How to set up broadband and WiFi for an Airbnb

03/26/2021 20:22

If you’re fortunate enough to own a holiday home or Airbnb, offering internet access or WiFi is essential. Whether for your own use or for paying guests, some form of internet access is a necessity.

That’s what this article is all about: setting up broadband and WiFi for an Airbnb property.

Considerations for broadband in an Airbnb

Some form of WiFi or internet access is paramount if you are to rent out your property on Airbnb. Guests expect it and a property that doesn’t have internet is not going to be popular.

Setting up broadband and WiFi in an Airbnb doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming, so there really is no reason not to offer it.

The type of broadband deal you go for should bear in mind:

The number of guests staying in the property – The more guests your Airbnb can host, the faster your broadband needs to be. If they all want to access Netflix at once, your connection will need to be able to cope.

The type of guest you’re attracting – Older guests will likely use your broadband for general surfing, checking emails and exploring the local area. Younger guests may want to do all that plus stream Spotify or Netflix, use Facetime or use Zoom.

How seasonal your Airbnb is – If you’re going to be renting the property all year round, a standard broadband contract will work. If your rental is summer only, perhaps a monthly rolling contract may be better. Give the provide 30 days’ notice to end the contract, then set it up 30 days before your first guest arrives in the new season to save paying for broadband you don’t use.

What sort of broadband connection do you need?

The type of broadband connection you’ll need for your Airbnb depends on those considerations above.

You generally have three options:

  • ADSL
  • Fibre
  • Mobile broadband

ADSL

ADSL broadband connections are a standard non-fibre connection. They are usually provided by BT Openreach, either directly or resold by other companies.

The upside to ADSL is that it is usually available everywhere that has a phone line. There are also rolling monthly contracts and unlimited data contracts available.

The downside is that it isn’t as fast as fibre. The further your property is from the local BT exchange, the slower the speed.

Fibre

Fibre broadband connections can be either FTTP (fibre to the premises) or FTTC (fibre to the cabinet). Both offer faster speeds than ADSL and are available in many parts of the country.

The upside is that faster speed and fairly wide coverage. If you’re catering to a younger audience, the speed should be enough for most uses.

The downsides to fibre are that it isn’t available in all rural or coastal areas and there are relatively few rolling monthly contracts for fibre. You can enter your postcode to compare fibre broadband deals here.

Mobile broadband

Mobile broadband uses the mobile phone network to provide broadband access.

The benefits to mobile broadband are that it doesn’t need wiring or cabling, has good coverage even in some rural or coastal areas and there are now contracts with unlimited data.

The downsides of mobile broadband are signal strength in some areas, the potential for slower connection speeds and potentially higher cost.

Broadband options for Airbnb in rural locations

As we just mentioned, connection speeds in rural areas can be slow or spotty, sometimes both.

With BT Openreach connections, the further you are from the BT exchange, the slower your broadband speed. Broadband from providers such as TalkTalk, Plusnet and others all use the BT network.

Mobile broadband can overcome this speed limitation if there is a mast close enough to your Airbnb. Current 4G networks can offer decent speeds and the rollout of the much faster 5G continues. It will be a while before rural and coastal areas get 5G though. For more information, read Broadband Genie’s guide to 5G.

If you’re out of options, satellite broadband can be used in very remote areas. This uses a satellite dish on the property to provide a broadband connection. You can have this anywhere in the country but it is very expensive.

Setting up WiFi in an Airbnb

If you have broadband and are setting up WiFi in your Airbnb, we have a couple of suggestions that might help.

Create a guest network

Always use a guest network in your Airbnb. Guest networks are separate from your own home network but enable guests to use your broadband. It keeps your data safe while sharing a connection.

Use strong passwords

Never underestimate the mischievousness of guests. Use a super-strong password on your router and on your own home network. This prevents guests from messing around with the internet and changing any settings.

Keep the router safe

If possible, lock the router away or place it out of reach of guests to prevent them from damaging it or bypassing any of the security features. You will still need to be able to access it in case it needs rebooting but if you can lock it away while still providing a good signal, all the better!

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