Guest Wifi

Open for business! Our top tips for guest WiFi systems

As restrictions in the UK lift the hospitality industry have spent the last few weeks making preparations to re-open for business. Offering guest wifi to visitors is widely expected from businesses and retail outlets alike in order to collect the necessary data to protect employees and customers. But before you start handing over your wireless password to all your customers we’ve listed our top 5 considerations to think about when rolling out guest wifi systems:

Should visitors’ access your main network?

It’s rarely a good idea to let people on to your main network – while they are unlikely to be deliberately malicious they could have a virus on their machine that inadvertently spreads to your system, or they might accidentally cause a conflict with your server.   Most wifi systems now let you keep visitors on their own independent network while still sharing your internet connection.   You might also want to ask visitors to sign or accept a user agreement which sets out your expectations.

Make sure people can’t access other visitors’ computers

With technology trying to be intuitive and helpful it doesn’t take much for iTunes to notify other people that your music is available to share or that your computer’s hard drive is open for perusal.   This is very easily sorted by switching on something called client isolation and we’d strongly recommend that this is always turned on for visitor networks.   This also stops viruses from spreading.

Is the network clever enough to cope when a device fails?

In smaller buildings a single wireless access point or a couple of signal boosters can be all that’s needed.  However if you need to provide wireless over a larger area, perhaps a hotel, shop or restaurant you need to make sure the network can “self heal” itself if one of your access points breaks.   You don’t want a meeting room cut off from the outside world while your IT team orders in a replacement bit of kit.   Most business-grade wifi systems form a mesh between all the wifi antennas and if one is disconnected the mesh uses signals from elsewhere to make sure there isn’t suddenly a coverage blackspot. It’s always worth keeping a spare onsite too just in case.

What wifi technology are you going to use?

This is best left to your It provider – they will be able to help you to decide if your wireless network needs to be b/g/n, ac, single or dual band and where the antennas should be placed for best performance.

Can your internet cope?

This one gets overlooked more often than you’d think.  It’s brilliant to have a top level wifi system but if your internet speed is poor then you’re no better off.   If you’re investing in a network then you should always take time to explore your options for internet access.  There are lots of options available to almost everyone and we can help clients choose the right one for them!

Hopefully these tips help when thinking about a guest wifi system for your hotel, shop, school, office or restaurant! Over the years the team at Systemagic has designed and installed a huge number of wifi systems everywhere from schools to hotels, warehouses and business suites to private estates.  If you’d like to chat to one of our team and discuss your wifi options moving forward then give us a shout!

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