“What’s your WiFi password?”
If you frequently have guests in the office that need to use your WiFi network to get online, odds are you’ve heard that question many times. If you wish there were a way to give them access to the internet but not other things on your network (like shared storage, security cameras, and printers), then you should consider offering a WiFi guest network for your business.
Everyone Wins With a Guest Network!
Simply stated, a wireless guest network is a portion of your company’s WiFi network that’s set up to be used by temporary visitors. Within this sub-network, your guests are able to enjoy full internet connectivity without being able to access your internal network information.
Some people may not realize the guest network feature is an option for them. Others can’t think of any reasons why they’d want to use a guest network instead of just giving their guests full access to their main WiFi network (network security, anybody?).
In reality, there are many folks out there who should be offering a separate guest network for their visitors, and are leaving themselves vulnerable without one.
1. Improve Security and Privacy
The main advantage of adding a guest network is the increased security it offers. By separating the network in this manner, you can control who has access to your company’s network of computers, servers, storage appliances, and printers.
With a guest network, not only are you protecting confidential company information from prying eyes, you’re also protecting your entire network from potential infection by viruses or malware that may be concealed on your guests’ devices.
2. Access Still Requires a Password That Can Be Changed Easily
Deploying a wireless guest network for visiting clients, customers, and vendors allows you to keep your primary network’s password a secret. With a guest network, you can easily change the password and will only need to update guests on the changes as needed.
Furthermore, guests’ passwords are cached differently and won’t give them permanent access like a cached standard WiFi password allows.
3. Parental Controls Can Still Be Enforced on a Guest Network
Depending on how your guest network is implemented, you may be able to establish different levels of access and parental controls for your guest network than the ones used on your main wireless network.
This feature will help filter content and ensure your visitors (both young and old!) aren’t checking out any inappropriate websites.
4. Control Network Usage
A WiFi guest network allows you to limit the internet resources available to visitors. Instead of distributing the same priority in bandwidth to your guests, it makes more sense to regulate the guest network to a speed that provides reasonable access without affecting the network performance available to your employees.
Warming Up to the Idea?
You’ll need to evaluate your wireless hardware to decide if offering a guest network is possible with the equipment you already have, or if you’ll need to upgrade. Or you could always consult your friendly neighborhood Rippler!
There’s no rule that says you have to offer visitors access to your WiFi. But it’s a nice move on your part, especially if you have customers or business partners who bring their devices into your business with the assumption they’ll be able to access the internet.
Setting up guest WiFi access not only makes your business seem friendlier to visitors, it also shows that your business is serious about network security. Let’s be honest, doesn’t everyone want to be like that?