Better internet for guests

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  • Avatar
    Leandri Klopper

    Hi Joey,

    Very informative thanks!

    I've actually forwarded this to our operations at the resorts. As you probably already know, we don't have a B&B or a single house that we rent out. We have a Holiday Resort which has many chalets and also public areas (swimming pools etc.). So most of them have a Wifi system set up which can only be connected to in specific places. Such as the mountain lodge we have, the wifi is only at our club house. Now there it makes sense as the mountains etc really interferes with the signal (that and the resort itself is too big to make sure all little corners are covered). 

    But what do you suggest for one of our smaller resorts that only has wifi at the bar and uses vouchers (paid)? I doubt a classy businessman would want to work in a rowdy bar where people are playing pool and watching the rugby.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated. 

    Keep well!

  • Avatar
    Zoinks

    Hi Leandri,

    Thanks as always for your feedback. The best solution is always an ethernet connection. Some people will say that it is outdated technology but ANY serious laptop has an ethernet port. But that involves passing cables from where the modem is situated to the room where the guest (and if it is a business man s/he does not want messing about with a weak signal). There are however other solutions where the actual electrical circuits are used to transmit an internet signal. Take a look at this: https://www.amazon.co.uk/BT-Broadband-Extender-wired-Powerline/dp/B015E3MXKC/ref=sr_1_18?ie=UTF8&qid=1529350827&sr=8-18&keywords=wifi+extenders

  • Avatar
    Zoinks

    As regards paid vouchers - Personally I prefer the all or nothing approach when it comes to internet and I have no experience with vouchers. If you know how to access your modem internal software you can set it to give a certain amount of time to certain devices based on their MAC address.For example when I see that a guest has overstayed and have not got out of their room. I check to see if they have any connected internet devices, And I just disconnect them, I can do this form my computer connected to the main modem. I do that as a subtle signal that they should be checking out. 

     

     

  • Avatar
    Zoinks

    I want to make myself clear just in case I am misunderstood: Each internet connected device has a unique number called the MAC address. When you know that a guest has checked in you can easily see that they are connected because the MAC address of their device is unique. But I NEVER have the means to see what the guest is doing on the internet, All I have is confirmation that they are connected. 

     

  • Avatar
    Thuild - Your world of creation (franchise)

    Okay, so this is what I have to say about this topic:

    1. We have 5 Gigabit Wi-Fi routers in our Villa, as it's 500 sqm with thick walls and flooring, it is necessary to have full signal and speed all over

    2. Our connection is a Gigabit 1000 Mbps connection, for which we pay around 7 Euros per month, unlimited usage and bandwidth

    3. We don't have ethernet connectivity as the main trend is wireless and many top tier laptops and tablets don't have ports anymore, contrary to what Joey was saying. You either go top tier or you might risk having issues later on

    4. Leandri, if you want to have resort-wide wireless connectivity, there are Industrial solutions for that, like the one from Cisco: https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/wireless/industrial-wireless-3700-series/index.html

    These type of of access point is necessary if you're a big venue.

    5. You need to have a setup which allows devices to move from one router to the other without losing the connection. Make sure your routers are capable of such setting. Also, the name of the connection needs to be the same for all routers

    6. Investing in infrastructure is expensive, however if done right, you don't need to worry about it anymore and the guests will love how everything works smoothly.

    We had quite a bunch of guests who were streaming (holding video conferences, etc.) at our place and they had a better connection here than what their offices had.

    Best regards,

    Zsolt - www.thuild.com

  • Avatar
    Zoinks

    Hi Zsolt, The ethernet issue is debatable but the 5 Gigabit router has nothing to do with reach. You are talking of download speed. You said your internet connection is 1000Mbit/s = approximately 1 Gbit. It is good that you pay only 7 Euros for that speed. If it is one villa for one set of occupants that is overkill but if it is just Euro 7 per month then it is no problem (and good for you that you pay only that amount :-). The main issue is not speed, these times but reach. You can have the fastest internet connection imaginable but you have to make sure that it is available in all the places guests may want it - and that is where extra routers or other systems come in. For example in my country houses are built with very thick limestone walls and the main problem is to get WiFi radio signals to penetrate those walls. That's where extra routers, antennae or range extenders which use existing electrical circuits come in handy. 

  • Avatar
    Sonia Indigo

    Very helpful tips. I totally agree with giving a good quality of Wi-Fi to guests, as in our days almost no one "breathe" without wi-fi (unfortunately). When I moved to this place and according with my experience on the previous resort where I was, I choose to pay a higher plan, but give quality to guests (and myself) as I work and live here.

