How to share your WiFi home network with your friends safely.

How to share your WiFi home network with your friends safely.

Updated in 2021 Blog - Reviews and guides to buy

We live in an increasingly collaborative and solidary society. Sharing is making our resources available to others so that others can also benefit from what we enjoy every day. The internet connections currently offered by the service provider companies have sufficient traffic capacity so that they can be enjoyed by multiple devices at the same time.
When you have guests, parties or meetings, it is very common to share WiFi with all the attendees. There is nothing dangerous about this practice if minimal precautions are followed. Sharing WiFi with your neighbor, without charging anything in return, is also completely legal and can be a totally satisfying experience. To do it safely you simply have to follow some simple WiFi security tips.

Here’s how to share your Wi-Fi without compromising any basic security rules, using an Open-WRT neutral router

In other articles we have explained the different dangers of leaving our Wi-Fi network completely open, and we have also talked about how to protect it against intruders. But there is no doubt that in many occasions we will need to share the Wi-Fi network in a secure way.
These are some examples of real and frequent situations of people who want to share their Wi-Fi connection:
– You have friends or colleagues who visit your home frequently and do not feel like giving them a complex password every time they want to share a file with you.
– You have guests or relatives who visit you during a season and want to share your network with them.
– You have a Bar, cafeteria or shop where your customers are also your friends and you want to let them use your WiFi.
– You want to share Wi-Fi freely with some neighbors of your community.
If you are a person who likes to share, and you have in mind to open your WiFi to other people, then you are in the case that this article concerns us. Luckily, most of the routers and especially the open source firmware such as OpenWrt (link), or DD-WRT, allow the task of sharing WiFi is simple and also without compromising at any time the rest of the network.
All you have to do is set up a guest network on the OpenWrt router open to anyone, with an easy-to-remember password

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Guest Wi-Fi networks allow Internet sharing over Wi-Fi without compromising the protected devices or files of your network. A guest network is very easy to configure with OpenWrt allows you to offer your guests internet without having access to other devices in your home network, such as personal computers, your NAS, your smart TV, multimedia discs, etc.

By activating a WiFi guest network, I can allow guest to play online with your laptop without worrying about downloading files that may infect the rest of my private network.

Virtually every modern router has some guest network feature that can be activated quite easily. The DD-WRT firmware and especially the OpenWRT have the function of creating unfolded Wi-Fi networks or “virtual interfaces” that allow configuring as guest networks.

How to set up a secure WiFi network for guests with an OpenWRT router

This OpenWRT WiFi router is a neutral router that you can easily install at home. If you connect a cable from any LAN port of your main router to the WAN port of the Openwrt router, you will give internet to the new router and then you will be able to configure your WiFi interfaces in a much easier way than with the main router thanks to the OpenWRT freeware.

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The firmware of these OpenWrt router is translated into English and Spanish, it is very easy to use and allows you to configure the router literally for everything you need. The router is configured from the web page on this page we go to the WiFi section and we can create a new interface to which we will give the name of Guests-WIFI
When a new interface is created, what the router does is broadcast simultaneously by two networks at the same time with two different SSIDs. If the new network for guests we put a password easy to remember for our friends will always connect by this network, leaving ours free.

From the configuration of RED / WIFI we can press the add button to create a new WIFI network

As seen in this image, the OpenWRT router now has two WiFi networks, one of them called WIFI-GUESTS. Both are configured as Master to allow access to the Internet through them. it also shows the devices associated with each of the networks. The MAC number allows us to block each device if necessary.
To give you even more control over what your guests do, you can use OpenDNS to block certain websites, download sites, pornography, etc. By configuring OpenDNS and our OpenWRT router you will have absolute control over all the traffic that passes through this WiFi guest network. With integrated filtering tools of the router or configuring OpenDNS you can filter the pages that can and can not use the guests and thus prevent visitors from entering or downloading potentially harmful or illegal material.
This use of DNS blocking is very useful also if we want to create a WiFi network with parental control so that only the children of the house use it, while the rest of the internet circulates through the main WiFi network of the router.

Another advantage of using an OpenWRT router like this is that you will have absolute domain to see the MACs of all devices that connect and also to configure it with maximum security and prevent access to unwanted users. For more information see this WiFi security article.

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