve all seen the terrible Hotel Wi-Fi anywhere both adjacent AP is on the after that accessible channel. At the same time as you go down the hallway you batter Channel 1, next Channel 2, next Channel 3, and the rest. This causes massive Adjacent Channel Interference (ACI), and greatly reduces the accessible throughput on the system.

By way of contrast, the current lodge I’m working from in our day has all its access points prearranged to channel 6. All of them – all 150 of them are all on the exact same channel. This causes a diverse type of interference called Co-Channel Interference (CCI). The designer of this hotel’s Wi-Fi didn’t understand the basic rudiments of how 802.11 machinery. It is a Shared Medium – whereby all procedure so as to can ‘hear’ both other are in a contention domain and defer to both other. So in this lodge all client procedure and Access Points are basically in lone obese contention domain.

Sure – both device gets a huge RSSI… but the blare floor is and very summit, and since all procedure hear both other, the retransmission toll are summit, CRC errors are summit, and the ensuing data toll go down to bare lowest amount in unkindness of having a summit indicate strength.

Use the appropriate channel tactics, in as a rule countries a 1, 6, and 11 channel chart will production fine. Some countries might be able to instigate a 4-channel chart like 1, 5, 9, 13 – but now be aware if nearby is a Channel 6 or Channel 11 nearby you might be increasing your ACI to a moment anywhere the extra fourth channel isn’t worth the effort.

2.4GHz against 5GHz

We all know nearby are procedure still lurking around exclusive of 5GHz capabilities. But luckily these are diminishing hastily. The 2.4GHz ‘garbage band’ is now so as to – garbage. It is detailed of other procedure, Microwave Ovens, Bluetooth, Portable Phones, Video Cameras, and the rest. All contain an equal birthright to work the unlicensed frequency – and prepare so with abandon. Additionally, since nearby are no more than three accessible channels – we contain a very narrow faculty to prevail on frequency reuse in as a rule facilities.

Thus 2.4GHz is crowded, over-saturated, and very hard to design around. But still obligatory. Just don’t expect gain things in the 2.4GHz crowd.

On the other hired hand – we contain a varied variety of channels accessible to work in the 5GHz crowd. At the same time as well as the physics of RF allow used for 5GHz signals to production done a lesser range. This is a gain gadget – a huge gadget even. We like small, dense, controlled coverage patterns around our Access Points – 5GHz gives this to us much better than does 2.4GHz.

Design used for 5GHz, and next concentrate rancid 2.4GHz radios – perhaps ½ or more in order to play down CCI in the 2.4GHz crowd.

20MHz Channel Width

In vogue 2.4GHz you really necessity work no more than 20MHz channels. But in 5GHz you contain options used for 40MHz or wider channels. Please no more than work 20MHz channels. For a pair of gain reasons. First, you can prevail on more Transmit Power up for grabs into a lesser channel footprint, so delivering stronger RSSI to your client procedure. In vogue concentrate so as to will allow used for advanced data toll and more efficient airtime. Second, since many procedure can’t work the 40MHz channels, much of your narrow RF frequency might be malnourished. And third, you’ll contain not as much of luck used for 5GHz co-channel interference as you’ll contain access to more 20MHz channels to prefer from.

A blog by Andrew Von Nagy on the area of interest of wider channels.


Use all DFS Channels

There has been quite a spot of contest done the work of DFS channels. There were era anywhere many client procedure couldn’t envision all DFS channels. Thus if your WLAN design was narrow and didn’t contain proper overlap, you might contain a perceived dump in coverage used for specific procedure. This can be compensated used for by proper design with both primary and secondary coverage (Overlap) with 5GHz dual-radio coverage far and wide.

Additional importantly, more and more client procedure nix longer contain a limitation on considering DFS channels.

Turn Off Low Data Rates

Turn rancid supported data toll of 1, 2, 5.5, and 11 Mbps. Yes – this will unthinkingly not allow slightly 802.11b-only procedure to link up. That is a gain gadget. I gravely doubt relatives who can afford a night in a lodge area still are using B-only procedure. You don’t like individuals on your system anyway – they cause havoc and dense down all other procedure and require protection mechanisms to be implemented so as to devastate your budding data toll.

Now on to the slower OFDM toll. I’ve seen gain results whirling rancid 6Mbps and 12Mbps and allowing no more than 18Mbps or advanced. Some sites we’ve stimulated so as to up to a lowest amount of 24Mbps and seen even better results. But be a spot wary and evaluate previously and in the manner of changes to play down errors and ordinary data toll

The more procedure so as to communicate by closer data toll, the more amount to clear faculty you’ll contain on your system.

SNR more crucial than RSSI

Like I alluded to in the before have power over – now having RSSI isn’t sufficient. The way 802.11 machinery is more based on Signal to Noise Ratio – the difference involving the standard indicate and the ambient blare floor. The advanced the SNR, the advanced the budding data toll. We’d like both device to link up and work the highest likely data rate. Each device gets on and rancid the narrow telephone lines frequency and uses not as much of of the airtime.

