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I'm trying to get my NetGear WNDR3300 wireless access point to do the following:

  • basically be secure as possible; WPA2-PSK security level with a long passphrase, hiding the custom SSID (not the default "netgear") and so forth (even thinking about filtering by MAC address)

  • but also allow some kind of a "guest" access for when a friend is here and would like to use the WLAN - without divulging the actual passphrase for accessing the WLAN as such

Is that even possible? If so: how? I'm a programmer - not a sys admin - so this stuff is all a tad foreign to me :-) Any thoughts, ideas, approaches are most welcome !

share|improve this question
MAC address filtering does nothing; just sayin'. – squircle Jul 24 '10 at 21:33
Filtering by mac is more security by obscurity. Same with hiding the ssid. Mac addresses can be spoofed easily. As to the guest network thing. There are 2 basic options. Buy a new router that has guest network capabilities or find a crappy old router set it as a ap with an easy to remember password for guests and just turn it on when they are over. – MrStatic Jul 24 '10 at 21:50
1) A really long CAT-5. 2) 3rd party firmware. DD-WRT does hotspots and supports this model. Too bad the native firmware doesn't do this, even though it does allow multiple SSID's. – hyperslug Jul 24 '10 at 21:57
This doesn't do exactly what you want, but if your router supports it, you can connect computers to the router using Wi-Fi Protected Setup. Basically, you just tell the guest computer to connect to the WAP, and then push the button on the router, so you don't have to type in a long passphrase. (However, by the nature of WPA2, it shares your passphrase with the computers that connect.) Re: hidden SSID and MAC filtering, I'm not an expert but from what I've heard they're not more secure and just make it more difficult for you/guests to connect. WPA2 + good passphrase is sufficient. – Stacey Hanson Jul 24 '10 at 22:07
Yeah this router does have an implementation of WPS they call Push-N-Connect. But your buddy could fish up your password later on with Nirsoft's Wirelesskeyview. – hyperslug Jul 24 '10 at 22:34
up vote 2 down vote accepted

This is not possible on standard residential grade equipment (from the big manufacturers).

I have seen a few unknown brand cheap routers that allow you to set up multiple wireless connections, but it is very rare to find other than on expensive business grade equipment.

The easiest thing you can probably do is to purchase a cheap second hand router and disable routing and dhcp then use it as an access point and simply turn it on whenever you have a guest visiting. I think this method will also give the best security as I have my doubts about a few of the cheaper brands that do offer multiple connections.

share|improve this answer
Apple's Airport Extreme base stations do guest networking — they're residential grade. – Nerdling Jul 24 '10 at 23:12
It's not typical of standard residential equipment, but it does happen and it's not exactly uncommon either. – Joel Coehoorn Jul 25 '10 at 3:35
Hm, I had no idea they started including guest modes. Just found a D-link DIR-655, Belkin N+ F5D8235 and an iLinksys, I mean Valet. Cool. – hyperslug Jul 25 '10 at 13:44

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