Research shows that today’s hotel guests expect intuitive WiFi access in their hotels. In a study by Hotel WiFi in 2019, researchers determined that more than 90 percent of hotel owners have experienced an increase in the demand for good WiFi connectivity from customers. To meet this need, hotels need the appropriate network infrastructure.
One way to make sure your hotel rooms offer reliable WiFi connectivity is by implementing WiFi extenders. Read on to learn what WiFi extenders are, why they’re important for hotels, and how to choose a device for your hotel rooms.
What Are WiFi Extenders, and How Do They Work?
As the name would imply, WiFi extenders are devices used to increase, or “extend,” the coverage of a WiFi connection coming from a WiFi router. Rather than offering an entirely new network, WiFi extenders amplify the range of an existing network to a wider area.
WiFi extenders are installed between a network’s router and an area outside of a router’s coverage. Once operational, the extender rebroadcasts a router’s internet connection to an even wider radius, creating a stronger signal than a router alone.
Why are WiFi Extenders Useful For Hotels?
WiFi extenders ensure every hotel guest gains access to a high-speed internet connection.
On sprawling hotel properties, it’s hard to offer a network that reaches every guest room and space using a router alone. Beyond pure scope, large properties are bound to run into a few connective dead zones — whether due to thick walls or other issues.
WiFi extenders help negate these issues, without needing to make any major overhauls to network connections. The versatility of WiFi extenders makes them ideal for hotels running into newfound network issues, or hotels looking to solve long-standing problems with connectivity without disrupting service.
How to Choose WiFi Extenders for Hotel Rooms
There are a few specific features hoteliers need to consider when selecting WiFI extenders for hotel rooms. Here are some of the most important factors.
There are two main types of WiFi extenders, those that rest on a desk and those that plug into wall sockets. Desk-based WiFi extenders look like routers in terms of size and build, while wall plug-ins are about the size of a wall air freshener.
Guests expect to have as much space as possible in their rooms; while effective, larger WiFi extenders take away from valuable table space. As such, most hoteliers should consider pluggable WiFi extenders the most convenient choice for hotel rooms.
2. Port Availability
Apart from connecting wirelessly, some guests prefer to connect to WiFi via a port. Offering a port on your WiFi extender gives clients an extra option to access a wired internet connection in their hotel room.
Guests that choose wired connections do so because they desire faster internet connectivity than wireless connections can provide. Because the device connects directly to a WiFi-providing device, wired connections don’t slow down when a network experiences high traffic. While not necessarily essential, certain guests (such as business travelers) will appreciate wired internet access via extenders.
3. Ease of Setup
Hoteliers also need to consider a WiFi extender’s ease of setup, depending on the scope of your hotel’s IT team. Because many rooms will need individual extenders, installation can prove quite time-consuming, especially without a prepared team.
Most hotels should consider purchasing WiFi extenders that are easy to install. Shoot for an extender that you or a team member could install with a manual, without the need for help from an outside technician.
4. Safety and Protection (WPA/WPA2 support)
Tech-savvy hotel guests worry about the security of the WiFi networks they connect to. Travelers try to avoid exposure to hacking and spyware, among other threats that target users over a faulty WiFi connection.
When choosing an extender, prioritize products that protect wireless connections. Check whether the extenders have WPA/WPA2 support, also known as Wireless Protection Access.
5. Availability of Antennae
Antennae are essential to the function of WiFi extenders, being how extenders transmit a wider signal. Extenders can feature either internal or external antennae — each with its advantages and disadvantages.
For hotel rooms, internal antennae are the preferable option. Internal antennae transmit signals in a spherical manner, better suited for enclosed spaces. External antennae, meanwhile, transmit wider, less honed signals.
Choosing the Right WiFi Extender for Your Hotel
WiFi extenders offer an intuitive solution to maintaining consistent hotel networks. Considering the factors we’ve mentioned above, you should be able to find the perfect WiFi extender for your unique hotel.
To maximize the utility of WiFi extenders, hotels need a powerful network that can handle extension. BlueprintRF designs custom hotel WiFI networks, tailored specifically for your location’s needs. We’ve helped hotels across the country and can adapt to whatever your hotel’s design calls for. Contact us today to get started.