Wi-Fi has made the internet widely accessible to the general public. Today, you can simply leave your phone’s Wi-Fi on and go to a public place. Chances are your phone will automatically connect to a public Wi-Fi access point.
While that is certainly super convenient, open access also brings a host of security problems that can not only threaten your computer or device’s stability but the safety of your private data as well.
Not all hospitable people probably understand that disclosing this information may pose a threat to network security. For example, guests may accidentally download a virus or connect an infected phone or laptop to it.
As such, it is imperative to exercise caution and take protective measures for your Wi-Fi network so you can stay safe from unwanted attacks and breaches launched by third parties.
What is the guest mode?
You can be hospitable and secure at the same time. All you have to do is create a guest Wi-Fi network. It is a separate access point on the router. All devices connect to the main access point and form a network.
Meanwhile, the guest network is a separate entrance that allows access to the Internet but does not belong to the home network. As the name suggests, it is intended for guests.
A guest network is a win-win approach: friends and acquaintances do not lose contact with the outside world, at the same time your data is safe.
Malicious programs that may accidentally get on your guests’ smartphones will not be able to access that precious archive with family photos or other important files.
How to set up a guest Wi-Fi network?
Setting up a guest network is quite easy. To do this, you do not need an additional cable and you do not have to pay extra money for the Internet. It is very likely that your Wi-Fi router allows you to set up an additional guest network semi-automatically.
All you need to do is go to the settings and activate it. To do this, enter the IP address of the router in the address bar of the browser (usually 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.0.1). The exact address can be found in the device user guide.
Before doing anything, it is desirable to update the firmware. It is quite possible that a more secure version is available.
In the dialog box, enter a username with administrator rights and a password. If you have never changed them, you can find them in the contract with your ISP or in the user manual.
To increase the security level, it is better to change the login and password, and do not forget to save them in the password manager.
Go to the router setting and find the Guest Network option. Usually, it is hidden in one of the sub-sections within the main settings of the Wi-Fi network. If you cannot find it, again, read the manual or search for it by entering the router model name and version. If you have an older or cheaper router, it may be possible to configure the guest network manually.
After enabling the guest network mode, enter its name (in some routers it may appear in the control panel as an SSID). This name will be displayed for your guests in the list of available connections.
Usually, the guest Wi-Fi network appears almost immediately; sometimes it takes time. Finally, it is always worth checking the correctness of all your actions:
- Secure a new network with a password. You can usually do this immediately after creating the network name. Thus, only users who know the password can connect to the guest network.
- Select the type of encryption to exclude the possibility of interception of information sent over a Wi-Fi network. If possible, choose WPA2, which is a robust algorithm that supports all modern wireless devices. Sometimes WPA2-PSK or WPA2-Personal is available.
- Uncheck Allow visitors access network resources (or a similar). This option is not always available, but if possible, it should be unchecked so that guests cannot see your files and other information stored on computers. This is one of the main purposes of the guest network. Some routers have a different approach: the option is called Isolate (that is, isolates the guest network from the local network).
- If possible, uncheck the Allow access to settings option (or similar). If this option is not unchecked, users of the guest network will have access to the settings of the router and can change something there (including access permissions).
Done! After setting up a Wi-Fi-network for guests, you will have secure Internet access and protection of local devices.
As always, I advise you to protect yourself with the best VPN provider. You can install it directly on the router and enable it for guests as well as a local network.
If you have any queries regarding the setup process, drop us a comment below.