Here at a Courtyard in San Diego the basic Internet is free but the enhanced is $8.95 per day. I opted for the free and while waiting, did a speed test (using www.DSLReports.com) and to my amazement the speed was only 196kb upload and download--not much more than the older modem speed using the phones!
So, warning--stay awake until things download--it will be a long, slow process, based on this example.
I've had similar experiences. My company has deployed IPASS for all of the field resources. Not sure the cost but it gets us online most anywhere with the "paid" or "fast" connection.
I also find tethering my phone works better in some cases when the hotel's connection is just slow from all 400 guests surfing at once :)
Thanks zukracer, I also checked with others who posted their speed tests on DSLReports, and I am in the middle of the slow range. Not a comfort. While I have not tried the upsell speed I am sure that it's not much better. Since this is a weekend away others don't want me on the laptop all the time so it's not a big deal.
However, seems to me that this is really old and slow technology even for free!
If you have a smart phone, you can try this app, PDANet. I find it works well, its inexpensive and bypasses the need to pay to tether from the cellular co's. Works great on my treo and blackberry phone. Might be a decent inexpensive option for when the service at the hotel is lacking.
*Disclaimer: I hold no interest in Junefabrics outside of being a paying customer.
PDANet is a great app and has been around for several years. I've used it on different occasions when the hotel internet was bad or if I'm at an airport and there is no free Wifi. When using this app your wireless carrier is unable to tell that you are tethering unless you start downloading a mass amount of data. Very worth the one time fee.
Forget about fancy movies etc. The last two stays , Courtyard DC and residence Inn New Orleans, both had iBahn and I couldn't even get email. Staff was always nice and trying but they couldn't do anything, there just was no bandwidth. Occasionally would get on, then back off. And hint to Marriott staff, don't ever, ever again tell me to call technical support who will waste your time for hours changing your computer that can never overcome the lack of service in the first place. This is ridiculous and should be recognized by Marriott as a huge huge problem because I couldn't get my work done while at either hotel. Why can I go to Starbucks and get what I need, but at a Marriott ( one more night and I have lifetime Platinum so I have stayed at a lot of Marriotts) I cant even get on to do emails.
One outcome is that Ibahn is going to move me to other hotels, if not a Marriott then so be it, I have to be able to work on the road.
Marriott needs to solve this so that at the least basic work can be accomplished and not just make smiling excuses for the inadequate systems.
PS my expenses wont support paying more for internet, they will just say use another hotel meaning NOT a Marriott.
Not sure if you may have experienced the same thing I would from time to time on a work laptop, but it sounds similar where at some Marriott's I could not get online period. Only happened at a handful of properties and just the morning before having been to a Marriott and been online before checking out to find at the next hotel that evening with Ibahn I couldn't find a pulse so to speak. After this happened a time or two one genius at Ibahn tech support simply signed me in from their place and all was fine. He didn't even tell me the computer settings were hosed so each time in the future I'd call them and it worked in seconds. Had something to do with the security software the employer would update on the laptop and it just didn't work from certain hotels. You may want to try that next time and see if it helps.