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

Customizing Your Portal Pages

  • March 23, 2009
  • By Eric Geier

Instead of allowing users to self register when requiring users to login, CoovaAAA lets you optionally create and accept Access Codes on the login page. This way you can hand out codes and their passwords to neighbors or visitors, giving you a bit more control over the hotspot access. You can also assign Access Policies to these codes. The only set back is that you can only currently create 10 access codes.

To create these codes, click the Access tab, choose the Access Codes sub-tab, and click the new link. As you see in Figure 4, the settings are straightforward. The only possible realm is code. The Reset Window/Expiry checkbox is for later, to manually reset the counters when a user has reached a time or data limit.

To use the Access Codes, users can enter the code into the Username field of the hotspot login page, followed by @code, and it's password into the Password field. For example, if the access code is guests, they would enter guests@code and the password.

Sharing your hotspot access

On the Sharing tab of CoovaAAA (see Figure 5), you'll see you can share with individuals and realms. It's important to understand that you can not create shares to local accounts (including self-registered users) stored on the CoovaAP router. This means if you want the advanced usage and bandwidth controls CoovaAAA provides, its best to use only Access Policies to give out hotspot access. Thus you would want to make sure the Registration Mode defined in CoovaAP is set to Configured Users. The sharing features are more useful if users have their own Coova account, created directly on the Coova.org site.

Exploring more of Coova

We discovered the main features of CoovaAP and CoovaAAA, so we can share our Wi-Fi. You may want to do some exploring on your own now; maybe look into the embedded ChilliSpot feature or WPA-Enterprise. Just remember, as you'll see noted, some features and interfaces are for demo purposes; Coova seems like it is always evolving.

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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