Disadvantages of Guest WiFi: It Pays To Be Cautious

Marketing 11 minute read 14th November 2023

Guest WiFi can be brilliant. You can use it to launch a captive portal, allowing guests to connect with their personal devices. The bonus is that when they connect, they input valuable details you can use for marketing. There are tons of different benefits when it comes to having guest WiFi. It also adds lots of security regarding things like data breaches and hackers. As a whole, having separate wireless networks and a guest network password is excellent. So, what’s the deal with being cautious? What are the disadvantages of guest WiFi?

Whether looking at guest WiFi for home use or customers at your business, education is critical. There are the basics, like having a strong password and more in-depth considerations to override potential disadvantages. Let’s examine why you should still be cautious when using and providing guest WiFi.

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What Is Guest WiFi

A guest WiFi network is a WiFi network that you set aside specifically for guest use. Generally speaking, businesses use these to give visitors a free internet connection separate from the ones their staff uses.

In theory, this keeps your business data at a lower risk. This is because joining a more public WiFi system can increase hacking and spyware risks. For instance, when malicious technology piggybacks into your network after attaching itself to a guest’s device. Of course, it also keeps the business WiFi quicker and more efficient, avoiding congestion as loads of people use it.

As you can see, the guest WiFi system is ideal for running parallel to a business WiFi system. Guest WiFi typically comes with terms and conditions. The easiest way to enforce this is through a captive portal. This pop-up comes up when guests try to join the network and must comply to proceed. You can change the criteria easily by asking for contact details or terms and conditions agreements. You can also use a captive portal and visitor wifi in general for marketing purposes.

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Top 6 Disadvantages of Guest WiFi

Are you ready to delve into the serious stuff? Now that you understand the process of using guest WiFi and all its ins and outs, let’s be practical. What are the disadvantages of guest WiFi that you need to be aware of? By learning the top six disadvantages, you can quickly shape your approach for the better.

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1. Overloading Your WiFi

Just because you aren’t explicitly using your guest WiFi doesn’t mean the volume of customers won’t overload it. It may require more input and thought than just setting it up and letting it passively keep customers happy. Guest WiFi can get clunky and slow when the volume of people overwhelms its processing power.

Of course, this isn’t the end of the world. But it is worth considering how many customers will use your WiFi at once when initially setting it up. This way, you can get the best possible solution and avoid issues later.

2. Free-Loaders and Uninterested Guests

Another concern about offering guest WiFi is that you may attract people to your business just for WiFi. Customers tend to flock if you have a reliable, fast, and open WiFi network. For instance, you might get remote workers if you run a cafe. If you play your cards right, this can be brilliant.

However, businesses, especially hospitality venues, find this difficult when customers take up tables using WiFi but not ordering. It is best to plan your approach. Will you struggle to find tables for people? Are you a small venue? And do you want to put in a time limit policy or even a laptop ban?

3. You Have a Duty of Care Over Guest Data

Also, just because having a guest WiFi network keeps your data safer, doesn’t mean you wash your hands of security. You have a duty of care when it comes to guest data. So, you’ll need to consider how you will maintain data protection on your guest WiFi network. This can involve some long-term maintenance.

4. Guest WiFi Networks Require Logins

Guest WiFi networks also require logins - whether that is through a strong password or a captive portal. We will take it as a given that you know you shouldn’t have an open network. Referring back to the point above, you still need to ensure network security levels protect your guest’s data. This means you will have to invest in some sort of login system. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it does require additional work and spending.

5. Guests Could Use WiFi Inappropriately or Irresponsibly

You also don’t know if guests will use your WiFi appropriately. The laws around WiFi liability and illegal activity aren’t always clear cut. Therefore, the best way to protect yourself against any fines or stress is by having a mandatory terms and conditions captive portal agreement. This means guests have to agree to your terms of service when logging on to your internet connection.

6. WiFi Can Kill the Vibe

Finally, WiFi can suck the energy out of your venue. If folks can easily access the internet, they maybe less likely to chat and engage with others. If you don’t like the idea of looking around your business to see everyone looking down at their phone, Guest WiFi may not be for you. In fact, you might want to consider no WiFi or no personal devices zones.

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Final Thoughts: What About the Positives of Guest WiFi?

There are lots of positives when it comes to guest WiFi. And now that you know the disadvantages of guest WiFi, you can overcome them and make it positive-heavy. In terms of existing positives, though, we consider the security and speed of your business network the main ones.

By introducing a guest WiFi network, you’ll make your life ten times more manageable in the long run. You decrease your chance of falling foul to hacking and also speed up your business network with fewer users. Security and speed are definitely the two main benefits.

As a whole, we’d say that the good outweighs the bad regarding guest WiFi. Once you proactively manage the negatives, you’ll soon appreciate the extra effort you’ve put in. A solid guest WiFi network is worth its weight in gold.

So, where does Beambox come into guest WiFi networks? It just so happens that guest WiFi is our bread and butter. Here at Beambox, we offer an all-in-one WiFi marketing platform that promotes the utilization of standard WiFi.

By helping you to set up a guest network, we help with marketing strategies - including email and SMS. Using Beambox, you can quickly set up a guest network and start collecting a list of contact details. From here, reaching the final goal post, passive marketing to boost your business is easy.

This is the perfect solution to really capitalize on your WiFi system. WiFi marketing with Beambox is one of the leading ways that you can transform your business. Start your Beambox free trial now. Who cares about the disadvantages of guest WiFi when you are so proactive that you banish any negative aspects?

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