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Airbnb WiFi: Setting up your network for guests

Posted by Alex Anderson on April 15, 2021 · Guest Post

Airbnb WiFi speeds and internet access are arguably more important than running water for many of those who regularly use Airbnb.

That makes it an essential feature and something no modern rental property should be without. So, what are your options?

This is a guest post by Jamie Kavanagh, Contributor at Broadband Genie

Broadband Genie is an independent switching site providing consumers and businesses with practical help, advice and price comparison for home broadband, mobile broadband, phones, TV services and mobile accessories.

So what makes the most sense for an Airbnb? This guide will provide hosts with the best Wi-Fi solutions for their holiday home.

Airbnb WiFi: connection types

WiFi comes in many forms including ADSL, fibre, cable, mobile, and even satellite. Depending on where you live, you may have access to some or all of these.

ADSL – Standard BT line using copper phone connection to the cabinet. It’s readily available, relatively cheap, and available from numerous ISPs (Internet Service Providers) like TalkTalk, Sky, and BT itself. The downside is that it has an average speed of about 10Mbps (megabits per second), which is slow by modern standards. 

FTTC – Fibre To The Cabinet (FTTC) uses fibre up to the street but still relies on the old copper phone lines to reach homes, and as such, the speed tops out around 65Mbps on average. Many premises can get it, prices are low, and there’s a big choice of providers. For many of us, this is the best broadband currently available. Enter your postcode into a broadband checker to see what’s available.

FTTP – Fibre To The Premises (FTTP) is a “full fibre” service where the fibre optic lines run right into homes, and it’s much quicker (as fast as 1Gbps, or more) as a result. But far fewer homes currently have access to this technology.

Virgin Media fibre – Virgin Media operates its own network and is only accessible in certain areas of the country. It is very fast, but coverage is limited to around 53% of premises.

Mobile broadband – Mobile broadband is available using 4G or 5G depending on where you live. If your Airbnb is in a strong signal area, you should get fairly fast speeds. Mobile broadband is readily available and does not require a phone line, but is subject to signal strength and you have to watch for data caps.

Satellite – Satellite is the option you choose when there are no other options. It’s accessible anywhere in the country with a view of the sky and is ideal for remote areas not served by other broadband. It is very expensive, though!

If your Airbnb has no WiFi, you won't get very many bookings.

Airbnb WiFi: contracts and costs

One complication that comes with setting up your Airbnb’s WiFi is the contract.

Do you go for a cheaper long-term deal and potentially pay for broadband while the property is empty, or go for a more expensive rolling monthly contract you can cancel when unoccupied?

Your choice depends on what type of Airbnb you have.

If it’s a seasonal property, you may be better off with a rolling monthly contract. If you have regular periods of occupancy all year round, a standard broadband contract will be better.

Rolling monthly or short term contracts can be cancelled when not needed. This may save money when not in use but are more expensive when running and also require setting up each season.

In contrast, a standard long-term deal only has to be set up once, though you may have to pay for it even when it’s not being used.

Piggybank on top of coins because Airbnb WiFi can be expensive.

Setting up your Airbnb WiFi

If this is your first Airbnb, we have a few WiFi set up tips to help you out.

Secure your router – Once your WiFi is all set up, change the default username and password to something more secure. This will protect your router’s settings from any curious guests who might attempt to modify the configuration.

If you can also physically lock the router away in a cupboard or keep it away from guests, all the better! Just don’t forget to leave the power socket accessible so it can be easily reset.

Use a guest network – If you live in the property and are sharing the WiFi with visitors, consider setting up a guest network for your Airbnb. That way you can share the broadband connection without guests being able to see what you’re doing on the rest of the network.

Consider remote monitoring – Some routers allow you to connect remotely to see what’s going on. This can be useful to check broadband availability, reset the router or guest network and help troubleshoot network issues for your guests without having to visit the property.

Check signal strength – Use a WiFi analyser app on your phone to check your Airbnb for signal strength. Reposition the router towards the centre of the property to spread coverage, or use signal boosters to help the signal reach further.

An app that measures your Airbnb WiFi speed and strength

Improving guest experience

Here are a few quick tips we can share around improving the WiFi experience for guests while staying at your Airbnb.

Using QR codes for tourist destinations – Why not supplement your local highlights book with QR codes? The guest can scan the code to access the websites of local attractions or activities. If used alongside the standard guest book, you appeal to a wider demographic.

Print QR codes for WiFi access on fridge magnets – Airbnb WiFi passwords are often written in the guest directory or welcome book. So why not modernise by having the WiFi password turned into a QR code and then printed onto fridge magnets? Your guests can scan the code for instant access to the internet.

Add work from home information in your listing – With everything that’s happened recently, more people than ever are working from home. Adding broadband speed and the viability of working from your Airbnb will make it more attractive to those wanting new surroundings while working.

Add URLS for local webcams – Many tourist areas have publicly-accessible webcams showing the beach, the countryside and other notable features. Why not include the URLs in your digital guest book? Guests can quickly see how busy the beach is or how full the car park is for local attractions?

It’s the little things that go a long way and encourage repeat bookings!

Ready to transform how you understand the short-term rental market?