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Wi-Fi Hotspots

Book Description

Wi-Fi Hotspots

Setting Up Public Wireless Internet Access

Installing and operating a Wi-Fi hotspot allows you to attract customers and differentiate your business. Deploying even a small wireless network has proven to be a difficult task for the average consumer, however. With this book as your guide, you can painlessly figure out the requirements for your Wi-Fi hotspot, how to properly set it up, how to operate it, and how to optimize it for the needs and security of your customers.

Wi-Fi Hotspots helps you throughout the entire process of setting up a hotspot to offer free or fee-based Internet access to the general public:

  • Understand the benefits to your business of hosting a hotspot

  • Decide what type of hotspot you should implement

  • Examine what equipment is best suited for your hotspot

  • Follow step-by-step procedures for setting up your hotspot

  • Get the word out about your hotspot availability

  • Ensure your hotspot is not used improperly

  • Evaluate Wi-Fi security concerns

  • Fix common problems hotspot users face

  • Increase the coverage area of your Wi-Fi hotspot

  • Whether you are a small business owner looking to attract customers and distinguish your business or you are an IT professional at a larger organization looking to establish hotspot connectivity, this book provides you with everything you need to know in order to provide public wireless Internet access.

    Eric Geier is a computing and wireless networking author and consultant. For several years, he’s be employed with Wireless-Nets, Ltd., a consulting firm focusing on the implementation of wireless mobile solutions and training.

    Eric is a Certified Wireless Network Administrator (CWNA). He is an author and contributor of several books and eLearning (CBT) courses. He is a regular contributor at Wi-FiPlanet.com.

    For more information about Eric Geier, visit his website at http://www.egeier.com

    Companion CD-ROM

    The companion CD-ROM contains two software utilities, ZoneCD and NetStumbler, to help you implement and manage your Wi-Fi hotspot.

    This book is part of the Networking Technology Series from

    Cisco Press®, which offers networking professionals valuable information for constructing efficient networks, understanding new technologies, and building successful careers.

