It seems so easy, a customer asks for your wifi key and you hand it over. We recently worked with a social club who were doing just this. When they got really busy their tills crashed. The tills were connected to the network via cables. Why did they crash, well the network wasn’t configured correctly so customers mobile phones were being given the same address’s as the tills. This can be resolved by configuring the network properly. But there could be a bigger question.
We all know a firewall is important, maybe we don’t know what it does but we know we need it. By giving your WiFi key out you have just allowed people to bypass your firewall. You may think all your customers are good people, and they probably are, but what happens if they accidentally put a infected phone or computer on your network? I will tell you, a lot of time and inconvenience to you resolving that issue!
If you want to give your customers WiFi you need to put them on a segmented network known as a virtual LAN. The free router you got with your broadband won’t do it, you need to invest. An industrial router (£200) will provide you with the features you need and be able to handle the number of users you connect to your WiFi. Your customers connect to one network, your business the other, but you both use the same broadband connection. You can also restrict the amount of data your customers can use, so your network always works no matter how many customers are connected to your network.
Here at CrackingIT we have installed many public WiFi points for customers who are in different business’s from Dentists, to pubs and hotels.