Life hack

How to provide guest access to your eero wi-fi network

Nick Weaver has a dog in the 5G fight.

Weaver’s company, Eero, went from making niche home-networking software to being bought out by Amazon in February 2019. Along the way, his startup became part of Amazon’s constellation of unwired home accessories that depend on wifi to connect to Amazon services and the Internet.

Eero, which began in 2014 as a mesh-networking startup, was a Silicon Valley darling until other manufacturers, most notably Google, began eating away at the company’s market share. By the time Amazon came along, the bloom was off the rose for mesh network routers, and major players like Linksys and Belkin released their own products to compete. One major mesh network contender, Luma, even shut down in the aftermath.

Eero products are aimed at users with larger homes. By putting an Eero base station on every floor of a palatial estate (or a Brooklyn row house), the network speed and quality increase with each node added. Weaver, for his part, thinks products like Eero are integral in the future of home networking.

He said in-home wifi is not threatened by 5G networking and that instead, it will grow to fill niches that mobile wireless can’t. He’s careful to offer caveats, however.

“You shouldn’t ever really make a decree about technology. I mean look at early decrees about how popular the mobile phone was going to be or the iPhone,” Weaver told Gizmodo. “How many famous quotes are there where people say you’ll never need more than 250MB of storage?”

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Craig Lloyd is a smarthome expert with nearly ten years of professional writing experience. His work has been published by iFixit, Lifehacker, Digital Trends, Slashgear, and GottaBeMobile. Read more.

When you have guests over who want to use your Wi-Fi, Eero makes it really simple to create a guest network for them to connect to. That way they can get internet access, but they won’t be able to access your local network files or other devices.

This is particularly useful if you share files over your home’s network that might contain sensitive information. Creating a separate guest Wi-Fi network is a great idea, especially since it allows you to keep your main Wi-Fi password secret.

To get started, open up the Eero app on your smartphone and tap on the menu button in the top-left corner of the screen.

Select “Guest Access” from the list.

Tap on the toggle switch to the right of “Enable” at the top.

Next, tap on “Network name” and give your guest Wi-Fi network a custom name if you’d like. By default, it will simply add “Guest” to the end of your current network name.

After that, tap on “Network password”. It will generate a random password that you can provide your guests.

However, if you want to create your own password, simply tap on “Edit password”, enter in a password, and then hit “Save”.

You can also tap on “Generate a new password” to have Eero come up with a new random password.

One you’ve set the network name and the password, it’s ready to go and guests can immediately connect to it from their devices. If you want to share the network name and password with your guests, you can send them a text message, email, etc. by tapping on “Share guest network”.

From there, pick a service you want to use to share your network details with others.

Eero will automatically create a passage with your guest network’s details that you can send to any of your friends, so that they can connect to your Wi-Fi right when they get to your house without having to ask.

Whenever you want to turn off the guest Wi-Fi network, simply just tap on the toggle switch next to “Enable” to turn it off.

In order to protect your privacy, it is advisable not to give your guests your WiFi password. What you can do instead is set up your router for guest access. Here’s how to set up a guest WiFi network:

How to Set Up a Guest WiFi Network

  1. Enter your router’s IP address into the search bar of any browser. You can log into your router by typing your router’s IP address into the search bar of any web browser (Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc.). If you don’t remember your IP address, check out our guide on how to find your router’s IP address.

Note: You might be prompted that the webpage you are trying to view is not secure. Make sure that you have the correct address typed in, and then click on the option to proceed. If you don’t see the option, click Advanced > Proceed.

  • Log into your router as admin. You can find your router’s password in your browser’s settings page. If you don’t know your login information, check out our guide on how to find your router’s password.
  • Find the guest network settings. If you can’t find a dedicated guest WiFi section, check under Wireless Settings.

    Note: There are some routers that do not allow you to create guest WiFi networks. If you do not see a guest network section, you might not be able to create one.

  • Enable the guest WiFi access. Depending on your router, this could be a switch that you toggle on or a box that you check.
  • Set the guest WiFi network name. This is typically the field labeled “SSID.” Some routers will fill in your network name by default with the word “guest” added to the end. You can change this or leave the name as it is.
  • Set the guest WiFi password. Depending on your router, you might have to go to Security settings. If you don’t know which router security option you should choose, check out our guide here.

    Note: Be sure not to use the same password for your guest network and your main network. You should also choose a password that is easy enough for your guests to remember, but hard enough that random neighbors can’t guess what it is.

  • Finally, save your new settings. You can now share the WiFi name and password with your guests.
  • Some routers will give you an option to set how many guests can access your network. Other models also let you set the time that guests can connect to your WiFi. You can also enable the network name to be broadcasted, so that your guests will be able to find it automatically. If you’re concerned about privacy and security, you can simply tell your guests the network name and password instead.

    Now that you know how to set up a guest WiFi network, check out our blog on how to test your WiFi speed.

    Most of us have a steady stream of visitors to our houses—friends, family, landlords, pizza delivery guys, Airbnb travelers—and many of them are going to want access to your wi-fi at some point. The normal process would be to hand over the passcode printed on the back of your router, but there’s actually a much better option: a guest access point.

