About the Hotspot Shop:
The Hotspot Shop Celebrates 10 Years
Since June of 2000 The Hotspot Shop staff has been building wireless networks. We have designed everything from city wide networks, to guest mesh networks in resorts locations such as Zihuatanejo Mexico, Dusseldorf Germany and Hilton Head. From large mesh hotspots down to small restaurants we can handle almost any need. We can set up and manage large pay as you go mesh networks or free hotspots. It doesnt matter if you're a resort or an extended care facility we can handle almost anything.
We build and design our own radio systems with carrier class components. Our 600mW radio cards will operate in almost any environment. These 802.11b/g radio systems, based on the Atheros AR5414 chip along with a MIPS-BE processor, can handle even the most demanding situations. These systems are designed from the ground up for mesh, bridging and infrastructure applications requiring the highest levels of performance and reliability. And best of all they have an affordable price!
Wi-Fi is Everywhere
Wi-Fi is the fastest growing wireless connectivity technology in the world—and with good reason. It’s fast, it’s cheap, it’s convenient and our ever increasingly mobile society demands it.
More than 20% of the U.S. online population currently uses public Wi-Fi, according to Jupiter Research.
In 2009, all laptops and smartphones are shipped with embedded Wi-Fi capabilities.
Nearly 300 million Wi-Fi-enabled devices shipped in 2007, and close to 1 billion are predicted to ship by 2012 according to In-Stat.
Wi-Fi chipset sales grew 26% to 387 million in 2008 according to the Wi-Fi Alliance and In-Stat.
Other than the obvious engineering questions, the main considerations, if youre planning on installing a hotspot are:
1. How is the billing accomplished? Credit card/Tickets/Free
2. Where does the backhaul come from? ADSL/Leased line/Cable Modem
3. What equipment do I need? Complete package/Self install/Consultant
4. What coverage am I trying to achieve? Indoor/Multiple rooms/Outdoors
5. How do I share the bandwidth?
Types of Hotspots:
The Free Hotspot
In its simplest form all you need is an Access Point and a DHCP server; many people do this already, unintentionally. If you want it done the right way here are some considerations.
The Voucher Hotspot
Access to this type of Hotspot is controlled by vouchers / tickets. Each voucher provides a time based or usage based limit. They can be free with the purchase of a service, like a meal, or pay as you go such as an internet café. There are lots of benefits to this type of a system; security is just one good reason.
The Managed Hotspot
These systems take anyone connecting to the Access Point to a signup page. The signup page allows the user to select the type of service and enter there information. These systems can be advertising based, pay with credit card systems, or a combination of both. To gain access to the internet the user must be authenticated.
The Enterprise Hotspot
These are similar to the Managed hotspot. Anyone who connects to an Access Point is directed to a Login page. The user authentication is usually handled by a corporate RADIUS server. However, authentication services can be outsourced.
Security, Things You Should Know:
The Hotspot User
Mobil computing has been on the rise for a long time. Everywhere you go theres free Wi-Fi; from hotels to airports. The big question is, how safe is it?
The Wireless Home Owner
If someone uses your network for illegal activity, who is financially responsible for the damage? Its your network, its your responsibility; Secure It!
The Hotspot Owner
As a hotspot owner, protect your company and the privilege of your customers. Take responsibility and avoid the set-it-forget-it attitude.