You are not logged in.

#1 2005-12-11 23:36:10

phrakture
Arch Overlord
From: behind you
Registered: 2003-10-29
Posts: 7,879
Website

Making a wireless hotspot

Hey all,
I have a few questions, and I'm hoping someone has done something similar before and can point me in the proper directions here.

If you've ever been to one of those wireless hotspots at a coffee shop or airport, you'll know what I'm talking about.  You easilly find an unencrypted access point, connect, and run DHCP.  "Hey an IP, woohoo".  Then you open up your browser, type in http://bbs.archlinux.org and BAM, you get slapped in the face with "Welcome to Joe Schmoe's wireless hotspot" - a page forcing you to enter your account info or create a new account, providing your credit card number and all that jazz, then you can continue surfing.

I'd like to replicate that functionality for a friend of mine who runs a small business.  Ignore all the credit card hoo-hah, as that's unimportant.  It should be passworded and the password is to change every day (by the owner).

The thing is, I really have no idea how this is done - is this some DNS server thing?  Are there wireless routers out there which have this functionality?  Are there apps which provide something like this?

I'd like to do it with Linux, but that's not a requirement.  The only major requirement is that he be able to do the simple administration himself - and I can help him out when things get messy.

So, if anyone has *any* info about something like this, please let me know.

Thanks,
phrak

Offline

#2 2005-12-12 00:54:48

paul2lv
Member
From: Vegas
Registered: 2005-11-09
Posts: 116

Re: Making a wireless hotspot

If he wants to keep it easy, he should get a WRT54g (not a v.5) and flash it with a new firmware like DD-WRT.

Offline

#3 2005-12-12 03:01:30

phrakture
Arch Overlord
From: behind you
Registered: 2003-10-29
Posts: 7,879
Website

Re: Making a wireless hotspot

paul2lv wrote:

If he wants to keep it easy, he should get a WRT54g (not a v.5) and flash it with a new firmware like DD-WRT.

Right, things like OpenWRT would work nicely - but I guess I'm looking for something that would allow for login authentication.

(/me looks at stuff)
Looks like http://www.chillispot.org/ does what I'm looking for, and has packages for OpenWRT.  I may go out and buy a router to mess with at home - anyone know which ones are really good that support OpenWRT?

Offline

#4 2005-12-12 22:26:06

lanrat
Member
From: Poland
Registered: 2003-10-28
Posts: 1,274

Re: Making a wireless hotspot

Starting pages for linksys wrt54g/gs:
http://www.seattlewireless.net/index.cgi/LinksysWrt54g
http://www.wrt54g.net/
On this last one you'll find the method of finding your wrt version. I've got one wrt54gs currently and I used openwrt and sveasoft hacked firmwares before. Now I'm using it only for my notebook so I changed firmware back to original linksys (only the latest version for my model). Openwrt is very nice and KISS (ipkg). But if you don't want to spend too much time for maintenance I'd suggest using one of the hotspot specialized firmwares. You'll find some reviews and comparisions on the above websites. If you want to tweak the router more (vpn, ipsec etc.) go with openwrt. Be carefull with loading new firmware - large sized will not work with tftp. Uploading firmware via web interface is a good idea. If you can, connect it to some UPS for firmware uploading time (unless you like to risk :-)). An alternative is to use some linux box and hostap. You can do just about anything with this but it will take a lot more work, more power consuption and maintenance in the future.

Offline

#5 2005-12-12 22:32:58

cactus
Taco Eater
From: t͈̫̹ͨa͖͕͎̱͈ͨ͆ć̥̖̝o̫̫̼s͈̭̱̞͍̃!̰
Registered: 2004-05-25
Posts: 4,615
Website

Re: Making a wireless hotspot

pharkture. what you want is nocat auth..
http://nocat.net/

NoCat has been integrated into a variety of commercial networking products. It will run on just about any access point or router that runs Linux. Some of these include:

    * The Linksys WRT54G running OpenWrt or ewrt
    * Metrix Networking Kits

EDIT:
oooh. found an interesting book too.
http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/wirelesscommnet2/


