Does your motel or hotel offer WiFi for guests? If not, you’re missing out on business. It’s essential to offer WiFi if you want your motel to stand out from the competition and attract guests.
What kind of speeds do you need for your motel WiFi network? Do you need the same setup as a large hotel? Motels are cost-sensitive businesses due to their model of offering low-cost accommodation. Therefore, they need a reliable, fast connection at an affordable price.
This post unpacks everything you need to know about implementing and managing WiFi networks in motels.
Why WiFi Matters in Motels
While motels don’t have many amenities hotels offer, WiFi is necessary for a satisfactory guest experience. By focusing on providing guests with a memorable stay at your establishment, you improve your reputation, collect positive reviews, and receive repeat business from satisfied guests.
You bolster your service offering by providing fast, dependable WiFi at your motel. Guests expect free WiFi when checking into your motel. The reality is that many prospective guests will write off your motel as a venue if you don’t offer WiFi or your WiFi network doesn’t provide a fast, reliable connection.
Motel WiFi Cost: Striking a Balance
Do you need a fast WiFi connection for your motel? Is it that important for guest satisfaction? It’s a bit of a grey area. While guests use your network to download content, stream videos, play online games, and check their social media profiles, they won’t notice the speed after a certain point.
For instance, hooking up a 1,000mbps connection for your motel is unnecessary, especially if you have a smaller venue. A 100mbps connection might even be overkill. Most motels can get by with a 20mbps connection without limiting the guest user experience. By minimizing your connection speeds, you reduce costs.
Like all investments in technology for your motel business, the cost of your WiFi installation depends on the layout of the motel, its size, and the infrastructure requirements. The final costs of your WiFi installation depend on the following factors.
- The length of cabling necessary.
- Improvements or upgrades to existing infrastructure.
- The number of access points and the quality of the signal they provide.
- Additional equipment like signal boosters or switches.
- Installation and setup costs.
The service provider offers options for support and maintenance of the network to ensure optimal operation and speeds. To see a return on their WiFi investment, motel owners must design a long-term maintenance plan and scale the service to meet their guest’s requirements.
Budget-Friendly WiFi: Keeping Costs Low
A motel WiFi network is a significant tech investment. Wireless services provide crucial features that benefit motels and their guests. Improving your WiFi services impacts your guest satisfaction and reviews. Satisfied guests return to your establishment when they’re back in town because they know they can rely on your internet access.
Motel WiFi Setup: Getting Started
To ensure satisfactory speed and an internet experience that meets and exceeds guest expectations, motels must invest in equipment offering a secure and reliable network, integrated bandwidth systems, and a scalable network that adjusts as the motel’s requirements increase.
A network service provider will complete a “site survey” of your motel and the required tech to ensure optimal coverage in all locations. During the site survey, the technician assesses the following aspects of your property.
Motel Coverage Area
The technician utilizes specialized software modeling and assessment tools to determine the coverage area for your WiFi network. The site assessment includes testing the WiFi signal as it passes through walls and ceilings and providing data on the optimal placement of access points throughout the venue.
The wireless coverage should extend to the parking lot and other outdoor facilities, such as the pool. The site survey examines the property’s topography and includes the total area of exterior and interior spaces.
Motels may require equipment like range extenders, cables, router upgrades, and additional controllers to ensure adequate coverage on the property.
Excellent WiFi signal and speed require the correct placement of access points. The technician will determine where to install APs.
DIY vs. Professional Setup
Motels may attempt a DIY WiFi installation to reduce costs, but this strategy is a mistake. Unless you’re an expert at WiFi systems, you won’t have the technical knowledge to set up the network.
So, you’ll need to hire a professional for the installation. Choosing the right service provider is crucial and worth shopping for the best price and service. However, your service provider should offer a good balance between cost, service, and support. Here are the pros and cons of a professional WiFi network installation.
Pros of Hiring a Professional
Trust the Expert – Network providers have the skills and expertise to set up the network correctly and ensure it’s secure and functional.
Customization options – Professional installations can segment your WiFi connection for front-of-house guests and back-of-house staff. This structure improves security and reduces costs.
Time-saver – An expert will set up your network in a day or two, depending on the size of the venue and the requirements.
Tech support – Professional installation comes with a guarantee of workmanship and support for troubleshooting issues.
Cons of Hiring a Professional
Cost – Hiring a professional is expensive.
Reliance on third-party providers – If you use a third party for the installation and setup, you’ll need to maintain their services for upgrading, monitoring, and maintaining your network.
Security & trust – Your provider has complete access to your network and systems.
No control – You’ll rely on the installer’s expertise and won’t have much say in the network design.
Motel WiFi Security: Protecting Your Guests and Your Network
Guest WiFi networks at motels, coffee shops, and other hospitality venues are not secure. You’ll need to ensure your provider or installer secures your network to prevent breaches by bad actors looking to harvest your customer data.
Motels must adhere to the following security best practices to ensure guests have a secure connection and experience while using your network.
The Fake Hotspot Trap – Fake hotspots are a common tactic hackers use to capture information like credit card details and sensitive personal info using man-in-the-middle attacks. Your network needs firewalls, guest captive portals, and other security protocols to ensure a safe user experience.
Outdated Security Protocols – Motels often don’t want to spend money on upgrading their WiFi network. Dated security protocols make it easier for hackers to compromise your systems.
Connected Devices – Every device connecting to your network presents a security threat. Your system must identify infected devices and prevent them from connecting to your network.
Network Isolation and Firewalls – The best strategy to improve network security is implementing firewalls and isolating the guest network from your back-of-house systems. Firewalls control outbound and inbound device traffic on your WiFi network. Firewalls offer IP, port, content, and web limitations to control what guests do online.
Motel WiFi Features: What Guests Really Want
What do guests want from their WiFi experience at your motel? It’s simple: they demand a fast, reliable connection to meet their browsing, streaming, and downloading requirements.
With the right setup, your WiFi network will meet their expectations, resulting in a satisfactory stay at your establishment. Word-of-mouth marketing spreads as your guests tell their friends, family, and colleagues about their experience at your motel.
Motels must improve their WiFi experience for guests to maintain their reputation and attract repeat business from satisfied clients.
Motels don’t have the same tech budgets as larger hotels. Still, they also don’t require the same network as a hotel, reducing costs for installation and setup. It’s important for motels to find the right balance between speed, connectivity, and cost when installing or upgrading their WiFi network.
While cost is the biggest factor in installations, motels mustn’t compromise on security to save money. Proper network installation and setup isn’t a DIY job, and you’ll need to hire a professional.
With adequate WiFi services, motels can expect improved customer satisfaction, a great reputation, and repeat business.