Providing wireless internet access for customers is expected as standard nowadays for pubs, restaurants and hotels. In some cases having access to wireless internet can make the difference between a guest booking at your hotel or otherwise.

broadband-main-imageWiFi can provide faster speeds for guests compared to their own device internet connection with usually no usage limits. In some areas WiFi can provide access where their own phones and tablets have no mobile signal at all.

The simplest method is to allow public wireless access to the existing network used by the business, but this raises serious security concerns. Allowing a guest access to a business’ network could lead to data theft and hacking of any PC’s attached to that same network. Similarly if there are no content filters or terms and conditions in place, customers and guests could download questionable material using your network connection causing potential legal issues for the business.

The main concerns of using a standard consumer or small-office wireless router for guest access is signal and bandwidth.

Click the titles below to expand on the topics:

  1. Signal

    There is a common misunderstanding that WiFi signal and internet speed is interchangable. Even though data sent and received over Wi-Fi is digital, WiFi signal actually uses analogue radio waves. These radio waves are suspectible to intereference, similar to the radio signal in your car. If you drive through a tunnel, the signal to your radio can weaken. This will either cause noise on the line or a complete dropout of the radio station. The same can happen to your Wi-Fi signal too.

    The internet connection to your property could be high speed fiber, but because of the wonderful heritage of British architecture wall thickness, materials, embedded cables and electrical equipment in use in a building can affect wireless signal strength. In some cases we’ve found that users further away from a router can have a better signal than users close-by because of the materials / wall thicknesses inbetween. A good way to test is to use a cable to connect your PC to a router, if the connection speed improves dramatically compared to WiFi then it’s probably interference affecting the wireless signal.

  2. Bandwidth

    Bandwidth is like sharing a water supply. If all guests are running their taps and showers at the same time then water pressure can drop if it is not designed for mass-use. Similarly if all of the guests are accessing the internet by a single consumer level router at the same time the router could drop out.

    A single guest could download and stream high definition films over the internet, without any limitation on bandwidth use they could affect the connection speed for other guests and stop them from accessing the internet.

Business-class routers and access points (known as AP’s) typically offer multiple SSID (wireless network names.) When configured correctly multiple SSIDs can be set-up to use varying levels of security, one of which could be a guest network separated from your normal business network. Furthermore, you may want to confirm that guests adhere to a set of Terms of Conditions before being able to access the internet, apply time limits or restrict bandwidth use.

Our engineers can visit your site to explain what options are available to you to offer a business grade WiFi service for your guests and customers.

Whether by installing new cabling, access points or custom configured routing equipment. We can advise on future proofing and securing your internet connection for guests and employees alike. Speak to our knowledgeable staff on 03333 230 365 (mobile friendly) for more information or organise a site visit.