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Which Are the Airports with the Best Wi-Fi Access Worldwide?

With average download speeds of over 170 Mbps, San Francisco International has the world's fastest airport Wi-Fi

by Fergus Cole

June 20, 2024

Photo: Courtesy of San Francisco International Airport.

Whether traveling for work or heading off on vacation, staying connected at the airport is growing in importance. And while airport Wi-Fi has certainly improved across the board in recent years, it’s evident that some airports provide a much better connection than others.

A recent report by internet connection analysts Ookla has revealed which of the world’s major airports offer the best connection to its passengers, whether on Wi-Fi or via a mobile connection.

Ookla analyzed download and upload speeds at more than 50 of the busiest airports across the world, and, luckily for American travelers, the world’s top ten airports with the fastest download speeds over Wi-Fi is dominated by those in the United States.

Photo: Courtesy of Duke Cullinan / Unsplash

According to Ookla, San Francisco International Airport (SFO) has the world’s best airport Wi-Fi, with a median download speed of 173.55 Mbps. This may not come as a surprise to some, given SFO’s location near Silicon Valley, often considered the tech capital of the world. It also has an average upload speed of 233 Mbps, faster than any other major airport worldwide.

In second place, with a median Wi-Fi download speed of 166.51 Mbps, is Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR). Newark is currently undergoing a multi-million dollar transformation, and it also has the third-highest Wi-Fi upload speeds in the world, at an average of 152.13 Mbps.

Photo: Courtesy of Newark Airport

Newark was followed by another New York airport in third place, with John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) clocking an average Wi-Fi download speed of 151.59 Mbps. This was closely followed by Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) in fourth place, with average download speeds of 151.59 Mbps.

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) is ranked in the top five, with download speeds averaging 137.31 Mbps. JFK, PHX, and SEA have the world’s sixth-highest, second-highest, and fourth-highest upload speeds over Wi-Fi, respectively.

Just two airports outside the U.S. came in the top ten for Wi-Fi download speeds—Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport (CDG) with 107.13 Mbps and Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport (HGH) in China with 101.01 Mbps.

The world’s top 10 airports for Wi-Fi

RankAirportMedian Wi-Fi Download Speed (Mbps)
1San Francisco (SFO)173.55
2Newark (EWR)166.51
3New York (JFK)151.59
4Phoenix (PHX)151.28
5Seattle-Tacoma (SEA)137.31
6Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW)119.92
7Las Vegas (LAS)107.84
8Paris (CDG)107.13
9Hangzhou (HGH)101.01
10Orlando (MCO)98.19

At the other end of the scale, Mexico City International Airport (MEX) was found to have the slowest Wi-Fi of any major airport in the world. With average download speeds of just 5.11 Mbps and upload speeds of 2.99 Mbps, you’d struggle to browse social media when waiting for a flight there, let alone join a video call.

The airport with the second slowest Wi-Fi is Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN) in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, with average download speeds of 7.07 Mbps, followed by Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) with download speeds averaging 9.45 Mbps.

Cairo International Airport (CAI) and Tokyo Haneda International Airport (HND) have the fourth and fifth-slowest Wi-Fi, with average download speeds of 10.62 Mbps and 11.37 Mbps, respectively.

Mobile Speeds Differ

While airports in the U.S. seem to be leading the way regarding fast Wi-Fi, it’s a different story regarding mobile speeds. Doha’s Hamad International Airport (DOH) has the fastest median download speed over mobile, with impressive speeds of 442.49 Mbps. This was followed by Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport (SHA) with average mobile speeds of 341.19 Mbps and Phoenix Sky Harbor in third with average download speeds of 295.94 Mbps.

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport / Photo: Paul Cuoco / Unsplash

However, PHX is the only major airport in the U.S. with mobile download speeds averaging over 200 Mbps, with the only others worldwide being Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG), Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport (CKG), and Istanbul Airport (IST).

Mexico City International Airport was once again found to be the worst for mobile speeds, with average download speeds of just 8.75 Mbps. This was followed by Josep Tarradellas-Barcelona El Prat Airport (BCN) as the second slowest with average speeds of 15.21 Mbps, and Orlando International Airport as the third slowest with download speeds over mobile averaging just 15.84 Mbps.