WiFi is No Longer an Amenity
When you visit a business, chances are you look to see if they offer guest WiFi. After all, connectivity is no longer an amenity, but a necessity. Offering guest WiFi has become an expectation for many customers and clients. This is particularly true for businesses in the hospitality, retail, and service sectors. With the rise of remote work and the need for seamless online access, the need for dependable WiFi is greater than ever before.
Of course, offering guest WiFi comes with its own set of pros and cons. On one hand, it can help to attract and retain customers, increase foot traffic, and even prevent negative reviews. On the other hand, it can also be a drain on bandwidth, a security risk, and potentially time-consuming to manage.
Before deciding on guest WiFi for your business, consider the pros and cons to make an informed choice. Let’s take a close look at the benefits and risks of offering guest WiFi and the best practices for setting up and managing guest WiFi at your business.
Benefits of Offering WiFi
Providing free WiFi to your customers can make a significant impact on the success of your business. Offering guest WiFi has several benefits that not only elevate customer experience but also boost your brand’s visibility and reputation.
Here are some of the top benefits of guest WiFi:
Improves Customer Satisfaction
It feels great to be able to access the internet while enjoying a cup of coffee at your favorite cafe or waiting in a queue at a store. Providing guest WiFi means that your customers can browse the web, check their emails, or catch up with work on the go. This adds a level of convenience that customers value and increases their overall satisfaction with your service.
Free WiFi Encourages Customers to Stay Longer
Guest WiFi offers your customers a source of entertainment and an opportunity to relax and unwind. They can stream videos, read articles, or connect with friends and family on social media. This keeps them interested and makes them stay longer, leading to more money for your business.
WiFi Lets Customers to Engage with Your Brand
While waiting for their orders to be fulfilled, customers can use your guest WiFi to explore your website or social media pages. This gives them an opportunity to engage with your brand and learn more about your products or services, effectively promoting your business for free.
Positions Your Business as Tech-Forward
By providing WiFi, you show that your business is embracing technology to better serve your customers. This makes your business look modern and attracts tech-savvy customers who value digital amenities.
Potential Risks and Challenges of Guest WiFi
Guest WiFi can be a great asset to any business, but it can also come with its own set of risks and challenges. Here are some of the risks and challenges you should keep in mind:
- Network slowdowns: Sharing your WiFi with guests can put a strain on your primary business network, causing it to slow down or even crash altogether. This can negatively impact the productivity and efficiency of your employees, as well as the customer experience.
- IT expertise required: Setting up a guest WiFi network isn’t as simple as just plugging in a router and giving out the password. It requires a certain level of IT expertise to properly configure the network and manage the bandwidth. If you lack this knowledge, you may end up with a poorly optimized network that is prone to technical issues.
- Possibility of getting hacked: If your guest WiFi network isn’t properly secured, it can make your entire company network vulnerable to cyber attacks. This can put your sensitive data and confidential information at risk, potentially leading to a major breach and significant financial loss.
While there are a number of potential risks with guest WiFi, having the right precautions and measures in place can minimize these risks and reap the benefits of offering this amenity to your customers.
Best Practices for Secured and Managed Guest WiFi
If you are ready to move forward with guest WiFi at your business, it’s crucial to have it set up and managed properly to mitigate risk. Here are several best practices to keep in mind:
Create a Guest Network
A separate public network with guest controls is a fundamental feature of a secured guest WiFi network. It allows you to distinguish guests’ traffic from your internal network, limiting possible cyber threats that could exploit weakly-protected guest devices to access your systems. Secure guest WiFi reduces the risks of unauthorized access, data theft, and fraud.
Require a Password or Legal Waiver
Your guest WiFi should have a distinct network name and password. To control guest access to the internet, you can have them agree to the network rules by using a login portal and agreeing to a legal waiver.
Monitor and Limit Bandwidth Usage
Monitoring bandwidth usage will help ensure that heavy usage by one user does not cause internet speed issues for others. Having a bandwidth monitor will help you understand your usage trends, determine the capacity, and ensure that speed and user experience are not impacted.
Protect Sensitive Resources
Secured and managed guest WiFi should limit access to sensitive internal resources such as financial data, customer databases, or servers. These resources should not be accessible to everyone, especially guests. Make sure you configure your network wireless settings properly and block any unauthorized activity.
Regularly Update Password and Settings
Ensure that you change your guest network password and settings regularly to keep them confidential. Hackers can quickly gain unauthorized access, view, and misuse the old settings, resulting in business losses.
Make Sure Your Primary Network Remains Private and Secure
Securing your primary network should be a top priority. Ensure that you set up security measures such as firewalls, VPNs, and encryption. Having a separate guest WiFi network helps reduce the risks of unauthorized access to your private network.
Work with an IT Professional
Working with an IT professional to set up a secured and managed guest WiFi network is vital. With their expertise and experience, they can help you design and execute a customized solution tailored to your unique requirements. This means that you can save time and effort, free up valuable resources, and ensure that your network remains up-to-date and protected against security threats in the long run.
Guest WiFi Installation and Protection with Everound
Setting up guest WiFi rightly can seem daunting, but you don’t have to do it alone. Our team of IT professionals has the expertise to handle the setup and installation of guest WiFi. Why leave your business open to risk by doing it yourself?
Every business has unique needs and client expectations, and your guest WiFi setup should reflect that. Contact us today to discover how we can make this happen. Let us focus on your IT, so you can focus on your business.