Monday, March 06, 2006

Brag: Providing Visitor "LAN" at the Home

I have been getting similar questions from friends on how I deployed a "Visitor" or "Guest" access at my home. While there are many ways to do it, and I do find it very simple, still, many of my friends were not able to readily grasp the idea or just lazy to think about how I did it even if I did shared it already.

It's amazing how this is becoming "mainstream", at least, in the circle of friends that I belong with. Back in 2000 (or was it 2001?), when I first got my engineering sample of WiFi Access Point from Symbols Technology, my wife had no idea that she can work from her bed, without getting chained from our phone line cable. Indeed, WiFi broke the chain, and while wifey and I never had problems using the phone line, once we get hooked to the Wireless arena, we can't believe how easy and convinient it is. And even shared a slow 56k connection back then =)

Nowadays, broadband provider has been touting cheap and reasonable connection. It brought the idea of a Digital Home to an even broader segment. Back then, I was bragging to my wife that we're the only one in our subdivision that has WiFi; and we're the only one that has a central storage at home, and back then, we're the only one that, well, can share the Internet with one phone line! But now, almost everyone I know is doing sharing one way or another. The easily available routers makes sure that it's mainstream.

Now my friends expect each, at least in our circle, that we have broadband access and that if they/we visit a friend's location, that we can still be on-line. Sharing the broadband is ok, but ensuring that our own file server is still safe is another thing. Sure, WEP and other security measures can be provided, but when you have friends visiting you, sometimes they will not allow to have changes on their laptop and that's understandable. So I often ended up opening a "hole" just for them. Anyway, I figure since they visit me from time to time, why not just make a "guest" access similar to what can be found on some of the hotspots around the world, specially in airports.

So I just implemented my own dedicated "Visitor" LAN, where I don't have to frequently make adjustments to my own security systems, and my friends can also get online without me prying up their connectivity settings. Like I mentioned earlier, there many ways to do that, but my friends, knowing I did a "Visitor" LAN, had problems implementing it even if they know the idea.

So in the next few weeks, as soon as I am done reviewing about five(5) more motherboards, I may start doing the short article and share it :) the meantime, you can also share how you did yours or planning to do your. You can share your idea at the forum

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