If you bristle when people ask “Hey man, what’s your WiFi password?” then a guest network is right up your alley.
Huh? What is a Guest WiFi Network?
Editor’s note: A guest network provides internet access to visitors at your home or business while restricting access to your normal WiFi network. It’s a great way of keeping your home WiFi network secure, along with your various IoT devices. For example, I used to hate it when guests would come over and mess with my Sonos. I’m the commander of music in my home!
Another great idea for Guest WiFi Networks is using them to set up a separate guest network for your kids, too, as a parental control. But that’s a topic for another time.
Here’s how to setup a guest network in 60 seconds or less.
- Log in to your ASUS router administration page by visiting http://router.asus.com and then click Guest Network.
- Click one of the Enable buttons.
- If you have a multi-band router, you’ll have Enable buttons for each band. It doesn’t matter which you choose. 2.4GHz has better range and wider compatibility. 5GHz has shorter range but faster speeds, as long as the device has a wireless AC receiver.
- Enter the following details:
- Network Name (SSID) – Something descriptive to tell your guests. Make it generic, or make it fun, it’s up to you.
- Authentication Method – Choose WPA2-Personal and AES. It provides the best balance of compatibility (most devices can use it) and security. Avoid Open System. Even though it’s a guest network, you don’t want just anyone hopping on.
- WPA Pre-Shared Key – Enter a password to connect to the network. Obviously, don’t use the same password for your main network. Use a password you’re okay sharing with a guest.
- Access time – Set a limit if you want. If you do set a limit, make sure you periodically change your password so someone can’t just hop on again.
- Access intranet – Leave this disabled if all you want the guest to access is the internet. The intranet includes any of the devices you have connected to the router. For example, your computer, a USB drive, or a network attached storage. Note that this won’t block access to Apple TV, which uses a peer-to-peer connection that can bypass your wireless network.
- (Optional) Enable MAC Filter – You can use “Accept” to create a whitelist or “Reject” to create a blacklist. This requires that you know the MAC address of the devices you want to block or allow. If the device has connected to your network before, you can pick it from the list.
- Click Apply. Your router will show a splash page as it applies settings.
Your guest network is now up and running. I recommend taking it for a test drive and seeing what you can and can’t access. And of course, still be judicious about who you allow to access your guest network. Everyday users should be walled off from restricted areas on your network, but a wily hacker can use a guest network as a toehold. Use a strong password and keep it safe!
Do you use a guest network? How and why? Tell us in the comments.