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How do you temporarily redirect a user’s home page?

Posted on 2004-10-26
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Last Modified: 2010-08-05

How do you force a user’s web browser to go to a page of your choice rather than his default home page for first time logins or periodic payment collection?

You know how at hotels & starbucks (wireless hotspots) etc. the first time you access - or once every 24 hours your browser is automatically directed to the providers login page for payment or authentication???

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Question by:kmccain
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Expert Comment

by:spooniemate
ID: 12412047
Generally i would say this is done by proxy based software. Not just a few tweaks. Most likely it is a proxy setup to only allow a new user access once the user has logged into the proxy. The log file from the proxy would then be used to work out he billing. Other systems i have seen have this part more automated.
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heyiou earned 200 total points
ID: 12415074
There are several ways to do this, and it depends on a couple of factors as to how you need to do it.  This is how the ISP I worked at did it.

The ideal way would be that you know who has what IP address or be able to set DHCP settings by username and then when ever you wanted to redirect them, set their DHCP settings to use a DNS server where all addresses pointed to a webserver with only the payment or whatever screen on it.  
So if they go to microsoft.com the DNS server tells em the ip is 192.168.0.50 (or whatever the web server's ip address is).  Then once they've seen the page and done whatever you needed them to, then a flag is set to change thier DNS server back to the regular server, letting them surf like normal.  

This is a pretty basic explaination and isn't exactly a step-by-step how to, but it's hard to tell you exactly what do cus it depends and what info you have and what you can change.   But there is a simple answer of how to do it without proxy software so say for example it is a starbucks, etc type setup users dont have to install anything to work with your network and payment design.
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Author Comment

by:kmccain
ID: 12422321
Thanks to heyiou for reminding me about DHCP (Doh!)

 here's a howto -

http://www.southwestern.edu/ITS/netreg/SysAdmin/
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