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Safely Sharing Your Wireless Internet With CoovaAP, Part I - page 3

CoovaAP: Based on OpenWRT

  • March 16, 2009
  • By Eric Geier

When you're ready to configure the hotspot settings, click the HostSpot tab (see Figure 5). If you require a simple solution, for the HotSpot Type choose the Internal Hotspot option, which means all the settings and users are defined locally on the AP itself. As we'll discuss in the next part, the other options are great when managing multiple locations.

The next big decision to make on this page is to pick the Registration Mode. Choosing the Configured Users option requires users to have a username and password to gain access. You'd have to manually create the user accounts on the Access Lists tab. Selecting the Self Register option lets user create their own account. Either way, you can create and modify the user accounts on the Access Lists tab. The last registration option, ToS Acceptance, doesn't use user accounts. Users are presented with a page of terms that they must agree to before accessing the Internet.

Don't forget about the other settings. The HotSpot Mode setting lets you choose whether to run the captive portal only the wireless connections or both wireless and wired connections. The HotSpot LAN Access setting lets you define whether or not to prevent hotspot users from accessing computers from the wired side. The Owner E-mail Address is where messages sent from users, using the contact link on the hotspot login page, will to sent to. For this to work, you must also input the SMTP server details on the Location tab.

The Web Protocol settings defines if the login or ToS page should use the HTTP or HTTPS protocol. If using user accounts, you might want to opt for the SSL encrypted HTTPS protocol. However, since CoovAP is preloaded a self signed certificate, users will be prompted with a security warning. If you do choose this route, you may want to purchase a SSL certificate of your own and replace the default one.

Configuring bandwidth shaping

If you plan to use the Internet connection for personal or private access still, you should configure the Traffic Shaping feature. This helps prevent users from sucking up all the available Internet speed. To enable this, click the Network tab, and then click the Shaping sub-tab (see Figure 6). You'll probably have to install two packages before you see the settings; simply click the install links.

To turn it on, select Enabled for the Traffic Shaping setting. Then you can define the Internet (WAN) upload and download limits. Additionally, you can configure advanced settings.

Stay tuned-- in the next part, we'll finish up our internal hotspot by customizing the portal pages. Then we'll get to the central management approach, using their free AAA hosted servers, which gives you some more cool features.

Eric Geier is an author of many computing and networking books, including Home Networking All-in-One Desk Reference For Dummies (Wiley 2008) and 100 Things You Need to Know about Microsoft Windows Vista (Que 2007).


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