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jcam222

@199.119.128.x

Hotel wireless issues , any suggestions appreciated

I spend about 140 nights a year in the same hotel. It is a great hotel with fantastic staff etc. The issue is that the internet service is abysmal. They have brought their outsourced techs in multiple times and they always assure the hotel there are no issues. Having attempted to do both work and entertainment online I can say beyond the shadow of a doubt there are significant issues.

The issue is that between roughly 6pm and 11pm the internet is extremely slow. Often page requests will simply time out. Accessing something as simple as Google becomes difficult and Netflix out of the question. Periodically it seems as though for a few minutes it works well and then just as quickly it stops again. I have noticed sometimes, not all of the time, when its occurring the connection manager on my pc shows I am connected to the wireless but shows no connection from there server to the internet.

The tech they bring in usually comes during the day , runs some signal strength tests at the APs and leaves. I have told them multiple times the signal strength isnt the issue. I can always get a decent signal and connect to the AP. It seems to be something between their server and the internet.
I know my post is very non technical and I apologize. I would simply like to be able to make some decent suggestions to the management here or their outsource folks. Any advice is very much appreciated.

I should add the hotel is 6 floors. There are at least two access points on each floor from what I have been told.



eibgrad

join:2010-03-15

It may simply be wireless congestion. Does the hotel also offer a wired connection, perhaps near the phone (they used to before wireless became ubiquitous). Because if they do, you might get better performance by using a wireless travel router and plugging it into their ethernet port. IOW, create your own private, highly localized, wireless signal on a less congested wireless freq (maybe even use 5GHz instead of the much more congested 2.4GHz). Of course, if the problem is congestion at their *router*, it won’t help nearly as much.



John Galt
Forward, March
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Happy Camp
kudos:6
reply to jcam222

They don't have any network controls. Whoever connects can suck down the whole system by watching video and p2p.

A proper controller would allocate bandwidth per-user.



mozerd
Light Will Pierce The Darkness
Premium,MVM
join:2004-04-23
Nepean, ON
reply to jcam222

said by jcam222 :

The issue is that between roughly 6pm and 11pm the internet is extremely slow.

John Galt See Profile provided a very good clue.

The Hotel Wireless System is not properly administered -- it needs some rules based system that a proper controller would allocate bandwidth on a per-user basis --- and assuming that the Hotel did contract for sufficient bandwidth to serve its guests regardless of the time-of-day. One of the best wireless systems for commercial Hotel use is made by XIRRUS when properly installed.
--
David Mozer
IT-Expert on Call
Information Technology for Home and Business


John Galt
Forward, March
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Happy Camp
kudos:6
reply to jcam222

How many rooms in this hotel? Chain or local?


HELLFIRE
Premium
join:2009-11-25
kudos:18
reply to jcam222

Some stuff off the top of my head

a) get inSSIDER or netstumbler to find out how good the wireless signal is, and how congested it is.

b) as eibgrad See Profile says, is there a wired connection? Is performance better, as bad, or worse using
the wired connection?

c) as mozerd See Profile said, make note of the timeframe(s) this has... keep a spreadsheet or something
so you have a record.

d) make note of your default gateway. Set up an extended ping to run to it till you terminate it.
Compare the ping results to the times you have "slowness" or "page cannot load."

e) do the same thing to the page(s) you are using.

f) tracert is your friend. Use it.

If it is just a case of their wireless and/or network being of poor quality / overloaded, not much else
you can do.

Regards



jcam222

@cgocable.net
reply to mozerd

So without the properly configured controller what is happening with user allocation? For a hotel that has between 70 and 110 people on a decent night what would they need from a bandwidth standpoint? I would love to give the manager something solid to approach his outsourced techs with. He knows nothing about it so when they tell him all is good he simply believes it is.



CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County

The bandwidth needed would depend on who is there. Since the signal is likely free to customers - they are going to go with the absolute minimum they can get away with - just from a cost perspective.
--
Brian

"It drops into your stomach like a Abrams's tank.... driven by Rosanne Barr..." A. Bourdain



mozerd
Light Will Pierce The Darkness
Premium,MVM
join:2004-04-23
Nepean, ON
reply to jcam222

said by jcam222 :

So without the properly configured controller what is happening with user allocation?

