10 Ways to Get your WiFi Ready for Guests
Can you survive having guests over without WiFi? We all know the answer: Not a chance. Here is a checklist guide of 10 things you can do to prepare your WiFi so that you are always guest ready. (And, so that you can always have a well-performing and safe home network.)
A checklist for prepping your WiFi for guests:
1. Improve your WiFi coverage
If your home is full of areas where connecting to the internet is a chore, then your guests are not going to have a great experience. You might be able to fix this issue by moving your router to a more central location in the home. But if that doesn’t do the trick, then you may need a good WiFi extender to help boost your home network. Check out our guide all about WiFi networking.
2. Setup and turn on a guest network
Setting up a guest network is a great idea. Why? Because this way your guests can access your internet without accessing your personal network resources like shared folders, printers, etc.
Here’s how to set one up:
- Log into your router’s management interface on your laptop
- Look for Guest Network settings
- Give your guest network a name
- Turn off your local network if it is an option
- Set up a strong password for the guest network
3. Password protect everything
Much like your WiFi network, and the guest network, have a strong password protecting everything. Is this overkill? Maybe, but probably not. Always better safe than sorry.
Password protecting everything will also help you out if you are not able to set up a guest network. This way, guests that are sharing your home network will not be able to access any of your shared folders, printers or other network resources.
4. Share your (secure) password
You can always hand your guests the piece of paper with your WiFi password written on it, or you can go a more secured route (which we suggest). Whether it’s repeating from memory, shared through a password management system, or even through a scannable QR code, there are secure and easy password sharing options to adopt.
5. Update your router
Making sure that your router is updated is a must. With extra devices on your network it is a great idea to make sure that your router’s firmware is up to date with the most recent security patches. This way, everyone can safely connect.
6. Run a malware scan
Speaking of double-checking updates, it is also a good to run a malware scan. Running a malware scan makes sure that you are not infecting any of your guests that connect to your home network.
7. Create guest accounts on devices
Maybe you have guests that are not using their own devices to connect to your network but need to borrow one of yours. Create a guest account on your device so that they can use it without having access to your personal data.
8. Get rid of any unwanted users
Whether we like it or not, unwanted guests can get onto our networks if they are not protected. This greatly slows down your network, not to mention opens up risks for attack. This occurrence doesn’t have to be malicious, it could be as simple as your neighbor free loading on your WiFi intentionally or unintentionally from the last time they were over and you shared your password.
Make sure to kick off any unwanted guests. You can do this by turning to your WiFi management system to see which devices are connected. If you do not recognize them, change your password right away. Or, if you do not have a management system and cannot see which devices are connected – Optim is a great choice if you need one – then it wouldn’t hurt to change your password anyways. This way, you can re-connect the devices that you own, and unwanted ones will get booted off your network.
9. Enable QoS on your router
QoS stands for “Quality of Service” and usually can be found as a setting on your router. This feature lets you control what kind of traffic is coming through your router and to prioritize it. For example, your kids’ online gaming won’t interfere with you and your guests watching Netflix.
10. Enable parental controls
Depending on whether your guests have children or not, it is a great practice to enable parental controls for those that do. You should be able to explore your router settings to see if there are any built-in parental controls. This way you can block any internet content that is not kid friendly.
If you haven’t prepared your WiFi for guests before, you are ready to do it now with this checklist. Employing all of these tips will ensure your WiFi network is prepped and safe for you and your guests. But even if you take on a few of these tips, your network will benefit.