Why Your Business Needs a Guest WiFi Network

Written by Chad Gniffke

October 14, 2019

Network Security

Are your employees connecting their personal devices to your company WiFi? Here is why that could be a big mistake!

Network security is a hot topic these days. We don’t really talk about some of the other issues that your local network can encounter. So many businesses deal with slowness on their network, especially at key times when productivity seems to suffer.

Often the culprit for the slowdown is employees using personal devices for personal use on the company network. This can happen when you give out the corporate WiFi password like candy.

Implementing a tool like RADIUS security can help curb this problem by only allowing authenticated users and machines on the network, but even with RADIUS protocols, many businesses are still utilizing their WiFi network incorrectly.

Devices that should connect to the company WiFi

There are machines that should be using corporate WiFi. This includes work laptops, printers, and some mobile devices that are specifically dedicated to work, like a Point of Sale tablet.

Since these devices need access to company resources and data they need to be connected on the same network as the servers they should be communicating with. Without this direct connection, there could be problems trying to get their job done.

Many times there will be network monitors in place as well so managed services providers like briteCITY can resolve networking issues before they become a larger problem. If there is a lot of noise that is not work-related on the network it can cloud the results of these monitors and report issues where there may not be any.

Devices that should be connecting to the guest network

On the other hand, devices that absolutely should not be connecting to the corporate network are personal phones, tablets, and laptops. Even if the smartphone is sometimes used for work-related purposes, unless it is exclusively work-related and paid for by the company, it should not be connecting to the corporate WiFi.

These personal devices can wreak havoc on a network, especially when the company has no control over the apps and programs that are installed. If one personal device gets a virus and connects to the corporate WiFi, it could end up spreading to the entire network.

Not only that, but employees are more likely to be off-task on a personal device than on a work device. Although the device is on the same network and the time spent online can still be tracked through the corporate network, people get a false sense of privacy since they are using their own devices.

Related to being off-task, watching videos from YouTube or other streaming services can significantly lower the speed to the rest of your network. Bob over there watching a Netflix show on his lunch break could make the entire company come to a grinding halt depending on your internet speed and bandwidth.

Create a Guest Network

To combat some of these issues, you can create a Guest Network that has limited bandwidth, which can help you limit the impact to the rest of your network.

Creating a guest network is typically extremely easy if you have a modern wireless access point. Often it’s just a checkmark and a couple questions asking what you want the network to be called and the password to be.

Make sure all of your employees are using the guest network for their personal devices, and your network will thank you for it!