    The main advantage is that this separate network (which appears as a different SSID or network name) is locked out of the rest of your devices. Things like network printers, NAS drives, shared files, and other sensitive network information won’t be available from the guest access point. You’re essentially giving people internet access—and that’s it.

    Depending on the hardware you’ve installed at home, you might also be able to put restrictions on the amount of bandwidth guests can use, the times they’re able to get online, even what they’re allowed to look at. Meanwhile, your standard network stays separate for your own use.

    The benefits of two networks

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    Having two wi-fi networks—one for you, one for guests—lets you configure each one for specific needs. For example, you can turn off the guest network without affecting anyone one the primary network. You can also restrict how much bandwidth your guest network is allowed to use if you don’t want your guests doing any illegal downloading.

    You can give your guest network a simple password that’s easier to remember as well, to save a lot of typing and repeating. Remember all of your computers and devices are still locked away behind the long, complicated password protecting the primary network.

    For the ultimate in convenience, you don’t have to give your guest network a password at all. Bear in mind that this means anyone inside or outside your home can get connected and spy on the traffic passing through it (that’s probably something you should tell your guests as they’re about to log in).

    If your house is remote enough and you regularly use network monitoring tools (and you trust your neighbors and visitors), then going password-free on your guest network is an option. Otherwise, it’s a better idea to use a very simple password for added protection.

    How to set up a guest access point

    This is going to depend on your router. If support for guest access isn’t built in, you’ll need to connect a separate router or wireless access point that does have the function, or—for the more technically adventurous—install DD-WRT over your router’s existing firmware.

    A quick web search or flick through the manual should be enough to determine whether your router has guest access capabilities. This is one of those reasons why people choose to upgrade their kit: the best routers let you set up multiple wi-fi networks and even limit the bandwidth used on each of them.

    Many routers come with a simple one-page list of settings for configuring your guest network and it shouldn’t take you too long to get set up. You can find instructions online for Linksys , D-Link , Asus , Netgear and most other manufacturers, though the majority of the options should be simple enough to understand without any help.

    Some hardware lets you isolate guest devices from each other for greater security, and there’s often the opportunity to hide the SSID name from being broadcast—not the friendliest option if you want to make it easy for your guests to get online. We’ve also seen firmware that limits how many guests can connect at once.

    Give your guests internet access the safe way.

    There’s nothing wrong with sharing your home network with friends and family. You can (usually) trust that they won’t do anything nefarious with your connection.

    But you don’t want to distribute your primary network password to everyone that steps into your home or office. That’s where a guest network comes into play.

    Pro tip:

    Most modern/routers support guest access, but check the specifications on the website or in the manual before continuing with this guide.

    How to set up a guest Wi-Fi network

    We split this section into two parts to make the process easier for first-timers.

    Part 1: Log in to your router using a browser.

    If your router or hybrid device doesn’t provide an app, you’ll need to access the settings using any web browser. While you can do this on a smartphone, computers and tablets are best since router interfaces may not be optimized for small screens.

    To continue, you need the router’s IP address or login URL. You can probably find it on a sticker attached to the back or bottom of your router. Chances are, it’s,, or something like “” We’ll also show you how to find your router’s IP address in Windows and macOS.

    This sticker also includes the default username and password, but they’re useless if you previously changed this information.

    Get your router’s IP address in Windows 10

    Step 1: Right-click on the Start button and select Windows PowerShell (Admin) or Windows PowerShell on the Power User Menu.

    Step 2: Type “ipconifg” at the prompt.

    Step 3: Write down the number displayed next to Default Gateway.

    Get your router’s IP address in macOS

    Step 1: Open System Preferences by clicking on the icon displayed on the Dock.

    If you don’t see the System Preferences icon, click on the Apple logo in the top left corner and select System Preferences listed on the drop-down menu.

    Step 2: Select Network.

    Step 3: Select Wi-Fi listed on the left.

    Step 4: Click on the Advanced button.

    Step 5: Select the TCP/IP tab.

    Step 6: Write down the number displayed next to Router .

    To find the router’s IP address using mobile devices, refer to our separate guide .

    Access your router’s settings

    Step 1: Make sure the device you’re using is connected to the local network.

    Step 2: Enter the router’s IP address or URL into any web browser’s address bar.

    Step 3: Enter the required credentials once the router’s login screen appears.

    For routers and hybrids provided by internet service providers (ISPs), you may need to contact customer support if you can’t locate the login information in the paperwork or on the back of your device. If you changed the username and password, use that instead.

    Part 2: Establish your guest network.

    With the router backend loaded, there should be a Guest Access category or tab. For instance, the Linksys Smart Wi-Fi interface lists Guest Access on the left. However, there may also be a Guest Access card displayed on the right, including a toggle, SSIDs, and password information.

    The company’s app saves you the trouble of accessing the browser-based backend by supplying Guest Network settings. The category resides under the Last Five Connections list.

    In both cases, enabling guest access is as easy as tapping or clicking the toggle.

    The following instructions are based on the Linksys app and web interface, so the steps may differ slightly with your specific router.

    Step 1: Tap or click on the toggle to enable guest access.

    Step 2: In the web interface, click Edit to make changes to the settings. (This step isn’t required in the app.)

