Running a WiFi Hotspot – A Guide to Hotspot Systems

Just what WiFi Hotspot?

A Wireless Hotspot is an area that has WiFi gain access to the Internet. The word Hotspot is now used interchangeably for the both the area where the signal is available and the device (WiFi Router or WiFi Access Point) that is broadcasting the signal. Likewise the conditions “WiFi Router” and “WiFi Access Point” (AP) are often used interchangeably. jio wifi password change

Basic Hotspot – The Open up or Unencryped Router.

The easiest way to run a Hotspot is to acquire a domestic WiFi router, hook it up online and set the cordless security settings as “Disabled” or “Open”. This would allow one to gain access to the Internet and probably also access other computer systems linked to the router. You would have very little control of who connects and how much bandwidth is used. If perhaps you have no security concerns and aren’t looking at making any money this is a simple way to go. Expense ~$50-100 

Simple Hotspot – The Encrypted Router with WPA or WEP

An additional option is to permit security on the router, there are two styles of WiFi security WEP and WPA – WPA is the newer plus more secure. With both types you specify a “key” the industry code you need to connect. You might inform your customers what the WPA or WEP key is plus they could hook up. This offers some security and I guess you could change the WPA or WEP key each day, however there is nothing to stop someone telling their friend the important thing so it’s not suitable for making revenue.

The Captive-Portal.

Almost all commercial Hotspots are Captive Portals, this looks as an Open or Unencrypted WiFi signal but then redirects any traffic to a specific web page known as “Splash Page” where your often asked to login or purchase internet access. This is certainly a clever way of doing things as most laptops will automatically hook up to an open Wireless signal, then when a customer runs Internet Manager (or which ever Net browser they use) they are delivered to your dash page whatever site they try to hook up to.

Walled Garden.

When speaking about Captive Portals the definition of “Walled Garden” is frequently used. This is a site or websites that a customer can hook up to without paying. For example a buyer connecting to your Killer spot will be diverted to the Splash Page. They will will then be given a choice of paying for access to the internet or accessing free websites you have chosen, for example your Motel website or local destinations websites.

Hosted Hotspot Solutions.

There are several companies offering business owners a hosted hotspot service. These types of services normally involve setting up a modified Linksys WRT54GL router on the customer premises that redirect traffic to a splash web page hosted by the killer spot company. The hosting company normally also processes repayment for Internet access. These kinds of services normally work on an earnings sharing most basic where the hosting company pay the hotspot owner a portion of the income from the killer spot. Some companies also demand the hotspot owner a monthly payment for using their services.

DIY Attentive Portals.

If you avoid want to utilize a hosted hotspot solution there are many options for a DO-IT-YOURSELF Captive Portal. There are some commercial software deals that run on Home windows or Linux PCs and act as an attentive portal, with these the PC must be turned on 24 hours a day. Another approach is to run the Hotspot software on the WiFi router itself, replacing the stock firmware with an Apache based OS such as OpenWRT or DD-WRT. The challenge here is to slip the software required on the little amount of recollection on a domestic router.