Is Your Business Providing Free WiFi Access?

Why you should be providing a managed Wi-Fi service to your customers. Control your network to provide a better service for everybody.

free wifi access

Providing free Wi-Fi for your customers or guests is getting to be somewhat of a requirement for business nowadays. Accommodation providers, tourism providers and cafes in particular are locations where customers expect a high quality wireless internet connection so they can check their social media, the news, watch movies and keep up with work while on the move. Here are a few reasons why you should be providing a managed Wi-Fi service instead of allowing some customers to abuse this service you provide for free.

Improve the quality of the service

Your Wi-Fi guests expect a high quality service regardless of where they are within your property. The signal quality needs to be good throughout and it must be able to deal with all the devices that wish to connect. The signal strength can be analysed and interference from other devices with similar frequencies need to be avoided. There should be enough wireless access points within the required coverage area and there must be a high speed link between the access points, whether it is wired or wireless.

Make it fair for everybody

Some people/devices may be hogging all your network resources. Devices connected to the internet are constantly receiving updates of apps and software and these downloads can be quite large, not to mention all of the data used up movie/TV streaming via Netflix, YouTube etc. All of the devices begin to receive these updates as soon as they are connected to your Wi-Fi. Each device that connects to your Wi-Fi should have a speed limit to stop that device from hogging all the available bandwidth/speed available and therefore ruining other guests experience with your Wi-Fi.

Save bandwidth to get your own work done

In most cases you will only have a single Internet connection to be shared by all your guests and by yourself to run your business. Setting a limit on the total available internet access speed for guests will save the remaining bandwidth for yourself so that you can get your work done and run your business efficiently.

Keep your devices secure

Connecting your own devices to the same network as your guests can be detrimental to your online security. You should have separate networks for private and public Wi-Fi access. Keep all of your PC’s, phones, laptops and printers on the private network. If you wish to give your guests access to printing facilities, then you should add a separate printer to the public network.

Reduce the chance of breaching your data limit or fair usage policy

Many internet providers include a data limit on connections for the same reason that you should be placing a limit on your guests’ Wi-Fi access, to avoid customers over usage of resources that affect other customers. Providers may have limits per day or per month, but may also state that the service is unlimited. Unlimited data packages usually have a fair usage policy attached. This means that generally the fair usage policy will not be reached by home users but a business may reach this limit easily. If you have a large number of people or devices connecting to your Wi-Fi network every day, you could quite easily reach this limit and may be restricted in future access to the internet or even cut off. It depends on your internet service provider’s terms and conditions of use, which you should check before signing up and should try to adhere to, to avoid any loss of service.

Collect Customer Data for Marketing

Some businesses can achieve a return on their investment of offering free Wi-Fi to customers. You can collect users email addresses as they log in and use this information to build an email list for remarketing your products and services. You can conduct short surveys or receive reviews as guests access your wireless internet service.

Increase Brand Awareness

Your brand is important and you can increase your brand awareness by including a branded login screen with your logo and information displayed. Remind guests/customers of who you are and what you do to get the most out of offering free Wi-Fi access.

Darrel McManamon
Darrel McManamon


Darrel is an IT Professional based in Doolin, County Clare. He specializes in Internet Access and Wireless Network Management for Business and is the founder and CEO of Netspark Wireless Limited. He previously worked as an engineer in the construction industry. After it's collapse in 2009 he re-trained in IT, Wired & Wireless Networks, in Web Development and Internet Marketing. Darrel is also heavily involved in digital marketing for business in County Clare and is a member of #DigitalClare.