In an earlier blog post, we talked about the benefits to setting up a guest network and how you can "turn your internet connection into cash." In this blog post, we're going to dive into exactly how you would set that up in the most correct way possible. We're going to handle the seperating of the network from your primary network, isolating each client while they're on the network for security, and how to setup the access point and controller to handle it all.
First thing we'll go through, is the router configuration. The router I recommend you use, is the Edge Router Pro, and the reason i recommend you use this specific router is because it's fairly easy to use and you get enterprise grade routing capabilities with it. Enterprise grade capabilities meaning it can handle literally thousands of users on your network, in multiple subnets, VLANs, VPNS and everything else you can think to throw at it. Eventually when your network gets big enough and has enough users, you're going to need that kind of power, and that power does not usually come cheap. Fortunately, the Edge Router Pro IS cheap ( as in in-expensive) and you get all that kind of power with it as well. In the video above, we'll go through how to setup a VLAN to keep the traffic for your guest network in it's own separate subnet, so your primary network devices don't intermingle with the guest devices. After we setup the VLAN, we'll setup a DHCP server for the VLAN, so when users jump onto that network they are assigned an IP address automatically.
As far as the router goes, that is all you need to setup for it. In future and more complicated tutorials I'll show you how to setup a VPN on your guest network so all users inside your guest subnet are connected to the internet inside a VPN tunnel using the Private Internet Access VPN. Doing that will protect you a little bit more in the sense of if your users happen to do anything crazy on your network, like downloading movies or whatever, you're protected from the upstream ISP by the VPN.
After the router is setup, it's time to setup the Unifi controller, which if you haven't downloaded yet you can do that HERE. Then we'll be setting up the Unifi Access Point AC AP Pro. We'll setup the unifi controller to broadcast a second guest WiFi network along side your primary WiFi network, to which you get to choose the name for. Then we'll setup your guest WiFi network to tag users for the new VLAN you just setup in the router. Tagging the users in the guest network for the VLAN, will mean that when users join the guest network they are places in the correct guest network VLAN subnet we just setup in the router.
This is just the beginning of what you can do for your guest network setup, and in future tutorials we will show you a few extra options you can use to secure it a little further both for you and your guests. For now however, this is enough to get you going and allow people to join and use your guest WiFi network. From here you can customize your captive portal, either to monetize on it or even just to showcase your own business. In future tutorials we will be going over not only the programming and design of a monetized captive portal, but how to actually monetize it as in selling or marketing the thing to make money with.
I invite you to join us as we go forward and really setup the guest WiFi network so its loaded to the 9 with all the bells and whistles! If you have questions, run into snaggs or need help at all with your own networks, feel free to reach out to us! We're looking forward to helping you make the most out of your own guest networks.