Setting up a free WIFI hotspot

  armand 15:53 08 Feb 2006

I want to set up a free wifi hotspot at my business. Can anyone recommend a relatively inexpensive (under £200?), router/system that I could use. Here are a few of the considerations;
1. Only one point needed. Would cover all public areas.
2. I need to maintain some kind of control re bandwidth allocation. To avoid one person spending all day downloading music or whatever, and using up all the space.
3. Ideally a system that issued a password/ticket would be best. Timed if possible.
4. Would run off an existing sdsl line.

Any advice/recommendations gratefully received. I really don't want to go down the Cloud route, which seems very expensive for the user to me.

  Gaz 25 18:03 08 Feb 2006

Under £200 hmm, thats a hard one...

You'd need some serious kit to do what you want... I assume a Draytek router would provide you with your connection, and some sort of QoS...

Then you'd need maybe a Radius server for authentication for user passwords, etc. Not sure about timing, but you could offer a temp user/pass... and when you want to cut them off, just disable the account.

The additional or other option instead of Radius, is a Gateway. A transparent porxy.

Smoothwall, the commercial version would do this for you and would allow per user bandwidth, filtering, and connect your draytek vigor to the red zone, and your LAN switch (perferably a Netgear SmartSwitch if your setting it up yourself)

The total cost would be probably £400-500, at the least.

  Gaz 25 18:06 08 Feb 2006

By the way, you'd need a cable router from Draytek with the QoS feature to save some bandwith, and your staff internet could be on one of the router eth ports, and set-up to give you the most bandwidth, while limit for other connections on your gateway.

You need a cable router, because then an RJ45 into your modem would be fine... but it depends on your eq... you could do with Cisco gear really, but your budget wont allow.

  Gaz 25 18:07 08 Feb 2006

Oh, and for security, use the router to VLAN your traffic from your gateways traffic, or someone could use a packet sniffer.. and use a different IP range from your routers, DHCP'd by the smoothwall..

  Gaz 25 18:14 08 Feb 2006

Router: click here

Gateway: click here

  Gaz 25 18:17 08 Feb 2006

I rephrase. I wasn't thinking..

You need to plug modem into red part of smoothwall, green part would be your router, and then VLAN a section off for staff, and the rest (wireless, or isolate wlan) from other network.

  armand 11:48 10 Feb 2006

Much appreciated.

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