Ookla has shared its latest study today focused on WiFi performance at the 50 busiest US airports. While the top 17 saw speeds between 100-203 Mbps, the bottom 12 airports included speeds under 10 Mbps. Here’s how the US airports’ free WiFi stacked up.
“The holiday travel season is fast approaching in the United States and with it the anticipation of spending more time than you’d hoped at the airport. To help you know whether you’ll have the speeds you need to freely stream videos or whether you’ll need to download those shows in advance, we’ve expanded our previous analysis to examine free airport Wi-Fi at 50 of the busiest airports in the U.S. We’ve also taken a look at some of the other Wi-Fi options available at airports across the country to see how you can get the best network experience (even if you have to pay for it).”
17 US airports with the fastest WiFi
Leading the pack, the top 5 for WiFi median download speeds were San Jose, Cincinnati, San Francisco, Honolulu, and Oakland with results between 154 and 203 Mbps. Here’s the full list of the top 17:
12 US airports with the slowest WiFi
At the opposite end of the spectrum, the 12 slowest airports for WiFi ranged from 5.23 to 48.4 Mbps median speeds.
Both of Houston’s airports were at the bottom with abysmal speeds of 8.79 and 8.9 Mbps.
But Pittsburgh International Airport was the most miserable with a median download of just 5.23 Mbps!
Airports in the middle of the pack
20 airports ranged between 50 and 100 Mbps median WiFi speeds, here they are:
Interestingly, Ookla also observed that WiFi median speeds decreased considerably at four major US airports.
Seattle lost 32.06 Mbps, Chicago O’Hare dropped 29.10, LAX decreased 20.74, and San Francisco dropped 13.87 Mbps.
“Our most recent global analysis of free airport Wi-Fi included seven of these airports (over eight SSIDs, with Denver having two). The nominal download speed decreased when comparing Q1 2022 to Q3 2022 in four of those airports: Sea-Tac (32.06 Mbps drop), O’Hare (29.10 Mbps drop), Los Angeles (20.74 Mbps drop), and San Francisco (13.87 Mbps drop). Dallas/Fort Worth showed a 7.02 Mbps increase in median download speed over the same period. There was no meaningful difference in download speed between quarters at Hartsfield-Jackson and on both SSIDs at Denver. We generally expect speeds to improve over time as airports and internet service providers upgrade equipment. When airport Wi-Fi speeds decline we usually expect it’s due to that infrastructure not keeping up with increases in passenger volume or internet usage.”
Check out the full report from Ookla for more details.
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