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Advice on sharing a wifi connection.

JuicyPoloMan

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 8, 2013
49
4
Hello all,

I’m wondering if someone can give me some advice, I’m not really clued up when it comes to routers etc.

Me and my wife have recently converted our house into two flats. We have agreed that the tenant who is moving in upstairs can use our wifi included in their rent.

I was thinking about setting up a permanent guest wifi and just giving them access to that. Would that be the best option? That way my home network is protected, plus it gives the tenant their own SSID and password (Which I’ll set up in advance)

what does everyone think? Is there disadvantages for them on the guest network? Will they even be aware they are on a guest network. (They’re not a techy person in anyway, shape or form, so they won’t ever go into the router settings themselves)

Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks
 

BigMcGuire

Contributor
Jan 10, 2012
6,395
7,962
California
Run an ethernet cable upstairs and get them their own router? Guest network is fine but I find it can slow things down especially if there is heavy traffic on it (video streaming, gaming that requires low latency, etc). That's probably how I'd do it if I could.

My apartment is 3 stories (garage is first floor) - and my mother in law stays with us part of the year... even though I'm running a super expensive router, she has connection problems even though she is one floor below us.

If you can't do an ethernet + their own router, yeah guest network should be fine. Just make sure you've changed the admin password on that wifi router from the default. :p
 
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JuicyPoloMan

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 8, 2013
49
4
Run an ethernet cable upstairs and get them their own router? Guest network is fine but I find it can slow things down especially if there is heavy traffic on it (video streaming, gaming that requires low latency, etc). That's probably how I'd do it if I could.

My apartment is 3 stories (garage is first floor) - and my mother in law stays with us part of the year... even though I'm running a super expensive router, she has connection problems even though she is one floor below us.

If you can't do an ethernet + their own router, yeah guest network should be fine. Just make sure you've changed the admin password on that wifi router from the default. :p

Great idea! Didn’t think of that at all. I know for a fact she won’t be gaming or anything too heavy. Mainly streaming Netflix etc. The occasional zoom meeting maybe?

Will she be able to access anything on my home network if connected through Ethernet?

Thanks for the advice I’m going to look into another router. Could technically just be a cheap one right? As long as it has a Ethernet port
 
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BigMcGuire

Contributor
Jan 10, 2012
6,395
7,962
California
Great idea! Didn’t think of that at all. I know for a fact she won’t be gaming or anything too heavy. Mainly streaming Netflix etc. The occasional zoom meeting maybe?

Will she be able to access anything on my home network if connected through Ethernet?

Thanks for the advice I’m going to look into another router. Could technically just be a cheap one right? As long as it has a Ethernet port

Right, depending on how you have it set up. Here where I live, we have an ISP Router that accepts the coax, then the ISP gives you a WiFi router that connects into that to provide your house with Wifi. I ditch that for my own router.

So when I say run ethernet to upstairs - I mean from the ISP router (not the wifi) --- if that makes sense.

If yours is an all in one unit, then yes, she'd be able to access your network from ethernet so may just be best to go guest network there. Depending on how much you know about routers / wifi networks - you can run an ethernet cable upstairs to another wifi router and configure the two not to see each other.

I usually stay name brand whenever doing anything with WiFi.
 
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daimos

macrumors regular
Feb 23, 2009
188
119
Windows 10 and macos can be turned into a hotspot. No extra hardware needed.
 
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JuicyPoloMan

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 8, 2013
49
4
Windows 10 and macos can be turned into a hotspot. No extra hardware needed.

I didn’t know this was the case. Even so I only have a MacBook so that wouldn’t work with her upstairs needing a constant connection.
 
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daimos

macrumors regular
Feb 23, 2009
188
119
It can be her macbook. just run the wire to her and she can set it up.
 
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justashooter

macrumors regular
Apr 8, 2020
129
47
I would just enable guest with its own network name and password in your router, make sure that "Allow Guest To Access My Local Network" is not checked. You may be able to limit the bandwidth the guest can use, if needed, my TP-Link router has these settings. If you have storage attached to your router make sure the storage sharing is turned off for the guest. If she doesn't have connection problems you're good to go, if she does then you may have to go another way.
 
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velocityg4

macrumors 603
Dec 19, 2004
5,286
1,748
Georgia
Some guest networks don't allow devices to see each other. Which would mean your tenant can't use a network printer or file share between devices.

If you have a router from an ISP. Send a line upstairs from that. Then they can have their own network. If they connect a router. You can also connect your own router to the ISP router. Creating your own network. Now you can keep them separate. With the tenant having their own fully functional network.

If you just have a modem from your ISP or provide your own modem. There are routers which allows you to segregate LAN ports to their own network. So you can keep them on a separate network upstairs.

Anyways, there are multiple ways to have two segregated fully functional networks. On one internet connection.
 
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hallux

macrumors 68040
Apr 25, 2012
3,191
742
Here where I live, we have an ISP Router that accepts the coax, then the ISP gives you a WiFi router that connects into that to provide your house with Wifi. I ditch that for my own router.
Not to be pedantic, but when dealing with people who may not really know the difference it may be important to be accurate.

The unit with the COAX connection is the MODEM, unless the ISP has provided an all-in-one solution. In your example, however, it sounds like they have also provided a separate router.

For the OP - if you connect a second router to yours through ethernet unless the second router is set up as an access point only, you could end up with a double-NAT situation. See this article for an explanation - https://kb.netgear.com/30186/What-is-Double-NAT. Is this an issue? Maybe, maybe not. But, if the second router is set up in AP mode the computers connected to that router may have access to YOUR computers.

I would say the guest network with isolation (from the main network) enabled would afford you the most secure solution for your network.
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
20,445
7,253
OP wrote:
"We have agreed that the tenant who is moving in upstairs can use our wifi included in their rent."

NOT a very good idea.
What if you rent to an otherwise-normal-looking person who has an affinity for downloading illegal material (such as "child porn")?
What if the police or some other government agency comes after them?
How will you prove to the authorities that it was your tenant who was doing the illegal activities and not you ... since you both will have the same IP address...?
 
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brianmowrey

macrumors 6502
Oct 5, 2020
337
98
Is it a dual-band router? If not, get one, it already comes with two networks.

Then you just assign a different password to the 2.4 network and let your tenant (or their booster) use that. Put your computers and phones on the 5 network and use the 2.4 for whatever non-compatible, non-private-data containing devices you have. That’s the arrangement I setup for my mother who was in the same boat as you with a tenant. You still need to set a custom router ADMIN password because either network can use the router IP address to bring up management login. If you use Airplay you might have more to think through.

That said, for myself I would avoid sharing at all costs, legal and privacy paranoia always pays in the end.

edit: I should have framed that using this is not ACTUALLY better than using Guest except that I just don’t feel as comfortable with the guest network idea.
 
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