    Step 3: Change the SSIDs (network names) for the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz connections. The names can be anything you want—just make sure they’re different than your primary SSIDs. You could always enter something unique just to annoy your neighbors.

    Step 4: Tap or check/uncheck connections if needed. The 2.4 GHz band is crowded and slower but has a wide range. The 5 GHz band is less crowded (for now) and faster but has a shorter range. You can provide both to guests or just one—it’s up to you.

    Step 5: Set the guest access password. Do not use the same password that grants access to your primary network.

    Step 6: Set the total number of guests allowed. In the case of Linksys, the allowance ranges from 5–50 guests.

    Step 7: Click the OK button or tap Save to finish.

    Some routers allow you to limit the bandwidth used by guests. For example, TP-Link routers have Enable Bandwidth Control and Guest Network Bandwidth Control settings to prevent guests from clogging the digital freeways.

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    Craig Lloyd is a smarthome expert with nearly ten years of professional writing experience. His work has been published by iFixit, Lifehacker, Digital Trends, Slashgear, and GottaBeMobile. Read more.

    If you have kids, then you might know a thing or two about how difficult it can be to yank them away from their computers and other devices so they get their chores done on time or just spend quality time with the family. Eero, the robust whole-house Wi-Fi system, has a feature that makes this easy.

    With the Family Profiles feature, you can set time limits on each user and block them from internet access starting at 8pm, for instance, and then reinstate it later that night. Normally, this isn’t something you can without accessing your router’s settings and navigating through some confusing menus, but Eero makes it really simple through its mobile app.

    The first thing you’ll want to do is open the Eero app on your phone and tap on the menu button in the top-left corner of the screen.

    From there, select “Family Profiles”.

    Tap on “Add a profile” at the bottom.

    Give the profile a name (like “Zack” for your son Zack, or something), and then hit “Next” in the top-right corner.

    After that, select the devices that belong to Zack. You can choose more than one device, as he could have a laptop, smartphone, and tablet. Once you have the devices selected, hit “Save” in the top-right corner.

    From there, you can hit the pause button toward the upper-right corner to manually suspend internet access to these devices, and then tap on it again to re-enable internet access.

    However, if you want to set up a schedule to pause and resume internet access automatically, tap on “Set a scheduled pause”.

    On the next screen, tap on “Add a schedule”.

    Under “Schedule name”, give it a custom name if you’d like.

    Below that, you can set the start an end times for restricting internet access, so if you set the start time for 10pm and the end time for 7am, this means the devices won’t have internet access from 10pm until 7am. Tap on each one to set the time.

    Under “Frequency”, you can set which days you want the schedule activated on and simply tapping on a day will enable or disable it—highlighted in blue means that it’s an active day.

    Lastly, don’t forget to tap on the toggle switch next to “Enable” at the top.

    Hit “Save” in the top-right corner to save and activate the schedule.

    The schedule will show up in the list of schedules for this user, and you can add more schedules if you want different times of the day to be restricted as well.

    Hitting the back button will take you back to the user’s profile page, where it will now tell you when the next time this user will see restricted access to the internet.

    Hitting the back button again will take you to the main Family Profiles page, where you can hit the plus button in the top-right corner to add more profiles to your network if you want.

    You can do this on pretty much any network with a router, since most routers have some kind of parental controls in the settings. However, as mentioned above, navigating through router settings can be intimidating for those who don’t know a whole lot about technology and networking, but Eero makes it super simple.

    Let visitors use your Wi-Fi without sharing the main password

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    What to Know

    • Log in to the router as an administrator, enable the Guest Wi-Fi option, and define the SSID that the guest network should use.
    • Create a password for guests to use and turn on the SSID broadcast to keep the network name visible to others.
    • If the router supports it, restrict access to everything but the internet, or let guests access local devices and resources like file shares.

    Some routers support guest networks, which are part of the primary network but use a different password (or none at all). They may also limit certain features. Guest networks are often customary for businesses but are increasingly common for home networks.

    This article explains how to set up a guest Wi-Fi network on most routers, and includes a number of tips for using a guest network.

    How to Set Up a Guest Wi-Fi Network

    Follow these steps to set up a guest network at home:

    Log in to the router as an administrator. This is often done in a web browser through a specific IP address such as, but your router may use a different IP address or have a companion mobile app for logins.

    Enable the Guest Wi-Fi option. Most routers have guest networking disabled by default but provide an on/off option to control it.

    Define the SSID that the guest network should use. This should not be the same as the primary SSID but it may be something similar so that visitors can understand that the network is yours.

    Some routers automatically set the name of a guest network to be the name of the primary network with a guest suffix, like mynetwork_guest, while others allow you to choose a name.

    Turn SSID broadcast on or off to either keep the network name visible or to hide it from potential guests. Leave SSID broadcast on so that guests can see which network to use. If you disable the broadcast, provide guests with the network name and security details so that they can set up the network, something you may want to avoid when you have many guests.

    Choose a password for the guest network. This isn’t required on some routers but might be something you want to use to avoid letting anyone access the network. If the router has a secondary Wi-Fi option for guests that functions like normal access on the primary network, choose a secure password.

    Unless you block certain access, guests can do anything that you, the administrator, can do. That means they can download torrents illegally, spread viruses to other devices, or monitor network traffic and website passwords.

