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Woman using phone to connect to guest WiFi

What's more important on your Guest WiFi - convenience or security? Why not both?

30 November 2015

Traditionally, guest Wi-Fi normally has one of two major problems.

It’s either not very secure and extremely easy to access, or alternatively offers some security, but is very difficult for your guests to connect to.There’s nothing worse for your client or prospective customer than forcing them to wait to be provided a password, or even having to create an account with you for access. We’ve all seen first-hand how difficult and frustrating it can be to access your average hotel Wi-Fi on a relaxing weekend away, but it doesn’t need to be that way. Security and convenience should not be siloed, and this balancing act conundrum can be resolved before it even becomes an issue by selecting intelligent solutions that allow your guests to access a network easily whilst still

There’s nothing worse for your client or prospective customer than forcing them to wait to be provided a password, or even having to create an account with you for access. We’ve all seen first-hand how difficult and frustrating it can be to access your average hotel Wi-Fi on a relaxing weekend away, but it doesn’t need to be that way. Security and convenience should not be siloed, and this balancing act conundrum can be resolved before it even becomes an issue by selecting intelligent solutions that allow your guests to access a network easily whilst still keeping your precious data secure.

Whether you’re a large high street retailer, a private company, bank or even a museum, guest Wi-Fi can have many benefits. In order to get the most of these benefits, you need traffic to connect to it in the first place, and this is only going to happen if it’s not agony for your users to do so. The simplest solution would perhaps be to offer everybody an open Wi-Fi connection, and this is still a common practice, especially for smaller establishments. However, if you’re wearing your security hat, there should be fireworks going off! Unsecured open Wi-Fi can cause trouble for both the host of the network and also those connecting. Sure, your guest Wi-Fi probably only offers limited access to your network, but there’s still potential for overlap which is a headache you don’t need to worry about with more secure wireless solutions.

So – you want people to connect easily, but you don’t want to worry about the network being unsecure.

Traditionally, this is where security trumps convenience, and restrictions come into place for the user. For fixed corporations, this may come in the place of a user being provided with a guest account in exchange for some basic data such as name, email and phone number. They can then be activated for a pre-set amount of time (i.e. the length of your guest’s meeting) before deactivating. While this often works well for corporations, this isn’t a viable solution for retail, for example. Your foot traffic here is often fleeting, so guest Wi-Fi needs to be extremely quick and easy to access. One way of making this a faster process is by allowing customers to connect through social media. It’s a couple of clicks, rather than a frustrating login form. Still a simple and appealing way to connect, but infinitely more secure than open Wi-Fi.

Your guests are now happy and using your Wi-Fi, and your network is secure. But why stop there?

You’re offering this WiFi to improve the customer experience you’re providing, but there are also business benefits for providing Wi-Fi to your visitors. You can improve sales, and capture intelligent data on your customers through the use of intelligent personalised applications distributed through your Wi-Fi portal.

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