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I'd like to set up my home Wi-Fi so that visitors can use it while preventing the visitors from accessing or seeing my home computers.

One option seems to be to have two Wi-Fi access points, one wired to the other, and use NAT/Firewall to keep the visitors out of my home network. Then I'll end up with double-NAT, which is a disappointment.

What other options should I consider?

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4 Answers 4

Newer routers like the Netgear WNDR3700 have separate guest access.
"Guest network access — Provides separate security and access restrictions for guests using the network." The dual band (2.4 and 5 GHz) gets you a cleaner signal with faster speeds. The guest access is not on a separate frequency or channel, but has a separate SSID and encryption key, and of course separate network security.

This is just one example of many newer routers with this feature and is probably the easiest way to have the separate security. If you have some existing hardware, like other routers or a Linux/BSD box, then there are other things you could do.

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Many wireless-N routers are dual-radio, and many of these can be configured to use the second radio as a separate wireless network that is "public" and is prevented, within the router itself, from seeing the private and protected network.

If your wireless router is dual radio, see if it has this feature built in.

Another way is to buy a second wireless router and leave DHCP running on both the routers using different IP ranges. Daisy-chain the routers and set up security on the second router for your private network. Those visitor clients connecting to the first router will not be able to see the devices connected to the second router and all communication between your personal devices on the "home" network will stay on the second router and only internet communication will be sent up, through the first router, to the modem. The first router will then act as a gateway to the second one.

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The easiest way to do what you want is to give the access to your router based on MAC (Media Access Control) addresses of the authorized PC's Network adapter and give a static local address to each authorized PC-Network adapter

E.G.

  • PC 1 MAC addr. : 54-E6-FC-87-53-F4 set to 192.168.0.100
  • PC 2 MAC Addr. : 00-27-19-D6-83-88 set to 192.168.0.101

and so on...

Suggested (free) tools to have an eye on your WiFi Network: NirSoft Wireless NetView and Wireless NetWatcher.

http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/wireless_network_view.html

http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/wireless_network_watcher.html

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How would MAC filtering help? –  Jay Bazuzi Feb 6 '12 at 19:27
    
MAC address spoofing is fairly easy. And MACs are easy to see over the air, so easy to copy and spoof. This won't help much, sadly. Also, your answer tells how to prevent from accessing the router, not how to firewall it internally. –  Rich Homolka Feb 6 '12 at 19:47
    
Yes you're right. Thank you for these valuable informations. :) –  climenole Feb 6 '12 at 23:39

FON is OK but you would have to purchase a FON Router unless your ISP is a FON partner. The FON is limited so you don't lose much connection speed. On the plus side, you get to access any FON hotspot when you're out and about.

Their website is here

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