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How Does Guest WiFi Work?

Guest WiFi is a secondary network that allows secure access to the internet for various devices. Places you’d often see guest WiFi are events, restaurants, bars and shopping centres. But how does it differ from your own, main WiFi network?

 

First of all, guest WiFi is its own branch from your main network with a separate instance and bandwidth capacity. Plus, devices that are connected only have access to the internet and not any corporate access to any shared files, network storage or printers. This is for security purposes and to keep your confidential information hidden and protected. This post will cover everything you need to do about how guest WiFi works.

 

We’ll cover:

 

How Does Guest WiFi Work?

Visitors now expect free WiFi as a given. Especially at events. So, as the name suggests, people and businesses put guest WiFi in place to accommodate their guests, so they can keep up with the outside world at all times and enjoy a more seamless experience.

 

Guest networks direct your guests away from the main network so you don’t run the risk of exposing all your crucial documents and information.

 

This could have serious side effects for your business including downtime and huge recovery costs. It could be a total accident, but nevertheless still harmful to your network.

 

Configuring a guest WiFi network yourself is very simple. Usually, you don’t have to worry about adding another line to your connection or paying any extra. Most WiFi routers now allow you to just set up guest networks - you just have to go into the settings and activate it. It’s usually hidden away in the WiFi section.

 

However, using the above method is an entry-level, potentially unsecure method. A more advanced solution can allow you to capture further user information which can help shape smarter marketing decisions, as well as come with the backing of 24/7 support and integration opportunities.

 

What are the Benefits of Guest WiFi?

We’ve already established that guest WiFi is far more secure for your business. But what are the other benefits of introducing them?

 

There are various benefits that include:

 

  • Guest WiFi increases your brand awareness with custom splash pages when users log in.
  • Gather user analytics. Measure traffic and collect important user analytics to help make smarter business decisions. For example, businesses can monitor customer dwell times and use this information to optimise their event.
  • Personalise guest experience. Event visitors love personalised experiences. It could be the difference between them leaving the store empty-handed, or with that new coat that was in their online basket. Personalised experiences help the user feel more valued and will increase the chances of them returning in the future.
  • 24/7 support from your provider should anything go wrong. This can remove any worries you may have and you can get your WiFi back up and running even out of normal working hours.

 

What are the Possible Drawbacks of Guest WiFi?

As with anything, there are pros and cons to implementing guest WiFi. But, the good news is that there are also ways around the potential cons. The main drawbacks we’ve heard from our own customers include the following:

 

  • It will have an unreliable connection (but this depends on what platform you choose). Often, guest and public WiFi is assumed to be of a lower standard connection than your main network. This is simply solved by finding the perfect provider who can cater to your bandwidth requirements and choosing a guest WiFi platform that gives your users what they need.
  • Using “in your face” advertisements (but you don’t have to). Adverts are brilliant for personalising experiences and really driving home those sales. But they can easily become intrusive and annoying while customers are trying to connect to the internet. Some WIFi providers, whilst they may be relatively cheap, own advertising and data rights, which means you have to show their ads and they own your data. By choosing the right provider, they will offer you complete ownership allowing you  to send timely and non-intrusive marketing emails to would-be customers, rather than spamming them with ads.

 

Use Guest WiFi at Your Next Conference

Have you ever thought of introducing a guest network at a conference? If you haven’t, you won’t believe the benefits that you’re missing out on. From generating a highly-targeted buzz on social media about the conference to providing visitors with further features and reading online, there are various ways in which your guest WiFi can enhance your next event. Here you can find our guest WiFi solutions.

 

Download our free guide below and take the first step to improve your conference with guest WiFi.

 

Conference WiFi

Rebecca Duffin

Rebecca Duffin

Rebecca Duffin

Rebecca is a creative, design-lead marketer with endless enthusiasm. She has worked for WiFi SPARK since 2012 and has an in depth understanding of all elements of the business. She leads the design and development of all marketing materials, the SPARK® system, heads up the Social Media marketing for the brand, and liaises directly with partners.