What is a Wireless Guest Network & How to Create One in DD-WRT?

The Benefits of Using a Wi-Fi Guest Network

A Wireless Guest Network is a popular trend in home and business wireless networking that allows visitors, potential business associates, friends, or family all-important access to your Internet connection without giving them direct access to your network.

Why would you want to create a Guest Network? Well, the real question is why would you want to expose your entire network to guests with a chance that they have malware that can infect and ruin your optimized network just so they can check their Gmail and Facebook profile at the optimum wireless speeds that you have.

For businesses, upgrading your network security shows potential partners or customers that you are serious about your Internet/information security. In fact, it is a good opening and a great opportunity to showcase how serious you are about it. And it avoids having to be inhospitable and awkwardly denying a potential client Internet access.

Think of a Guest Work as a security blanket that still allows you to be a nice guy and share. You don’t want to refuse people who want to use your connection on their smartphones, laptops or iPads but would you ever give someone one of your private passwords and feel safe about it?

How To Create a Guest Network on DD-WRT

All FlashRouters have integrated guest networking setup available on High Speed Wireless-N  routers since the DD-WRT firmware installed comes integrated with the Guest Network option.

All it takes is a few clicks. For this example, we are going to be using an Asus RT-AC56U DD-WRT FlashRouter in a standard Access Point configuration.

Step by Step for Creating a Guest Wireless Network

Step 1. Log into your DD-WRT router. Let’s say your router network name is “radiohead.” Connect to “radiohead.” The login default location for most routers is but it can vary depending on how your network is setup. The default password is based on your personal setting but the default DD-WRT username/password combination is root/admin. Please note that if you are using a FlashRouter, we do not use either of these settings as a security measure due to their common use.

How to Create a Guest Network in DD-WRT Step by Step

Step 2. Click on the Wireless Tab. Click Add under Virtual Interfaces.

DD-WRT Router Guest Network Circled

Step 3. Name the Virtual Interface SSID and click Save on the bottom. In this case I have named it, “radiohead-guest.” Tip: Use the Save option throughout this process and Avoid clicking Apply Settings until you are finished with the entire setup as it may disconnect you from the router in the middle of the process especially if you are connecting via a wireless connection.

Step 4. Click the Wireless –>Wireless Security Tab and find the Virtual Interface Security section that matches the name of your guest network. Use the drop down that says Disabled and choose Security Mode. I recommend WPA2-Personal. Select an algorithm for the encryption like TKIP. Under WPA Shared Key, type in a password. Make it something over 12 characters or the password may not work, plus shorter passwords are less secure. You might want to make it something different then your regular password as that kind of defeats the purpose of the additional security.

Now click Apply Settings. Allow a minute or two to apply. By clicking Apply Settings, you are changing the network name and you may lose your connection.

After the Apply Settings is done, it is recommended you reboot the router by unplugging it or turning off the on/off switch to refresh the wireless network. Do not reset it or you will lose the settings you just created.

You’ve Done it! You’ve Created a Guest Network!

Next time a guest comes over and asks if they can get your Wi-fi password, have them find your new network and give them the new password and voila!

The Radiohead Guest Wireless Network Signal Connected Correctly

Remember that all it takes to create this very useful Guest Network is a capable DD-WRT Router (which you can purchase here) and a few minutes of your time.

Enjoyed this tutorial latest DD-WRT tutorial? Let us know by commenting down below. Or why not follow us on Twitter @flashrouters or “Like Us” on Facebook!

Updated: 3/13/2014

8 thoughts on “What is a Wireless Guest Network & How to Create One in DD-WRT?

    1. joeso Post author

      Hi Reece,

      This depends on your configuration but the short answer is yes. It also depends on how you create your guest network.

      If you need any further questions answered, you are welcome to ask them here or you can e-mail us directly @ support@flashrouters.com.

      FlashRouters Support/Head Blogger

  1. Correzpond

    These instructions will provide the guest networks with full network access (i.e. access to other PCs / devices / printers) on the same network, whereas most users are likely to prefer that the guest network only has internet access. There are much more comprehensive instructions for setting up a guest network / multiple WLAN here which restricts guest access http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Multiple_WLANs

    1. joeso Post author

      Thanks for the comment.

      The post is a simple way for the average user. The DD-WRT tutorials are good but are often outdated, complex, or skip steps.

      The Multiple WLAN tutorial you mention up there is good and I have used it and referred many to it before.

      Thanks for reading.

  2. RouterN

    Would it be possible to configure an E3000 with guest network completely insulated from the “main” network and also with only Interent access with your software?

  3. rido

    Can i restrict the speed limit to my guests? I have a 50mbps net connection but i don’t want to give them say above 2mbps. Else they may go torrent i fear 😛


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