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uk.telecom.broadband (UK broadband) (uk.telecom.broadband) Discussion of broadband services, technology and equipment as provided in the UK. Discussions of specific services based on ADSL, cable modems or other broadband technology are also on-topic. Advertising is not allowed.

Free Wi-Fi Hotspot?



 
 
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  #1  
Old April 19th 07, 08:45 AM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Frazer Jolly Goodfellow
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 93
Default Free Wi-Fi Hotspot?

Simply setting up an open wireless router or access point sounds dead
easy but appears to be fraught with risks - abuse, traffic hogging,
inter-user security etc.

1) If you wanted to set up a free Wi-Fi hotspot as a way of
attracting more customers to a business - a cafe for example - what
sort of equipment is required?

2) AIUI ISPs are subject to various laws e.g. logging user traffice
etc. Is the provider of a Wi-Fi hotspot effectively an ISP, therefore
subject to the same legal requirements?

3) A small business would need a low-maintenance solution i.e. very
light demand on non-technical staff to administer and support the
service - is that achievable?
  #2  
Old April 19th 07, 10:20 AM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Gordon Henderson
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 64
Default Free Wi-Fi Hotspot?

In article ,
Frazer Jolly Goodfellow wrote:
Simply setting up an open wireless router or access point sounds dead
easy but appears to be fraught with risks - abuse, traffic hogging,
inter-user security etc.

1) If you wanted to set up a free Wi-Fi hotspot as a way of
attracting more customers to a business - a cafe for example - what
sort of equipment is required?


One of these...

http://www.solwise.co.uk/wireless-hotspot-was-102r.htm

Or similar.

2) AIUI ISPs are subject to various laws e.g. logging user traffice
etc. Is the provider of a Wi-Fi hotspot effectively an ISP, therefore
subject to the same legal requirements?

3) A small business would need a low-maintenance solution i.e. very
light demand on non-technical staff to administer and support the
service - is that achievable?


Push a button, give out a ticket .. yes. Looks achievable to me.

I've deployed something very similar to the above in a small business
setting to allow guest internet access without connecting them to the
main corp-rat LAN.

Gordon
  #3  
Old April 19th 07, 10:26 AM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Gordon Henderson
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 64
Default Free Wi-Fi Hotspot?

In article ,
Frazer Jolly Goodfellow wrote:
Simply setting up an open wireless router or access point sounds dead
easy but appears to be fraught with risks - abuse, traffic hogging,
inter-user security etc.

1) If you wanted to set up a free Wi-Fi hotspot as a way of
attracting more customers to a business - a cafe for example - what
sort of equipment is required?


http://www.solwise.co.uk/wireless-hotspot-was-102r.htm

Or similar.

2) AIUI ISPs are subject to various laws e.g. logging user traffice
etc. Is the provider of a Wi-Fi hotspot effectively an ISP, therefore
subject to the same legal requirements?

3) A small business would need a low-maintenance solution i.e. very
light demand on non-technical staff to administer and support the
service - is that achievable?


Yes. Stick a CCTV camera at the right place & you have a video of you
giving the punter a ticket and the time, then if there's any come back
just give plod the video... Well - maybe, but it's a start.

I've deployed one of these (no that unit, but something similar)
for a business to use to allow visitors internet access, (connected
to their DMZ and not the corp-rat LAN) and you can program the unit to
allow various forms of access - from taking a credit card, to printing
a ticket - the ticket printer has 3 buttons which are programmable, so
eg. give a 15-minute token free with a coffee, or let them purchase
an hour or more... The one I used also has a set of "free" sites that
punters can visit without authentication, so that's an additional
draw-in. They can sit down & view (eg) bbc news, etc. but if they want
more then they pay some money & get a time-limited ticket.

Gordon
  #4  
Old April 19th 07, 01:15 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Frazer Jolly Goodfellow
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 93
Default Free Wi-Fi Hotspot?

