Guest WiFi: Improves Security And Customer Satisfaction

Mike Simonelli is a network technician for Tech Experts.

One of the first things I look for when I enter any establishment is the WiFi network. My laptop needs it. My phone needs it. I need it. It comes as a shock to me in the rare circumstance that I can’t find one or, worse yet, when I do find one but I am denied the network password.

Usually when this happens, I am there as a consumer. This annoyance is even more frustrating for people that are visiting for business such as vendors, consultants, and clientele.

Such people rely on Internet access to communicate with their own offices via e-mail and instant messaging or remote access to product databases and other information.

These frustrations can be avoided by the addition of a guest WiFi network and can even benefit your own existing WiFi network. Adding a guest network to an existing WiFi infrastructure can be a cost effective way to improve the overall security and privacy of your network.

wifiSegregating your network will keep your workstations, servers, printers, and other network devices secure while keeping your clients, vendors, and other guests off your main network. Allowing visitors unrestricted access to your company’s primary WiFi network can be a costly mistake. These unmanaged mobile devices can carry all types of sophisticated malware, trojans, viruses, and network probes, just waiting for a chance to attack your network.

Keeping these devices segregated to their own guest network will, at the least, add a layer of protection to your own equipment.

Not only will a guest network keep visitors off your primary WiFi, but it will also keep you from having to give out your primary network’s password to a multitude of strangers. A complex, never changing password can be used for your employees, while a short and simple password can be given out to guests upon arrival, and then changed frequently.

In addition, you can configure your equipment to only broadcast the network ID of your guest network and keep your primary network ID a secret, adding an additional layer of security.

Finally, some of the higher-end WiFi access points and routers will allow you to limit the amount of bandwidth that is allocated to your guest network or control the type of traffic that is allowed to pass through it. Doing so will prevent your visitors from inadvertently bringing your network to a halt with bandwidth-hogging traffic such as streaming video and torrent downloads.

If your business is already allowing visitors access to the primary WiFi network, then there is simply no downside to configuring a second WiFi network for guests, especially if your wireless hardware already supports the option.

Doing so will make your network more secure by allowing you to keep the network IDs and passwords a secret, as well as make it easier for your visitors to connect. Once connected, your guests can then be limited as to how much of your resources they can use, ensuring that your normal business operations aren’t interrupted.

If you have any questions about WiFi permissions or how you can increase both security and customer satisfaction in one go, contact us today by calling (734) 457-5000.

(Image Source: iCLIPART)