By Aaron Weiss
February 27, 2008
The simple hotspot: NoCatSplash
When you enable and configure NoCatSplash, clients who connect to your wireless network will be redirected to a Web page you have hosted on an accessible Web server. That page must contain a form, which returns specified values back to the router to authorize the client to access the network. Of course, the page may also contain any other information, policies, or advertising you wish visitors to see.
The three starred steps below are the only items you must set, since the remaining defaults are good for most configurations. (Steps 4, 6, and 7)
1. Open a browser to your router’s DD-WRT administration page, default address http://192.168.1.1 unless you’ve configured a different LAN IP.
2. Click to Administration, Hotspot to open the Hotspot configuration page.
3. Be sure that you have disabled Sputnik, Chillispot, and HTTP Redirect, and scroll down to the section for NoCatSplash.
4. Click Enable.
5. Enter a Gateway Name for your hotspot, such as “Coffee Cafe.” In the HTML for your landing page, you can insert $GatewayName to display the value of this field.
6. Enter the Home Page URL that visitors should be redirect to after clicking through your landing page. If you find this does not work, see the example below where we include this value in the landing page itself.
7. Enter the domain names for Allowed Web Hosts that visitors can access without being redirected to your landing page. Separate domains with spaces.Important: This field must include the domain name for the server where your landing page is hosted!
8. Do not change Document Root. This field is used if you store your landing page within the router filesystem itself, rather than an external Web host. (Accessing the router filesystem is for advanced users only and is beyond the scope of this article.)
9. Enter the Splash URL where your landing page resides. Remember, this should be a publicly accessible Web server and its domain must be listed in Step 7.
10. You can restrict network activity using Exclude Ports. By default, NoCatSplash excludes port 25, the SMTP port, to prevent visitors from sending spam. You can list other ports—separated with spaces—such as 21 and 23 to block FTP and telnet, respectively.
11. You can use the Mac White List to allow individual wireless clients unrestricted network access without being redirected to your landing page. Separate multiple MAC addresses with spaces.
12. Set the Login Timeout to the duration, in seconds, a visitor should be authorized before they are forced back to your landing page. The default value of 86400 represents 24 hours. A value of 3600 would represent one hour.
13. The Verbosity menu selects how much information NoCatSplash should log to the router’s syslogd server. (Only useful if you use the syslogd server.)
14. Do not change Route Only, which is disabled by default. The enabled state is supposed to suppress NAT on the hotspot, which could make your network vulnerable.
15. Click Save at the bottom of the configuration page. You will also need to reboot the router (click Reboot, also at the bottom of the page) for the NoCatSplash to stick. But before you reboot, create your landing page as described below.
In Step 9, you entered the URL for your landing page. You need to make that landing page. The landing page can contain anything you want, but it must contain an HTML form like this:
<form name=”login” method=”post” action=”http://192.168.1.1:5280/”>
<input type=”hidden” name=”accept_terms” value=”yes” /> <input type=”hidden” name=”redirect” value=”http://yoursite.com”>
<input type=”hidden” name=”mode_login”>
<input type=”submit” value=”enter”>
1. The form tag’s action attribute should point to the IP address of your router, in case you have configured it to something other than the default.
2. The input field named redirect should be set to whatever page you want visitors to see after they click through your landing page. This will override Step 6 in the router configuration. It also seems to work more reliably when included here.