If you're like most people, you probably didn't think about how to set up a guest network until your guests arrived at your place. It's not that it isn't important-it just doesn't seem like a big deal until it becomes one. If you want to avoid any issues with this, then start by reading this article.
We'll walk through how to do so and provide some best practices to make the experience as seamless as possible!
What is a Guest Network?
A guest network is a separate wireless internet connection that you set up for guests to use. This way, they can have their password-protected guest access and not be able to see or access your main home Wi-Fi connection (or vice versa).
Guest Network is essential, especially at home when visitors will stay at your place for a while. You can set it up so the guest has their internet connection. Still, at the same time, you don't want them poking around your personal stuff like photos, videos, and personal files stored on a hard drive.
Step-by-Step Guide to Set Up a Guest Network
In this step-by-step guide, we will use a TP-Link Archer CR700 router as a sample.
- Open your web browser
- Enter your routers IP Address into the search bar
- If a message prompted on your screen saying that the site is not secure, click Proceed
- Log in to your router as admin
- Select Advanced > Guest Network. Locate the Wireless section.
- Enable the Guest Network
- Set your desired SSID name. (Note: Don't select Hide SSID unless you want your guests to input the SSID for guest network access manually
- Set the Wi-Fi password
- Set Security to WPA/WPA2 Personal (recommended), keep the default Version and Encryption values and customize your password
- Apply and Save settings
In-depth Step-By-Step Process
Please note that setting up a Guest network may vary depending on your router brands and model. If you'd like more detail, here is an in-depth, step-by-step process of how it works and what settings are necessary.
- Determine Your Wireless Router Model & Make Sure It Supports A Guest Access Feature.
- Reset Your Wireless Router & Put It Into A Guest Network Mode. This way, we'll reset our wireless router to factory settings to begin setting up guest networking for the first time using new credentials such as username and passwords.
If there are any changes needed after set-ups, such as MAC filtering, guest network name, or password, this is where we can make those changes to the router settings.
- Create a Guest Account on the router. This account needs to be a different user from your main administrator account that you use every day. First, let's connect our laptop directly into the wireless router via Ethernet cable and enter our username and password for regular admin access.
- Go ahead and log in through guest mode for testing purposes by going to "home/office guest" instead of using your usual home/office credentials. If everything looks good here, it should work seamlessly on all other devices, too, once they are connected wirelessly follow step five below!
- Make a guest network on your router and connect all the devices you want to put through it. Then set up guest access with a shared password that will allow anyone who knows it to access the internet instead of having separate passwords for each guest device. This is especially useful if family members use their phones, tablets, etc., not just guests' ones!
Finally, your guest Wi-Fi should be working perfectly now, which means no more awkward conversations about the lack of Wi-Fi in your home. Also, no more worrying about your files being seen by guest devices.
Benefits of Setting Up a Guest Network
Increase Privacy and Security
The main benefit of establishing a guest network is the enhanced security it provides. You can manage who has access to your home network of PCs, servers, storage appliances, and printers by segregating the network in this way.
This is critical because sophisticated Trojans and viruses may exploit a visitor's laptop or mobile device to explore or attack devices on your network.
Furthermore, you may keep your main network's security password hidden by creating a guest wireless network for visiting clients, customers, and suppliers. This is an essential issue since many small companies would depend on a static pass for internal users. The option is to replace the password after each set of guests, which is impractical.
While the encryption method employed is the most critical factor in wireless transmission security, the length and difficulty of the password are also significant. As you would expect, trying to enter a 25-character password correctly may be a tedious and error-prone process.
An eight or ten-character code, on the other hand, is considerably simpler to enter. Although the guest network is more vulnerable to brute force attacks, the segmented structure of the network helps to reduce risks to a minimum.
To improve security, update the passcode for the guest network regularly, print the current code on paper, and distribute them to your permitted visitors as required.
Network Usage Control
You may also restrict the Internet resources accessible to guests by using the IA guest Wi-Fi network. Instead of providing the same bandwidth priority to visitors, you may limit the guest network to a speed that offers adequate access without interfering with the network performance accessible to your workers.
Troubleshooting Guest Network
When setting up the guest network at home, there are some instances that it seems something isn't just right with your setup. Before giving up, you should try these steps:
- Check if the guest network is enabled;
- Make sure the guest laptop or device is in range of your guest wireless network (if not, move it closer);
- Turn off any other devices that may be interfering with the signal.
If all else fails and you still can't get guests online, no matter what troubleshooting measures
are taken, there's one more thing to do - contact an expert who'll fix the problem for you.
Things to Remember Before the Setup
- Check your router is compatible
- Ensure guest devices support wireless
- Obtain the password for your guest network from your ISP or manufacturer
- Set up with an SSID that's different from the existing one but easy enough to remember
- Configure guest network security to WPA or WEP, and use a long password with mixed-case letters and numbers.
- Disable guest access at certain hours of the day
- Enable guest isolation, so each device is not able to see other devices on your Wi-Fi network.
- Turn off Bluetooth functionality when you're not using it – Some apps can do this automatically for you!
The steps above should eliminate the most common problems people experience as they attempt to set up guest networks at home. If anything doesn't work as expected, make sure you consult your router user manual or contact customer service before trying anything else.
Common Problems with Using a Guest Network
Some problems might arise when setting up guest networks at home, but you can easily avoid them if you keep them in mind before starting the process.
- The first problem is ensuring everyone knows what information has to stay within the guest network only not accidentally to get shared on other devices.
- Another common problem with guest networks is not securing your guest network, allowing hackers to get their hands on sensitive information.
- Remember that guest devices are considered untrustworthy, so you need to ensure they aren't given access to important documents or files that may be stored on the home computer.
- Lastly, guest networks should never be used as the main network.
Guest Network FAQ
1. Is the Guest Network faster?
Yes, a guest network may cause your Wi-Fi to slow down, although this is uncommon if you provide adequate bandwidth. However, if you are experiencing sluggish Wi-Fi due to a guest network, there are options such as boosting bandwidth, establishing restrictions, upgrading your network, or restricting QoS.
2. Does Guest Network interfere with my connection?
The channel(s) utilized by the primary SSIDs are shared by the guest network(s). It's not indeed interference since the medium is used systematically. While devices on the guest networks are operational, the bandwidth available to the main SSIDs will be limited.
3. How to ensure your guest is getting a good connection?
The guest network setup shouldn't be too complicated. You just need to make sure that guest devices can connect to it and access the internet. It's also essential for your home Wi-Fi password not to interfere with this guest Wi-Fi connection.
If anything goes wrong when setting up guest Wi-Fi in your router settings, don't forget there are many ways of troubleshooting. If nothing works on your own, consider hiring an expert who'll find out what exactly went wrong and fix it for you as fast as possible!
Setting up a guest network at home is not as difficult as many people believe. It may take some time and work, but the results are well worth it. We hope this information has been helpful to you in your setup process.