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Guest WiFi Network on the Plusnet Router - How to do it

Projjer
Dabbler
Posts: 10
Registered: 21-03-2013

Guest WiFi Network on the Plusnet Router - How to do it

I realise that lots of users will be very reluctant to swap out the Plusnet router - such an action moving the install away from "standard" with potential for problems if service issues arise in the future.
I have recently come across a device that will provide a guest WiFi network with a good level of security.
The device I have been "playing" with over the past week is a Devolo dlan 500 wireless access point.
The device can be quite easily configured with a Guest Network Access using the excellent Devolo Cockpit application.
A dedicated SSID and password can be specified and other functions are configurable such as "Opening Hours" or "Max length of Logon for a connection" and "Only specified MAC addresses"
An IP sweep from a logged on guest gives only two visible addresses, other than any guest connections.
These are the IP address of the device itself, which seems to be impervious to any further probing and the IP of the router which brings up the login page.
So, if you keep the router login details safe (you have taped over the information on the router itself haven't you?) then you will keep the details of your other connected devices away from prying eyes.
There is a comprehensive manual available for download from the Devolo website
http://www.devolo.com/products/dLAN-WLAN/dLAN-500-WiFi/data/Manual-dLAN-500-WiFi-com.pdf
Reading the manual it states quite categorically that the guest network devices can only access the internet. If, however, access is required to the private network then there is an option to permit it.
Incidentally the manual is 80+ pages and goes into detail regarding the configuration options
Most impressive compared to the general low grade literature usually provided these days.
Devolo are at the pricier end of the market, but used ones do appear regularly on fleabay.
A few days ago the wireless device sold for £28 and non-wireless devices start a few pounds less, but can be more expensive if they have mains pass-through socket with multiple lan ports.
One thing to note is that the guest network option only applies to the 500 and 1200 range of WiFi devices.
Simplest install is where you have a spare router port and a nearby mains outlet.
If you lack either, or both of these, then Devolo sell a number of other devices with mains pass-through sockets and/or single or multiple ethernet ports.
If you need this extra device then it gives you the added advantage of being free to re-locate the wireless device to a more optimal location for your home as it can have your private WiFi access working in parallel with the guest access.
Disclaimers :_
I have no connection or affiliation to Devolo other than a satisfied customer
Although I have some some network knowledge I am not a network security expert
HTH
9 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Registered: 06-11-2014

Re: Guest WiFi Network on the Plusnet Router - How to do it

Quote from: Projjer
I realise that lots of users will be very reluctant to swap out the Plusnet router


I've not even used the PN router I got, I just plugged my D-Link DIR-615 into the fibre modem (though the faster speeds have caused the router to act up, but it has been running almost 24/7 since 2009!!), I stuck with what I know cos it works... Smiley
As for guest networks, a lot of modern off-the-shelf routers offer that feature now, so I'm not too sure why this Devolo (never heard of that brand before) is so special in offering something that everyone else does, but, each to their own, I'm sure someone will find the info useful... Smiley
As for the technicolor things, I've yet to find anything useful about those, my old one used on another provider just barely did the job as an ADSL modem, it's WiFi range was poor, features were limited (I wanted the 3G backup option to work, but was disabled in Firmware), and it was very much the networking equivalent of a space-saver spare tyre in a car...  Roll eyes
Community Veteran
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Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Guest WiFi Network on the Plusnet Router - How to do it

Cisco cx3600 at this end and it has a guest wifi network built in Smiley While it may lack the advanced configuration of the devolo, it does the job with minimal fuss when it's activated.
Not that it gets used though.. infact i even have the main wifi turned off at the moment as we're using ethernet for the time being.
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
Community Veteran
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Re: Guest WiFi Network on the Plusnet Router - How to do it

There is a way to set up the TG582N for a guest network if you're feeling brave enough and can use Telnet.
I've got a feeling I used this one here : http://npr.me.uk/advdmz.html
Projjer
Dabbler
Posts: 10
Registered: 21-03-2013

