Four Things to Avoid When Offering Free Guest WiFi

September 3, 2017


If you’ve decided that it’s time your business offered customers guest WiFi, you’ve made a great choice in terms of giving extra benefits to your patrons.

But there are a few things you need to be wary of as the owner of the business WiFi. Things such as hackers, internet hunters and a bandwidth shortage can all take advantage of the additional perks your customers are getting.

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Here are the things you should avoid when giving your clients access to your WiFi hotspot:

Insecure networks

When implementing your guest WiFi, the first step is to make sure your network is secure. Enabling a security option such as WiFi Protected Access 2 (WPA2) ensures that people outside your customer group can’t connect to your network.

Using a content filtering service is an additional way to keep your network secure, as you have control over the category of websites your customers can access. Blocking certain sites means that users can’t download malicious software and you can prevent hackers from damaging the network.

Bandwidth shortages

Another thing you should avoid when offering WiFi for customers is coming up short on your bandwidth. If you offer a totally free service, you’re allowing customers to download files or stream videos as much as they want and this could drain your internet capacity.

The solution is tiered bandwidth. If you offer both a standard and premium service, not only does the tiered bandwidth protect your internet speed and capacity, it also allows you to monetise a portion of your guest WiFi. Using a bandwidth management service, you can either set a time limit on the amount of free WiFi your guests can use, cap the speed at which your internet will operate at, or restrict the bandwidth available. Once guests hit the limit, they can pay a small fee to continue their usage.

WiFi Hunters

Unfortunately, there are some people who hover around a business premises, simply to take advantage of the free WiFi. It may seem like there is no way to solve this issue, but thankfully there is.

In order to connect to your WiFi Hotspot, customers need to enter a code on the splash page in their browser. By simply withholding that code until a patron has made a purchase, either through including the code on a receipt or printing it on a card they receive upon purchase, you can ensure that only your paying customers can access your business WiFi.

Internal vulnerability

The most crucial thing for your business is protection for your own WiFi network. If guests use your businesses internet, you run the risk of them accessing your files, other hardware like printers, and any sensitive information you might have.

Using a WiFi management service will allow you to separate the internal network from the guest WiFi, therefore protecting your businesses documents, while still offering a secure service for your paying customers.

As you can see, when you set-up your business WiFi, there are a few things you should consider before offering the service to your customers. However, there are many available services which ensure that both your company and your clients remain safe.