WiFi Me

On another forum I frequent, the question came up about sharing your home wifi with guests.

The general consensus on that board, was they were horrified that anyone would be so rude as to use wifi whilst visiting. Apparently everyone is supposed to sit around looking at each other, drinking their tea, with raised pinkie fingers.

But in the real world, do you share your wifi with guests who are visiting? Does relationship or length of stay factor in? When you are visiting someone, do you ask to use their wifi?

Recently, I was spending a good part of the weekend with friends. They are big gamers, and we are like family, so I didn’t expect them to entertain me. I took my iPad with me. After lunch, they were headed for their computers. (mind you, we were all still chatting. No one was tuning anyone out.) I handed my iPad to one of them and asked them to set me up. I would never ask for a password. My friend logged me in, and we all continued with the evening, it was still very social, but we all had an electronic device going.

Most if my visitors are family, so sure, they use my wifi.

Of course. What a weird attitude to not extend that to guests. They also watch my TV and DVD’s. No charge. :rolleyes:

This is my thinking as well. If a guest is hungry, you feed them. If they want a soda and I have one in the fridge, I give it to them. And I would offer wifi, I wouldn’t wait for them to ask. It just seems to me to be what a host does.

When I have friends over for the weekend they always ‘get’ to use my wifi. In fact, most of their iPads will just automatically connect because they’ve been at my house. Also, my wifi password isn’t a big secret to my friends. I’ll just tell them what it is. It has nothing to do with my regular passwords that I use for other things.

Same for when I’m staying with friends, I’ll bring my tablet and plan to be able to hop onto their network.

Now, if I had friends just ‘over’ for a few hours I’d find it odd if they wanted to cruise the internet while they were there, unless they were doing it for some specific purpose (like to look something up) or there was some downtime (like if I had to leave the room for a while to finish dinner). But if the night was winding down and they were that bored it might be time to go. But I don’t think that’s what you’re asking. Even if they were just over for a little while, they’d still be allowed to. I wouldn’t have a problem with it.


My guests might want to go to bed after me, or they might wake up earlier and want to check their email or do some work. Our guests are usually good friends or family, and generally don’t need to be entertained every waking moment. If they can get online, they can do what they like at times when we’re not actually doing something together.

My router allows the setting up of guest accounts, and i make sure there’s one available for guests when they arrive, with a relatively easy-to-remember password, so they don’t have to worry about plugging in my super-long, complicated wi-fi password. Then, when they leave, i just deactivate the guest account in the router.

Of course they can. It would be more than rude not to offer because we all have smart phones and use them often. If they’re not the on the wifi, they have to use their data plans.

For many years, my parents had a PC in their basement connected to high-speed internet. I finally got annoyed enough from having to trudge down to the basement to check my email that I bought them a wireless router and set it up. My sister (who is a big shot executive, and spends hours a day on her smartphone) was delighted, and now my wife and I can use the Internet after my folks have gone to bed.

I finally convinced my dad (who is starting to move pretty slowly) to buy a laptop, and now he can use the Internet upstairs, too. My mom still trudges down to the basement to check their email - she complains that she can’t use the keyboard on the laptop, but I really think there’s just enough subtle differences in the two machines for her to adapt to.

Hold onto your hat, because this might shock you but sometimes people even talk to one another, in between the looking at each other and pinky raising while tea drinking. So if one person is ignoring the others in the room and the conversation going on and is instead using his or her cellphone/tablet computer/notebook computer, some people might consider that a teensy bit rude.

I consider it a know your audience kind of thing. And it’s also possible to use your electronic device in a social way.

It depends on what you mean by “visitor”. If I were having some people over for dinner one night, I might find it a bit odd if they wanted my password. I’d give it to them, since for all I know they have something important to keep track of, but it would be a bit odd. When I have family come stay for days at a time, I don’t think twice about it.

There is zero chance I would let a guest in to my private, internal, trusted LAN.

But that’s why my router has a “Guest” option – it lets the user on to a separate VLAN that only has external access.


I set up a guest account, too, but that’s mainly for their convenience. I am trying to think of a single person who has been a guest at my house, who i wouldn’t trust on my network. I even have some friends who don’t have devices of their own, and they’re welcome to fire up my computer to check their email, browse the internet, whatever.

I guess you’re friends are a lot more sophisticated than mine, because with us, a lot of our conversation often involves showing each other interesting pictures and clips we saw online.

We always give overnight guests instructions for connecting to the wifi, just like we give them towels to use and instructions for finding things in the kitchen.

Maybe they’re just old enough to remember how visiting and conversation worked pre-internet.

I imagine this might be a generational thing. Older folks probably think in terms of “internet OR conversation” while younger ones think in terms of “internet AND conversation.”

Also, I’ve never bothered with a guest account for visitors. Even if a trusted friend decided to turn on me and infiltrate my precious data at some later time, he’d have to be lurking within close range of my house to do it.

I can’t recall the last time someone asked to use my wifi while visiting, but I don’t suppose I would mind (and I’m a Boomer.)

A friend is building an enclosed deck on the back of my house and I’m mostly at work while he’s working on my deck. He gets lousy cell service here so I gave him my wifi password in case he needs to check his email, pull up Home Depot online, or whatever. Why not? It is not costing me anything.

What DID people talk about back then, before they were exposed to a million new things a day on the Internet? Didn’t conversation get repetitive quickly?

Exactly. And I don’t see this as being somehow vapid. Let’s say we are discussing movies, or books. But I can’t remember the name of the actor or author. A quick fact check, and the conversation moves on.