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In the past I've shared some of my less-than-steller experiences with hotels and their so-called "high speed access" (here and here in case you missed them). Well, I'm just back from another road trip, this one for work, and I'm happy to report that at least somebody knows how to do it right.

I stayed in a Hilton Garden Inn. They, like many places nowadays, claim to have "free high-speed internet access." I've come to look upon such pronouncements with skepticism, and tend to expect I'll be using my iPhone and iPad a lot on 3G (I am so glad I kept my unlimited plans!). So when the front desk clerk told me all I had to do was select the "hhonors" id from the list of detected networks – no login required – I was pretty happy. I was even happier to find it worked as described – no problem just connecting the iPad, iPhone, and computer.

Other places, you may recall, give you a login code to put in. Some even give you one tied to your room so they can cut you off if you download more than a couple of emails. Sometimes those codes only work for one device (so I tend to try the laptop first since the oter devices I can get by with 3G). Often the codes time out after 24 hours (which in the case of the places that hand out the same code to everyone makes absolutely no sense at all – have been to the some hotels that had the same password year after year – but still timed out after 24 hours!).

So no silly logins, no caps – I do see that the speed fluctuates quite a bit, based on the time of day, so either that's a natural side effect of more users and limited bandwidth, or, heaven forbid, they might be pro-activly managing the bandwidth. In any case, it appears to be adequate for the number of users, because I haven't been kicked off or seen my speed drop to unusable numbers. I was able to stream a Tigers game on my iPad (and pipe it to the HDTV in the room, thanks to the HDMI kit).

So hats of to Hilton Hotels, for actually doing something to make my stay more pleasant rather than just mouthing platitudes and checking off boxes on "me too" lists of services.


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