Wefi, a company specializing in mobile data analytics, took its testers to the nation’s seven busiest airports and determined that Denver International had the fastest Wi-Fi, while Atlanta and San Francisco had the slowest.
Denver’s average Wi-Fi speed clocked in at 4.73 megabits per second (Mbps), while ATL and SFO logged relatively measly rates of 3.05 and 3.26 respectively. The data was collected from March through May of this year.
If you can opt for a Wi-Fi connection or a cellular network at the airport, which should you choose? “That depends,” Wefi said. “While Wi-Fi connections beat out cell connections on average, at Hartsfield, JFK and LAX some cell carriers beat out free Wi-Fi.” (See charts below)
While Denver topped the Wi-Fi list at 4.73 Mbps, its cellular connections by comparison were just 3.52 Mbps. At Atlanta, by contrast, T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T all offered faster cellular alternatives to the relatively slow Wi-Fi.
“I wouldn’t want to comment on this ranking without a bit more detail on how the measurements were made,” said San Francisco International spokesman Doug Yakel. “That said, airports take varying approaches to Wi-Fi speed. Some locations may allow unrestricted Wi-Fi, which could provide for faster speeds on a quiet day, but result in poorer performance at busy times. Think of it like the Autobahn; you can go really fast if no one else is on the road.
“We’ve taken the approach of maintaining a ‘speed limit’ of 5 mbps to ensure an acceptable speed even when its busy. We’re seeing very high rankings on Wi-Fi in customer satisfaction surveys, so we think the approach is working. Our Wi-Fi is still free (and ad-free) and unlimited at all bandwidths, and we continue to increase the number of access points around SFO.”
Do you notice much difference in wi-fi speed among airports? Which airport has the best wi-fi in your opinion. Please leave your comments below.