A Captive Network: The Most Worthwhile Marketing Tool

Marketing 9 minute read 7th February 2024

A captive portal network is one of the most valuable tools you can invest in for your business. A captive network is a barrier to anyone looking to join your WiFi network. Setting this barrier lets you decide what you gain and how people use your WiFi. This could involve collecting email addresses for marketing, creating a user policy, or collecting reviews. The options are vast.

Anyone from coffee shops to shopping centers can use this network tool. A captive portal system is a popular way to utilize your guest WiFi to improve your business. And if you run a business that relies on an in-person store, it’s perfect for you. People expect you to offer WiFi, so why not make it work for you? It’s unbelievable what a good old wireless radio band can provide.

In this guide, we’ll introduce you to the essential bits of knowledge you need to make a start. We’ll cover everything from definitions to benefits. Ready? Here’s what you need to know about using captive portals.

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Reasons To Use This Network Type

Why would you want to use a captive network system? Well, as a business, internet connections are a valuable asset. You have leverage power by having guest WiFi – which is pretty impressive.

Setting up captive portals brings up splash screens when people click to join your WiFi. They then have to fill in a form to proceed, giving you whatever details you desire. For instance, you could request mobile numbers for SMS marketing Or create an acceptable use policy to control how people use your WiFi. It acts as an extra barrier to give you more control and makes offering WiFi equally beneficial.

There are tons of benefits to using captive networks. These are the top three to keep in mind:

1. Captive Networks Increase Your WiFi’s Security

Captive networks increase your WiFi’s security because they allow you to filter out who accesses your WiFi and how they use it. You can add things like CAPTCHAs. You can also add terms and conditions that guests must agree to before moving forward.

2. Using Captive Portals Allows You To Collect Marketing Information

They allow you to collect marketing information. You can request anything from email addresses to phone numbers. This is ideal for quickly and passively building up a contact list of marketing recipients. And if you want to progress toward a loyalty program, this is a must-have first step.

3. Captive Networks Keep Customers Happy

Captive networks keep your customers happy. By creating a secure system that is mutually beneficial, you are setting yourself up for success. You’ll find offering guest WiFi sustainable over a long-term basis, and guests will be happier.

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What Is a Captive Network Assistant?

A Captive Network Assistant (CNA) is a security tool that is built into devices. It is something to consider and learn about when starting out in your captivate network journey. It comes across various devices, including Android, iOS, and Mac.

Captive networks aren’t always secure. Open WiFi networks are particularly hit-and-miss since they serve larger groups of people. It can leave guest users vulnerable. Network Assistant software helps limit the risk of using free WiFi in coffee shops and city centers.

It scans the wireless network and can prevent you from downloading things while connected. This reduces the risk of you becoming a victim of malicious malware.

It can be a pain when the security methods go overboard, though. Sometimes, it can also cause complications when connecting to a captive portal login page. So, it is something to be aware of, even as a business owner rather than a guest WiFi user. It can be both a help and a hindrance.

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Fixing the “This Network May Have a Captive Portal” Message

One thing to consider is that the internet and user software can block captive portals. If this happens, you’ll likely see a ‘this network may have a captive portal’ message. If you are a user, you must know how to turn off anything blocking your captive portal connection. As a business owner, you’ll need to understand how to help customers overcome this and check things on your end.

As a business owner, always ensure all the necessary settings are enabled. You can open your captive portal software, modem, and router settings.

As a guest WiFi user, we suggest closing all your browser tabs and rebooting your internet browser. This could trigger the captive portal and override the temporary issue. Similarly, rebooting your device can help.

As a guest WiFi user, many ways exist to force open a captive network. So, just make your way down this list:

  • Reboot your device.
  • Reboot your internet browser.
  • Clear your DNS cache.
  • Remove pop-up blockers.
  • Search the captive portal manually in the search bar.

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Budgeting for Captive Networks

Are you wondering what you should budget for this process? How much do captive networks cost? It’s a great question. There are plenty of free captive portal solutions, including Zeroshell and M0n0wall. Otherwise, expect to pay upwards of $20 a month for more advanced and specialized technology.

If advanced software sounds up your street, Beambox can help. We offer an all-in-one WiFi marketing software that can take your guest’s WiFi from zero to hero. We use captive portals to create a wireless network that serves you, not just your customers.

Instead of just offering a WiFi network, you get a network that feeds your marketing strategy. You can collect valuable marketing details like email addresses to create email marketing strategies. Nothing has the potential to transform your business faster.

Offering customer WiFi can serve both parties. You can start your Beambox free trial today. A captive network could be precisely what your business needs to move forward.

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