Safety & Privacy
How HomePass’ Control™ makes your home WiFi guest access secure
by Adam HotchkissDecember 2017
We’ve all been there. It’s the age old dilemma of how to share your home WiFi network with your guests. Sure, for your own family it’s easy. You tell or text them your secret WiFi password and they’re on. But it gets more complicated with guests, like the babysitter or your overnight guests from Airbnb. HomePass' Control finally solves the dilemma with secure, customized guest access.
Until now Guest WiFi has clumsily evolved into a separate WiFi network with a single password to share with all your guests. If your guests wanted to play some tunes on your Sonos or print their boarding passes, tough luck, because your separate guest network is firewalled from your home network and giving them access to your printer also means giving them access to your NAS with all of your family pictures.
Additionally, once you give out your password to your guest WiFi network, you are no longer secure. Those WiFi passwords get around, and the longer you go without changing the password (how often do you remember to change your guest WiFi credentials, anyway?) and the more people you give it to, the more you are exposed.
Control exclusively provides a secure WiFi guest access solution fixing all these issues by enabling:
- You, the host, to create and share different passwords to your guests and temporary visitors in your home, and revoke them at any time;
- Securely sharing access to any device in your home, selectively to any guest;
- Setting your temporary guest’s access to automatically shut down at any time;
- Keeping only one single WiFi network name for all your needs — say “goodbye” to a separate guest WiFi network; and
- Controlling and easily share access for your guests with the HomePass app.
So, why is this more secure than our old Guest WiFi network, and how is it done? Let’s dig into the details.
First, it’s not a good idea to give one password to all your guests and let it live on forever. Instead, give each of your guests their own personal password with Control through the HomePass mobile app, and, if needed, set a time for that password to expire and shut off.
Second, you decide which devices each of your guests can access, and which they cannot. Control blocks any attempt to access local devices on the network without permission from you, the host. For example, your old friend should have access to your Plex media server to show their favorite movie, but you can limit your party-goers to only access your TV to show photos from their phone. And neither set of guests get access to your video camera DVR system when you’re not quite sure you remembered to change the default password. Devices that only connect to the cloud, like Nest Cams, can be shared via their respective apps without the need to share via Control. We’ll block all devices by default to avoid any security loophole or hack from allowing guests to gain direct access to turn your device into a bot or send video feeds to unwanted people.
Lastly, it’s not always your guests that you need to worry about; it’s the devices you bring into your home. For any devices you want to make sure only access the internet and not your home devices, create a separate internet only password. This is good practice for your new IoT light switches or that work laptop where you’re not quite sure what software is running in the background. Likewise, fully isolate guests you don’t want to have access to your home devices through passwords with internet only access.
Let’s nerd out now. Control strictly blocks all traffic between guests and your home devices at each pod in the network, unless the destination of the traffic is to the internet or to a shared device you specify for each guest in the HomePass App. Plume uses a cloud-based Software Defined Network (SDN) architecture to implement this access control, taking advantage of enterprise grade security and filtering rules.
So, say “Goodbye” to the minimal security, separate Guest Networks congesting the WiFi airwaves and take control of your guest access with the visibility and confidence of securely sharing access to your family, friends and visitors from the HomePass app.