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Building a Wide-area Linux-based Wireless Network, part 2

Jun 15, 2009, 17:32 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Eric Geier)

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"You can simply throw out the mesh nodes and start offering wireless Internet, however, you'll probably want to configure some type of captive portal if it's a public network. A captive portal prevents users from accessing the Internet until they either agree to your usage terms or at least view the portal or splash screen. This lets you show a disclaimer, agreement, or advertisements. Captive portals can also work in hand with authentication and billing solutions. Then the captive portal could prompt users to login and/or provide payment before Internet access is given.

"You can either use a third-party service or use the captive portal and bandwidth limiting features provided by Open-Mesh. For third-party service, Open-Mesh can be manually configured for compatible RADIUS servers or you can use one of the pre-configured services. Two of the preconfigured choices is CoovaOM and WorldSpot.net. They give out their services for free when you are offering free hotspot access. They charge a small fee when you're offering paid hotspot access. CoovaOM is better integrated with Open-Mesh, however, WorldSpot.net offers a ticketing system."

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