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Would you change hotels for better Wi-Fi?

We use Wi-Fi almost without thinking about it, but a new survey of users in the US and Europe reveals just how big an impact it has on our daily lives and what we're willing to do to stay connected.

Network company Xirrus (opens in new tab) polled hundreds of people about their Wi-Fi habits and expectations. The results reveal the far-reaching impact Wi-Fi has on users' lives, as well as its importance to the future.

Rapid expansion of the IoT and BYOD means that businesses need to re-evaluate how they design their Wi-Fi networks to meet users' expectations to connect anywhere, on any device, at any time. The survey finds a majority of consumers (76 per cent) connect to Wi-Fi outside of their home on a regular basis. It also reveals a growing expectation of being able to get connected everywhere.

Although 79 per cent of respondents don't feel that public Wi-Fi is secure, 62 per cent are still willing to connect to it. More than half (66 per cent) of travelers would change hotels for a better Wi-Fi experience, and 49 per cent would change their preferred airline provider.

84 per cent of respondents say that bad Wi-Fi has kept them from doing their job. Almost all consumers (90 per cent) now own at least one connected device - such as a laptop, smartphone or tablet - and a surprisingly high one in three of those polled own a wearable device of some kind, such as a smartwatch or fitness band.

"We are now more than ever a mobile, wireless-reliant society," says Shane Buckley, Xirrus CEO. "The proliferation of Wi-Fi connected devices combined with the expectation of steadfast connectivity has put increased demand on Wi-Fi networks everywhere. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the enterprise. Our study highlights the need for organisations to reinforce their networks to ensure a seamless connected experience for users at all times, no matter the location".

The Xirrus Where the Wires End Survey (opens in new tab) is available to download from the company's website and there’s a summary in infographic form below.

Xirrus infographic

Photo credit: Shutter_M (opens in new tab) / Shutterstock (opens in new tab)

Ian Barker worked in information technology before discovering that writing about computers was easier than fixing them. He has worked for a staff writer on a range of computer magazines including PC Extreme, was editor of PC Utilities, and has written for TechRadar, BetaNews, IT Pro Portal, and LatestGadgets.