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Visitor-based networking

Visitor-based networking

(also VBN)

Visitor-based networking definition

Visitor-based networking (VBN) is a technology that enables users to connect to a local network or the internet without the need for traditional Wi-Fi. VBN works by using a web browser to establish a secure, encrypted connection between a user’s device and a network access point. This access point can be a VBN router, a VBN server, or a VBN-enabled device. VBN is often used in public places to provide secure access to the internet without the need to connect to a potentially unsecured Wi-Fi network.

VBN is easy to deploy and manage as it can be set up using existing infrastructure (like web servers and firewalls) and managed through standard web-based tools and interfaces. This makes it a cost-effective and flexible solution for organizations that need to provide secure network access to visitors or guests.

See also: Wireless network security

Disadvantages of visitor-based networking

Limited range. VBN typically uses a captive portal to provide network access, so users need to be within range of the access point to connect. This can be a disadvantage in multi-story buildings or campuses, where multiple access points may be required to provide adequate coverage.

Compatibility issues. Since VBN is a relatively new technology, it may not be compatible with all devices or operating systems. Some devices could require specific software or configurations to connect to a VBN access point, which can be a challenge for less tech-savvy users.

Security risks. While VBN is designed to provide a secure way to connect to a network, there is still a risk that someone could gain unauthorized access to the network by bypassing the captive portal. Network administrators must monitor and secure their VBN access points to prevent it.

User experience. VBN is less convenient for users than traditional Wi-Fi networks, as they need to enter a particular web address or scan a QR code to connect every time.

Further reading

Ultimate digital security