Does Verizon FiOS Support a Guest Wi-Fi Feature?
By Andy Walton
Setting up guest Wi-Fi allows you to provide an Internet connection to devices through your wireless network, but without allowing those devices access to sensitive network resources such as shared folders or printers. Guest Wi-Fi is a particularly useful security measure if you regularly have visitors use your network. You can set up guest Wi-Fi on your Verizon FiOS Internet connection, even though the routers provided by Verizon do not include this feature.
Guest Wi-Fi setups broadcast two wireless Service Set Identifiers rather than one. The first SSID corresponds to the “main” network, and connects all the network's sensitive resources. The second SSID has a separate name and password, even through it is usually broadcast using the same hardware as the main SSID. This “guest” network is generally only used as a means of providing Internet connectivity, allowing you to keep certain devices separate from the main network while still enabling them to connect to the Internet.
As of December 2013, Verizon does not offer a router that supports guest networking with its FiOS service. However, guest networking is controlled by your network's router, not your Internet Service Provider. As such, you can still use your FiOS Internet service to set up a guest network by using a different router from the one provided by Verizon, or by adding a separate Wi-Fi access point to your network.
Using an alternative router is perhaps the simplest way to set up guest networking on a FiOS network. FiOS is a cable-based service, meaning that it is only compatible with cable routers. Examples of cable routers that support guest networking as standard include the D-Link DIR-636L, Netgear WNDR3400 and Apple Airport Express Base Station. To configure guest networking on a third-party router, open the device's menu and look for its Wi-Fi settings. Select the option to turn guest networking on, and then enter a name and password for your network.
You can also configure a guest network by adding an access point to your network alongside your regular FiOS router. Alternatively, you can use a router that has been configured to act as an access point. To do this, turn Dynamic Host Control Protocol, or DHCP, off on the second router, before connecting the LAN ports of the two routers together using an Ethernet cable. The network broadcast by the FiOS router then acts as the “main” network, while the second router's network provides guest access.
Andy Walton has been a technology writer since 2009, specializing in networking and mobile communications. He was previously an IT technician and product manager. Walton is based in Leicester, England, and holds a bachelor's degree in information systems from the University of Leeds.