Who is staying in your Airbnb-listed property? Is it someone attending a conference? Perhaps a family on holiday? Or does the location of the property attract gamers or digital nomads? Whatever the purposes, from entertainment to remote working, broadband internet access is vital.
Not only can it be considered a deal-maker, but broadband access will also make any stay in the property more enjoyable and memorable. Internet access is expected, especially in metropolitan and suburban areas. If you want good reviews, fast broadband is better than slow or non-existent broadband.
What speed do I need?
Thinking about adding broadband internet or upgrading the current deal? Assessing the capacity of the property will help you to determine what sort of speed you should be looking at.
Start by looking at the number of bedrooms are available to sleep in. For example, if the property can sleep a family of five, it will probably need faster broadband than a one-bedroom flat.
Next, consider uses for the internet, and the type of renter the property attracts. Video conferencing and remote working uses will probably require a more modest broadband speed, whereas endless entertainment uses will demand faster speeds.
While some broadband is better than none, a faster provision will help you to avoid complaints about taking the cheaper, slower option.
How can I reduce the cost of my broadband contract?
Broadband contracts can vary in price depending on who the provider is. Once you know whether you need a fast or modest broadband package, it’s time to decide which is most important: speed, or price.
Price can seem initially expensive, but it’s often possible to find cheaper deals using broadband comparison sites. Enter the postcode of the property to see what deals are available in the area. If price is a consideration, look for broadband deals with no set-up fee, and reject unnecessary paid extras like phone calls, TV access, and installation (if the correct cabling is in place, you shouldn’t need anyone to visit).
If the market for renting the property tends to be seasonal, it might be worth looking for short-term contracts. Other longer periods without guests are best handled by signing up to a monthly, rolling contract with no exit fee, or simply paying bills for an empty property. Mobile broadband is another option, but it would require strong 4G or 5G and an unlimited data package, which doesn’t come cheap.
How to avoid broadband dead spots in your property
With a broadband deal in place, you’ll have a wireless router to install. In many cases, internet speed can be impacted by poor Wi-Fi reception. As such, it is a good idea to check the signal strength in the property.
The easiest way to do this is to connect your smartphone to the Wi-Fi and then walk around the property, checking the signal strength in each room. Note that attics and basements receive little-to-know Wi-Fi if the router is installed in a ground floor room. These areas are likely to have dead spots.
You can overcome this with wireless boosters and repeaters. These are devices that plug into the standard electric point and replicate the signal from the wireless router.
Setting up your router
The key to providing wireless access in your vacation rental, Wi-Fi needs to be managed correctly, which means spending some time configuring the router. Instructions for doing so are included with most routers and need not be complicated.
The most important consideration is to change the admin password on the router. All routers from Internet Service Providers (ISPs) come with the admin password printed on the base of the router. If the device is easily accessible by renters in the property, this password could be misused. Consequently, the first thing to do is change the password so that only you know it. The second thing to do is never share the new admin password, particularly with the guests.
To enable Wi-Fi access, you can again use the default setting, or set up guest Wi-Fi. This is a feature of most routers, and while more useful when a portion of the property you live in is available for Airbnb-ers, it’s easy to set up in any scenario.
Finally, you might enable remote administration of the router. This will allow you to fix any internet connectivity issues remotely. No one is expecting you to perform tech support, of course – management usually means checking if the internet connection is live and restarting the router when required.
Sharing the Wi-Fi password
If the guests have the Wi-Fi password already, they don’t need to ask you for it.
You might print out the password and tape it to the router. Alternatively, you could include the password in the property’s welcome pack. Another option is to print out a QR code for internet access, using a service like www.qrcode-tiger.com. All the guests will need to gain access to the Wi-Fi network is scan the QR code with a tablet or smartphone.