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Topic # 198863 26-Jul-2016 06:33
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Hey,

A friend is asking me for a recommendation on how best to provide free wifi for his restaurant customers.  He wants to have a timer so people are limited to 30 minutes of wifi.

 

He doesn't want to use a computer, so ideally something that is contained within the access point?

 

Any recommendations, especially if you've actually used them personally, would be much appreciated.

 

Cheers,

 

Adam.


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  Reply # 1598667 26-Jul-2016 07:15
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Call in an expert to install a Mikrotik hotspot using a guest account.

 

The reaason you  need an expoert rather than a DIY solution is that 99% of people wouldn't have the slightest clue in the world how to secure a network, and the number of cafes offering free WiFi that have them sitting on the same network as their tills is unbelievable.

 

 




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  Reply # 1599079 26-Jul-2016 14:37
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I'm a "retired" IT guy so I understand the importance of seperating the internal network from the guest network. :-)

From a quick look at the documentation I only see mention of authenticated sessions?  Nothing about anonymous timed access?

 

Does anyone know of a *good* but more consumer grade solution?  Something that they could manage themselves without needing an IT guy once it's setup?

 

Thanks.


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  Reply # 1599087 26-Jul-2016 14:54
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Meraki would suit you nicely for this https://meraki.cisco.com/products/wireless/mr18

 

 

 

Lots of built in ways of restricting access and managing guest users - managed from the cloud with support available from Meraki

 

 

 

Just checked my management console and you can setup the network as a free/paid network

 

Free can be setup with limits - where you can say 30 minutes a day free for example.

 

 

 

 




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  Reply # 1599093 26-Jul-2016 15:04
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Thanks, checking it out now.

 

Also found this which looks like the right feature set, but a bit more than I was hoping to spend ...

 

http://www.pbtech.co.nz/index.php?z=p&p=NETZYXUAG4100

 

It's been a while since I looked into this, I'm a bit astonished that it isn't a basic feature in most decent consumer grade APs now.  Huh!


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  Reply # 1599100 26-Jul-2016 15:18
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I'd recommend using a Zappie router, you can either buy one ready to go with a warranty or flash the firmware yourself to a variety models. You can set free time or data within set hours plus plenty more features to explore.


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  Reply # 1599122 26-Jul-2016 15:54
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As sbiddle mentioned, Mikrotik hotspot has "free guest access" built in. Allows people to click a link on the captive portal page which logs them in as a "guest". You can then set up your guest profile to limit to 30 minutes, or have a data quota on it too.

 

As for your 'consumer grade' comments, it really isn't something a consumer should implement. You need network knowledge to set up the required VLAN's, firewall rules etc, to make it a solid and secure implementation. Then there is the actual wireless network design - sure a restaurant may get away with a single AP but that's not really the point. 


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  Reply # 1599126 26-Jul-2016 16:05
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A Mikrotik is the cheapest (and arguably) the best solution for your needs  - there is a reason it's probably the most commonly used hotspot solution. You just need to work out what sort of wireless you want, factoring in that you may need multiple access points. My recommendation would be Xclaim by Ruckus which is a great price for the performance it offers.

 

Once a Mikrotik is set up correctly there is no need for maintenance.




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  Reply # 1599127 26-Jul-2016 16:11
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Thanks for the pointer to Rukus, I was trying to remember that brand name and failing.

 

I'll have another look at the Mikrotik, but I'm too old and grumpy to believe "set and forget". :-)


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  Reply # 1599128 26-Jul-2016 16:20
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adamshand:

 

Thanks for the pointer to Rukus, I was trying to remember that brand name and failing.

 

I'll have another look at the Mikrotik, but I'm too old and grumpy to believe "set and forget". :-)

 

 

Xclaim is a SOHO brand from Ruckus - Ruckus kit really needs a controller (and licencing) unless you love CLI programming and don't mind missing out on some features that are only accessible via the controller.

 

 

 

 




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  Reply # 1599132 26-Jul-2016 16:29
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Xclaim looks wonderful, but doesn't support timed guest access as far as I can tell from the documentation. :-(


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  Reply # 1599135 26-Jul-2016 16:32
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I will endorse everything previously set out in this thread and the suggestions will likely prove to be the best possible and most robust solution. That said, if you are happy working through some instructions yourself and are aware of all the disclaimers, you should be able to do what you want with DD-WRT and a reasonably cheap compatible router (e.g. TP-Link). You will need to flash DD-WRT yourself. Read the instructions carefully and follow them exactly and you should be fine.

 

Depending on what exactly you want to achieve, start out with:

 

- Guest WiFi and abuse control for beginners

 

- Chillispot and the DD-WRT guide to Chillispot

 

At around a $200 price point, you can get a Cambium R201 that I think has a DD-WRT fork built in. I have one of these on order to play with, but haven't yet done so in any detail so no idea at all whether it will do what you need it to. Buy at your own risk. Note that you need the R201 not the R201P which has some funky POE on the WAN port.




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  Reply # 1599137 26-Jul-2016 16:34
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Great, thanks!


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  Reply # 1599139 26-Jul-2016 16:43
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adamshand:

 

Xclaim looks wonderful, but doesn't support timed guest access as far as I can tell from the documentation. :-(

 

 

Xlaim hardware is a wireless access point, nothing else. You need a router such as a Mikrotik to perform the router functions and captive portal.

 

You could use a Mikrotik all in one solution with WiFi but you haven't said how many people or devices you will have. Remember many low end routers (such as most capable of DD-WRT) and cheap AP's will start to choke at many more than 15 or so connected clients.

 

 

 

 




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  Reply # 1599150 26-Jul-2016 17:02
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That's because honestly I don't know, I'm just looking at options on behalf.

 

At a guess a single AP would work for the size of the space (a single Apple Airport is covering the space now) and I'd be surprised if there were more than a half dozen people connected at any one time, but I suppose it could peak up into 12+ people.  Not huge numbers either way.

 

Just looking for the simplest solution that ideally a smart somebody with a non-IT background can tweak if needed.

 

Thanks for the help.


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  Reply # 1599153 26-Jul-2016 17:15
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Why bother with a time limit. It's just internets, just let people use as much as they want and change the password regularly. In the unlikely event that it becomes an issue deal with it then. There I just significantly reduced your requirements ;p




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