    Enable other options as needed. If the router supports it, restrict access to everything but the internet, or let guests access local resources like file shares.

    Some Netgear routers, for example, provide a check box for administrators to allow guests to see each other and access the local network. Leaving that option disabled blocks guests from reaching local resources but allows them to get online through the shared internet connection.

    You may also want to limit how many guests can connect to your network at the same time. Choose a reasonable number to prevent the network from overloading and slowing to a halt.

    If these instructions do not work with your router, visit the manufacturer’s site for more detail. Guest networking is available from these manufacturers and others: Linksys, D-Link, Google, NETGEAR, ASUS, and Cisco.

    Benefits of Guest Wi-Fi Networking

    A guest Wi-Fi network is beneficial for the owner of the network and those who use it. Guest networking provides a way for users to access a network in seconds with little to no setup on their part. Depending on how the guest network is configured, they can access the internet and local resources on the network like files, printers, and hardware peripherals.

    From the administrator’s point of view, the guest network broadens the reach of the network to visitors without needing to give out a network password. Guest networks also improve security because the owner can limit what guests can access, for example, the internet but not local resources. This prevents the spread of viruses that may enter from a guest’s device.

    Using a Guest Network

    Joining a guest wireless network works in much the same way as connecting to a public Wi-Fi hotspot or the Wi-Fi at a friend’s house. Guests must be provided with the network name and password to access the network.

    However, some guest networks are open, meaning there isn’t a password to access them. In such cases, the network name (SSID) may be called Guest, Guest Wifi, CompWifi, Free Wifi, or another variation.

    Open and free Wi-Fi for guests is often found in malls, restaurants, parks, and other public places. In places like hotels, you’ll often receive the guest Wi-Fi information from the staff. For guest networks running from home, you’ll most likely need to ask the owner for their Wi-Fi password.

    If you upload or download a lot of data, let the administrator know in advance. Drawing a lot of bandwidth causes the network to slow down, so it’s always best to get permission.

    Does Your Router Support Guest Networking?

    Business-class routers are common platforms for guest networks, but some home routers have guest networking capabilities. Check the manufacturer’s website to be sure, or look in the router settings to see if there’s an option for a guest network.

    The guest network option in a router is usually called Guest Network or something similar, but there are some exceptions:

    • D-Link routers typically call it the Guest Zone.
    • Google Wifi names this feature Guest Wi-Fi.
    • Linksys supports a Guest Access tool through its Linksys Smart Wi-Fi remote management interface.

    Some routers support only one guest network, while others can run multiple guest networks simultaneously. Dual-band wireless routers often support two—one on the 2.4 GHz band and one on the 5 GHz band. While there’s no practical reason why a person needs more than one per band, some Asus RT wireless routers provide for up to six guest networks.

    When a guest network is active, its devices operate on a separate IP address range from that of other devices. Some Linksys routers, for example, reserve the address ranges through and through for guest devices.

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    Learn how small businesses can leverage guest Wi-Fi to offer a convenient way for customers to access the Internet while staying secure on your internal network.

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    Understanding and Setting up Guest Wi-Fi

    Every guest is a prospect. Businesses have realized that a uniform and honest customer experience goes a long way. And in some cases, providing a superior experience can be as simple as giving Internet access to a guest by using guest Wi-Fi.

    The concept of “free Wi-Fi” has spread rapidly, especially in the hospitality sector. It is now being adopted by other small and medium-sized businesses as well. Guest Wi-Fi is a way of improving customer experience without shelling out a fortune.

    Why guest Wi-Fi?

    Guest Wi-Fi is a dedicated access point to your router meant for visitors who do not have company credentials. It allows your guests limited access to the Internet, along with some other network-connected peripherals that you want them to access. The free Wi-Fi that you use at the local cafe is a simple example of guest Wi-Fi.

    Here’s a walk-through on how to set up guest Wi-Fi for your business.

    How to set up guest Wi-Fi

    1. Set up your connection.Pick a reliable Internet Service Provider (ISP). You should typically go with the preferred ISP in your area. More users compel the ISPs to give better connectivity and quicker customer service.
      Compare different service plans for high speed and high bandwidth against the prices and pick the one that best suits your needs.
      You will also need the right wireless access point or router for optimum speed. Make sure your equipment is compatible with the ISP and proceed to the Wi-Fi setup as directed by the ISP.
    2. Set up your guest network. The need for a guest network arises when you can’t let visitors access your private network due to security reasons. You do not wish to give them access to specific files or expose yourself to malware that may be infecting the guest device.
      In order to set up the guest network, you can activate it from the router’s configuration page and provide a separate name and login credentials for the network.
      Turn off the SSID (Service Set Identifier) for the business’s private network so that only the guest network is visible to the visitors. It will help minimize confusion and reduce malicious attempts to log in to your primary network. You can even disable broadcasting the SSID for the guest Wi-Fi automatically. With this setting, your guests would need to configure their connections manually.
      Next, use WPA/WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access) encryption and choose a secure guest Wi-Fi password for the network.
      The guest Wi-Fi password can be something easy to remember and pass around, as opposed to the password for your internal network, where security is of more significant concern.
    3. Set up the ” captive portal.” A captive portal the page your guests use to log in and access the guest Wi-Fi. With proper design, it can inform visitors of the terms of use and acquaint them with your services or provide any message you wish to highlight. Many newer versions of wireless access points also allow you to leverage social login. Guests can simply login using their Facebook or Gmail credentials in the portal for a seamless guest Wi-Fi experience.
      You can also use this portal to limit access to specific websites. You may mention these websites on the captive portal along with the terms of use. Access control is essential to avoid any malicious activity.
      Another practical application of this feature is to block video streaming services, preventing your guests from occupying too much bandwidth. This step is necessary to ensure that speeds remain steady across the network. That’s all there is to the guest Wi-Fi setup.

