The Hotel Service I’ve Never Been Able To Use

by joeheg

A while ago, I wrote about a hotel room with what I thought was outdated technology. The desk had a network cable on it, and I wondered who would use this instead of the Wi-Fi connection. Many readers informed me that a wired connection is faster, more reliable and more secure than Wi-Fi. That’s why people who worked on the road and needed a fast, secure connection preferred using an ethernet cable.

I was curious to see if this was true, so I splurged and bought the cheapest $10 ethernet to USB adapter I could find on Amazon.

a box of usb flash drive

Unfortunately, in the years since I purchased this, I’ve never been able to get it to work. My computer recognizes the adapter, but when I plug in the cable, there’s no network to connect to.

Not one to give up, I tossed the adapter and network cable into my bag of wires and forgot about it. That’s until I checked into a room and started setting up the computer. There was a network plug on the wall next to the phone. Maybe, just maybe, this one would work.

a white electrical outlet with a cable plugged into it

So I plugged the cable into my computer, opened up the network settings, and…nothing.

a laptop and charger on a table

Skunked again. I’m guessing hotels don’t have many guests asking for a wired connection. However, this hotel is a newer build and is only a few years old. That means it was wired with network cables well after Wi-Fi was prevalent.

Has anyone been able to connect to the hotel internet using an ethernet cable? Am I doing something wrong?

Back to using the hotel Wi-Fi and my VPN to connect to the internet.

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Bill G July 10, 2024 - 11:01 pm

I’ve most definitely been able to use a cable in hotels and I always keep one in my travel bag. Sure, sometimes (but only sometimes) the network jacks are disconnected or disabled but if there’s actually a cable there they usually work. So the first question is: Windows or Mac? The procedures can differ.

GUWonder July 10, 2024 - 11:41 pm

Wifi networks are cheaper for the hotels to install and maintain that wired connections for customers in all the guest rooms. So even when new build hotels are sort of designed for Ethernet wiring, the hotels may either not have connections active or may block the switches or wired network connections from customer use — if the cables are even already run into the jacks in the rooms — and want the customers to instead count only on WiFi internet or something else. I still run around with Ethernet cables and adapters to use them with my smartphone, but mostly it seems like a waste of time unless I have physical access to the physical router/access point.

GUWonder July 10, 2024 - 11:44 pm

Before there was was wifi internet at hotels, there was wired internet at hotels. It made some people I know rather wealthy to get into this business at hotels back during the Clinton Admin years.

Ralph July 11, 2024 - 10:04 am

My guess is you are checking the wrong network settings page.

I’ve never had a hotel wired connection not work.

Ralph July 11, 2024 - 8:39 pm

To be polite, this sounds more like a “user education opportunity” than a network or equipment problem.

I can’t remember the last time a hotel’s wired internet jack didn’t work.

Perhaps a kindly hotel’s staffer will help with getting you set up.

vbscript2 July 13, 2024 - 9:23 pm

Do you perhaps have a static IP address set on your Ethernet adapter? If so, that’s likely the problem. It needs to be set to use DHCP.


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