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How to Prepare Your Wireless Network for Visitors for Seamless Experience

It’s almost time for the holiday season, which means more people will be using your WiFi. Having guests over for the holidays necessitates sharing your internet connection with them. Sharing the WiFi password and slowdowns are also a part of it (again). Read through the tips for getting your network ready so that you can spend minor time tinkering and more time entertaining.

Increasing the range of your wireless network.

Your guests will not have a great time if your home has a lot of dead zones and slowdown spots. Now that it only affects the guest room, now is the perfect time to fix that spotty WiFi coverage.

A router sits on the table in the living room.

You may achieve better coverage by simply moving the router. Try to place it on a shelf that does not face obstruction from books or other objects. If possible, locate it in the middle of the house to have easy access to all of the residence’s rooms.

A good WiFi extender or mesh system may be necessary to extend your router’s signal to the farthest corners of your home, ensuring that you always have full bars. Check out our WiFi signal boosting guide for more information.

Enabling the guest network is a must.

When friends and family come over, they can connect to a separate WiFi network that many routers allow. The internet is available from the guest network; however, shared folders, printers, and NAS devices are not accessible. So, while everyone else uses the more limited “Smith Guest” network, you can continue to use your own “Smith” network (or whatever you choose to name it).

Your router’s management interface is where you will need to connect if you want to enable guest networking. However, if your router lacks an app, you’ll need to use the web console instead of the mobile app to perform this task. It’s simple: Open a browser and enter the IP number of your router into the address bar. You can find your router’s IP address by consulting our guide to managing router settings.)

A screenshot of the guest networking settings in the menu bar.

To access the router’s administrative tools, you’ll need to enter a username and password. Refer to the user manual or the manufacturer’s support site for clarification when in doubt. You can usually find it on the bottom of your router. Once you’ve logged in, it’s a good idea to change these default passwords so that shady characters can’t access your router.

You can find the Guest Network settings there. The location of these settings varies from router to router, but you can find them in the Wireless Settings or a separate Guest Network section.

Set up a name for your network, ensure that access to your local network is disabled, and add a WPA2/WPA3 password. Remember that even though you want a strong WiFi password, you don’t want to be scrambling for the sticky note that contains it every time a guest drops by.

How to easily handle password sharing.

To get the most out of your WiFi network, you can give your guests simple passwords that they can easily remember. My friends can scan the QR code on the fridge with their phones’ cameras instead of remembering and typing their network password when they visit, for example, because I use QiFi to produce QR codes for my network.

A screenshot of the network settings.

You can accomplish this from your phone if you have Android 10 installed. Open the phone’s Settings menu, locate the network, and press the Share button to generate a QR code.

Sharing saved WiFi networks with other Apple users is as simple as joining the network and standing nearby when they try to connect. Whenever you’re on the phone with someone who has Bluetooth enabled and is on your contacts list, you’ll receive a prompt to find out whether you want to share your WiFi network with them.

Update the firmware on your router.

You must install the latest security patches for your router should be installed ahead of time in anticipation of additional devices and users joining your home network. When a new update is released, some routers will automatically install it, and others will access this feature through the device’s website or mobile app.

Additionally, it’s possible that updating the firmware will require that you go to the vendor’s website, download a file, and then upload it via the web console to their server. Fortunately, most routers produced in the last few years eliminate the need for this antiquated procedure.

A screenshot of the screen appears when the router’s firmware is updated.

You may want to check with your Internet service provider to see if your cable, DSL, or fiber modem has the most recent software. In most cases, these updates are pushed out automatically by the ISPs, but it’s always a good idea to double-check.

Make use of passwords to keep your network safe.

It’s a good idea to password-protect any shared folders, printers, or servers on your network if you don’t have a guest networking option or have previously given out your regular network to some family members.

By opening the Start menu, searching for “sharing,” and selecting the Manage Advanced Sharing Settings option, you can password-protect a shared folder in Windows. Select “Turn on password-protected sharing” from the drop-down menu under “All Networks.”

You can find a screenshot of the network password sharing settings in Windows.

If anyone is trying to access files or folders without a username and password, they will not do so. If you haven’t already, make sure you enable this option on your computer.

Make sure your computer is free of malware.

In theory, this shouldn’t be necessary if everyone is using the guest network, but that isn’t always the case in practice. Make sure you’re not infecting your guests with malware before allowing them to join your network.

When a new device connects to a router, some routers include anti-malware software that regularly scans the device and the entire network. To be on the safe side, run a scan on all of your PCs with one of our favorite anti-malware tools and make sure you’re keeping the software up to date.

Enable QoS on your router.

Many routers have a function called Quality of Service (QoS) that allows you to give different kinds of different traffic levels of priority. Guests can enjoy Netflix in peace while your children are playing online without disturbing you. When using your router’s web interface, check for the QoS (Quality of Service) or bandwidth priority options, as stated above.

On the router’s QoS settings, a screenshot.

Pre-configured service and application priority lists are available on many current routers, making this process a cinch. My Asus router, for example, allows me to prioritize video and audio streaming, gaming, web surfing, file transfers, and messaging based on importance. Manually configuring bandwidth restrictions and QoS rules is an option with some routers. Consult your router’s manual or the company that made it.

Eject unwanted visitors from the site.

Before reading this tutorial, assume that you provided a neighbor with your WiFi password when they came to visit. What if your neighbor mistakenly or purposely utilizes your WiFi to view their own Netflix streams? It’s in your best interest to keep an eye on who’s connected to your network, so they don’t take bandwidth away from your paying customers.

My WiFi app screenshot of who’s connected.

Wireless Network Watcher (Windows) and Who Is On My WiFi (Mac) can show you a list of all the devices connected to your network if your router’s administrative interface does not. Your WiFi password or router’s MAC filtering feature may need to be changed if you notice something that doesn’t look right—like a laptop or streaming device you do not recognize—on your network.

It’s likely that if you have a mesh WiFi network, you can use your phone to prohibit any other users from connecting.

Enable controls for parents.

The management interface of many new routers includes parental control software or cloud services. If you’re hosting children, you might want to check your router’s settings to see if there are any parental restrictions built-in.

A screenshot of TP-web Link’s app parental controls.

When using parental controls, it is possible to restrict internet access by time of day, URL (for example, adult or gambling sites), or even by category. Even though they may lack the sophistication of a dedicated parental control application, these tools may provide some benefit.

When you’re hosting guests at your home, the last thing on your mind should be assisting them in connecting to your WiFi.If you follow these guidelines, you’ll have a more secure and ready-to-use network. Then, you’ll have plenty of time to think about more pressing concerns, like dinner plans.

Conclusion

You may achieve better coverage by simply moving the router. Try to place it on a shelf so that books or other stuff do not obstruct it. If possible, locate it in the middle of the house to have easy access to all of the residence’s rooms.

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