You are our getting a lot of requests for free guest WiFi access and unsure how to tackle it?
Of course you are familiar with acquiring a router that supports guest WiFi access, but what considerations should you keep in mind when setting it 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 internal network:
This is the most important part of the process. You want to make sure that nobody on your guest WiFi network has 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 the 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. 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.
Your next question will undoubtedly be what router should you purchase and how much should you spend? Our recommended router generally costs less than $200.
Thank you and happy dentistry! Your Surefire Dental Solutions team
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.