    How to leverage guest Wi-Fi

    Guest Wi-Fi offers a unique way to market your products and services to customers when they visit your business. Here are some of the ways you can utilize guest Wi-Fi to offer them more than just internet access:

    1. Give out promo codes from the captive portal. If you’re already offering discounts through discount coupons, you can display these coupon codes on the captive portal. This way, you boost your sales and create a possibility for future engagement even before the actual meeting!
    2. Remind them to rate your premises. Referrals are a powerful way of getting new business. About 64 percent of consumers say they check reviews on Google before visiting a business, and 93 percent of clients are likely to make repeat purchases based on customer service. To bank on this trend, allow your visitors to rate you when they are comfortably lounging in your waiting area and using your guest Wi-Fi.
    3. Give them access to some company literature. Your service portfolio and product catalog serve well as reading material for people who are interested in your business. Providing this material helps you build rapport with guests and provides you with a context for the conversation.
    4. Redirect to your website home page upon login. In the modern business world, your website is at the center of your existence. It is more likely for your brand message to resonate with your prospects when they view it at your premises, right before a discussion. You can encourage visitors to interact with your website and learn more about your business by taking them to your website home page once they log in to your network.
    5. Give access to devices such as the printer or a smart TV. When someone is at your business to make a pitch, you can give them access to basic amenities through the Wi-Fi itself. It prevents the hassle of connecting and managing new devices. Providing easy access to a printer or a smart TV is particularly helpful for prospective collaborators- partners, service providers, or consultants.
    6. Get feedback and reviews. Aside from public ratings, internal feedback and review systems were used by businesses long before it was a trend. With guest Wi-Fi, you’ll get a chance to ask more specific questions and get a better understanding of your client base.

    A wireless network is a critical component of small and medium-sized businesses today. With the technology entering its sixth-generation, Wi-Fi is only going to get better, offering an improved connected experience. Leveraging this robust network through guest Wi-Fi is a unique way to reflect your empathy toward your guests. It also puts forth a proactive image, the mark of a winning team.

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    Table Of Contents_

    If you have been experimenting with the various features and functionalities of your wireless network, you may wonder what is a guest network on a router. The best routers, after all, typically enable the use of a guest network. What is this guest network and when is it useful? Keep reading to find out.


    • A guest Wi-Fi network is a separate wireless network instituted by your primary router that is intended to be used by guests.
    • This guest Wi-Fi network helps boost security, as you will limit the number of people that have access to your primary network.
    • Setting up one of these guest Wi-Fi networks is usually done via the admin panel’s router settings, which is accessed on a web browser or on firmware.

    What is a Guest Network?

    A guest Wi-Fi network is a separate network from your primary network, yet still accessed by your primary router. It works similarly to your primary network, in that it allows people to access the Internet via a wide variety of connected devices. However, there are certain limitations you can impose that differentiate a guest network from your main network, so guests won’t be able to, say, learn how to change DNS settings on a router or do related damage to your network.

    Internet of Things devices, otherwise known as smart home devices, truly excel on a guest network.

    Benefits of a Guest WiFi Network

    The primary benefit of a guest network option is to create a space for visitors to your home, so they can access the Internet via your wireless network without having to ask for your primary password. This increases your network’s overall security, as visitors could accidentally download and disseminate a virus or download movies or television shows illegally. Plus, it is always a good idea to limit the number of people that have your wireless password, so they can’t do anything permanent, such as learning how to cascade routers.

    Setting Up a Guest WiFi Network

    The process here differs depending on the make and model of your router, but setting up a guest network is typically simple enough for beginners. Head to your router’s administration panel, which can be accessed via a web browser address bar or via dedicated firmware software. Once there, look for settings to institute a guest network and follow the prompts. Remember, even though it is a guest network, it should still be protected by a password, but feel free to use an easy-to-remember and shareable Wi-Fi password.


    You’ll be able to customize the additional network to suit your needs, limiting bandwidth, downloads, and even sites that can be visited. This will further increase your security as guests go about using your Internet connection. The admin panel or firmware will once again be the location to change up these settings.


    Why it’s better to connect IoT devices to a guest network?

    Internet of Things devices should be relegated to guest access because they do not need a steady Internet connection, unlike a network printer, a laptop, and other devices.

    Does your router support guest networking?

    Most modern routers support this feature, but you should still consult the instructions or YouTube tutorials for further and specific information.

    How to see what devices are connected to my WiFi?

    Hit up the admin panel for a list of connected devices delineated by IP address. This includes smart home devices, mobile devices, and just about any guest device.

