The modern world is so attached to the internet that when guests come around, a “Hello” may easily be followed by “What’s your Wi-Fi pass?” And chances are the congenial host may not even guess sharing this information could present a network security risk.
For example, your visitors may fortuitously download a harmful program or connect their infected device to your home network. Most types of viruses have the potential to splay out themselves over a local network, and if any such device is connected to your home Wi-Fi network, it will try to infect anything within its range.
Turning on the guest networking option on your router is the first thing you need to do.
Some routers include a guest network option as part of the primary network, but it requires separate login credentials—usually a different password or none at all. Access to features is limited?meaning guests can conveniently use the internet, but they cannot access all network resources like printers or shared folders.
Here is how you can set up a guest network at your home:
Open a web browser, and type in the specific IP address for your router—usually it is 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.0.1. But, in some cases, a router may have a different IP address and even an associate app for access to settings. If you are not sure what the IP address is, turn towards the router itself and look for the label at the back or side of the device?it usually carries the gateway IP. If not, look into the user manual or retrieve it from the manufacturer’s website by model.
Once you type in the router’s IP address, you’ll be asked to enter your credentials—username and password—before you can access the administrative tools. If you haven’t logged into the router’s web interface before, look for the default username and password at the back of the device?the same label which carries the IP may also have this information printed on it. If not look in the manual or search via the manufacturer’s website. In most cases the username is “admin” and the password is either “admin” or “password”. And, it is highly recommended you change the default login credentials to avoid any mishap in the future—like your neighbors eating away on your bandwidth or hackers breaking into your network.
After you’ve logged in, look for the Guest Network settings—the exact location of this tab varies from one router to another—generally, you are able to access these settings via a dedicated Guest Network tab or the Wi-Fi Settings. From there, enable the Guest Wi-Fi option.
Define the SSID of your guest network. And, if the option is available, disable access to your local network.
Make sure the SSID of your guest network is slightly different from your primary SSID—but similar enough so your guests know the network is yours. For example, you can keep using your “David” network and let everyone else use the restricted “David_visitors” network.
Of course, you need to set a strong password, but make sure you don’t forget it. Some routers may not require a password for your guest network, but protection is necessary to prevent others from accessing the full resources of your network. So, if your router makes a secondary password option for visitors available to you, make sure to set a secure password. Enable any other options as needed. For example, if you have any personal files, restrict access to everything but the internet.
A good approach is to limit the total number of people who can connect to your network at a time. Set a reasonable maximum limit to prevent your network from poor performance due to overloading.
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A guest Wi-Fi network grants your visitors an access point to the internet—different from the one your core family members’ devices connect to. By providing a separate path to the internet, you are permitting internet access for devices that may be more vulnerable to malicious viruses without letting them connect to your home network.
Yes, it is always a better idea to set up a separate network for your guests. This way, even if your guest network is compromised, most likely devices connected to the primary network will remain safe. Plus, on some routers the guest network allows you to set a limit on bandwidth usage, so that you can take delight in seamless network performance via the primary network.
You will notice a separate network for your guests is more like an open Wi-Fi network. Frankly speaking, it is not secured by the normal Wi-Fi encryption that protects your primary network. For this reason, all network traffic passing through your guest network is transmitted—in the clear—and is prone to snooping.
Follow these simple steps to set up a guest Wi-Fi network via Google Home app:
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