This is a story that I thought I would share with you all, it's all about the problems that Gail was facing. She is a busy person and has a great job that she really enjoys, but like many people when her life changed she was left with a house and a mortgage.
This made things a bit tight financially so she decided to take on a lodger.
Perfect solution really, brings in a bit of money and stops the house feeling like a big echo chamber.
Now I bet you're wondering what went wrong…..
The sting in the tail
Getting a lodger was supposed to bring money in, so when she had to pay the “unlock the internet” toll she wasn't very happy but she accepted it happens. When it happened the following month as well she asked her lodger about it and it turned out he liked streaming while online gaming.
They did get on really well, so she thought it was a shame when he wasn't prepared to pay extra to increase the broadband, and decided to move out.
Not a bad experience but she wanted to be a bit more cautious in the future.
This is when Gail contacted me, not really understanding Tech, she wanted advice and reassurance that when she got another lodger who was tech savvy she would be better prepared.
So let's break this down…
This is allowing 3rd parties onto your network, it's not really a guest network where connections come and go since they need a more permanent connection which could be both wired and wireless. So although Gail only has a lodger; in many ways she is facing the same problems that a hotel, B&B would experience, just on a smaller scale.
So what do we need to consider?
- Limit bandwidth
Bandwidth is how much water goes down the pipe, we want to shrink the pipe for the Lodger so that they can't download as much information as fast.
They could still use up all of the monthly allocation, but it's more controlled.
- Security both physical and wireless
When we discussed security, Gail was shocked to realise it was something she hadn't considered. Physical security, yes. But not virtual.
Being hacked was not a very big concern although the thought that her lodger might go through her photos was a bit creepy, but accidentally getting viruses or malware is a concern as you can never really say what people do.
Where did it go…
At the end of the day everything is a compromise,
But with some simple network magic, it's fairly straightforward to split it into different “virtual networks” (VLANs), these spread across both wired and wireless with the help of a second separate SSID to provide separate logical networks isolated from one another even though they are physically the same box.
This made it possible to add a network socket in the lodgers room that's isolated from the rest of Gail's network yet accessible to his wireless devices.
With a few other restrictions the final result was protecting not only Gails devices from her lodger - but also the lodgers devices from her.
Of course Gail doesn't actually exist, well there are many people called Gail in the world but the one I'm talking about here is fictitious but the story is based on a real life situation.
The takeaway is that when you have guests or lodgers of any description, having your network properly set up becomes really important for many different reasons.