Home Hotels Marriott (Still) Wins The Prize For Most Outdated Technology In A Hotel Room

Marriott (Still) Wins The Prize For Most Outdated Technology In A Hotel Room

by joeheg

I’m no stranger to using tech products for longer than I should. That’s why I still use my old MacBook Air when we travel.  I can’t see paying the money to upgrade when the item I have does the job (Note from Sharon: Yeah, it does the job IF he’s near a plug, because the laptop battery hasn’t worked, at ALL, in like 7 years).

Regarding old tech in hotels, the computers in the “business center” are not the newest models but do the job for people who need to print a boarding pass or other document from an email.

That doesn’t come close to the oldest tech I’ve recently seen in a hotel. We stayed at a Courtyard by Marriott that still had one of these on the desk:

For those who may not know what this is, it’s a network cable for a wired internet connection. I’d have tried it out to see if it worked but neither of our computers has a network jack and I left my network card and 2000s-era Windows XP computer at home.

For us, the hotel Wi-Fi worked fine. We even used the premium internet for no charge because Sharon has Platinum status with Marriott Bonvoy.

Since I don’t travel for work, I wondered if anyone still used a wired internet connection when working on the road? There seem to be some advantages but with such an ancient connection, I can’t think that a 20-year-old wired connection is faster than the newer Wi-Fi system.

This Courtyard hotel has been renovated so leaving these connections in the rooms was done on purpose. I don’t know if that’s because they know people are using them or if it was too much trouble to take them away.


Based on several comments to this post about how some work systems require a wired connection or that the Ethernet speed is faster than wireless, I decided to test it.

We regularly stay at this hotel. During our next stay, I brought a Ethernet/USB connector (which only cost a few dollars on Amazon.com).

Upon plugging everything in, I didn’t get any signal. I followed the cable to the box and found that it was disconnected.

I tried plugging the cable into each of the LAN connections. One plug gave me a login screen for the hotel’s systems (not where I wanted to be). The other one did nothing.

Of course, I could have asked the hotel if the connections still worked, but I was fine using the wireless connection. I was curious to see if the ethernet cable still worked, which it didn’t.

This Marriott now wins the award for the most outdated, AND non-functional technology in a hotel room 🙂

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Ed August 23, 2021 - 1:30 pm

Some hotels have clock radios with built in iPhone adapters. The last model they fit was iPhone 4, 10 years ago.

AlohaDaveKennedy August 23, 2021 - 2:46 pm

Still use the faster wired connection at home near my router. The only disadvantage comes with not being able to declare it a metered connection to stop Microsoft’s annoying “updates.” Especially bad are the ones that take my laptop hours to install then restore the laptop back to its original configuration. I love Android because it doesn’t do that sh*t.

Doug Sampley August 23, 2021 - 4:35 pm

I would like to point out that a wired network connection will usually provide more consistent speed and performance instead of WIFI. Therefore I do not consider a wired network connection to automatically be an “out of date” technology. It just depends on how the wired connection is configured on the back end. I understand that WIFI is more convenient but that does not make a wired connection “out of date” just because WIFI is more convenient.

Eric August 23, 2021 - 10:30 pm

As an IT person for a hospitality company, note that this is actually still requested a LOT by guests. The main reason is for guests to use their own personal routers so they can connect things like baby monitors and chromecasts that don’t work well with the required network segmentation our standards require (meaning no two devices on the wifi can talk to each other over the LAN, only the WAN going out and back in over the public connection). I personally love it, I have a portable router with the same SSID as I have at home, plug it in and BAM, all my devices just automatically connect.

Rich August 19, 2022 - 6:17 pm

Also from someone who works in hotels, there are times it is requested or even required for government or military guests who stay at hotels. You may see these more at hotels near bases. It is preferred because it is more secured the. Any wifi network.

xyeahtony August 24, 2021 - 12:26 am

Ethernet cables are hardly ancient technology, they are still widely used in IT and people who work from home who require secure connections, or people who like to play video games online who require latency free connections wifi still can’t match. Someone in a hotel with a laptop might appreciate a cable which would provide a more secure connection than a public wifi hotspot with spotty service.

Brian Douglas Grammer August 16, 2022 - 12:20 pm

I cheer, loudly, whenever I see a wired Ethernet connection in a hotel. Connect my travel router and I get much better speed and security than WiFi.

Wired user August 24, 2021 - 5:16 am

I still use them. WiFi often tops out around 20mbps vs the 100plus I’ve gotten via wired. Not all of the plugs work these days though.

Ali August 26, 2021 - 12:04 pm

Agree here with the other comments. I love it when there’s an Ethernet port in my room. I use my personal travel router to create a secure Wifi that also has a VPN to protect all my traffic. It has the added benefit that I can Chromecast series from my streaming services that are limited to the US when I’m traveling abroad. Ethernet might be old, but it’s not useless.

Robert E September 25, 2021 - 12:54 am

Just because a mobile device lacks the physical jack, doesn’t mean they don’t still speak ethernet internally. USB ethernet adapters are cheap and plentiful and do work on literally all modern phones, tablets, and those fancy thin laptops. And yes iPhone/iPad lightning port to ethernet adapters do exist and work well. Retractable thin cat6 cables are cheap and don’t take any more room in your bag than a phone charger. Not saying that it is great connecting a cable to your phone, but when cell service is bad where you are visiting and you want to login to something that you would like to keep private it would be nice to have this option.

Sadly the last few Marriotts I’ve stayed at this year had all of their jacks disconnected on the backend.

Mark Dohn February 27, 2022 - 5:47 am

Found your blog by googling Cuortyard Ethernet. Relieved to know they provide that option. You really think an ethernet port is outdated tech? lol. A ethernet connection will always provide you a stable no-latency internet connection and will always be faster than WIFI. I always keep a USB-C-> Ethernet dongle and a CAT6 cable in my travel bag.

rob March 19, 2022 - 4:09 am

One other factor – some business computers have hardwired VPN boxes for extra security – you can ONLY operate the computer in such cases with a wired connection. I have that issue – it is common with hospitals. I therefore can only book hotels that have wired internet.

Bill G August 13, 2022 - 10:55 pm

One of the factors I use to determine where to stay is if it has wired ethernet. If it does the hotel moves up in my rankings a lot.

swoopest August 14, 2022 - 8:15 am

Not sure it qualifies as technology, but right now I’m staying at a hotel in Siena, Italy that has an in-room safe with a key. Not a mechanical or digital combination lock, an actual physical key.

AG616 August 14, 2022 - 7:40 pm

Wired connections are usually much faster and more reliable (if connected properly), however even if you did find a working connection in your room, your test would only be proving how fast that USB adapter could transfer data, not the network cable. You bought it on the assumption that any adapter would be just as fast as a networking port directly connected to your computers motherboard, which is incorrect.

Jake August 14, 2022 - 9:32 pm

This post shows how ignorant the poster is. Yes, Ethernet is always far better than wireless, especially for video calls (lower lag at a minimum).

Hotels that don’t offer Ethernet don’t get my repeat business.

Gary August 15, 2022 - 6:55 am

Where do you think that WiFi connection comes from?
That Ruckus box you found in the room IS a WiFi access point with an integrated Ethernet switch. ALL WiFi depends on Ethernet, there is NO truly wireless system, all wireless systems have wires somewhere.

It may be old, but so is WiFi. To call it outdated is ignorant.

Ethernet isn’t going anywhere in our lifetime.

Zachb August 21, 2022 - 12:19 pm

I’ll add, their app and website are always slow, the app moreso, practically useless most of the time. To note it’s not my data or internet. Lotta buggy behavior in both.


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