Re: Guest WiFi Network on the Plusnet Router - How to do it

Guys
Whilst there are a number of ways to provide a guest network the method I detailed was initially designed for a client of mine with a Home Hub on BT Infininity.
They were wanting to offer customers and visitors a WiFi service, but the over-riding requirement was that absolutely nothing was done to the BT installation.
They have minimal technical expertise, and like businesses generally, they expect suppliers to rectify problems with the supplied services.
The solution is working well, is easy for them to manage and most importantly there is no need for them to (in their words)  "mess with something we don't understand"
I am slightly suprised that some contributors to the Forun have not heard of Devolo.
The are a German company that have been in data over the mains (Powerline Networking) since the idea first surfaced.
Think of them as the Powerline equivalent of the Fritzbox  Smiley
Just to digress a little, when out walking the dog around the town I often scan the WiFi available.
It is by no means a scientific survey, but the greatest number of routers I see out there are those provided by the ISPs  (BT, Sky, Talk-Talk)
Cheers
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,345
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Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Guest WiFi Network on the Plusnet Router - How to do it

Another easy way to provide guest wifi is to use a pci wifi card that supports AP mode. I did this for many years with a winXP pro installation. The only snag is that its not straight forward to intercept any guest devices and require them to use a password input page etc but you can turn the adapter on/off as required and with a good firewall you can still have reasonable control of who can / cannot connect to it. Unfortunately Ralink 2500 chipset based cards are increasingly hard to find these days and those are the best as they can be set to AP mode from a cold boot whereas other ralink devices require you to run the softAP manually to put the card into AP mode.
Raspberry pi is another suitable candidate with a carefully selected usb wifi dongle that can act as an AP. Small, light on power consumption, full linux distro..ethernet abilities.. i'm sure i need not point out how convenient these can also be! Plus when needs change they can be easily repurposed (unlike any router / AP).
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
Community Veteran
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Registered: 21-01-2013

Re: Guest WiFi Network on the Plusnet Router - How to do it

Quote from: DomS
There is a way to set up the TG582N for a guest network if you're feeling brave enough and can use Telnet.

IIRC the O2 version of this router allowed you to enable a guest wireless network from within the GUI.
Surprised it's not available in the Plusnet version.  Undecided
Mal08
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Registered: 20-08-2008

Re: Guest WiFi Network on the Plusnet Router - How to do it

Quote from: Projjer
Just to digress a little, when out walking the dog around the town I often scan the WiFi available.
It is by no means a scientific survey, but the greatest number of routers I see out there are those provided by the ISPs  (BT, Sky, Talk-Talk)
Cheers

Well I would imagine that the vast majority of ISP customers don't have the same technical skills of many of the regulars here - or are not technical in any way.
They just order broadband and use the standard routers sent out by ISP's.
That is probably why ISP's use the fairly cheap routers.
I just wish PN & other ISP's could have a recommended list of routers for more advanced users with more specific needs - after many of the ISP engineers and support staff are probably researching such things for their own use?
SpendLessTime
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Re: Guest WiFi Network on the Plusnet Router - How to do it

@mal08
They will never recommend any other router/modems as that would give you legitimate grounds to expect them to support any recommended device. Hence only advice is given for the supplied products which are aimed at the lowest cost to Plusnet for the most common uses of the product.
Mal08
Rising Star
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Re: Guest WiFi Network on the Plusnet Router - How to do it

Fair point - but how much better from a customer relations point of view to be seen helping customers?
Now that FTTC and FTTP are clearly developing faster I still think a two tiered approach would be a good thing. I wonder if any ISP's do support more than one.
at least do what Zen do https://support.zen.co.uk/kb/KnowledgebaseArticle.aspx?articleid=11243
I suppose seeing some respected senior staff say which routers they use is useful  Cheesy