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visitor-based networking (visitor-based network)


What are uses, benefits and risks of visitor-based networks?

Uses of VBNs

Providing a VBN is a core service to many businesses. Many restaurants and coffee shops provide free VBN internet to customers to attract remote workers, freelance workers or students to work from their store and build business for their other items for sale. This may also allow customers to access a web menu or ordering system. Coworking or shared workspaces must provide a VBN to its customers so that they can conduct business.

Many retail locations provide a VBN as a convenience to their customers. Often large stores or shopping areas may have poor cellphone service; providing a VBN in such places allows their customers to access the internet when they may not be able to. This allows customers to stay longer, or to access the company website to research or purchase items.

Often a captive portal can be used to direct traffic to the vendor. This may also provide access to a web-based map or list of stores and services.

Benefits of VBNs

Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E have many benefits for VBN. These improvements include better sharing of in-use channels and more regular communication times between devices and the access points.

These changes can particularly benefit locations such as sporting arenas and stadiums that may often have poor performance on their guest networks during large events.

Risks of VBNs

A VBN does carry security risks to both the provider and the user of the service. The provider must be careful that the network is properly secured and isolated from the corporate network. Separate VLANs and SSIDs (service set identifiers) may be used to separate the networks. The provider may also be liable for activity that occurs on the guest network and may therefore need to filter what users can access.

VBN users must also be cautious. With the proliferation of public Wi-Fi, some attackers set up networks that appear to offer free internet access but are actually honeypots designed to steal the user’s private information. Even if connected to a legitimate VBN, it may open their device to attacks Many people have started using virtual private networks (VPNs) to mitigate some of the risks of connecting to public networks.


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