When either SNR drops, or interference climbs, client procedure will receive errors or timeouts. These in concentrate force the client to communicate by a cut data rate. Thus using up more and more airtime as the data rate continues to move downward.

Our goal be supposed to be to keep Errors by a lowest amount and SNR by a highest. This might mean having fewer Access Points… counter-intuitive I know… but that’s how it machinery.

SoHo against endeavor Gear

I know I’m up for grabs to prevail on in worry with those who are infatuated with wholesale the cheapest likely gear. But I contain nix trouble stating you be supposed to be using Enterprise-class gear and NOT SoHo-class gear. You’d think this would be obvious… but many like to ignore the statement so as to equipment manufacturers truly work diverse components so as to production better than others. Not to point out man-years of coding of firmware to prevail on the as a rule likely given away of the hardware.

In vogue the industry nearby is a dub, CoGS… used for Cost of Goods Sold. Usually in the order of 1/6th or 1/8th of the retail cost of the device. So if your retail cost is $1,200 – the CoGS might be $200. If you think of SoHo procedure so as to retail used for $120… their CoGS might be no more than $20 of concrete strict expenditure used for the chips, box, motherboard, installation, packaging, and the rest. Think used for a moment – the CoGS of a top-of-the-line enterprise AP is not quite fold the retail cost of a SoHo AP. Let so as to sink in used for a moment.

There IS a mammoth difference involving the capabilities – RAM, CPU, antennas, and hardware quality involving SoHo and endeavor gear. That will effect the results, especially as we add more and more load to our Wireless networks.

SoHo gear is designed and tested used for the sell intended – so as to of a residence with a handful of Wi-Fi procedure. If so as to is anywhere you are putting your Wi-Fi – next by all resources work SoHo gear. But a lodge is NOT a homewards milieu, and needs a much advanced standard of quality.

Don’t cop given away and say – “But it works”… try analysis this declare original.


Access Point Placement

Like other procedure placed in your ability – fire sprinkler heads, smoke detectors, exit secret code, and the rest. – Wireless Access Points production greatest with ‘line-of-sight’ with the smallest likely RF attenuators or RF reflectors in involving the AP and the client procedure.

Placing AP’s on top of the ceiling tiles is regularly a bulky no-no. Installing access points amongst ductwork causes advanced multi-path and a not as much of steady RF indicate to client procedure. Causing advanced boo-boo toll, cut data toll, and lowering overall throughput faculty.

Refer back to burden it fittingly against burden it painless. I can’t imagine a building overseer allowing all fire sprinklers to be hidden on top of the ceiling tiles no more than in hallways – so why prepare you think introduction AP’s nearby is a gain sense?

Here is an superb record on Antenna/AP placement and choices:


Captive Portals

The bain of Guest everywhere… No lone LIKES Captive Portals. You know, the gadget so as to pops up in your browser making you read something, click something, concentrate done delicate in sequence, and the rest. Previously you can access the Internet.

Perhaps these are caused by relatives who contain anal personalities and like to control everything used for each. Or perhaps they became widespread as lawyers wanted to prevail on paid to get in touch with the Terms of Service.

But they are NOT obligatory. Perhaps by various mis-guided rule they are recommended. But since nix lone likes them, why prepare we still contain them?

If obese multi-billion-dollar corporations like Disney or LaQuinta contain pulled all Captive Portals from their civic Wi-Fi – and you know they contain boatloads of lawyers on organization – why does your lawyer still think these are obligatory?

Perhaps you live in a kingdom anywhere you contain mis-guided politicians who contain agreed inane laws thinking capturing above in sequence in a captive portal will help save your society from crime or terrorism… I say ‘pahrump’! Sorry so as to you contain to live under silly laws.

But used for the recreation of us – a Captive Portal is a waste away of our generation and effort.

Referring to the original have power over – come again? Prepare the guests like? They like the same type of experience they contain by homewards. When a guest returns to a Disney property – your Wi-Fi device now machinery. Plain, straightforward, painless. It now connects and machinery like you’d contain by homewards! Why can’t lodge systems production so as to way? Well they can. LaQuinta’s management went to their IT organization and asked so as to very question. Now slightly recurring guest’s device unthinkingly joins the Wi-Fi and ‘just works’. Brilliant!

Time Outs

A dreaded by-product of Captive Portals is the ‘time-out’ – in the manner of logging in to the captive portal, a timer starts, and in the lead various arbitrary generation, the Wi-Fi stops working. Usually exclusive of slightly caveat. The guest’s workstation now stops working once accessing the Internet. Forcing a guest to move out through a variety of military exercises wearisome to assume given away come again? Is incorrect. Perhaps calling on Tech Support – no more than to realize they contain to again close a browser and re-open lone – so they can trigger the Captive Portal to reset the timer.

This is now plain silly.

The lodge operator saves nix money, is caring nothing, it is no more than causing a huge hassle on their guests with nothing in return. This is normally twisted on as various salesmen wanted to get rid of a ‘service’ of the Captive Portal and showed of this ‘great feature’ designed to keep relatives who already know the code to now recur it done and done.

