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Safely Sharing Your Wireless Internet With CoovaAP, Part II

Customizing Your Portal Pages

  • March 23, 2009
  • By Eric Geier

Last week in Part I, we discovered that we can turn a cheap wireless router into a hotspot gateway with CoovaAP, to offer wireless Internet access to visitors. To turn our mundane route into a hotspot, we uploaded the open source firmware to the Linux-based router. Plus we covered how to set up the internal captive portal with different registration modes and configured the simple bandwidth limiting feature.

In this part, we'll finish setting up the internal hotspot features by customizing the portal pages. This lets you adapt the login or ToS (Terms of Service) pages to your organization's brand or your personal tastes. We'll also discover how to take advantage of Coova's free services to centrally manage and control the hotspot(s). Let's get started!

Customizing the portal pages is fairly easy and straightforward. Some HTML experience helps, but it's not necessary. On CoovaAP's web-based utility, click the Hotspot tab and select the Portal sub-tab. As you seen in Figure 1, you can choose each section/page to edit its HTML code.

If you aren't familiar with web page design, you can simply edit the text as you wish and leave the HTML tags alone. If you want to change formatting, add pictures, or make other additional changes, you can use a visual editor, such as KompoZer in Linux or Microsoft FrontPage in Windows. Then you can copy and paste the HTML code from the editor into the CoovaAP portal settings. If you really make a mess, you can get the default code back by clicking the reset to default link under the code boxes.

The note on the Portal page about URLs and the "walled garden" apply if you add links or images on the portal pages to or from an external website. For example, you might want to link to your organization's website from the portal. Adding the address of your organization's website to the walled garden list prevents users from having to login or accept the ToS before visiting your site.

 

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