Many routers have the ability to broadcast both a main network and a separate guest network. Guest networks are unique networks with their own names and passwords, though they originate from the same hardware.
The main benefit of using a guest network is that it allows folks to provide guests with Internet access in a home, office, other location while also protecting the security of their normal network. Because it is a totally separate network, folks who join a guest network are isolated from the main network and won't be able to see devices or shared services (like printers) in use on the main network.
Can I still use my guest network?
Under most circumstances, you can still use your guest network with Circle paired to your main network. There are, however, a few things to keep in mind:
- The Circle device will not manage the guest network. Because the guest network is totally separate, the Circle device will not see any Internet activity on that network.
- Use a password to prevent getting around your Circle device. This will prevent unauthorized users from accessing your guest network without permission. Only give the guest network password to people who you don't want your Circle device to manage.
- Some routers have guest networks that are incompatible with your Circle device. While many routers offer guest networks that work well with the Circle device paired with the main network, there are a few routers with known incompatibilities. Read more below.
Routers with incompatible Guest Networks
The following routers have guest networks incompatible with Circle:
- Linksys N600 EA2500
- NETGEAR AC1600 R6250
- NETGEAR AC1750 R6400
- NETGEAR N600 WNDR3400
In this case we recommend disabling the guest network altogether. You can do so by logging into your router and the editing the guest network option. Refer to your router's manufacturer for more assistance doing so.
Can the Circle device manage a guest network?
The Circle device is able to pair to a guest network that is broadcasted over the 2.4GHz band. Some dual-band routers have the ability to broadcast guest networks on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, and your Circle device will be able to manage traffic over both bands. But, the Circle device will only pair with the 2.4GHz network. The Circle device will not manage Ethernet connections if paired with a guest network.
Have other networking questions?
Check out these additional resources: