Wi-Fi Hotspots: Setting Up Public Wireless Internet Access (Part 2)

By Eric Geier

December 05, 2007

In Part 2 of this book excerpt, Eric Geier continues his explanation of how to how to set up a Wi-Fi hotspot that everyone can share, while also avoiding freeloaders and bandwidth hogs.

Spell Out Usage Terms
You should spell out the usage terms on your hotspot login or splash screens. To help fend off freeloaders, you could mention that the Wi-Fi hotspot service is provided only to customers of your business.

You should also mention other issues that you are concerned with, such as users spending too much time on the hotspot. For example, you might also mention in the terms that users should limit their use of the hotspot to an hour or less per day.

Monitor Your Hotspot
Monitoring your hotspot, such as the usage logs, helps crack down on freeloaders and is needed because you cannot always see the users of your hotspot. For example, people might be connecting to the hotspot from outside your facility, such as from the parking lot or in the apartment or office building next door.

If you are using a hotspot gateway or RADIUS server and you use user accounts, you can typically view the connection and usage details of each user, as shown in Figures 9-5 and 9-6.

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Figure 9-5: Example of the Usage Logs in a Hotspot Gateway Web-Based Configuration Utility

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Figure 9-6: Example of the Usage Logs in a RADIUS Server Web-Based Configuration Utility

If you are using wireless routers or other devices that are not equipped with true hotspot features, or when you are not using user accounts, you can typically view the connection and usage details based on the DHCP IP or MAC addresses of the users.

If you do notice a freeloader, you can block him based on the user account, as shown in Figure 9-7, or by the MAC address(es), as shown in Figure 9-8.

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Figure 9-7: Example of the User-Blocking Feature in a Hotspot Gateway Web-Based Configuration Utility

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Figure 9-8: Example of the User-Blocking Feature in a Wireless Router Web-Based Configuration Utility

Reproduced from Chapter nine of the book Wi-Fi Hotspots: Setting Up Public Wireless Internet Access. Copyright 2007, Cisco Systems, Inc.. Reproduced by permission of Pearson Education, Inc., 800 East 96th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46240.

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