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How to Share Your Wi-Fi Connection Like a Pro

Life can be hard sometimes. It’s hard when you have guests, and their kids want to know your Wi-Fi password, because they can’t live for an hour without playing that online game. Or maybe it’s not that bad! Maybe you want to start a home business, and an Internet connection would help make your offer more attractive.

Think registering your home with Airbnb, for example. Your place will definitely get higher ratings if you will also offer a solid Internet connection. Or maybe you’re a doctor and want to make patients feel more relaxed while they are in the waiting room.

The easiest solution is to use a router that has built-in support for guest networks. To activate it, simply log into your router admin page, and then enable the guest network. Create an easy to remember password, and then (if you’ll only share the pass with your friends’ kids) set an expiry interval – a few hours should be more than enough.

We are talking about a guest/temporary network here, but this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t enforce strong security measures; choose WPA2-Personal encryption and set a long password, even if it’s an easy one to remember. Something along the lines of “ilikedonutsalot2017” will do the job.

Another option is to use a standard dual-band router; this way, you will be able to keep the 2.4GHz network for yourself, and use the 5GHz network, which can (and should!) have a different name and password, for your guests.

If you still have that old router you were using several years ago, you can plug it into a spare Ethernet port, and then create a new Wi-Fi network. Or you can buy a cheap router and do the same thing with it. I know, old routers may have serious security holes, but many of them support the DD-WRT open source router firmware, so you may be able to resurrect your old router and breathe new life into it.

No matter what you choose, be sure to change the default router user/password combination to keep the hackers at bay. Choose a long, weird password here, with lots of crazy symbols like $ { ^ ], various letters and numbers. Use an online password generator, if needed, but pick a pass that’s got the maximum number of characters that are supported by your router.

It is important to make sure that you can’t access any of your devices that may be connected to the same network. Sometimes you may have a shared “family pictures” folder, for example. It’s best to keep it private the minute you’ve shared your Internet connection. And if you really need to share that folder on the network, be sure to protect it using a complex password.

OK, so you’ve configured your guest network. It’s time to log into it and see how it works. Most modern routers include QoS (quality of service) features, which help you set the connection speed for a particular network and even device. If we’re talking business, it’s best to offer a fast Internet connection; otherwise, your friends’ kids should be able to enjoy their game even if the download/upload speeds aren’t that big.

Sometimes you will discover that we are living in an imperfect Wi-Fi world: the signal may not be strong enough in the entire house. If this is the case, start by replacing the Wi-Fi antennas with a pair that’s got a higher gain. Router manufacturers tend to use low-end antennas for their cheaper products, and this leads to shorter Wi-Fi signal ranges. That’s why people have come up with the concept of a Wi-Fi “zone”.

If you need to send the Wi-Fi signal in a few different directions, it makes a lot of sense to detach the antennas from the router, plug in some long cables, attach the antennas to them, and then move them around until you get the best signal. Orient the first antenna towards the room that needs the best signal and set up the second antenna in a way that provides a decent signal for the rest of the house.

Of course, you can always use a Wi-Fi repeater, a device that amplifies the Wi-Fi signal. Most people make a huge mistake here, placing the device in the area that needs a stronger signal. The results are poor, because the repeater has to amplify a degraded Wi-Fi signal. The ideal solution is to place it at about half of the distance between the router and the target room.

These power tips should get you started, helping you share your Wi-Fi connection like a pro. So if you like them, don’t forget to share this article!