Hotel like Wifi manager
Sounds like a silly question, but bear with me..
If you go into Peet’s Coffee and access the wifi, you’re taken to a web page that requires a 4-digit code you get with a purchase.
If you do the same at Starbucks you’re taken to a page and asked to OK the terms of service.
I want to build something similar for a local independent coffee shop, something that requires the user to write a little about themselves before they can access the Internet. I’m not sure which way to go — looking for wifi routers that run an internal web server, or finding one that lets you direct users to an external website for authentication, somehow redirecting back to the access point once successful.
Has anyone done anything like this and can share their experience?
What you’re looking for is called a captive portal. Many higher-end WiFi devices that you’d see in internet cafes or airports have this built in.
Generally speaking these are found on enterprise level wireless gear. I have attached a picture of what mine looks like if we were to implement such a thing. From this page we can change the Eula, how long guests have access, generate codes, push software to get them connected without admin interaction, change logo’s, restrict access to certain subnets, and pretty much setup our own login interface. You may be able to do this with something like DD-WRT, but I’m not sure and have never used it.
You can get a modest wifi router that can use DD-WRT. Install it and go to Services–>Hotspot. There are a few different hotspots available. I don’t have any direct experience setting this up, but I have heard that Chillispot is good and free. For all the information you need on Chillispot, go to http://www.chillispot.info. Other hotspot solutions may suit your needs better.