So your getting a lot of requests for free Guest WiFi access and unsure how to go about it? Well we’re here to simplify the process for you. Obviously you already know to get a router that supports “Guest WiFi” access, but what considerations should you keep in mind when setting one up? We’ve set up guest WiFi in many practices and there’s three fundamental requirements for any secure guest WiFi setup.
- Limiting access to internal network
- Limiting access to other guest WiFi users
- Limiting bandwidth for only the guest WiFi users
Limiting access to internet network:
This is the most important part of the process. You want to make sure that anyone on your guest WiFI network doesn’t have access to your local network shares. Many routers with Guest WiFI include this, however it’s best to test it by logging into the guest WiFi on a windows computer, opening windows file explorer and typing in \\192.168.x.x substituting the IP address noted here for the one that matches your server. If you can view share names then it’s a failure, if it just times out then it’s a success. With that said no matter what your network shares should always be set with the proper permissions to limit access to only allowed users. You would think we wouldn’t have to mention this, however from the over 200 offices we’ve provided technical audits for the VAST majority do not meet this simple requirement. Many other IT companies are just too lazy for this basic requirement, it’s the first step in our configuration however and it should be everyone else’s as well.
Limiting access to other guest WiFi users:
Many people don’t consider this because they are more worried (justifiably) by their own network security. But we feel this shouldn’t be overlooked as your patients deserve to have their systems protected while connected to your guest WiFi. Otherwise a tech savvy person on your guest WiFi can attempt to implement a “man in the middle” attack and take information from people such as logins and passwords. While unlikely this would be considered best practice and should be implemented.
Limiting bandwidth for only the guest WiFi users:
Lastly but equally as important as the other two considerations you want to be able to limit the available bandwidth to your guest WiFi. Unfortunately business internet connections are much slower and more costly than home solutions. That means that your connection might only be 5,10, or 20 Mbps down and even less up! The last thing you want is a power hungry user on your guest WiFi using up all your bandwidth and preventing your staff from submitting claims, streaming music to your operatories/office, or even making clean VoIP calls. That’s why we make sure to limit the maximum available bandwidth of guest WiFi to generally 25-50% of your whole connection. This can be tweaked based on guest WiFi user’s experiences but that’s generally a good place to start.
Congratulations on getting this far, your next question will undoubtedly be what router should you purchase and how much should you spend? Spend no more than $200 on this device, of course you can go with enterprise level systems in the $500+ range, but we feel that isn’t entirely necessary for a dental practice. We’ve also found that these enterprise level devices can cause problems with older and some newer PMS/imaging software. Our recommended router generally runs less than $150, but unfortunately we can’t list a specific router model here in this article. They change so frequently that it would be difficult update this when we change models, test or the devices get discontinued. So instead we offer to use our “contact us” page and send us an email. We’ll respond swiftly with the model and best place to purchase it. Feel free to ask us any other questions you might have and we’ll do our best to assist.
Thank You and Happy Dentistry!
This is an original article written by SureFire Dental Solutions, any information provided is strictly educational in nature. No part of this article can be copied or duplicated without the express consent of SureFire Dental Solutions.