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What type of wireless router do I need to offer wireless internet like hotels?

Posted on 2006-11-05
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Last Modified: 2010-04-11
Hello ALL.
What type of wireless router do I need to offer wireless internet like hotels? I do not want to charge credit cards or anything like that.... I just want to have the guest users see the SSID in their wireless software and when connect to it. Once connected and try to go on the internet, I want them to hit a website that asks for a keyphrase and a disclaimer. if they type the keyphrase they gain access to the internet. if they do not, they are still blocked.

If possible, I would like to have the option that asks if they need a public IP address for VPN users.
what kind of cost is associated with something like that. I think it should be pretty simple to setup.
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Question by:onlinerack
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Expert Comment

by:legacy192
ID: 17878549
Hello
Just wanted to point you in the right direction..
As for what type of wireless router... I'm not sure if your looking for brand or Type.. So I will provide both. Just about any manufacturer's wireless will work. You should consider using a 802.11 B/G router as these are the most common. Also It would be a good idea to conduct a wireless survey so that you can cover all of the areas you would like. Also be mindful that if more than on  A/P (access point) is needed each A/P will require a different channel. As for the redirect for authorization your looking to setup a web proxy. My personal recommendation for this one is a Linux solution. Don't know how familiar you are with it. As for the VPN connectivity more and more are using port 443 for this type of access just don't block it at a firewall or the router and they will be able to establish a vpn connection. As for cost the wireless stuff is pretty cheap... as for the Linux prox it can be cheap... I don't know the size of the hotel or building you are trying to set this up for. Linux is friendly I imagine that you will be able to get away with a P4 with between 1-1.5 gb of ram. Well that's it let me know if you have any further questions.....
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Author Comment

by:onlinerack
ID: 17878772
thank you for your reply. you kind of touched on what I am looking for.
Currently I have a Linksys G/b in place and the area is covered pretty well (small)
the problem is that I have it secured WEP. I get a lot of visitors in the building and everytime we have to go through the wireless card they have to put the encryption key.
This is what I want to do:
have the wireless to be not secure, when a visitor comes in, he/she connect to the network, and when they go to the internet I want it to route them to a page to put a passphrase (standard one that I would create) which would allow them to get on the internet. Some hotels have a box that says if you are using a VPN you can check a box that would give you a public IP.)
the reason behind this is that no one we do not want can get internet access to the internet through the wireless network, and this way I do not have to deal with all different wireless cards, I just have to deal with a web site to put a pass phrase.
does that make sense? if not I will get into detail.
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Expert Comment

by:bmedward
ID: 17878936
This website goes into several details on setting up a hotspot.

http://cisco.com/en/US/products/sw/secursw/ps2086/products_user_guide_book09186a008007cd2b.html
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Author Comment

by:onlinerack
ID: 17878965
thank you bmedward  but this is not really what I need. I will have one pass phrase, this is for visitors from different companies that come in and want to get on the internet. they will be connecting to network other than my primary one, they will be hooked up to a cable connection that is doing nothing but serving visitors. I do not have a lot budgeted for this porject.
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Accepted Solution

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bmedward earned 300 total points
ID: 17878981
Sorry - bad computer had the wrong link in the clipboard.  This is what I ment to send (I think).

http://www.sparcotech.com/wireless_networking/setting_up_wireless_hotspot/wireless_hotspot/wifi_hotspot_setup.html
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Author Comment

by:onlinerack
ID: 17879056
Great resources and info in this link. I really enjoyed it.
I think this is what I really needed from it
http://www.bluesocket.com/products/accesspoint.html
http://www.nomadix.com/company/contact/

do you have any idea as to what type of technology they use to get page redirection and based on pass phrase the user gets internet access. Budget is an issue unfortunatly and these seem to be like the big dogs.
I want to be able to look at different vendors out there and compare.
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Expert Comment

by:bmedward
ID: 17885116
It looks like there are several free/open source projects that touch on this topic - I havn't tried any of these and have no first hand experience configuring this type of access.  

Check out some of the hits on this list:
http://sourceforge.net/search/?type_of_search=soft&words=internet+hotspot
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Assisted Solution

by:darrenakin
darrenakin earned 100 total points
ID: 17891064
One of the better hotspot routers is a D-Link, you can find it here http://www.dlink.com/products/?sec=2&pid=402 , you can offer your own hotspot software, unlike the linksys where they want you to use Boingo
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by:bmedward
ID: 17892499
Just a few more fun links -

This one also looks interesting - LESSnetworks appears to let you do the legwork yourself for free, or buy a pre-configured system. http://www.lessnetworks.com/

DNSRedirector.com has a comparison chart at http://www.dnsredirector.com/compare.asp that lists several solutions for this problem that span a range of work and price.
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Author Comment

by:onlinerack
ID: 17977094
Thank you all for your help. I ended doing it via 46bit encryption with a 10 digit number... works well. $0 cost. I was hoping to find something decent for little money out of pocket :)
I learned a lot from the links you provided find good info. :)
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