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Archive for the ‘Internet Availability’ Category

Or, ¿Cómo rápido es su Internet?

In only a few weeks of digital nomad-ism, I’ve become a shameless wifi hunter. Before moving to a new place, I scour the internet for information, reviews, commentaries, blog posts, or guidebook sources that might mention the internet speeds at hostels. I send emails to hostel staff–who often speak only Spanish–asking about speed and reliability. Today, I got a reply from a hostel worker in Xela, Guatemala that said “I´m sorry cause I don´t know about speeds, but lot of people works during the day and the night.”

All righty, then.

While that doesn’t exactly tell me the speed, it at least lets me know that there is wireless internet, and people are using it. Sometimes, I feel like a detective, piecing together cryptic clues from the internet, books, other travelers, and hostel workers who don’t necessarily know that there is internet on site.

I prefer to stay at places with in-room wifi; when I have to take a meeting at 6:30am, I’d rather do it under the covers, in my pajamas. I don’t want to be in the public area, worrying that another traveler will stumble by on his way to the bathroom, spot me on my computer, and give me that look that plainly says, “Crazy Americans aren’t able to leave their work at home.” I don’t need that in the morning.

Generally, heavily touristed places have widely available internet, but not always. Last weekend, I arrived in Antigua, expecting to find fast wireless internet everywhere. If I found it in Nicaragua, of all places, surely touristy Antigua must be brimming with it. Not so. I had to search far and wide to find a place with internet, pulling out my laptop in front of confused hostel staff to check the in-room speeds. Hopefully, my luck will be better in Xela.

I’m still trying to work up the courage to send emails requesting that the person on the other side of the hostel contact info run a speed test and send me the results.

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