It becomes helter-skelter -- where in busy periods everyone [users] are very unhappy with performance or non-performance.
said by jcam222 :

For a hotel that has between 70 and 110 people on a decent night what would they need from a bandwidth standpoint?

100 Mbps down and 50 Mbps Up. With that kind of bandwidth the wireless controller would allocate based on the type of traffic demand dynamically --- I.E. --- web surfing traffic, email traffic, video streaming traffic like YouTube and the allocation on a per user basis would in all probably be at minimum 1 Mbps Down and 384Kbps Up.
--
David Mozer
IT-Expert on Call
Information Technology for Home and Business


jcam222

@199.119.128.x
reply to HELLFIRE

Unfortunately none of the wired connections exist anymore. Its like clockwork that every night at 530ish it all goes bad. Tonight for example I can surf for a bit or even watch Netflix. Then out of nowhere its dead, no access. accessing web pages simply times out. Best case scenario load time will become reminescent of dial up.

Can you explain a bit more to me on the default gateway? I think with a little more explanation and dslreports tools I can pull something off there.

I think they would actually fix this if they had something to debate the tech with when he tells them all is fine. The techs swear to them the bandwidth is more than adequate for this hotel.

On a side note I have stayed in 4 other hotels since my first post and had issues in none of them. In all not only can i surf but I can watch Netflix and play online games with 0 issues.



jcam222

@199.119.128.x
reply to CylonRed

The sad thing is that some hotels still think that since its "free" it can be subpar. The reality is that for both business travelers like myself and even leisure travelers it is as expected as good phone service in 2013. As far as free I look at it like this. I pay them over $17000 annually I think I am paying them quite well to offer decent service. Tonight its working sporadically and then I get this message when loading a webpage.

Error 324 (net::ERR_EMPTY_RESPONSE): The server closed the connection without sending any data.



jcam222

@199.119.128.x
reply to John Galt

Holiday Inn Conference Center, 140 rooms



John Galt
Forward, March
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Happy Camp
kudos:6

said by jcam222 :

Holiday Inn Conference Center, 140 rooms

They can do better.

Download this:

»www.pingplotter.com/freeware.html

Run the software using a known good URL such as Google. Keep an eye on it and do screengrabs as the evening wears on. Catching the transitions would be the best...so start about 5 PM or so.

Post some of them back here...
--
Nothing makes an American want to do something more than telling them they can't.



CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County
reply to jcam222

I traveled extensively for a job and had many of the same issues and it was difficult when I was getting into the customers VPN to do work after hours.

When internet is offered for free - you can bet it will be the absolute minimum for ANY hotel. It is money spent they won't be able to recover. The faster the connection - the cost goes up.. What is ok for the worst times is likely massive overkill for the period of time the hotel is not filled up.

While $17K is a lot of money for most people - it is a small drop in the bucket for the costs of running a hotel. They have to decide if they can add in more bandwidth and be able to eat the cost (hard to do in the hotel business), offer less amenities, or increase the price of a stay. The last 2 are the most likely and they have to try and decide if they can deal with potential loss of business and still be around.
--
Brian

"It drops into your stomach like a Abrams's tank.... driven by Rosanne Barr..." A. Bourdain


HELLFIRE
Premium
join:2009-11-25
kudos:18
reply to jcam222

said by jcam222 :

Can you explain a bit more to me on the default gateway? I think with a little more explanation and dslreports tools I can pull something off there.

Think of the Default Gateway as the one door you always use to get out of a room (your LAN).
So long as you can exit this door, you can go anywhere other than that one room.

"IPCONFIG" or a traceroute to something like Google would be a way to identify some default
gateways you're traversing and which "doorway(s)" may be failing.

I also like John Galt See Profile's suggestion of pingplotter. Haven't used it myself but from what
I can tell it's alittle more automated way of doing the ping / tracert in one program.

Regards

meowmeow

join:2003-07-26
Helena, MT

1 recommendation

reply to jcam222

Incompetent IT. I've ran a couple hundred users on a 10/768 ADSL line with no issues regarding loading (slow, no Netflix for sure, but no pages timing out either).