Setting Up Guest WiFi for Your Business
Top Things to Consider When Setting Up Guest WiFi Network for Your Business
Every guest is a business prospect. And their experience matters in building your brand and boosting your sales. Setting up guest WiFi for your business can be the difference in getting and retaining dozens of clients per day, to none.
People today are hooked up to online services and platforms constantly. They expect WiFi when they visit certain busineses. This means being connected even when they’re in a cafe in London, a restaurant for a business lunch, salon in a rural town, or even on a bus. In fact, 62% of business report that clients spend more time in a business when free WiFi is offered.
With guest WiFi, you can give your customers a superior experience. And it is a cost-effective approach to improve their overall satisfaction.
5 Best practices for setting up a guest WiFi at your business
Businesses that run a guest network should be aware of the best practices for running a successful and efficient wireless network.
They should also be aware of the differences between a guest wireless network and a typical company network.
While your guest network is really simply another wireless deployment, it must be appropriately configured for its intended use.
Here are some tips and pointers on how to properly design and build your guest wireless infrastructure so that it can accommodate your visitors while remaining secure and functional.
Secure your network
Security is important in dealing with wireless networks. Encrypt your network with WiFi Protected Access (WPA) or WiFi Protected Access II (WPA2), which are security protocols designed to protect wireless computer networks.
You can also turn off the SSID broadcast on your private WiFi network so your visitors won’t even see it show up on their “available networks” screen.
Use intelligent wireless products
Wi-Fi with distributed intelligence today can handle mobility, keeping an IP address and connection alive when a user on a VoIP call moves across rooms, floors, and even buildings.
Gone are the days when you had to manually maintain and set up each wireless access point, and the continuous job of adjusting power levels.
Invest in a Wi-Fi network that can manage all types of traffic, including phone and video calls, document and screen sharing, and group collaboration with multiple individuals working on the same document at the same time.
Separate guest network and business network
The main advantage of this is increased security and privacy.
You can restrict who has access to your company's network of PCs, servers, storage appliances, and printers by separating your guest network from your business network.
With a guest network, you’re not only securing important company information from prying eyes but you're also protecting your entire network from viruses or malware that may be hidden on your guests' devices.
A guest who connects to your company's wireless network with an unsecured device can expose your company to security breaches and threats.
Monitor your guest wireless network
Always keep a sharp eye on your guest wireless network using tools and protocols.
Your entire wireless network is put at danger if someone joins the network with a device that is infected with malware and contains potentially harmful data.
If you already have a network performance monitoring (NPM) or network security solution, you should use it to monitor your guests' wireless connections. Even if the guest is the one who poses a security risk to your infrastructure, the repercussions will ultimately fall on your business.
Set content filters and bandwidth limits
Content filters are useful since they retain your clients' attention on your content. They prevent your users from accessing other websites that would make it difficult for them to engage with yours.
Customers are given access to content or sources that are tailored to their specific needs. All you have to do now is make sure it's minimal and doesn't detract from what you offer.
You’re also not required to have the quickest or most powerful network because your guest network isn't used for vital jobs, workflows, or apps. So, that’s why your business can use less powerful and less expensive hardware while still maintaining a functional network.
With free Wi-Fi, there are situations where users connect to your network solely to download enormous files such as movies, Youtube videos, software, and other large files. Some people may live-stream their activity for minutes at a time in your store or restaurant.
This will slow down your free Wi-Fi network and may disturb other users, so you need to reduce your guest’s maximum bandwidth.
Bandwidth limitations will help you keep track of users who are hogging your bandwidth. It limits downloads and streaming to a predetermined size, allowing other users to use your bandwidth.
How to leverage your guest WiFi
Business owners can gain important information from their clients who use their free WiFi service by analysing WiFi data.
WiFi data provides vital information on visitors, such as the devices they use, the websites they visit, the time of day they connect, and the length of time they stay connected.
WiFi data may provide tons of information that, when used intelligently, can assist your business to enhance customer experiences, boost store sales, create efficient and effective marketing strategies, improve employee productivity, and enhance overall business operations.
You can easily gain insight from your visitors that will help you improve important aspects of your business, such as:
- Traffic Count – how many potential customers pass by your establishment
- Guest Count – how many unique visitors connect by the hour, day, week, month
- Frequent Customers – how many returns or recurring guests, how often and when was their last visit
- Connection Time – how long do visitors stay connected while in they stay in your area or establishment
- Location Activity – what area or location they visit and how much time they spend
- Browsing Activity – what websites they visit and what are their online activities
In today's world, a guest wireless network is an essential component of small and medium-sized businesses. Wi-Fi will only improve in the future, providing a better connected experience.
Businesses who set guest wifi networks are providing a value-added service that is gradually becoming the industry norm. Many businesses today in the retail, education, and healthcare sectors are turning to secure guest WiFi to stay ahead of the curve, and so should you.
Need help setting up your business WiFi network?
We can help you set a strong and reliable guest WiFi for your business.
Tell us about your technical needs and we will recommend the ideal solution for you.
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