6 Benefits of a Captive Portal

6 reasons why captive portals are important for your business.

When you have something everyone wants, you need to control who has access to it. Castles have moats, the subway has turnstiles, and enterprise grade WIFI networks have captive portals.

Each day, the average American spends nearly 2 and a half hours browsing the Internet on their mobile device. With nonvoice mobile activity quickly becoming America’s new favorite pastime, WIFI is in high demand. Most business owners recognize this and deploy enterprise level wireless networks for their establishments so that customers can surf the web as they sip their latte or shop. Unfortunately, many of these business owners do not realize that they are doing a disservice to themselves and to their clients by not requiring end users to go through a captive portalto access the wireless network. We at SLICE have compiled a list of six reasons why business owners should employ this underrated asset:

1. Portals Help Protect Against Hackers

After working hard to establish your business, you must work overtime to protect it. Captive portals can help.

One of the most commonly used tricks in the hacker handbook is to set up a fake wireless access point to obtain unsuspecting end users’ information. A captive portal assures your customers that the WIFI network they are logging into is legitimate. Your network’s obvious authenticity doubles as a deterrent to potential imposters.

2. Portals Help Prevent Lawsuits

Captive portals can be designed to include an Accepted Usage Policy (AUP), a statement outlining the conditions the WIFI guest must agree to before they are granted access to the network. The existence of an AUP relieves your company of some of the liability if an end user is the perpetrator or victim of illegal activity on your WIFI network.

3. Portals Allow for Customizable Usage Plans

From cars to jewelry, people love custom things. As long as you are providing WIFI, why not make it something your guests will love? Why not allow them to customize their wireless network usage plan? Captive portals can facilitate this.

Your network’s captive portal can be specially programmed to allow an end user to select the WIFI experience that best suits them. A custom plan prevents greedy WIFI guests from hogging bandwidth and slowing the system for fellow users by placing restrictions on things like the size of files end users can download and the number of files they can download per session. End users living in MDUs, where numerous guests simultaneously use the WIFI network for extended periods of time, will especially appreciate this captive portal capability.

4. Portals Raise Brand Awareness

Though not its most apparent benefit, the captive portal can be used as an effective marketing tool in a variety of ways.

The most successful companies take advantage of the virtually limitless potential the captive portal possesses to raise brand awareness by utilizing its less obvious abilities. For instance, captive portals can feature timed injection advertisements, which ensure that end users perform a desired action or view said ads for a certain amount of time before being permitted to view another screen. Portals can also display your company’s logo, exclusive deals, and requests to link to your company’s social media accounts. Below is the branded portal that welcomes guests to SLICE’s cutting edge Freemium WIFI:

5. Portals Provide Insight into Your Company’s Demographic

Track the online activity of those who have entered your wireless network’s portal to gauge the interests of your clientele. This information will paint a clearer picture of your business’ target demographic so that you can plan marketing campaigns accordingly.

6. Portals Generate Revenue

Previously, we discussed the many ways a captive portal guarding your business’ WIFI network can be lucrative; from the way its AUP helps prevent lawsuits, to the way it satisfies current customers while providing demographic information so that you can attract new ones. However, there are more direct means of making a profit off of your network’s captive portal. One way is by requiring guests to pay for a usage plan at log-in. Another is by using your captive portal as a sort of mobile billboard and renting advertising space to other companies.

Improve the legal, financial, and marketing aspects of your business all while providing a secure, custom wireless network experience for users. With a captive portal, it is possible!

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