- Clearwater Beach, FL (2.9 Mbps)
- Atlantic City, NJ (2.8 Mbps)
- Mission Beach, CA (2.1 Mbps)
- South Beach Miami, FL (1.9 Mbps)
- Myrtle Beach, SC (1.8 Mbps)
- Santa Monica, CA (1.8 Mbps)
- Waikiki Beach, HI (1.6 Mbps)
- Newport Beach, CA (1.2 Mbps)
- Hermosa Beach, CA (1.1 Mbps)
Note that at slower speeds, you may find it a simpler, if not safer, solution to tap into your smartphone’s data plan. Remember that while out in public, available hotspot SSIDs can appear legitimate but can actually hide malicious routers and other data sniffers that can snoop and slurp up your passwords. If you’re sitting in a location with strong LTE coverage, you may find you’ll receive faster throughput speeds simply using your cellular connection. The downside, of course, is that you’re consuming data that counts against your data cap.
And as for coffee shops—well, it’s hard to say which chains have the fastest connections. Speedspot, however, recently noted that some Starbucks coffeehouses have begun adding Google Wi-Fi connections, replacing the older AT&T service. The average download speeds of those top out at 24.9 Mbps down and 8.7 Mbps up—that’s nearly 18 times the download speed of AT&T-equipped Starbucks.
On my family’s recent beach trip, we brought along an older Roku, which we planned to connect to our rented house’s WiFi hotspot (or, alternatively, to one of two Comcast Xfinity Wifi hotspots that my phone could see). In the end, however, we ditched media entirely—no Netflix, no television, and barely even any web surfing at all in the evenings.
The bottom line? If you’re going to travel for business, it’s worth planning for Wi-Fi availability as much as anything else. But sometimes a vacation means leaving those wireless devices at home, too.