Discussion:
Wi-Fi Server for Cafe?
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David Kaye
2014-12-05 21:33:54 UTC
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I settled on trying out the Antamedia wi-fi hotspot server. The cafe owner
keeps getting notices from Comcast about file piracy, and he also wants to
turn the tables faster. Currently there is nothing restricting use of their
wi-fi.

After looking at several web pages I came up with Antamedia. It's a server
requiring two network cards, one that goes to the ISP and the other that
goes to the local router/access point.

However, I have now tried on two machines, XP and Vista to get the thing to
work and I keep getting error messages about restarting "one of your
machines" (there is only one involved) or disabling and enabling network
cards, which I've done over and over. I've set up one card for network
sharing as the manual says, and it still doesn't work.

Does anybody here have any insight into these kinds of troubles?

OR can anybody recommend some kind of wi-fi regulating software? A lot of
the stuff that is being sold is mislabeled as being suitable for cafes, when
it actually is two-part software, a server module and a client module that
must be installed on the customer's computer. I'm guessing that they assume
that the server will be talking to desktop computers installed in the cafe,
not people's notebooks and tablets.

Ideas anyone? Please, no snark.

Thanks!




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Roy
2014-12-05 23:38:14 UTC
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Not sure what your requirements are. You might look at Mikrotik
routers. They include hotspot software. You can buy a Mikrotik with
the required license for $40.

http://wiki.mikrotik.com/wiki/Manual:Hotspot_Introduction

The router can limit the connect time and the data rate for each user.
You can set it to "trial" mode and run without the guests needing userid
and password

From the manuals

Trial - users may be allowed to use the service free of charge for some
period of time for evaluation, and be required to authenticate only
after this period is over. HotSpot can be configured to allow some
amount of time per MAC address to be freely used with some limitations
imposed by the provided user profile. In case the MAC address still has
some trial time unused, the login page will contain the link for trial
login. The time is automatically reset after the configured amount of
time (so that, for example, any MAC address may use 30 minutes a day
without ever registering). The username of such a user (as seen in the
active user table and in the login link) is "T-XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX" (where
XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX is his/her MAC address). The authentication procedure
will not ask RADIUS server permission to authorise such a user.
Post by David Kaye
I settled on trying out the Antamedia wi-fi hotspot server. The cafe owner
keeps getting notices from Comcast about file piracy, and he also wants to
turn the tables faster. Currently there is nothing restricting use of their
wi-fi.
After looking at several web pages I came up with Antamedia. It's a server
requiring two network cards, one that goes to the ISP and the other that
goes to the local router/access point.
However, I have now tried on two machines, XP and Vista to get the thing to
work and I keep getting error messages about restarting "one of your
machines" (there is only one involved) or disabling and enabling network
cards, which I've done over and over. I've set up one card for network
sharing as the manual says, and it still doesn't work.
Does anybody here have any insight into these kinds of troubles?
OR can anybody recommend some kind of wi-fi regulating software? A lot of
the stuff that is being sold is mislabeled as being suitable for cafes, when
it actually is two-part software, a server module and a client module that
must be installed on the customer's computer. I'm guessing that they assume
that the server will be talking to desktop computers installed in the cafe,
not people's notebooks and tablets.
Ideas anyone? Please, no snark.
Thanks!
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David Kaye
2014-12-06 00:03:35 UTC
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Thanks, Roy. The requirements are fairly simple, keep people from hogging
the connections and the tables. The other morning when the cafe was closed
for the Thanksgiving holiday, I looked in on the security cameras and saw a
woman standing in the doorway for almost 2 hours using her tablet!

Wi-fi hogging has gotten so bad that cafes such as Ritual have totally
disconnected wi-fi. Four Barrel never offered it and doesn't have any
outlets at tables, either.

But then there are those cafe owners who feel that wi-fi is a definite part
of their business model and they'll offer it as long as people don't pirate
files and get the place into trouble or hog tables all day long. At this
particular cafe companies such as Twitter and Salesforce were born, so,
well...




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Roy
2014-12-06 05:50:11 UTC
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I though you might have wanted some sort of mechanism to charge
customers :-)

From what I can tell, Miktotik should work fine.

One thing you can do is set the Mikrotik to cut off service when the
cafe is closed.

I might try setting one up here at the house to try.
Post by David Kaye
Thanks, Roy. The requirements are fairly simple, keep people from hogging
the connections and the tables. The other morning when the cafe was closed
for the Thanksgiving holiday, I looked in on the security cameras and saw a
woman standing in the doorway for almost 2 hours using her tablet!
Wi-fi hogging has gotten so bad that cafes such as Ritual have totally
disconnected wi-fi. Four Barrel never offered it and doesn't have any
outlets at tables, either.
But then there are those cafe owners who feel that wi-fi is a definite part
of their business model and they'll offer it as long as people don't pirate
files and get the place into trouble or hog tables all day long. At this
particular cafe companies such as Twitter and Salesforce were born, so,
well...
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David Kaye
2014-12-06 23:53:01 UTC
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Since it appears that Mikrotik doesn't sell directly, I've sent email to two
of their retailers asking what exactly I'd need to buy for the cafe
situation. No response yet, but it's the weekend.




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Roy
2014-12-07 01:13:04 UTC
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Post by David Kaye
Since it appears that Mikrotik doesn't sell directly, I've sent email to two
of their retailers asking what exactly I'd need to buy for the cafe
situation. No response yet, but it's the weekend.
I set up one of my Mikrotiks as a hotspot for fun. Never did a hotspot
before. Took about 20 minutes from opening the box until done. I
updated the software but didn't count that time :-) Your ymmv since I
have done a lot of work with these boxes.

I used an RB951Ui-2HnD because that is what I had on the shelf. Baltic
and Pasadena Wireless are usually pretty good for supply

Some words of advice: use the Winbox software to set up the router.
Download it from Mikrotik/ You can do it via the web interface but that
isn't as straight forward.

While you are on the download page, download the latest OS too. You may
need it.

You can get some free advice/assistance at

http://forum.mikrotik.com

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