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Topic # 107783 20-Aug-2012 10:47 Send private message

Hi all,
We have been asked by a small community down Manawatu way to try and get an internet connection to them. The current WISP's in the area have no line of sight from any of their current repeaters and aren't willing to install more gear in the area. They have access to a high site so getting the radio link to Palmy is no issue and something I can set up quite easily. The thing I don't know much about is how they will evenly distribute the connection we get from the back end provider. At first I just thought of putting in a pfSense box running a PPPoE server with the freeRadius package installed. I have put it on my home system but just don't know much about how RADIUS systems work to figure it out. It also seems a bit basic in what it can offer in terms of bandwidth and data monitoring. I am sure with enough time I probably could figure it out but reading around it seems Mikrotik is a bit of a go-to for most small 'ISP' type set ups. From what I understand they have a package called 'User Manager' and the routers have a PPPoE server. The big thing I want is an all in one device. I don't really want to have a whole box just for a RADIUS server but looking around I think I might have to to get the data usage monitoring that they need. The community is just going to share the cost of a 100/100Mbps connection from one of the local providers here so we want everyone to have fair game on the data usage.
So umm questions to be deduced from that mumble...
1) What do people use for PPPoE servers and RADIUS authentication?
2) Can I get an all in one device?
3) If Mikrotik is the way to go which router would be fine to support 10-20 pppoe connections? And if it makes a difference they will be NATing one public IP as public address space is too expensive and they don't need public IP's each.

At the end of the day I think the authentication side of things might just go way above my head so I will just do the easy work installing all the radios and get someone else to install the router but I would like to look in to it properly first and see what is really required.

Thanks in advance for any help!


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  Reply # 674478 20-Aug-2012 11:23 Send private message

The key question is how you're going to bill people.


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  Reply # 674479 20-Aug-2012 11:27 Send private message

Are you going to run the RADIUS server on site or off? TBH RADIUS has pretty simplistic accounting from what I've seen of it. Is PPPoE the only real option for wireless distribution? I suppose it kind of is...

In terms of bandwdith monitoring could you not have a static IP or subnet linked to each PPP account and then use standard IP monitoring tools which may be easier than RADIUS?







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  Reply # 674538 20-Aug-2012 12:50 Send private message

The whole point of this is that the community can get affordable internet access. So we have a fiber connection in palmy that is going to cost about $600 /month-ish so they just want to equally share the cost around the community. From memory they are getting 500GB of data with this so they will equally share this between them and pay the same amount. So 'user1' gets 30GB and when they reach this it will get throttled to 64kbps or something like that. I wondered if maybe just a Gargoyle router would suffice and then there would be no mucking around with PPP and RADIUS. On the houses will be NanoStations so I could just set each radio with a static IP and allocate bandwidth and data that way. Thoughts?

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  Reply # 674562 20-Aug-2012 13:42 Send private message

Fun Fact: I once spent a week building something like this for my flat, you logged in to the firewall and you prepaid for your megabytes and when they ran out the firewall rule allowing you internet access was removed.  Goodness knows where the code is now though.

Meter and bill will be easier than meter and slow down.  I'm not a mikrotik whiz, but I don't think they'll have that capability built in.  I don't know if any of the cheapo router options does, but I suspect the answer is no.  You may well need a PC or similar to look at the radius accounting data and change the bandwith shaping rules on your router appropriately.

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  Reply # 674674 20-Aug-2012 17:22 Send private message

The setup is actually exceptionally simple. Run an external radius manager with literally any Mikrotik board you want. The Mikrotik User manager could be used, but isn't the friendliest option out there.




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  Reply # 674682 20-Aug-2012 17:36 Send private message

Great. Pretty much exactly what I wanted to here. I didn't think it could be that hard as we don't need to bill for extra data usage just need the ability to slow it down. DMA Softlabs would be a good choice? Or is that a bit overkill. It is pretty cheap software so probably can't hurt to go for it anyway.

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  Reply # 674698 20-Aug-2012 18:13 Send private message

There are plenty of things that will trip you up along the way however! :-)



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  Reply # 674702 20-Aug-2012 18:27 Send private message

sbiddle: There are plenty of things that will trip you up along the way however! :-)


Haha yea I understand RouterOS isn't the easiest thing to get your head around

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  Reply # 674831 20-Aug-2012 21:51 Send private message

In all honesty my suggestion would be to get somebody in who's done this before.




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  Reply # 674844 20-Aug-2012 22:21 Send private message

I am leaning very heavily towards that. At the end of the day I don't have to pay the bill and I would rather give them something that works and not be a hash job. We do a bit of work with another company that I know have guys with good experience with Mikrotik so I think I will just hand the problem off and just do the easy bit.

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  Reply # 674870 20-Aug-2012 23:43 Send private message

We had a customer a while back who setup a near identical solution to a small community.

Initially they just used a bunch of bonded DSL connections for back-haul, think it was later upgraded to HSNS and used a windows server hosted in the data center for authentication. They then ran something called Antemedia on it to handle the per user billing etc, and had another dedicated router which looked similar to a microtik, but rack mounted.

I can't comment on how well it worked as the company closed down after a few months, but as far as I know it did work.




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  Reply # 674874 21-Aug-2012 00:19 Send private message

Back in the day I used to provide hotspot services to a boarding house and Antamedia was amazingly awesome. Might be the easiest for you.







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  Reply # 675170 21-Aug-2012 16:34 Send private message

Cheers for that. Looks pretty flash. Will download the trial and see what it's like. Obviously a lot easier to set up.

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