    STAT: Guest WiFi is the safest way to give your visitors access to the internet through your existing network. If your guests log on to the primary network with a compromised or malware-infected device, the virus can spread to your home devices connected to WiFi. (source)

    If you own a wireless router in your home and have had a lot of visitors or family members come around to visit quite often (or not), I am 100 percent certain almost all have one time or the other connected to your WiFi network. They need to go online so you hand them the log-in details to the main network of your router. While you are only being kind and charitable, you are equally setting your devices up to huge security risks.

    Say your cousin connected to your WiFi network and somehow downloaded a malware, there’s a huge chance of the malware affecting your devices too. Or perhaps your neighbor connected a computer filled with malicious programs to your network, such programs could (and would) easily spread to your devices too. So what do you do to prevent this?

    Interestingly, you won’t need to buy a separate router to get this done neither do you need extra cables nor have to pay your ISP extra cash; you can simply set up a Guest Network on your router.

    What is a Guest Network?

    Guest Network is a security-focused feature of wireless routers which allows homes and offices set-up a secondary network (within the same router) for “foreign” users and devices you don’t yet trust. Obviously these alien devices could be belonging to that cousin who has come to visit, or you very nice neighbor. The beauty of this is that homeowners can configure/limit the type of information foreign users and devices would have access to whenever they connect to a network.

    In addition, devices on the main/primary network stay protected from whatever malicious programs or activities are present on devices in the guest (read: secondary) network. Mind you, all these happen on the same router.

    They (guest network) also keep the primary network protected from network worms that could otherwise be spread to other computers if a visitor plugs in an infected device.

    Benefits of Guest networks (and Why you should use it)

    1. Security and Privacy

    Creating a guest network almost always firstly revolves around privacy and security. Guest networks allow you segregate devices and likewise dictate what devices in each section has access to. This is especially important if you do not trust the sources of new devices connecting to your network. Oh! and by the way, guest networks don’t just protect you against phones and laptops of your visitors but also against some of your own devices.

    Incidentally, a guest Wi-Fi network is a good idea not only if you have lots of friends, but also if you have lots of home smart devices.

    It is also advised that, for security purposes, if you have IoT devices (smart locks, smart plugs/sockets, game consoles, IP cameras, smart TVs etc.) set up in your home, you should set-up a separate guest network for them. This is because if your home IoT network gets hacked, devices on the main network will be safe.

    2. Bandwidth Control

    With guest networks, you can put a limit on the speed/bandwidth available to visitors/guests while you enjoy unruffled network performance and speed.

    3. Convenience

    Guest WiFi networks help add an improved level of convenience in connecting to your WiFi network. While the primary network should be protected with a very strong password — say 25 – 30 characters — you’d want to make your Guest network’s WiFi very easy to type and hand to visitors — maybe between 5 – 8 characters.

    This way, you do not have to constantly call out or type in a 30-character password each time a new user wants to connect to your WiFi. What some homes/office do is to make their guest WiFi networks password-free so users don’t have to type in any authentication credentials.

    How does Guest Networks work?

    Basically, when you create a guest network on your router, you are creating a separate access point for the secondary network through which devices that on it access the internet.

    When a guest network is set up, it’ll have its individual SSID (read: network name) and password which will be entirely different from the login credentials of the primary local network. So when next your guests come around, you hand them login details for the guest network. That way, you can be rest assured that whatever visitors do (or have) on their devices cannot compromise your devices.

    Picture setting up a guest network as building a border between your devices and foreign users on your network. And here’s how to get it done on your router.

    How to Setup a Guest WiFi network

    1. Log in to your router’s web management panel (by typing or, or or as stated in your router’s manual)

    2. Depending on your router’s brand and model, you should see a “Guest network” option on the admin panel. On some routers, the feature exists as “Guest Zone” or “Guest Access

    3. Otherwise, check under the Wireless (WLAN) section. If you do not find the option still, check the routers manual, visit the manufacturer’s website or do a Google search of how to activate Guest network on your router’s model.

    4. Guest network is usually disabled by default on routers so you have to enable it or check the appropriate box that activates the feature

    5. Set-up the Guest network’s parameters i.e SSID (the name you want guests to see on their devices) and password.

    6. Proceed to configure other security settings like SSID Broadcast (enable this if you want to hide your network’s name), encryption type (WEP, WPA2, or WPA3) etc.

    7. The most important configuration, however, is where you choose what your guests have access to. Ensure that the options that read “Allow guest to see each other and access my local network” or “Allow access to Settings” or “Allow guests to access local network resources” or any other similar option is/are unchecked.

    8. This to ensure that devices on the guest network can only access the router’s internet connection and nothing more — which is the entire point of a guest network.

    9. After unchecking the above-mentioned option(s), you can proceed to save the settings and create the Guest network.

    Does Your Router Support Guest Networking?

    If you own an old or low-end router, it may not support the guest networking feature because majorly, only modern home and business class routers sport the feature. I might be wrong, though. To confirm, check your router’s manual or check the manufacturer’s website for the router’s specifications. Alternatively, you can update your router’s firmware; perhaps Guest networking could spring up in the latest version.

