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Wi-Fi or Cell? Top 10 Places in North America Airport Connections

Wi-Fi or Cell? Top 10 Places in North America Airport Connections

What Should You Use at Airports Across North America?

Free airport Wi-Fi is clearly an expectation travelers have at North American airports and many airports are rising to the challenge. When you’re traveling for business, being able to get online can be crucial to getting work done. That’s why it’s important to know your Wi-Fi and cellular options at the airport before heading out on a work trip. So, if you’re traveling for business soon, here is some info that will help you prep.

Speedtest recently released its list of major airports across North America, exposing their Wi-Fi and cellular capabilities. By comparing and analyzing Wi-Fi and cellular speeds, measured by megabits per second (Mbps), at 30 of the busiest airports on the continent, Speedtest reveals whether you should use Wi-Fi or a cell network to get online.

Once again, Denver International’s Wi-Fi is fast. In fact, downloads at Denver’s airport are 27% faster than the last time we crunched the numbers. Even better, it’s the fastest Wi-Fi we’ve seen at any airport on the planet. Second fastest in North America and (as far as airports we’ve examined in Africa, Asia, Europe and North America) second fastest in the world is Vancouver International Airport.

When it comes to Wi-Fi, Denver International Airport offers the quickest Wi-Fi across all surveyed airports. However, that’s not the case with cellular. The airport that offers the best cell service is the Toronto Pearson International Airport.

While a majority of airports throughout the U.S. offer better Wi-Fi to travelers, airports in Canada tend to feature better cellular service. At airports in Mexico and Central America, people can forget about Wi-Fi altogether — a majority of these airports don’t even offer coverage, so people have to depend on cellular.

  1. Denver International Airport – The airport in Denver doesn’t just boast the fastest Wi-Fi in the nation, but on the planet. And according to Speedtest, its rate actually improved nearly a third over last year’s speed.
    • Wi-Fi or Cell: Wi-Fi
  2. Vancouver International Airport – Although it’s a close call, travelers might get a little better service when using cell data rather than hooking up to Wi-Fi. Vancouver Airport comes in first place for fastest cell service, and second place for fastest Wi-Fi.
    • Wi-Fi or Cell: Cell
  3. Philadelphia International Airport – Travelers shouldn’t even think twice about using Wi-Fi over cell service at the airport in Philly. The free Wi-Fi at this airport is the third fastest across all 30 surveyed airports. However, it falls to 24th place when it comes to cell service.
    • Wi-Fi or Cell: Wi-Fi
  4. San Francisco International Airport – Here’s an airport that not only boasts free Wi-Fi, but quick Wi-Fi. Over the past six months, the San Francisco International Airport has seen a major improvement in its Wi-Fi. When it comes to download speeds through Wi-Fi, the airport saw a 718 percent improvement since January, according to Speedtest.
    • Wi-Fi or Cell: Wi-Fi
  5. Seattle-Tacoma International Airport – Like San Francisco, here’s another west coast airport that offers fast and free Wi-Fi. And if you’re deciding whether to use your own cell data or hook up to the public Wi-Fi, you might want to choose the latter. Wi-Fi at the airport in Seattle is more than twice as fast as cell service.
    • Wi-Fi or Cell: Wi-Fi
  6. Calgary International Airport – This Canadian airport has a close contest between Wi-Fi and cell service. Travelers can hook up to the internet through either, although they might notice the Wi-Fi to be a bit faster. The average download speed over Wi-Fi is 41.83 Mbps, while it’s 39.59 Mbps over cell, according to Speedtest.
    • Wi-Fi or Cell: Wi-Fi
  7. Logan International Airport – Forget about using cell service at Boston’s Logan International Airport, and instead stick to Wi-Fi. According to Speedtest, over the past six months, downloading speed through Wi-Fi has improved by a whopping 283 percent.
    • Wi-Fi or Cell: Wi-Fi
  8. Dallas / Fort Worth International Airport – At Dallas/Forth Worth Airport, Wi-Fi is nearly twice as fast as cell service, so if you’re passing through this Texan state — make sure to hook up to the free Wi-Fi.
    • Wi-Fi or Cell: Wi-Fi
  9. Benito Juarez International Airport – Even outside the U.S., Wi-Fi seems to overpower cell service at a number of airports. In fact, if you’re looking to hook up to the best Wi-Fi in Mexico City, you might want to head over to the city’s Benito Juarez Airport. The Wi-Fi at this airport is 87 percent faster than Mexico’s country average of 14.81 Mbps.
    • Wi-Fi or Cell: Wi-Fi
  10. Detroit Metropolitan Airport – Here’s the first U.S. airport on the list to offer better cell service than Wi-Fi. In fact, the Detroit Airport has the third fastest cell service at an airport in North America. Cell speed is more than double as fast as Wi-Fi speed.
    • Wi-Fi or Cell: Cell

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