Like I whispered – now plain silly. Turn rancid timers formerly and used for all!

Use building supplies in your designs

One of the hardest things to prepare in WLAN Design is to prevail on Frequency Reuse. The faculty to re-use a channel in multiple seats in your venue. The more era you can re-use a frequency, the more amount to faculty you’ll contain. Thus this be supposed to be the goal.

Because of this goal – you be supposed to NOT be introduction AP’s in hallways. Because, once using Omni Antennas in hallways, the signals gun down absolutely down the hallway and will definitely interfere with other AP’s on the same channel. Instead, you can work the place to stay themselves, as well as the bathrooms and hallway walls to keep RF apart. Place the AP’s in the place to stay – and next the RF signals will contain an easier generation sad from area to area, and the bathrooms not quite the hallways will help thwart the signals from interfering with other AP’s.

I contain seen a hallway placement production – but no more than with alternating directional antennas, both facing away from the hallway into the place to stay by the segment.

Remember – the goal isn’t to prepare this painless, but to prepare it RIGHT. Hallway placements are painless – but they present you sub-optimal performance.

Why don’t hotels no more than situate their fire sprinkler heads in the hallways? For the exact same reasons. You like the dampen in the place to stay to situate given away the fire in the area.

Why don’t hotels situate smoke alarms no more than in the hallways? For the exact same reasons. You like to intellect a fire/smoke in the place to stay and not in the hallways.

Why prepare you like to situate AP’s in the place to stay? Because that’s anywhere the guests are! Not to point out, you’ll contain much lesser contention domains, cut co-channel interference, and cut boo-boo toll, ensuing in advanced data toll used for clients – and so toting up faculty to the wireless system.

WLAN design is all going on for Frequency Reuse – check given away this declare used for more details:


Allow VPNs

This is an painless lone. Allow VPNs across your guest Wi-Fi. Done.

Don’t charge above used for it. Having a VPN doesn’t cost you slightly more, allows your guests to be more secure. And did I say it doesn’t cost you slightly more – so don’t charge used for something so as to is unbound.

Have sufficient DHCP Addresses

Nothing is worse than having a Layer 1/Layer 2 connection to the Hotel Wi-Fi and next receiving the APIPA lecture to of 169.X.X.X and failing to access the Internet. This is a straightforward failure of not if sufficient scope to your DHCP pool. So settle it already!


Sorry to contain to state the obvious – but many era the Wi-Fi in the lodge is fine. But guests complain as they are part of a pool of 250 users all sharing a T-1 given away of the lodge to the Internet. In vogue today’s society, watching Netflix, YouTube, or Hulu is a usual expectation of Hotel Wi-Fi. Take the straightforward 3Mbps of a Netflix gush and multiply it by the add up to of place to stay in your ability. Then fold so as to. You can by no means contain too much upstream bandwidth.

You say ‘But Keith, so as to expenditure money’! – so as to is firm. But it and expenditure money to provide and elevator to your guests. It and expenditure money to provide day by day area cleaning to your guests. It and expenditure money to organization the lodge front desk used for your guests. It and expenditure money to filter the bedding and towels used for your guests. It is part of the small business of being a lodge. Meeting the expectations of your guests.

So don’t be a squirrel. Buy as much bandwidth as you can.

One of the very greatest Wi-Fi experiences I’ve forever had was in a small Super-8 motel in Warner-Robbins Georgia. The area was small, the bed uncomfortable, and the ‘breakfast’ consisted of pre-packaged small muffins. But the Internet speeds were fantastic! I asked the management why the dichotomy. They answered, “We don’t contain the headquarters to settle the other things – but our fast, fiber to the Internet is cut than the cost of a single maid. Why not tell somebody to something memorable and prevail on return customers as of fast Internet?” – Why not?

Why are you throttling bandwidth?

This is kind of a tie-in with the backhaul have power over on top of. Give the customers come again? They like. They don’t WANT to be throttled. So don’t prepare it. The extra expenditure of a little advanced backhaul are definitely offset by the lack of customers complaining. Remember RULE ONE – come again? Prepare your guests expect?

Additional AP’s does NOT equal more faculty

Perhaps you’ve met a WLAN salesman who doesn’t really know how 802.11 machinery – and since they prevail on paid on commission, they’ll try to get rid of you more access points under the semblance of toting up faculty. Don’t be fooled.

802.11 and Wi-Fi is a contention-based protocol. Adding more AP’s exclusive of getting frequency reuse will truly cut your throughput. The add up to of access points you can contain in your property is based on proper placement – remember, not in hallways – a gain design will move out a long way on the subject of getting highest faculty in your venue.

Not to point out – you’ll truly save money by wholesale no more than the access points you need so as to sustain the highest likely throughput faculty. Spend the above money used for a proper design, and you’ll save more than sufficient to cover it. You’ll not no more than save on Access Points, but and switch ports, cabling expenditure, and installation expenditure.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *