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Wireless Networks Thread, HotSpot Cafe style access for students in Technical; Hi, We have win2k3 server with ISA doing all our web filtering and PaperCut NG doing all our charging. All ...
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    HotSpot Cafe style access for students

    Hi,

    We have win2k3 server with ISA doing all our web filtering and PaperCut NG doing all our charging.

    All machines are registered on the Domain via AD and GPO controls everything.

    Users log on and gpo and logon scrips manage experience based on machine location and type and user type.

    What I would like to do is have a way of allowing staff but mainly students to bring in their own laptop, PSP, smartphone, etc and hook on to our network without IT support.

    What I want to happen is that they detect our wireless network, or plug directly into a wired port, and from there get auto directed to some web page or similar that authenticates them somehow. Once authenticated they can have access to internet, printers, folder shares, and other domain resources as per their authentication privileges. If they don't authenticate, then we can either block them, or offer them a variety of guest accounts (visiting staff), or give them the choice to pay for our network service via some coupon system.

    Is there anyone out there doing this already and could point me in the direction of where I could find software solutions to install on our servers to achieve this.

    Apart from Office staff who would have domain joined desktops, eventually I would have no other desktops and the students and staff could choose their own (mac, pc, *nix, whatever) laptop, network capable device and hook on.

    I am not worried about software compatibility at this stage, as I know having multiple OSes would mean multiple document platforms (ie MSWord on Mac/PC versus OpenDoc etc) I have a plan for that problem.

    So again, are there any off the shelf solutions out there ie Cafe Hotspot style access that is good for a school situation.

    PS: we have simple wireless APs, but have good switches with VLAN support etc.

    Cheers

    James

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    bodminman's Avatar
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    Is this any help: ChilliSpot - Open Source Wireless LAN Access Point Controller. Spice up your HotSpot with Chilli
    Thanks dude.. I had a quick look and noticed that this is fairly defunct, and also caught through one of the forums that it is now replaced by CoovaChilli | Coova :: Open Source Captive Portal Access Controller and RADIUS Software

    Both need a linux box to run on and also need a seperate Radius Server by the looks of it. The later also has a firmware option for APs but I don't think ours are up too that option.

    I will look deeper into the issues on this solution but am still keen to hear of others.

    Cheers

    James

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    bodminman's Avatar
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    There are a number of similar options available out there but I just chose this one as I implemented this at my old place and it worked well and is stillgoing strong now, two years after I've left!

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    I've used Wifidog for something similar to this in the past. Might be worth a look - its Open Source too, so very tweak-able

  6. Thanks to chrisbyrd from:

    bodminman (21st January 2011)

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    I m still trying antamedia dot com
    my test is very simple with just one AP and 3 devices, but the demo is working so far.
    Worth to check.

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    cpjitservices's Avatar
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    We use HandyCafe, got a full site license for it we run it at work and at an Internet Cafe which I'm in charge of, works a treat and it's cheap too.

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    @jimbow

    Have you looked at a commercial solution like the ZyXel Hot Spot Gateway devices?
    They are incredibly simple to setup (after RTFM) and can be located anywhere on your LAN.

    The clients are completely zero config and will even work when a laptop or device has been statically IP set up by corporate IT depts!
    Preset rates can be entered into the device and it can be run standalone with a Thermal printer with 3 buttons to select the tariff and print the access codes or you can run it from a PC via a web interface.

    We use them in Hospitality areas charge appropriately one button dispenses an acces code that the user enters on a web page to gain access.

    All users get directed to the landing page, even your own users can be tunneled back to the school lan with no charge.
    Web pages or even domains can be made Free of Charge, so you can allow open access to certain sites but charge for others.

    At around £500 GBP for the whole system in a box it's a great way of addressing the issue.

    If you want free there are some versions of the old Open WRT out there than can do similar things and can be flashed onto a compatible router like the old Linksys but all of the ones I tried had caveats such as advertising or pop ups which at least with the commercial solution YOU can control and have your own popups!

    We give "Free" wifi access in one bar at a football club but I have ads popping every 90 seconds for Beer, Pies and Mechandise... Hey nothings really free you know!

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