"Be conservative in what you send; be liberal in what you accept." -- Postel's Law
"tacos" -- Cactus' Law
"t̥͍͎̪̪͗a̴̻̩͈͚ͨc̠o̩̙͈ͫͅs͙͎̙͊ ͔͇̫̜t͎̳̀a̜̞̗ͩc̗͍͚o̲̯̿s̖̣̤̙͌ ̖̜̈ț̰̫͓ạ̪͖̳c̲͎͕̰̯̃̈o͉ͅs̪ͪ ̜̻̖̜͕" -- -̖͚̫̙̓-̺̠͇ͤ̃ ̜̪̜ͯZ͔̗̭̞ͪA̝͈̙͖̩L͉̠̺͓G̙̞̦͖O̳̗͍

Offline

#6 2005-12-12 22:50:56

phrakture
Arch Overlord
From: behind you
Registered: 2003-10-29
Posts: 7,879
Website

Re: Making a wireless hotspot

lanrat wrote:

Openwrt is very nice and KISS (ipkg). But if you don't want to spend too much time for maintenance I'd suggest using one of the hotspot specialized firmwares.

cactus wrote:

pharkture. what you want is nocat auth.. http://nocat.net/

Hmm, ok, I've run across alot of stuff here, and looking (I guess mainly at lanrat) for user experience.

While it'd be really fun to run an OpenWRT router, I'm just afraid something may go wrong with it and I wouldn't be there to fix it.  So, what are some of the "de facto" hotspot firmwares....

NoCatAuth looks kinda nice, but they have no docs floating around.  However, it looks as if it's the exact same as chillispot with a crappier name 8)

Offline

#7 2005-12-12 23:04:11

cactus
Taco Eater
From: t͈̫̹ͨa͖͕͎̱͈ͨ͆ć̥̖̝o̫̫̼s͈̭̱̞͍̃!̰
Registered: 2004-05-25
Posts: 4,615
Website

Re: Making a wireless hotspot

no way! the name rocks!

Albert Einstein, when asked to describe radio, replied:
"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat."

smile

And bricking the wrt54G doesn't happen too often. The things are only about 50$ these days anyway.

But..if you are concerned..just get an old box, with a prism2/2.5 card of some kind, and run hostap, like rasat mentioned.


"Be conservative in what you send; be liberal in what you accept." -- Postel's Law
"tacos" -- Cactus' Law
"t̥͍͎̪̪͗a̴̻̩͈͚ͨc̠o̩̙͈ͫͅs͙͎̙͊ ͔͇̫̜t͎̳̀a̜̞̗ͩc̗͍͚o̲̯̿s̖̣̤̙͌ ̖̜̈ț̰̫͓ạ̪͖̳c̲͎͕̰̯̃̈o͉ͅs̪ͪ ̜̻̖̜͕" -- -̖͚̫̙̓-̺̠͇ͤ̃ ̜̪̜ͯZ͔̗̭̞ͪA̝͈̙͖̩L͉̠̺͓G̙̞̦͖O̳̗͍

Offline

#8 2005-12-12 23:20:39

lanrat
Member
From: Poland
Registered: 2003-10-28
Posts: 1,274

Re: Making a wireless hotspot

I never used hotspot firmwares because I never needed them. But from the description it seems ewrt is what you're looking for:

The goal of the project is to create a stable and easy to use hotspot-in-a-box for use in community wireless networking projects.

At the time of writing, ewrt differentiates itself from the other WRT54G distributions by providing a captive portal based on NoCatSplash and a writeable jffs2 filesystem for storing content.

If you want chillispot already installed dd-wrt is probably the way to go. I think dd-wrt is a kind of fork (100% free) from the controversial sveasoft firmware. It also has zillions of other features. Most of them you should be able to setup easy via web configuration.

For more advice/howtos go to linksysinfo forums There is also this howto for openwrt hotspot setup.

Offline

#9 2005-12-12 23:38:02

phrakture
Arch Overlord
From: behind you
Registered: 2003-10-29
Posts: 7,879
Website

Re: Making a wireless hotspot

lanrat wrote:

I never used hotspot firmwares because I never needed them. But from the description it seems ewrt is what you're looking for

Looks perfect!  Thanks alot.

Offline

#10 2005-12-12 23:44:31

tomk
Forum Fellow
From: Ireland
Registered: 2004-07-21
Posts: 9,838

Re: Making a wireless hotspot

Another option is Voyage, a Debian-based hotspot distro designed to run on Soekris or WRAP gear. It also includes NoCat.

Offline

Board footer

Powered by FluxBB