Now more than ever, people have the flexibility to travel and are planning extended trips thanks to the new normal of remote working. In fact, 20% of Airbnb nights booked between July and September were for stays of a month or longer, and nearly half (45%) were for stays of at least a week1. However, people are also expecting the same amenities they can get from the comfort of their own homes during long-term rental stays - and Airbnb is encouraging hosts to verify their Internet connectivity speeds to attract guests. This presents a big opportunity for Airbnb hosts to differentiate themselves from other listings by ensuring they're providing travelers with the assurance they'll be connected and productive in their home away from home.
IN THIS ARTICLE
Airbnb - Verifying Your Internet Speed
Good WiFi will help attract guests who are looking to stay connected while traveling, especially those who are working remotely. Airbnb realised this need and introduced “Verified WiFi” during its winter announcement. Hosts can easily test their property’s connection and download speeds by using the Internet speed test on the Airbnb app, and the verified results will be automatically added to the official listing. Now, digital nomads can see an accurate reading and will likely choose a listing that reaches their connectivity needs, but what speeds will catch their eye?
Airbnb’s WiFi speed test measures the listing’s internet connection’s download speeds to determine how fast information can transfer and the volume of data that is being transferred. Guests who are working from the unit will likely require higher speeds measured in megabits per second (Mbps). According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), a 25 Mbps download speed is the standard benchmark for high-speed broadband. This is usually suitable for guests with limited devices and moderate internet usage, but guests who are taking video calls and working from an Airbnb will need faster and more reliable WiFi speeds. Airbnb lists the following guidelines for hosts and guests to understand WiFi speed test results on listings:2
• No speed shown: The host has not specified the speed details for their space.
• 1-6 Mbps: You can check messages and the web.
• 7-24 Mbps: You can stream HD videos.
• 25-49 Mbps: You can stream 4K videos and join videos calls.
• 50+ Mbps: You can stream 4K videos and join video calls on multiple devices.
Regardless of the recommended speeds in the AirBnB app a majority number of guests might be used to or even expecting higher connection speeds, often in the 100+ Mbps realm. You should investigate all of the Internet provisioning speed provided by your ISP and consider packages that are even more than 50mbs as multiple devices will usually be sharing that same connection. Consider speeds in the 200 mbs to 500+mbs realm.
Guest WiFi Performance - Ensure they can connect
Once a booking is final, it’s important for Airbnb hosts to keep their promise! A guest may leave a negative review or ask for a refund if the Internet performance is not up to expectations or if it is difficult to set up and get connected. Hosts should be utilising Airbnb best practices to help optimise their guests’ experience and happiness. One way to ensure great connectivity is available throughout a large site is to employ a home WiFi mesh system. The latest Orbi mesh networks from NETGEAR also support the latest WiFi technology, including WiFi 6 and WiFi 6E to provide the most reliable connectivity, covering every square inch of a rental with strong signals. Homeowners can simply add more WiFi satellites if they need to extend WiFi to the rental’s detached buildings or hidden spaces such as an attic bedroom or the basement game room.
WiFi 6 offers blazing fast speeds, greater coverage, and better security than previous generations of WiFi and it represents a substantial benefit to users that will make hosts stand out among competing facilities that only have the most basic WiFi. Mesh systems and routers offering WiFi 6E such as NETGEAR’s Nighthawk RAXE500 router or Orbi Quad-band WiFi 6E Mesh System (RBKE963) help to future-proof hosts’ WiFi offerings and ensure that guests with the very latest smart phones and PCs get the benefit of 6 GHz speeds. For rentals in areas that have few options for reliable wired broadband services, NETGEAR offers the Orbi 5G WiFi 6 system (NBK752) that uses cellular signal to provide WiFi 6 Internet access. Solutions from NETGEAR can also give hosts peace of mind throughout a guest’s stay knowing the Internet will be reliable.
Other Guest WiFi Best Practices
Airbnb encourages hosts to implement WiFi safety best practices to help protect their property and the guests who are using the Internet. Hosts should store their router and modem in a secure, locked location in the home so guests cannot tamper with them and routinely check the technology for software updates. In addition, hosts should create a strong password and share it with guests only after they’ve confirmed the reservation, and the passwords should be changed often3. Systems such as NETGEAR’s RBKE963 allow homeowners to set up four different networks within their rentals, including one for IoT devices and one for guests. Separating vulnerable smart devices such as smart TVs, lights and appliances from the main and guest networks helps ensure both speed to devices and security.
For another layer of cyber protection, rental homes should consider security features such as NETGEAR Armor which sits on the router and helps to protect all connected devices. Documents, photos, and videos are protected from emerging threats, including ransomware and malware. The homeowner can also stay on top of what’s happening from the rental’s network through the mobile app.
Great internet is now one of Airbnb’s top guest amenities to have. In fact, Airbnb’s WiFi search filter has been used 288 million times in 20214. Hosts should be sure to mention fast WiFi in the listing description to help stay competitive and draw in more bookings. Airbnb’s new tool can help to verify network speed and the latest networking devices from NETGEAR will help to ensure network speeds meet the scrutiny of even the most discerning guests.
1 Introducing the Airbnb 2021 Winter Release: 50+ upgrades and innovations across our entire service.
2 Verify your internet speed.
3 What should I consider when offering internet access to guests?.
4 Airbnb 2021 Winter Release Announcement.