I’ve been doing a bit of travel recently and that’s exposed me to the utter shit that is a modern WiFi hotspot. I don’t remember them being this bad.
Every single one I’ve used recently has been a pile of stinking shite. I’ve ended up using my BlackBerry’s EDGE connection rather than dick about with my iPhones clunking away on these hotspots.
The signal strength is invariably strong — it’s the data throughput that I can only compare to surfing the internet on a Compaq iPaq connected via infrared to an Ericsson T68i using very early GPRS data.
I did set out to try a speed test on the Boingo Hotspot at Houston Airport earlier today. I didn’t have the ‘Speedtest’ app on the phone and intended downloading it but after about a minute of waiting for the App Store to load, I gave up.
A pants, pants experience.
What is the point?
I suppose I feel good that I’m connected by WiFi because I’m tricked into assuming that this should be heavily superior to anything else, especially the carrier connection.
Increasingly — and I’m generalising I know — hotspots seem to be becoming more of a hindrance than a help.
I’d really like suppliers such as T-Mobile and Boingo to move to properly describing their services in terms of speed.
In the case of the Boingo one I experience, something like “125 bytes per second guaranteed when browsing leading websites” would be appropriate based on my experience today.
It’s not just Boingo though. I’ve had similar issues with T-Mobile as well. BT Openzone in the UK is another shocker too.
What’s to be done? Stick with the mobile operator connection when I’m abroad in the short term I think.
And reset my expectations on WiFi services.
How have you found these services recently? Is it just me?