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 192.168.1.1 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.
Step 2. Click on the Wireless Tab. Click Add under Virtual Interfaces.
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!
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.