(Gordon Henderson) wrote in
:

In article ,
Frazer Jolly Goodfellow wrote:
Simply setting up an open wireless router or access point sounds
dead easy but appears to be fraught with risks - abuse, traffic
hogging, inter-user security etc.

1) If you wanted to set up a free Wi-Fi hotspot as a way of
attracting more customers to a business - a cafe for example -
what sort of equipment is required?


http://www.solwise.co.uk/wireless-hotspot-was-102r.htm

Or similar.

2) AIUI ISPs are subject to various laws e.g. logging user
traffice etc. Is the provider of a Wi-Fi hotspot effectively an
ISP, therefore subject to the same legal requirements?

3) A small business would need a low-maintenance solution i.e.
very light demand on non-technical staff to administer and
support the service - is that achievable?


Yes. Stick a CCTV camera at the right place & you have a video
of you giving the punter a ticket and the time, then if there's
any come back just give plod the video... Well - maybe, but it's
a start.

I've deployed one of these (no that unit, but something similar)
for a business to use to allow visitors internet access,
(connected to their DMZ and not the corp-rat LAN) and you can
program the unit to allow various forms of access - from taking
a credit card, to printing a ticket - the ticket printer has 3
buttons which are programmable, so eg. give a 15-minute token
free with a coffee, or let them purchase an hour or more... The
one I used also has a set of "free" sites that punters can visit
without authentication, so that's an additional draw-in. They
can sit down & view (eg) bbc news, etc. but if they want more
then they pay some money & get a time-limited ticket.

Thanks Gordon, much appreciated.
The Solwise device supports encryption but appears to require a
username/password logon for authentication. Would a customer have
to enter an encryption key as well?




  #5  
Old April 19th 07, 05:07 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
alexd
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,765
Default Free Wi-Fi Hotspot?

Frazer Jolly Goodfellow wrote:

Thanks Gordon, much appreciated.
The Solwise device supports encryption but appears to require a
username/password logon for authentication. Would a customer have
to enter an encryption key as well?


Only if encryption was turned on.

--
http://ale.cx/ (AIM:troffasky) )
17:07:29 up 5 days, 21:26, 3 users, load average: 0.11, 0.34, 0.33
Yes. I'm just guessing.

  #6  
Old April 19th 07, 06:08 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 735
Default Free Wi-Fi Hotspot?


"alexd" wrote in message
...
Frazer Jolly Goodfellow wrote:

Thanks Gordon, much appreciated.
The Solwise device supports encryption but appears to require a
username/password logon for authentication. Would a customer have
to enter an encryption key as well?


Only if encryption was turned on.


That may not be true if using 802.1 authentication.
They key would be provided as part of the logon phase.


  #7  
Old April 19th 07, 10:39 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Frazer Jolly Goodfellow
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 93
Default Free Wi-Fi Hotspot?

"[email protected]" wrote in news:f087mv
:


"alexd" wrote in message
...
Frazer Jolly Goodfellow wrote:

Thanks Gordon, much appreciated.
The Solwise device supports encryption but appears to require a
username/password logon for authentication. Would a customer

have
to enter an encryption key as well?


Only if encryption was turned on.


That may not be true if using 802.1 authentication.
They key would be provided as part of the logon phase.

I think turning on encryption is essential, but the solution is
becoming more complex.

Presumably a server would also be needed to capture logging
information?

  #8  
Old April 20th 07, 09:11 AM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Gordon Henderson
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 64
Default Free Wi-Fi Hotspot?

In article ,
Frazer Jolly Goodfellow wrote:
"[email protected]" wrote in news:f087mv
:


"alexd" wrote in message
...
Frazer Jolly Goodfellow wrote:

Thanks Gordon, much appreciated.
The Solwise device supports encryption but appears to require a
username/password logon for authentication. Would a customer

have
to enter an encryption key as well?

Only if encryption was turned on.


That may not be true if using 802.1 authentication.
They key would be provided as part of the logon phase.

I think turning on encryption is essential, but the solution is
becoming more complex.


