Business & Tech

Why Public WiFi is Good for Business

Many businesses today run partially or entirely online. Even old-fashioned services such as mechanic shops and lawn service companies have a prominent online presence. So it’s easy to see why fast WiFi is a necessary part of business operations. But WiFi can actually benefit your business in the area of marketing in a surprising number of ways. 

Why Install Customer WiFi?

Wireless Fidelity, or more widely referred to as WiFi, is a technology that allows your PC, mobile, or laptop computer to connect to the internet via a radio wireless local area network. You do not need a physically wired or tethered connection to surf the web at high speed. With one router connected to the internet, it is possible to use several devices at once. This flexibility allows not only your entire staff to do business online but connects you to your customers as well. 

If you run a brick-and-mortar business like a clothing boutique or gift shop, offering free WiFi to your customers is seen as a “free bonus” for shopping in your store. Free WiFi access can keep people lingering in your store, or better yet, give them an incentive to stop by if they are in the area and need a stronger internet connection. Mechanics and doctors’ offices can benefit from making longer wait times more enjoyable.

Make Your Business a Truly Hot Spot!

Business owners dream of making their place the “hottest spot in town.” From restaurants to hair salons, it pays to be popular in your community. 

When it comes to internet connections, though, a hotspot refers to an accessible WiFi area, usually a public space like a cafe, airport, or hotel. Not all require logins, but some do and even require a fee to access. All you need for your hotspot is a built-in wireless transmitter, or if you’re using a laptop that doesn’t have one, then an adapter that plugs into the USB port. 

Offering a hotspot to patrons of cafes and restaurants has long been regarded to build repeat customers and followers. A cafe can request a review or Facebook check-in to use their hotspot, which produces visibility through social networking, too. 

Pay Close Attention to WiFi Security

Fake WiFi access points are sometimes referred to as “Evil Twins”. Similar to a phishing scam, the Evil Twin can eavesdrop on your wireless communication. When you offer customer WiFi access, a hacker can set up a hotspot that mimics this connection with the primary network name, tricking the average user into logging on to the Evil Twin and giving access to proprietary information. 

The best way to protect yourself from an Evil Twin is to use a VPN or at the very least only visit websites with HTTPS secure pages. A simple Google search for Evil Twin will yield numerous how-to-hack websites on the first page of results. This pervasiveness should tell you how easy it is to set up a fake WiFi and steal passwords and other vital data. 

When using any internet-connected device on public WiFi, using a VPN protects your private information. While you can’t install a VPN client on your customers’ devices, you can take steps to educate frequent customers on the benefits. You can also make a habit of periodically checking the way your network appears to new devices and investigating any suspicious Evil Twins that may arise.