4 Benefits to Offering Guest WiFi Access
Whether it's for employees, students, guests or customers, having a secure and reliable wireless internet connection is becoming more and more a standard of quality to which a building or enterprise is measured.
Users are taking to apps like Yelp and Google to rate not only the quality of their shrimp pad thai, but their wireless experience, a metric which factors heavily into our decision making nowadays. After all, would you rather get coffee at a cute café with no Guest WIFI, or stop by the tried and true chain that offers sub-par java but a lightning fast connection?
To stay ahead of the curve, many in the retail, education and healthcare fields are opting for secure guest WIFI. Offering Guest WiFi or role-based access control throughout your organization can improve the quality and performance of your space in several important ways.
A secure wireless network is a complicated structure that relies on a series of hardware, software and internet service to deliver the fast and reliable WiFi that we have all come to rely on. For this system to operate as effectively as possible, introducing Guest WiFi access can delineate your network access and allow you to prioritize the way internet is accessed throughout your building, campus or within your organization.
By separating the traffic on your network, you can provide a more secure and faster internet connection, which can lead to more satisfied clients and more productive employees.
With multi-tier login, you can create separate and segregate internal and guest traffic lanes, providing iron-clad security for any organization's LAN and servers. In other words, you can manage and monitor who is accessing your network and how. In creating a more granular network access structure you are able to implement more security where you need it most.
Additionally, you can dictate how different user's accounts utilize your network, meaning higher performance speeds and quality. Whether it's an office, retail or educational environment, being able to prioritize your network access speeds is an important factor in creating an exceptional wireless network.
Once you have structured your wireless network access logins, you have a few options in terms of controlling that access for your users. Controlling guest wifi user access is not intended to sound like the dwindling of a maniacal control freak but is rather a useful tool for ensuring quality performance and need-based access to your users.
Different policies can be applied to different users on the network, allowing you to assign different network privileges to those users. Identity-based security policies enable you to enforce firewalls fine-tuned to each user, granting you a more effective and secure network.
This could be particularly effective in an office environment where sensitive information is being stored on the company database. You can create different login tiers prohibiting lower-level employees or guests from accessing that information.
Many k12 and higher education campuses are already implementing role-based guest WiFi access or are looking to do so, as this can help manage what students can access while using technology in the classroom or what guests can access while touring the facilities.
Another benefit of creating a Guest WiFi access or role-based access control, is that it allows you to segment your user base and get more insight into the use of network in your building. The reality is, nearly everyone uses a device that requires wireless connection. Gone are the days of internet cafes and bulky ethernet chords that strap you to the wall. In fact, recent studies show that the average American may be using up to 4 internet-based devices a day. That's a lot of things eating up your bandwidth. By using secure guest access, you can see who is using the network and how, which in turn will allow you to create a more effective structure to support all of those devices.
One of the most important questions when designing your wireless internet structure is in fact, how many devices you need to support. While you may think this is an easy or irrelevant piece of information to come by, it can have a very large impact if underestimated. While not the most difficult of problems to fix, it is one that will be noticeable. If you're experiencing slow speeds or low-quality performance on your wireless network now or since growing your business or organization, improper structuring could be to blame. Luckily the SecurEdge Team will work with you to identify those problems and get an accurate number of IoT devices needing support on your network and design a Guest WiFi access that will meet those demands and give you the security and management you need.
With Secure Guest Access, you have access to historical data that accounts for who used your network, when they used it and how it was used. You can track specific user accounts and filter out unwanted activity to get a clear view of your network utilization.
Personalize your guest experience
If you have WiFi, they will come. It's not enough these days to offer a product or service, you must make it custom and personalized to your guests or users. Maybe it's all the avocado toast, but customers today are more discerning than ever and seek out not just products or services but experiences.
One way to create a great user experience, is to provide free, fast and easy-to-access WiFi. Everyone has seen the "Free WiFi" window stickers, and we all know that little feeling of excitement you get when you see it. Even though wireless network is becoming more and more a utility and less of a commodity, it still feels like you're getting something extra when you are offered free WiFi access.
Doing so can be tricky however, as we've discussed how network speeds and performance can be negatively impacted by high traffic volume. While providing a Secure Guest Access is the first step in implementing guest wifi, the second is arguably creating a personalized Captive Portal.
Captive Portal is the interface that users see when logging into your network for the first time. It will ask for some basic information, usually a name and email, on a web page. With Secure Guest Access, this web page, or "splash page", is customizable, meaning you can greet your users with your brand, a friendly message, a promotion or anything else you would like them to see.
Not only does this give users a more personalized experience, but it helps garner brand recognition and gives your company or campus a nice polished look. It also allows you to block devices from gaining access to your network without the proper authentication credentials. New guest accounts can quickly be provisioned, as well as accessed and Guest Access can be provided without major reconfiguration of guest computers, meaning no phone calls to IT.
When properly implemented, a Guest Access system improves customer satisfaction and enhances the productivity of guests and IT staff alike. Do you need secure wireless guest access at your school, hospital, or campus? Contact us to learn more about how we can design and configure secure wireless access for your guests
Brittany is the Marketing Coordinator for SecurEdge. If they had a company softball team she would make the T Shirts and play Shortstop.