Being a small business operator in this day and age can’t be easy, especially in the cafe or restaurant trade.  People expect WiFi.  We’re like slaves to our devices and we want to suck all the free internet from whoever else is willing to pay for it and that normally comes in the form of the local cafe.  So, why not turn the table and try get a little something back for the business at the same time.

Facebook WiFi checking screen

Facebook WiFi checking screen

Netgear has teamed up with Facebook to come up with a new feature on its range of high-speed wireless AC routers including the new Nighthawk and via firmware upgrade to some of the existing models.

The way it works is simple.  Many routers, including Netgear models – have on them the option for a “guest” network to be created.  Offering people access to that wireless network gets them on the internet but without access to your local servers or computers.  You can use it in your home for guests, or in a business.

Businesses might protect that network with a password, so they can at least control who gets the access and put get eyeball to eyeball with users.

This new software adds a simple new layer to that equation.  When activated, guests to your business can connect to your free and open WiFi network and when they do they will get a login page which asks them to “Check-in” on Facebook to the place of business.

That way the person’s friends can see the check-in, the business is getting free exposure in return for providing WiFi and over time the business can also gather more general data about the users of the service.

Businesses can choose to provide the option to skip the check-in or enforce it, and of course the option still exists to simply grant access with a password.

Facebook WiFi – A simple win / win for businesses and customers – stand by for a Facebook check-in at a cafe near you!