    Furthermore, while some routers support the creation of only one guest network, you can create multiple guest networks on some routers and the best part, run them simultaneously. Multiple guest network is, however, majorly common on business and office routers.

    You should give guest networking a try, really. I mean, it’s an invaluable feature that ensures everyone gets what they want. Your guest surf the internet while you also go about your business knowing your data and devices are safe. Win-win!

    It only takes a few minutes to set up a guest Wi-Fi network that’ll keep your visitors connected for their entire stay. Here are two ways to do it.

    David Anders is a senior writer for CNET covering broadband providers. Prior to joining CNET, David built his industry expertise writing for the broadband marketplace Allconnect. David is from and currently resides in the Charlotte area with his wife, son and two cats.

    No matter the season or the reason for inviting family and friends over, your guests are all sure to have the same question: “what’s the Wi-Fi password?” Before sharing the password to your primary home network, consider setting up a guest Wi-Fi network.

    A guest network allows your visitors to connect to your Wi-Fi router without granting access to any computers, phones or smart home devices that are connected to your main home network. It’s akin to directing your visitors to a guest bathroom versus letting them use your master bathroom — it serves the same purpose and doesn’t give your guests access to your more private spaces.

    If “set up a Wi-Fi network” sounds intimidating, rest assured that creating a guest Wi-Fi network is simple, similar to setting parental controls. Once established, your new network will accommodate any number of guests and devices for as long as the network is active.

    How to set up guest Wi-Fi

    There are two ways to go about setting up your guest Wi-Fi network, and the available method depends on your internet service provider and your router.

    Create a guest Wi-Fi network via the router or ISP app

    Most new routers, including those provided by ISPs like AT&T, CenturyLink, Verizon Fios and Xfinity, feature an app that lets you access and manage your Wi-Fi network. Such apps enable you to see connected devices, set parental controls and, what you came here for, create a guest network.

    Each provider or router app will look a little different, but the option to create a guest Wi-Fi network should be relatively easy to find. Once you’ve reached the guest Wi-Fi settings, enter your desired network name and password and apply the changes. Your new guest network should now be ready for use.

    Your guests can connect to the new network the same as they would any other Wi-Fi network: by selecting it from their device’s list of available nearby networks and entering the password. And if that isn’t easy enough, or you don’t feel like repeating the password every time someone new shows up, some apps enable you to print a QR code. That means you can stick the “password” to your fridge for guests to scan at their, and your, convenience.

    Or do it the old fashioned way

    Not all routers and ISPs offer an app to easily access and control router settings like creating a guest Wi-Fi connection. You may still be able to set one up, but it’ll involve a few more, still fairly simple, steps.

    Start by entering your router’s IP address into your preferred browser. You can find your IP address on PC and Android devices under the Wi-Fi settings or on Mac devices by clicking the Wi-Fi symbol and selecting Open Network Preferences.

    Next, you’ll need to enter your router credentials to gain access to the admin settings. You can often find this information somewhere on your router, possibly on the bottom (here’s what to do if you can’t find your router login info and password).

    Once you’re logged in, look for guest Wi-Fi settings. If you can’t find it right away, check under Wireless Settings, Network Settings, or something similar. This is where you’ll enable a guest Wi-Fi network if necessary and create your settings.

    Enter your desired network name and password, then save your new settings. Your new network should be ready for use.

    Note that not all routers are equipped with the ability to create a guest Wi-Fi network. If you can’t find the guest network settings, either on an app or when accessing the router settings on your computer, it’s possible that there is no guest network option available.

    Why use a guest Wi-Fi network?

    There are a couple reasons why you should create a guest Wi-Fi network, but ultimately, it’s all about security.

    Anyone with the password to your private home network will also have access to potentially any and all devices connected to that network, such as printers, streaming devices, Wi-Fi cameras and smart speakers. A guest Wi-Fi network restricts access to these devices, even though they are connected to the same router.

    More often than not, it’s safe to assume the people in your home have no desire to access or manipulate the devices connected to your main network. Unfortunately, they can still pose a threat to your network security.

    By using a malware-infected device or downloading a virus while connected to your private network, your guests may unintentionally expose your network (and all those connected devices) to others outside your home who are not as trustworthy. Again, a guest Wi-Fi network will restrict access to your main network and the connected devices, so even if someone on the guest network has or downloads malware, the damage is minimal.

    Hackers and malware are constant threats, even when you aren’t inviting anyone into your home. Consequently, it’s a good idea to use a guest Wi-Fi network for your IoT devices — smart TVs, thermostats, smart plugs and so on — which are often more vulnerable to security breaches than your computer or phone.

    Guest Wi-Fi FAQs

    Can I use the WPS button to create a guest network?

    Not likely. Pressing the WPS (Wireless Protected Setup) button, if your router has one, enables all devices that are within range to connect to your router. This does not create a separate network, meaning any devices connected using the WPS button will connect to your main home network.

    Is a guest Wi-Fi network slower?

    Using a guest network should have no effect on speed or performance, so your guests can enjoy the same speed and connection quality as your main network. Keep in mind, however, that each connected device will use its share of bandwidth, so the overall speed and performance may lower with each addition to your router, regardless of the network.

    Can I set parental controls on a guest network?