Quite. The unit I used (and I've forgotten it's name, sorry and it's
currently 110 miles away), did support encryption, and it prints out the
key (wep or wpa) on the bit of paper, if it was enabled. (I tested it
enabled, then decided the muppets who were going to be using it would
find that hard, so removed it, so in that respect it's the same as BT
openwallet which is also unencrypted - try going online in an airport
and snooping what you see - it's scary knowing that 99.99% of people
still use plain-text paswords in POP/IMAP/SMPT-AUTH, etc. and as I've
just had one of my servers hijacked by spammers who used smtp-auth with
valid username & password to relay email, it's a bit frightening )-: I
suspect it's only a matter of time before the spammers latch onto
this - they're not intersted in your email, just a spam-launch vector,
and even if they don't do it fromthe WiFi AP, then they have a list of
username/passwords they can use from elsewhere.

So on your PC, you'd have to find the access point, try to associate
with it, enter the wep/wpa key, then access a web site, whereupon it
would hijack your connection, take you to it's own login/password screen
where you'd enter the code on the ticket, then you'd have access for
the time-limit specified by the ticket.

Presumably a server would also be needed to capture logging
information?


What are you going to log?

But yes, there's a syslog facility, so you could log the clients MAC
address (no point logging the IP address they get as it's dynamic and
could be re-used after rsome time - a wiley hacker would spoof their
MAC address anyway) And unless you ask them for their name, address,
phone number, then there's not much point. It would also be hard to log
all the sites they visited too - not impossible, but hard as you'd run
out of disk space...

BT open wallet (and other instant access, open ones) works because you
need to use a credit card to buy time on it, so they have that as a way
of identifying you to the system, should the fuzz come knocking. For
a simple high street cafe, it's probably not worth it - and if I were
doing that, I'd maybe try to arrange seating such that it might be hard
to fully conceal a screen from a casual passer-by. (Not that that would
stop me doing something I shouldn't be doing, but it's a start)

And you turn of firewalling too, so they can only do simple web browsing
and hopefully not much else...

Gordon
  #9  
Old April 20th 07, 01:32 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Frazer Jolly Goodfellow
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 93
Default Free Wi-Fi Hotspot?

(Gordon Henderson) wrote in
:

In article ,
Frazer Jolly Goodfellow wrote:
"[email protected]" wrote in
news:f087mv :


"alexd" wrote in message
...
Frazer Jolly Goodfellow wrote:

Thanks Gordon, much appreciated.
The Solwise device supports encryption but appears to
require a username/password logon for authentication. Would
a customer

have
to enter an encryption key as well?

Only if encryption was turned on.

That may not be true if using 802.1 authentication.
They key would be provided as part of the logon phase.

I think turning on encryption is essential, but the solution is
becoming more complex.


Quite. The unit I used (and I've forgotten it's name, sorry and
it's currently 110 miles away), did support encryption, and it
prints out the key (wep or wpa) on the bit of paper, if it was
enabled. (I tested it enabled, then decided the muppets who were
going to be using it would find that hard, so removed it, so in
that respect it's the same as BT openwallet which is also
unencrypted - try going online in an airport and snooping what
you see - it's scary knowing that 99.99% of people still use
plain-text paswords in POP/IMAP/SMPT-AUTH, etc. and as I've just
had one of my servers hijacked by spammers who used smtp-auth
with valid username & password to relay email, it's a bit
frightening )-: I suspect it's only a matter of time before the
spammers latch onto this - they're not intersted in your email,
just a spam-launch vector, and even if they don't do it fromthe
WiFi AP, then they have a list of username/passwords they can
use from elsewhere.

So on your PC, you'd have to find the access point, try to
associate with it, enter the wep/wpa key, then access a web
site, whereupon it would hijack your connection, take you to
it's own login/password screen where you'd enter the code on the
ticket, then you'd have access for the time-limit specified by
the ticket.

Presumably a server would also be needed to capture logging
information?


What are you going to log?



