Giving WiFi password to guests

Discussion in 'other security issues & news' started by dman, Mar 6, 2014.

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  1. dman

    dman Registered Member

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    I know I'm really out of date here - but please bear with me.

    Going back just five years or so all the advice I read said to have a strong WiFi password and never give it out to anyone.

    Now people seem to give it out their WiFi password to all and sundry who visit their homes so they can use the home WiFi network on their mobile devices.

    So what's changed. Was the advice before over cautious? Or has convenience just trumped security?
     
  2. SirDrexl

    SirDrexl Registered Member

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    Nothing has changed. People often just don't follow advice.

    That said, there are a few people I might trust with my password - family only. It helps that they're not tech-savvy at all. (Although I'd still probably change it as soon as they were done. :))
     
  3. Tadoussac

    Tadoussac Registered Member

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    Hi dman:

    A reasonable solution to your dilemma appears to be built into newer wireless routers that have multiple SSID capability. Using this hardware, you can keep your primary SSID password private, and create a 2nd temporary SSID and password for guests - which can be deleted from the router when they depart. I've seen some setups that feature "AP Isolation" - effectively preventing guests from browsing the contents of other devices on your guest network.

    If you have a flashable router, you might want to look at the dd-wrt firmware. I believe it supports the creation of additional virtual SSIDs on certain routers.

    I am presently using an antique WRT54G router (1 SSID only), so I am still living with the same problem you have.
     
  4. dman

    dman Registered Member

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    Thanks. I thought it was me going mad!

    There are quite a few people who I would trust to have it to the extent that they wouldn't pry into my personal data etc. But doesn't that then increase the chances of someone else getting it in future e.g. when they sell or trade in their devices.
     
  5. dman

    dman Registered Member

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    Thanks - I'm so out of date! - hadn't heard about them. That's the sort of thing I would be interested in. I'm happy to upgrade my router to solve this problem. I'm also using an antique! - a WGR614.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2014
  6. Tadoussac

    Tadoussac Registered Member

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    Here's another option before you throw away your router:

    If you have 1 wireless device on your LAN, for example a Windows 7 based laptop, you can install Virtual Wifi software. This allows you to create temporary guest internet access for your guests from your laptop's wireless adapter, without connecting them to your private WiFi network and having to share your router's SSID password etc.

    There are numerous software providers offering this type of product - often freeware. Search for "virtual wifi" or "virtual hotspot".
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2014
  7. fax

    fax Registered Member

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    Yeap, most now provide the option to dedicated guest WIFI with different extent of isolation possible. See, for example, this: http://www.netgear.com/home/products/networking/wifi-routers/R7000.aspx#tab-techspecs

    But there are also cheaper ones! :D
     
  8. dman

    dman Registered Member

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    Thanks - actually that rung a bell. My desktop Dell PC which has a wired ethernet connection has a program called "Hotspot Station" bundled with it from QualComm Atheros. Would this do the same thing?

    "HotSpot 1.1.0.0 Copyright © 2011 QualComm Atheros. All rights reserved.

    HotSpot is an application that allows you to turn your computer into a WIFI hotspot to share the Internet with your friends co-workers and devices. HotSpot utilizes your computers' built in WiFi card to wirelessly share any available Internet connections. Other Wi-Fi enabled devices can see and join your hotspot just like any other Wi-Fi access point and are kept safe and secure by password-protected WPA2 Encryption. Please press START button to enjoy this feature."
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2014
  9. Tadoussac

    Tadoussac Registered Member

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    The software product sounds like the right category, I use something called "VirtualRouterSimplicity". However I am pretty sure it will not work on a desktop with a wired connection. A wireless card is a 2 way radio; both inbound and outbound wireless is needed if you plan to feed a wireless network connection to guests with smart phones.

    Also, I believe (not 100% sure) you'll need Windows 7 or later on the PC with the Hotspot software. I don't think Microsoft built virtual wifi capabiliy into earlier versions of Windows.

    Good luck.
     
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