    In deed, as a traveler one of the problems we find with internet connections is the sloooooow they are in some places.

    So, Top Tip!

    Sonia

  • Avatar
    Thuild - Your world of creation (franchise)

    Dear Joey,

    I've touched ground on what you're talking about in my previous post.

    Thing is, you need access points. Cisco has a bunch of those, but I suggest you do a mapping of the property and see where is the best place to have them set up.

    You do need to have good speed because the main link is split into as many routers or access points and users you have.

    Here, our provider is testing the country wide 5G speeds on mobile and Terabit fiber optic connections. Wish it would come soon.

    If you're a bigger establishment, you need corporate internet connection as that will be stable and provide guaranteed speed, which your guests will love.

    Best regards,
    Zsolt - www.thuild.com

  • Avatar
    Dida

    Stay away from commercial of the shelf rooters. For a fast and stable Internet connection you need a dedicated machine acting as a router (running PFSense or any other router distro) to which you connect access points (Cisco is good but so is Ubiquiti).

    For a big hotel thou best thing to do is to setup a mesh network so the connection can pass from one access point to another without interruptions. Ethernet is and will be the best connection but can be expensive to setup and more trouble then is worth (drilling through walls, pulling cables, mounting sockets in each room purchase a multi-port switch, etc)  . These days most people use phones and tablets to connect to Internet

  • Avatar
    Dida

    Leandri Klopper

    For the mountain lodge if you have clearline of sight you could try something like this: https://www.ubnt.com/airfiber/airfiber24-hd/.

    For a Holiday Resort you need a business internet connection a server grade router or a decent pc running a router distro connected to a mesh network. Your tech staff can map the resort and place the access points in places which will give maximum signal coverage. This way a client can walk out of his room and go the pool or bar without losing connection or signal strength.

  • Avatar
    Leandri Klopper

    Hi everyone!

    Sorry for the delayed response. 

    Joey, Zsolt and Dida thanks so much for all your suggestions. 

    Dida, sadly there is no clear line of sight on the resort otherwise that would have been superb! Thanks for the suggestion though, I suggested it to another resort of ours. 

    Joey, the extenders are really not a bad idea. lol @ you need to make it clear that you can't see what the guests are doing on the internet. Glad you clarified, people can get Very panicked when they think you have access to what they are doing. I love the idea of disconnecting them as sort of a hint that it's time to leave. It means both you and the guest find the Wifi useful. 

    Zsolt, I agree with the all or nothing Powerfull Wifi method you are talking about.The resort is built on a game reserve, so using cables will be difficult. Do-able but extremely difficult. The only way to do it will be an industrial solution like you suggested. I won't pretend to be so knowledgable about the technology etc but it seems solid.

    But... It seems that Operations at the resorts mostly Prefer to keep the wifi central to one public area. Not sure how to pursuade them that it's wiser to have the wifi reach the chalets as well. 

    If ever I figure out a way to get through to them, I will let you know!

    Thanks again all. 

  • Avatar
    Info

    We are in a remote area so the "wired" connection is terribly slow...1.5mbs so we have to rely on 4g connections, these are not cheap so we have limited our internet to a communal area which is about 1500 square meters, I would love to extend it to our whole property but with guest accomodation covering a 55,000 square meter area the cost makes it non viable for us. even if we started charging for the internet, it would take a long time for the equipment to pay for itself.

     

    One thought I did have is to buy some "MIFI" units with pay as you go simcards and give these to customers (with a deposit) and they pay for the credit. But I am not sure how I would manage this as €15 euros here gives you 15gigs of internet for 30 days. Most of our customer stays are for one or two weeks. So If a customer uses all 15gigs in their two week stay, one of the sims cards will be out of action until the 30 day deal is up.

     

    Do any of you guys have experience with this kind of thing?

  • Avatar
    Thuild - Your world of creation (franchise)

    Info, maybe change your name so we can address you properly as there are too many Info user names.

    Where is this resort of yours?

    Your internet costs are over the roof at 15 Euro for 15 GB, sounds like 2004 in Romania.

    You need to look into the corporate connection as I've mentioned previously. You're an entity that needs dedicated lines, it is costly but it will be well appreciated and in the era of IOT (Internet of Things) you are in the stone age at the moment. Think of the future, just a few years down the line, how can that impact your resort and how much are you losing on this thing only.

    Research-data-analysis, do it and see your bottom line.

    Having an industrial AP mesh network can guarantee connection on your whole 55K sqm property and the costs wouldn't be as high as with commercial solutions.

    Read all the thread here and you can get a good idea about the solutions.

    Cheers,

    Zsolt - www.thuild.com

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