But yes, there's a syslog facility, so you could log the clients
MAC address (no point logging the IP address they get as it's
dynamic and could be re-used after rsome time - a wiley hacker
would spoof their MAC address anyway) And unless you ask them
for their name, address, phone number, then there's not much
point. It would also be hard to log all the sites they visited
too - not impossible, but hard as you'd run out of disk space...

BT open wallet (and other instant access, open ones) works
because you need to use a credit card to buy time on it, so they
have that as a way of identifying you to the system, should the
fuzz come knocking. For a simple high street cafe, it's probably
not worth it - and if I were doing that, I'd maybe try to
arrange seating such that it might be hard to fully conceal a
screen from a casual passer-by. (Not that that would stop me
doing something I shouldn't be doing, but it's a start)

And you turn of firewalling too, so they can only do simple web
browsing and hopefully not much else...


RE What are you going to log?
Errm, not sure, hence my question about the legal requirement
aspects. Assuming the Wi-Fi hotspot provider is classed as an ISP:
- what are ISPs required by law to log, and how long to retain
records?

The earlier suggestion of also using video surveillance recordings
seems a good idea.

Presumably with a packaged service the service provider (e.g. BT
Openzone) does the logging for you from a remote net management
centre?

Your input is much appreciated BTW. I suspected it wouldn't be simple
or easy but wasn't aware just how complex it can get.

It's not looking a viable proposition at the moment for the scale of
the business. The up-front equipment costs (500 for gateway
box/ticket printer + server ???). The cafe manager and staff
wouldn't be able to support and administer the service themselves so
there'd be an ongoing IT service contract cost in addition to the ISP
costs.

  #10  
Old April 20th 07, 02:40 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Gordon Henderson
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 64
Default Free Wi-Fi Hotspot?

In article ,
Frazer Jolly Goodfellow wrote:

RE What are you going to log?
Errm, not sure, hence my question about the legal requirement
aspects. Assuming the Wi-Fi hotspot provider is classed as an ISP:
- what are ISPs required by law to log, and how long to retain
records?


Would need a legal type to answer this ...

The earlier suggestion of also using video surveillance recordings
seems a good idea.


All shops have such systems these days. Just point one at the counter
where the punters pick up their coffee & cakes..

Presumably with a packaged service the service provider (e.g. BT
Openzone) does the logging for you from a remote net management
centre?


Probably - They also have your credit card details which are a pretty
good way to identify you, should the need arise.

Your input is much appreciated BTW. I suspected it wouldn't be simple
or easy but wasn't aware just how complex it can get.


I think it can be as complex as you want it to be, but it really doesn't
need to be at all.

It's not looking a viable proposition at the moment for the scale of
the business. The up-front equipment costs (500 for gateway
box/ticket printer + server ???). The cafe manager and staff
wouldn't be able to support and administer the service themselves so
there'd be an ongoing IT service contract cost in addition to the ISP
costs.


It is an expensive start-up, and you'd probably never break even on
it - unless you see it as a way to get punters into the shop in the
first place...

but you an just wing it - get a half decent ADSL ISP, one of these
boxes and off you go... Once the box is programmed, then all the staff
need to do is push one of the 3 buttons on the printer to give out
(eg) free 10 minutes if they buy a coffee & a cake, or a pound for half
an hour or whatever you want to charge... I'd probably be tempted, if it
were a sit-in cafe to not offer more than half an hour at a time - making
the punters come back for another ticket after half an hour... (would
sir like cake whith his internet access? Only 2.50 and you'll get a
free 10 minutes ;-)

The only initial hassle I'd see is that the ISP might prohibit "resell"
of their services in this way, but who's to know... Just get a decent
one (not one of the bulk buys with outsourced call centres) so if you
do have to call support at least they'll talk to you.

Oh, firewall port 25 and if they complain tell them they ought to be using
a mail submission service with their email provider on port 587.

Although that may cause you more problems that it will solve ;-)

Gordon
 




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