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Why your business needs a Guest Network

Businesses in every sector need a reliable network. Whether you’re an office-based professional service team, a manufacturing group, school or hospitality business, both your staff and any visitors will require a good internet connection. There’s a huge range of great connectivity services out there, many of which you can access through our sister company YTL.

Whichever service you use, there’s a strong chance that “what’s the WiFi password?” is a question you’ll hear on a regular basis. While it seems like a no-brainer to let guests access your network, it can pose risks to your business. Allowing unauthorised users to access your network may also allow them to see company files, security services or even your printers. Users accessing your network also bring their personal devices with them. If an unsecure device accesses your network, then every other device is potentially at risk.

The counter to these threats is to set up a guest network. This service splits your network into two, providing a number of security and convenience benefits. In this blog we’ll go through all the benefits and explain why a guest network can be so valuable to your business.

Protect your team

Any time someone logs on to your business’s WiFi network, they pose a threat. If their device is compromised with or without their knowledge, then they could potentially put every other connected device at risk. Any malware or ransomware that is on an infected device can potentially spread to every other device that is on the same network. That’s why we always recommend being very cautious about using any public network with a work device.

A guest network separates your network into two. This means your staff and your most important connected devices don’t have to rely on the same network as your guests. This adds an extra layer of protection and offers some real peace of mind.

Protect your visitors

We know what you might have just thought reading that last sentence. “So, my employees’ devices are safe, but what about my visitors’ devices?” We know that there has to be a line drawn when it comes to the WiFi that you offer guests: it has to be accessible, but still provide a fast and secure connection. Creating a guest network can help here too.

A guest network for your visitors isn’t necessarily a public network. You can still ensure that it’s protected by a password, which we recommend changing on a semi-regular basis. Our guest networks are used in a wide range of environments, which is why we include the option for parental controls to be added as well, preventing any visitors on the network from accessing inappropriate content. This is ideal for schools or public spaces.

Provide a better connection

A guest network won’t slow down your connection. In fact, the opposite is true. We know that there’s often a concern when your business hosts a public WiFi network that guests may be using up all the bandwidth. Whether it’s downloading entire films or hosting a webinar, these activities may slow down your staff’s essential work.

With a guest network, you can put a cap on the bandwidth that guests are allowed to use up. At Biscuit we can advise on an appropriate limit for your space. It’s important to strike a balance between providing a fast connection that’ll keep customers happy, but can also ensure that your staff are working with the right resources.

Take advantage of your network

Once you have your guest network, you can enhance it with a variety of useful features. To enhance security, you can add a short form that guests will need to fill out before they can access your network. From here you can request a contact detail or some information about each customer. This data can provide some valuable insights and help to inform your marketing moving forward.

As long as you follow data protection  laws and confirm that customers have given consent for you to receive their data, this information can be incredibly useful. You can use it to see your most loyal customers, and send them tailor-made rewards. Greet customers by name in marketing emails. You can even see the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns. If you launch a campaign targeted  at coffee drinkers, but find that only tea drinkers turn up something might have got lost in translation.

All of these insights are made possible by your guest network.

Equipping your business with a guest network allows you to provide customers with the connection they need, with 80% claiming free WiFi would inform their purchasing decisions. It also allows you to protect your team and your most important online services. At Biscuit we recommend it for any business that is frequented by customers or other businesses. To find out more, book a free 30-minute consultation with our team.