    In most cases, yes. The devices that are connected to your router typically show up under the parental control settings, regardless of the network they are on. Some apps or routers, however, may not allow for parental controls on devices connected to a guest network. If that’s the case, you’ll need to connect any devices you wish to apply parental settings on to the primary network.

    There is certain smart home devices that only run on 2.4Ghz and can only be added to your network through your cell phone. The problem is if your phone is connected to 5Ghz then it is impossible to add devices. The only solution is you have to contact eero support during there hours to disable 5Ghz. So anything after there support hours your SOL.

    You can also use an old device that only supports 2.4ghz to add the device, or move it far away from only one eero and add it.

    txgunlover This would be a partial solution but some of the new apps won’t run on the old devices. Example. I did exactly this to connect som smart plugs with Smart Life and an old IPhone 4s and that worked but the Whirlpool Connected app will not install on that old of a phone so I am stuck. The only next thing to try is to unplug the beacons and see when the iphone 8 only is able to grab the 2.4 but is still close enough to interact with the household appliances.

    I had to barrow a old tablet to add my devices. It’s a learning curve I guess

    This seems like such a simple feature that is missing from the Eero software!! I can within 5-6 clicks disable 5Ghz on my parent’s crap Fios router. yet my Eero system.

    This really is disappointing, so many devices only work on 2.4. Sonos and Sky Q both keep dropping (even if I connect them with only 2.4 active) when 5 kicks back in. Can we not have a feature to disable 5 perm.

    You can temporarily disable 5 ghz network now via the app. Go to Troubleshooting > My Device Won’t Connect

    The ugly truth is that Eero, when they updated their firmware to support wifi 6 screwed up all 2.4ghz connectivity. I’ve been working with them for about 3 months to get my 2.4ghz items online to no avail. Believe me, I’ve tried EVERYTHING. I can’t even get my iPhone to connect to the network when I disable 5ghz! I love Eeros, but I’m seriously considering moving to another platform. Right now, in order to connect my Nest thermostat and Cannon printer, I’ve purchased an old Apple airport extreme just so I can get these items online. I believe Eero is aware of the issue, but they can’t address it without screwing up their “one OS to rule them all..” Anyone else having these issues?

    I’m having a similar issue. I bought the Wyze Lock and the gateway it connects to can only use the 2.4ghz band and my phone keeps connecting to 5ghz and I have no old devices to try on. Being able to temporarily disable the 5ghz for 10mins for troubleshooting like realmendiy mentioned is fine, but it doesn’t help since the device I need connected can only use 2.4ghz.

    On top of all that, I can’t access the settings in the eero since it is owned by my ISP. Also my phone doesn’t give me the option to choose the WiFi band so this whole situation sucks.

    • sefanzed
    • sefanzed
    • $0 ” data-fmt=”MMM D, YYYY · h:mm a” data-tip-class=”infodate”>1 yr ago
    • Feature Requests
    • Reported – view

    Eero, as far as I can tell, will only broadcast on channel 1 on the 2.4ghz band. If that band is congested with other traffic from overlapping WiFi units, it will not provide a reliable connection. I’m hoping in future, Eero will allow users to select the 2.4ghz channel.

    • sefanzed
    • sefanzed
    • $0 ” data-fmt=”MMM D, YYYY · h:mm a” data-tip-class=”infodate”>1 yr ago
    • Feature Requests
    • Reported – view

    In the interim, you might wish to buy an older wifi system, such as an airport (eBay?). Create a secondary network and connect it to your Eero LAN with an ethernet switch. That will get your lock online while you wait for Eero to sort out the entire 2.4ghz issue. That’s how I’ve solved my issue.

    • Hunter
    • Hunter
    • $0 ” data-fmt=”MMM D, YYYY · h:mm a” data-tip-class=”infodate”>1 yr ago
    • 1
    • Feature Requests
    • Reported – view

    Can eero just add a feature to select 2.4G or 5G for different devices?

    One of my windows machine work terrible on 5G network.

    • aggies12
    • aggies12
    • $0 ” data-fmt=”MMM D, YYYY · h:mm a” data-tip-class=”infodate”>5 mths ago
    • Feature Requests
    • Reported – view

    I have the same problem as others have described above. Looks like issue still hasn’t been resolved even with the latest software updates.

    After troubleshooting the issue (coincidentally) with some of the features outlined in the thread, I’m still stuck.

    • Pacaron
    • Pacaron
    • $0 ” data-fmt=”MMM D, YYYY · h:mm a” data-tip-class=”infodate”>5 mths ago
    • Feature Requests
    • Reported – view

    I have been told on the phone that once the 5ghz is paused and you have connected to your 2.4ghz devices established, when the 10 minute (5ghz pause), is expired your 2.4ghz connections will continue to operate.
    I wonder, if that is really true, what the he11 don’t they just say that. I have yet to get that to work as well. 🙁

    • Insise20
    • Insise20
    • $0 ” data-fmt=”MMM D, YYYY · h:mm a” data-tip-class=”infodate”>2 mths ago
    • Feature Requests
    • Reported – view

    I would like to be able to turn off 5ghz for longer than 15 minutes. I have a JBL sound system that interferes with the 5ghz and makes my wifi almost unusable. Being able to disable this for longer than 15 minutes would be amazing.