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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)

"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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