This is Laura, HomeAway's Community Manager.
Great question regarding wireless Internet. I wanted to let you know that another Community member asked a very similar question here - in our public forum, "Interacting with Guests."
Thought you'd find the Community responses of interest.
All the best,
HomeAway Global Community Manager
I say "yes."
The best way and the cost depend on your situation. You need an internet provider. Usually that would mean the phone company or the cable TV company. Your local services will discuss options. You may already have a landline phone or a cable connection in the rental.
Then you need a wireless router to put the internet on-the-air in the rental (WiFi). Your provider may bundle a wireless router with your service. If not, you go an buy one for $50 or less at Target, RadioShack, OfficeMax, Offiice Depot, WalMart, or another one of the usual suspects. Intstallation is fairly easy. Phone support from manufacturers is generally good.
We put a small laser printer in our place, too. It hooks to the router through a wired port. It cost $50 at an estate sale. Laser is better than inkjet because the ink doesn't dry out and a toner cartridge will last for YEARS at vacation rental usage rates. Leave a pack of paper, too. Your renters don't need color. They're going to be printiing maps, menus, boarding passes, and such.
I agree with others regarding wireless Internet.Travelers these days expect to rent with Internet availability, and the wireless feature encourages those folks who are used to using their laptops in wireless hot spots. Getting Internet is typically done through the same carrier that brings Television cable to your home or condo. The cost will be nominal compared to the potential return, I feel.
Wireless is easily accomplished with a low-cost router. I do recommend paying a bit more to get a high-strengh router so your guests can use the network any place in or around your property. If you do get the higher strength router, be sure to set a security password and share it with your guests; you don't want neighbors or persons in cars able to compromise your security.
I would say see what other are doing in your area. If most people have internet you may need to get it to stay competiive.
We never had anyone ask about internet in our unit; but now that we have it people have said thanx in guest comments
We didn't have it for the longest time and mainly got it for our own use since I am at our rental quite a bit and work from home.
Every area has different prices. I'd expect to pay 20 - 60 bucks a month.
Hi! Essentially, wireless internet (sometimes referred to as broadband or DSL) access is actually the result of a wireless router (a transmitter of sorts) being connected to a wired internet connection. The router broadcasts a radio signal that can be picked up by computers with wireless cards, either internally, or attached externally, usually via a USB plug.
When you're dealing with multiple units, such as your group of condos, there are a coupe of approaches. The simplest is the creation of a PUBLIC network, which can be used by anyone with a wireless adapter connected to their computer, as long as they are in range of the signal. To 'light up' 10 condos (give enough signal strength to assure computers can receive the signal and connect to the internet), you'd probably need a router and 4-5 'booster' stations, to ensure adequate coverage.
A PRIVATE network, which would require a password to access, on the other hand, would generally require a router for each unit, which COULD be connected to a common internet connection, although the extra load would slow things down significantly.
We offer wireless broadband with our rental, which is a beach house. We get it from our local cable company as part of a bundle of phone/TV/internet, Is your condo a time-share, or do you wholly own it? If the latter is the case, you should consider contacting your cable or telephone provider to see if they offer bundles similar to what we have. We have seasonal service -- during the summer, we pay about $130/mo for all three services, and in the off-season, we keep our # and equipment and pay $30/mo. We simply figure the costs into the rental rate.
Hope this helps! -Jim