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17 Comments

Airbnb stays with good internet access

I recently had a conversation with a friend about the minimum internet bandwidth one would need to set up a remote work stay.

The temptation of taking off for an extended stay at an Airbnb is balanced with the need to stay connected and all the Zoom calls required for many roles.

Q: What minimum bandwidth do you need to be productive?

Have you had good or bad experiences with Airbnb bandwidth? Ever taken a bandwidth screenshot because it was so remarkable? (You can do a speed test using https://speedtest.net or https://fast.com.)

Location: home
Test: 275 Mbps up/11 down
Status: ✅ Ok for 3 Zooms

  1. 3

    In an AirBNB with friends right now that is 5-10Mbps down/1-2 Mbps up. It is certainly difficult, but we often have four or five of us on Zoom at one time. The bigger problem is that we pretty regularly have outages/inconsistent service, but I think speed can generally be quite low.

    1. 1

      Wow, that's amazing that you can actually get that many people on Zoom with that bandwidth.

      It sounds like you may be having a good time, though, so maybe it is a good thing if Zoom doesn't always work.

      If you don't mind me asking, approximately where are you staying and for how long?

      1. 1

        Yes! We're in Oxford County, Maine. Here for twoish months. With a bunch of college friends—three of us are taking gap semesters/pursuing side things and five of us are still enrolled in online school.

        1. 1

          Sounds great. That's a beautiful area. I am guessing the trees are going to look amazing there very soon.

          I was there just about a year ago today. Bike rides in Acadia and wandering through the small towns. Not a bad place to be in the fall.

  2. 3

    https://testmy.net/ btw is one of the best... can track over time and compare providers and/or locations and more...

    with even a 1.5up 1.5down you should be able to make decent video calls
    latency might also matter in bad cases

    it all depends what you do, if your like mainly writing content, you just need some upload stability, even if messured in Ks
    if your used to 4k streams you might need 30mbs easily
    if you travel with other people and need to share the connection and have multiples at the same time..

    1. 1

      Great answer. Those are important points about the type of work being relevant.

      I asked a similar question of some developer co-workers, and was surprised to find that one had bandwidth that is typically below 10 Mbps. This is someone I see on Zoom calls almost every day and had not noticed poor quality.

      I have a feeling the perceived minimum is higher than the actual minimum for productivity. If I was considing an Airbnb and saw the bandwidth was less than 10 Mbps, I might not be thrilled. In reality, it would potentially be fine.

      1. 2

        it's like how they used to sell computers/CPU by MHz, if you asked developers it was quickly replaced by having more RAM, but the generic population would still only know MHz.

        Similarly with internet connections if you let me choose between things
        I'd take a 1.5M/1.5M with 0%PL (Packet loss) latency to server <20s
        over a connection of
        100M/30M with a 1%PL and latency of 400-500ms with many spikes of >1s

        speaking as a technical developer...

        again depends what you do and such
        as I said if you get used to having 4k video and/or have multiple users at the same time things may shift...

        1. 2

          more context
          the most demanding internet users are gamers, especially FPS, they have to have crazy low latency and no packet loss.

          The next are high def multi user video watchers like 4k netflix (high bandwith need more than anything else)

          later is video chat, their special requierment is the upload
          (actually higher would be like video content producers)

          than most general work, if you need internet and normal tooling... you don't need too much honestly for most cases...

          even if you have 100MBs or 1,000MBs and the latency to the server is high, a normal site would feel really slow to you.
          that has to do with how website splitting files and http acceleration works, the more small files/assets the worse. (some newer tech improves things but the core stays the same)
          = if you want websites to load fast, have low latency > high bandwith.

          speeds <1.5M you'd feel more than 10MBs vs 100MBs by itself (all other parameters equal)

          1. 2

            Wow, thanks for all of the information. That's great information.

            This all totally resonates for me. Working on websites, I'm very tuned in to latency, time to first byte, page performance, etc. So, you're totally right that "it depends" is a great answer to the bandwidth question. What really matters is that it feels fast enough for the type of work you need to do.

  3. 2

    I have 200/200mbps atm and to be honest don't feel it drastically increased my productivity as opposed to when I had 10/10mbps, except when I'm uploading something.

    1. 1

      That's fascinating. I'm sure you were quite productive at 10/10 Mbps. Thanks for the response.

  4. 2

    I travel SEA often. A pocket wifi fixes most jams I might run into.

    1. 1

      That's a good idea. If you bring your own, you can entirely focus on location and amenities. Probably opens up some remote possibilities that would not be wired for internet.

  5. 1

    I've been working on a chrome extension that helps you find listings with good internet access. In the meantime, if you send me a listing you are considering I can get you an internet report card on the location ✅

    1. 2

      @DigiDaniel Hey, that is very cool. I checked out Roamer and it looks very helpful. Interesting that your image classifies 25-50 Mbps down/5-10 Mbps up as "good". Another data point for this question.

      Here's an example Airbnb link: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/6508111

      They say they have wi-fi, but the quality is unknown.

      Roamer browser extension screenshot

      1. 2

        Hey, sorry for taking a while to respond! At this location in Greece I would expect download speeds of 10mbps, and upload of only 1mbps. Therefore, it would be a bad experience for multiple people to Zoom call from there at the same time.

        Are you free to chat more about this topic? Would love to pick you brain.

        1. 1

          Sure thing. I'm interested in the idea and it would be cool to chat.

          I'll send you an email to make arrangements.

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