“Click Here” for easy and secure guest Wi-Fi…..

My head continues to spin after Wireless Field Day 6, and the thing that I keep going back to is guest Wi-Fi….easy and secure guest Wi-Fi, that is.  And it was my own sister that really started me thinking about this….read on.

So, I was talking to my kid sister (who is only one year younger, but has 20+ years teaching experience…) and I tried to explain what all the Facebook postings from my Twitter feed meant from WFD6, and we got on to the security aspect of guest Wi-Fi.  Now, I love my little sis…but, she’s not a Wi-Fi geek.  However, she knows how to ask good questions and she asked me a huge one:  How can guest Wi-Fi be easy and…how can I be sure, when I connect, that it is secure?

She nailed it on the head!   Any non-geek should be able to access guest Wi-Fi—but it should be EASY to do and they should know it is SECURE!  Or, in other words, “Click Here” for easy and secure guest Wi-Fi”.

(Do you hear that noise?  It’s my WLAN colleagues, ROTFL, saying, “Are you kidding!!!  Any Wi-Fi professional can set up easy and secure Wi-Fi!”)

Oh really?  Now, I am not talking RADIUS/802.1X/EAP authentication via AD/LDAP with WPA2 Enterprise encryption for company clients.  I am talking guest Wi-Fi–easy and secure guest Wi-Fi.  You know what I mean: A vendor comes to your company and needs Wi-Fi access, Wi-Fi at the coffee shop hotspot or the retail store you shop at.  Or, getting your email waiting for a church service or checking your RSS feeds before a concert begins or checking weather at a highway rest area or….well you know…guest Wi-Fi.

As I have had this draft going for several days now, I just saw a tweet from Keith Parsons at the WLPC conference:  “I think public Wi-Fi should be Fast, Free, and especially EASY! WLAN vendors and VARs need to help with customer’s paradigm change.”  So, the need is present and the talk is out there, but where are the solutions?

Cloudpath had a great presentation at WFD6 on how they can provide easy and secure guest Wi-Fi (via EAP-TLS certificates).  Of course, you have to have their buy their product and install it.  AirTight had a guest account setup where all you had to do for guest Wi-Fi was touch the Facebook button to get in (which, has already generated a lot of tweets/blogs which said, my paraphrase here,  “I ain’t doing that!”)  Or is Hotspot 2.0/Passpoint the answer?  I don’t know.  What I do know is, it is not the answer right now, and may not get enough vendor buy in to become the answer.

So, let’s start the conversation.  How do vendors/VARs “do it” — make guest Wi-Fi access easy and secure?  I don’t have the answers, but do you?  Shouldn’t we, as WLAN professionals, come up with solutions to make guest Wi-Fi easy and secure?  If we really believe this is a need, then let’s rise up and collaborate and find a solution to make it happen.  Virtue, ethics, belief, and feeling good about it.  That’s what the WLAN professionals I know would want to do.

There has got to be a way, right?  Dream with me for a minute:  You go to a coffee shop, get out your mobile device, “Click” a button, and in a few seconds, voila, you have easy and secure guest Wi-Fi.  You don’t know how it’s done.  All you know is that it was easy and it is secure.

So…I’m dreaming, right?   Or am I?  Can’t vendors/VARs work on something (proprietary or not…) that will let users (non-geeks) very easily and securely connect to their guest Wi-Fi?  And another good tweet from the WLPC:  “I’m a little nervous that people will find out I’m a phony, and may say something stupid.”

So, let’s start the conversation (OK, I’m nervous…and I may be the only one saying something stupid…).  But easy and secure guest Wi-Fi is a need and one without solutions (at present).

“Click Here” for easy and secure guest Wi-Fi”.  I’m waiting for the day when you can get this app at Google Play (Android) or the Apple Store.   Or, maybe it will just be part of the O/S going forward.  Whatever the case, it is NOT available now….and consumers are asking for it.  (Well, at least, my little sis is asking for it….)

So, let’s start the conversation: Easy and secure guest Wi-Fi is …….

Now, its your turn ….