Unless you have a fair understanding of technology, choosing between restaurant WiFi solutions can be complicated. The hardware can vary depending on the size of your premises, the layout of the restaurant and where the router is going to be located (hint: never locate restaurant WiFi solutions near microwaves).
The strength of the signal required can be influenced by the number of customers that will connect to the WiFi service and the strength of wireless Internet connections in neighboring properties. You might also have to pay for more bandwidth if you anticipate customers live-streaming videos or watching TV on their mobile devices.
Potential Issues with Restaurant WiFi Solutions
Undoubtedly, the provision of a WiFi service can attract customers to your restaurant and increase business. However, there are potential issues with restaurant WiFi solutions. The first is if you use the same router for business transactions and to provide a WiFi service for your customers. In this case it is recommended you use an encrypted WPA2 connection for your business transactions and an SSID connection for the WiFi service. This will keep your business transactions confidential.
You may also encounter issues if you offer an unfiltered WiFi service, as an unfiltered WiFi service has no protection against malware downloads that can infect your network and your customers´ mobile devices. Your customers could also be the victims of phishing campaigns while using your WiFi service. Although this would likely be their fault for not taking sufficient care, the bad press that might follow such an event could wipe out the commercial advantages of offering a WiFi service.
An unfiltered WiFi service can also result in your restaurant losing business if you allow customers to openly watch unsavory or offensive content on their mobile devices. The same can apply if you have an uncontrollable number of customer using your WiFi service to live-stream videos or music and preventing other customers from receiving an Internet signal. The solution for restaurant WiFi solutions in order to avoid these potential issues is to get an Internet content filter.
What Internet Content Filters Do
Internet content filters have a three-tier mechanism that protects WiFi networks and customers´ mobile devices against malware, and prevents customers from abusing your service. The first tier checks every request to visit a website (either by typing in a URL or clicking on a link) against a blacklist of websites known to harbor malware, known to be phishing sites, and known to be hiding their true identity behind a proxy server. If the website appears on the blacklist, the request is denied.
The second tier allows you to select the nature of content you will allow your customers to access. Websites are sorted into categories (abortion, adult entertainment, alternative beliefs, alcohol, etc.), and you block the ones your customers would consider unsavory or offensive. This tier also allows you to block access to P2P file sharing websites that customers might use to illegally download copyrighted material – an activity you may be considered liable for by providing the WiFi service.
The third tier allows you to fine-tune your category selections by keywords. You can either blacklist (block) or whitelist (allow) access to certain websites according to how frequently keywords appear. In order for this feature to work, it is necessary to implement an Internet content filter with SSL inspection. SSL inspection reads the content of encrypted websites (those with an https:// prefix) that other Internet content filters allow access to because they fail to find any prohibited content.
Other Benefits of Internet Content Filters
Regardless of whatever restaurant WiFi solutions you install, if you offer a free WiFi service you are likely to encounter “customers” who only want to visit your venue in order to use the service, and not to order food. To avoid having to charge for your WiFi service to overcome this issue, you can configure an Internet content filter to limit the amount of bandwidth a customer can use. Internet content filters can also be configured by age, user group or time if you want to allow different levels of service.
In addition to resolving the potential issues with restaurant WiFi solutions, Internet content filters can provide other benefits. For example, web content filters have a reporting option that reveals customers´ online activities. This information can be used to tailor future restaurant promotions. In this way, not only will you attract customers to your restaurant by providing a secure WiFi service, you will see more customers returning because your promotions appeal to their interests.
One further benefit of Internet content filters is that they are easy to install and configure. Most restaurant WiFi solutions connect to the websites via their DNS settings. All you need to do to install an Internet content filter is change the DNS settings on your router (it takes about twenty seconds). Thereafter, pick the website categories you want to block, fine-tune the filter with any specific keywords, and the filter is ready to go. The whole start-to-finish process takes just a few minutes.
Try WebTitan Cloud for WiFi for Free
WebTitan Cloud for WiFi is our cloud-based Internet content filter that is the ideal companion to restaurant WiFi solutions. Compatible with every type of computer operating system, your customers will not even realize their online activities are being protected because of the fast speed at which WebTitan Cloud for WiFi works. Our Internet content filter is trusted by over 6,500 organizations in 129 countries, and we would like to give you the opportunity to try WebTitan Cloud for WiFi for free.
In order to take advantage of this opportunity, click on the “Start Free Trial” button now and enter your restaurant´s details to start downloading our software. If you need any help with installation or configuration, our team of Sales Technicians will guide you through the process. Once you have evaluated our solution for filtering restaurant WiFi solutions, you have the opportunity to purchase an inexpensive software license to continue filtering your Internet content, protect your network and resolve potential issues with restaurant WiFi solutions.