We take a look at how you can prevent Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notices on your public Wi-Fi.

“My dad owns a restaurant and we used to give customers free Wi-Fi but we stopped after we got too many DMCA cease and desist letters.” - Reddit user CtrlF5DoS

As a business that offers public Wi-Fi, such as a cafe, bar, or salon, you are providing a valuable and often expected service to your customers. But with this valuable service comes the risk of customers who may be taking advantage of your Wi-Fi to illegally access copyrighted content (such as movies, television shows, and music) or take part in other nefarious online activities. When your customers connect to your Wi-Fi, you are responsible for what type of content is being accessed via your Wi-Fi connection. This means you could receive a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) letter or copyright infringement notice, with the possibility of legal action against you for downloading copyrighted material from your IP address or potentially having your internet service canceled by your Internet Service Provider (ISP).

While trying to offer something good to your customers (free and open Wi-Fi), you are putting yourself at risk - this really doesn’t seem fair. So, how can you protect yourself from the 'bad apple' customers who may be taking advantage of your public Wi-Fi?

Using Control D to Protect Your Public Wi-Fi

Control D is a smart Domain Name System (DNS) service that allows you to effortlessly block and filter content on your public Wi-Fi network without the use of a captive portal system or any additional equipment or software to install.

To better grasp how Control D functions, it’s helpful to understand what DNS is: DNS is like the giant phonebook of the internet, linking IP addresses (telephone numbers) to domains (names) to make navigating the web more human-friendly. Computers do not understand human words and are identified by IP addresses, which are numerical identifiers assigned to internet devices like servers. Whenever you enter a domain, your request is sent to a DNS server, which will check the domain name versus its database (the phonebook) to find the matching IP address.

With the use of Control D, you have full control over which types of websites can be accessed on your public Wi-Fi network. This means you can block access to common torrent trackers and indexing sites when customers are connected to your Wi-Fi, helping to protect your business from the threat of copyright infringement notices, legal action, and possible disconnection of service by your ISP. You can also block access to other potentially problematic content, such as pornography and illegal drug sales websites.

More Benefits: Faster and Safer Internet for Your Customers with Control D

While Control D is a simple solution for blocking specific websites on your public Wi-Fi network, it offers even more benefits for you and your customers.

Browse faster: When you browse the internet, you download more tracking and ad code than the content you actually want to see. This can slow down your browsing speed and use up your bandwidth. With Control D, you can block ads and trackers to save your data and improve browsing speeds - your customers will thank you for this!

Safer browsing: While it’s technically not your responsibility to protect your customers’ online activities, you can take quick and simple steps with Control D to block malware, phishing, and clickbait websites on your public Wi-Fi network. Your customers may never even realize it, but you will be providing a safer public Wi-Fi experience for them and protecting your own devices from malware at the same time!

5-Minute Quick and Easy Setup to Protect Your Public Wi-Fi

Once you have an account, Control D setup for your public Wi-Fi network is quick and easy. You can follow our guided tutorials to adjust a few settings on your router’s admin panel and voila - your public Wi-Fi is now blocking torrent trackers, indexing sites, adult content, and more. And if you need to make any adjustments, you can simply log in to your Control D account and toggle our built-in filters:

Screenshot of the Adult Content Blocking Filter in Control D Dashboard
Screenshot of the Torrents Filter active

Bonus: Know Your Customer with Control D Analytics

With Control D, you can do more than seamlessly block certain websites - you can learn more about your customers to help tailor your services!

Screenshot of Control D Analytics dashboard, showing total number of sites blocked as well as other key metrics

Our Analytics portal offers you an at-a-glance real-time and historical view of all websites being accessed from your Wi-Fi. This can allow you to learn more about the types of customers you are currently attracting to leverage future promotions and inform your business decisions.

For example, you may notice that on the weekdays from noon to 3pm, a lot of academic and scholarly websites are being accessed - this likely means you have a lot of students accessing your Wi-Fi at this time. You may want to consider adding some student-orientated specials to your offerings to help boost your sales.

Knowing your customer is key to success and with Control D’s Analytics, it’s never been easier.

Custom Price Plans Available

With Control D, offering free, safe, and secure Wi-Fi is now easier than ever, with the added benefit of helping you learn more about your customers. If you would like to discuss a custom price plan tailored to your specific business needs, you can contact us for a quote.