Does Anyone Still Care About Free Hotel Wi-Fi?

According to the latest survey results from, Australian travellers are caring less and less about complimentary hotel Wi-Fi. In the company’s previous poll, 41 per cent of respondents said that free Wi-Fi was the most important factor when choosing a hotel. In 2015, this has dropped to just 26 per cent. We think some people need to reconsider their priorities.

Hotel WiFi picture from Shutterstock

We totally get why free hotel Wi-Fi might not be considered as essential as it once was. The proliferation of portable hot spots and generous mobile data caps has allowed most travellers to access the internet whenever and wherever they like. Plus, your connection is likely to be a lot more stable than the complimentary service the hotel is offering.

But consider this — watching three hour-long episodes of your favourite TV show on Netflix could chew up over a gigabyte of data. When you throw in web browsing, Skype video calls, laptop/tablet tethering and photo uploads to social media, you’re looking at quite a lot of data.

Naturally, this applies doubly when travelling overseas. Enabling global roaming when you don’t need to is obviously stupid. Even if you had the foresight to purchase a cheap overseas data package or SIM card, why waste it inside the hotel? It’s for this reason that free Wi-Fi is still at the top of my hotel checklist. That and a mini fridge to keep my smuggled-in drinks cold.

We’re interested to see if Lifehacker readers share the same views as’s survey sample. Cast your vote in the below poll:

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