    Category: Wireless Networking

    Covers: Wi-Fi Hotspots

    Table of Contents

    1. Copyright
      1. Dedication
    2. About the Author
      1. Companion Website
    3. About the Technical Reviewers
    4. Acknowledgments
    5. Introduction
      1. Goal and Method
      2. Who Should Read This Book?
      3. How This Book Is Organized
    6. I. The Basics
      1. 1. The Basics of Wi-Fi Hotspots
        1. Bridging the Gap
        2. Wi-Fi Hot Zones
        3. How Users Find Hotspots
        4. How Wi-Fi Works
        5. Chapter Review
      2. 2. The Business Side of Hosting a Hotspot
        1. Benefits of Hosting a Wi-Fi Hotspot
          1. Attract People to Your Location
          2. Generate Additional Revenue
            1. Increased Sales of Products or Services
            2. Hotspot Network Commissions
            3. Fees from an Independent Fee-Based Hotspot
            4. Advertising Revenue
          3. Ability to Create a Private Network
        2. Figuring the Costs
        3. Chapter Review
      3. 3. First Steps to Setting Up a Wi-Fi Hotspot
        1. Step 1: Choose a Hotspot Solution
          1. Solution 1: Simple Free Access Hotspot
          2. Solution 2: Advanced Free Access Hotspot Using ZoneCD
          3. Solution 3: Boingo’s Hotspot Network to Provide Paid Access
          4. Solution 4: Free or Paid Access and Private Network Using a Hotspot Gateway
          5. Hotspot Features
          6. Additional Solutions
        2. Step 2: Set Up an Internet Connection
          1. Choosing the Right Internet Connect Type
            1. “Always-On” Internet Connections
            2. DSL Internet Connections
            3. Fixed Wireless Broadband
            4. Cable Internet Connections
            5. T1 Internet Connections
            6. Satellite
            7. Questions to Ask ISPs
          2. Usage/Legal Terms of Provider
          3. Getting the Internet Connection
            1. Where to Install the Connection
        3. Chapter Review
    7. II. Setting Up the Hotspot
      1. 4. Solution 1: Simple Free Access Hotspot
        1. Step 1: Gather the Necessary Items
        2. Step 2: Set Up the Wireless Router
        3. Step 3: Configure Additional Settings
          1. Accessing the Web-Based Configuration Utility
          2. DHCP User Limit
          3. AP Isolation
          4. VPN Passthrough
          5. Access Restrictions
          6. Blocked Services
          7. Remote Router Access
          8. Web-Based Configuration Utility Access Server
          9. Backup Configuration
        4. Chapter Review
      2. 5. Solution 2: Advanced Free Access Hotspot Using ZoneCD
        1. Step 1: Choose the Mode and Service
          1. Open Mode
          2. Closed Mode
          3. Services Overview
            1. Splash Screen
            2. Content Filtering
            3. User Classes
            4. Bandwidth Throttling
            5. Time and Transfer Limits
            6. Open/Close Hours
            7. Walled Garden
            8. Firewall
            9. Reports
            10. Ticket System
            11. Network Availability Hours
            12. Spot Check
            13. Hotspot Directory
            14. Network Printer
            15. Configuration Queue
            16. Templates
            17. Customize E-Mails
        2. Step 2: Gather the Necessary Items
          1. What’s Required
            1. Private Wired or Wireless Router
            2. Public Access Point or Wireless Router
            3. Computer
            4. The ZoneCD Disc
          2. Set Up Your Zones (for the Free Service)
          3. Set Up Your Zones (for the Premium Services)
        3. Step 3: Set Up and Configure the Access Points and Routers
          1. Private Wired or Wireless Router
          2. Public Access Point or Wireless Router
        4. Step 4: Perform a Physical Installation
        5. Step 5: Perform ZoneCD Initial Setup
          1. The Boot Process
          2. Open Mode Configuration
          3. Closed Mode (Free Server) Configuration
          4. Closed Mode (Premium Server) Configuration
        6. Check for Proper Operation
        7. What’s Next
        8. Using the Online Administration Tools
        9. Getting Help
        10. Chapter Review
      3. 6. Solution 3: Join Boingo’s Hotspot Network to Provide Paid Access
        1. Understanding the Solution
        2. Setting Up the Solution
          1. Step 1: Gather the Necessary Items
          2. Step 2: Set Up the Equipment
          3. Step 3: Join Boingo’s Hotspot Network
          4. Step 4: Perform the Physical Installation
            1. Placing the Wireless Router
            2. Check for Proper Operation
        3. Getting Help
        4. Chapter Review
      4. 7. Solution 4: Free or Paid Access and Private Network Using Hotspot Gateway
        1. Understanding the Solution
        2. Setting Up the Solution
          1. Step 1: Choose the Particular Solution
            1. Free Access Options
            2. Paid Access Options
          2. Step 2: Gather the Necessary Items
            1. Hotspot Gateway
            2. Ticket Printer
            3. RADIUS Server
          3. Step 3: Set Up the Equipment
            1. Hotspot Gateway Setup
            2. Ticket Printer Setup
            3. RADIUS Server Setup
          4. Step 4: Configure Additional Settings
          5. Step 5: Perform the Physical Installation
            1. Placing the Gateway
            2. Check for Proper Operation
        3. Getting Help
        4. Chapter Review
    8. III. After Your Wi-Fi Hotspot Is Alive
      1. 8. Getting the Word Out
        1. Signage
        2. Advertisements
        3. Online Hotspot Directories
        4. Chapter Review
      2. 9. Fending Off Freeloaders
        1. Physically Hand Out Login Information
        2. Apply Usage Limits
          1. Open/Closed Times
          2. Bandwidth Limits
        3. Spell Out Usage Terms
        4. Monitor Your Hotspot
        5. Chapter Review
      3. 10. Wi-Fi Safety and Security
        1. Understanding Everyone’s Responsibilities
        2. Hotspot Administrator/Owner Responsibilities
          1. Inform Users of the Risks
          2. Give Users Safety and Security Tips
          3. Enable VPN Passthrough
          4. Isolate Clients
          5. Filter Hotspot Content
          6. Secure User Information
        3. User Responsibilities
          1. Beware of the Risks
          2. Follow the Safety and Security Tips
          3. Use VPN Connections
          4. Use Secure (SSL) Websites
          5. Disable File Sharing
          6. Use a Personal Firewall
          7. Keep an Eye on Valuables
        4. Chapter Review
      4. 11. Common Problems and Fixes
        1. Unable to See/Connect to the Wi-Fi Hotspot
          1. What the User Should Do
          2. What You Should Do
        2. Frequent Disconnections
          1. What the User Should Do
          2. What You Should Do
        3. Poor Performance
          1. What the User Should Do
          2. What You Should Do
        4. Internet Connection Unavailable
          1. What the User Should Do
          2. What You Should Do
        5. Where to Find More Help
        6. Chapter Review
      5. 12. Increasing Your Hotspot’s Wireless Coverage
        1. Higher-Gain Antenna
          1. Purchasing
          2. Installation
        2. Wireless Repeaters
          1. Purchasing
          2. Installation
        3. Adding Access Points
          1. Preinstallation Site Survey
            1. Step 1: Gather the Necessary Items
            2. Step 2: Define the Network Requirements
            3. Step 3: Mark Up the Building Diagram
            4. Step 4: Determine the AP Locations
              1. Estimate an AP Location
              2. Plug in the AP at an Estimated Location
              3. Take Measurements
              4. Ensure That the Test AP Placement Is Optimum
              5. Assign AP Channels
          2. Network and Power Connection Options
            1. Power Lines
            2. Running Ethernet Cable
          3. Choosing and Purchasing Your Equipment
            1. Access Points
            2. Power Line Devices
            3. Ethernet Cable
            4. PoE
          4. Configuring the APs
          5. Physical Installation
        4. Chapter Review
      6. 13. Using Wi-Fi Networks
        1. Keeping Your Operating System Up-to-Date
        2. Enabling and Disabling Your Network Adapter
          1. Using the Start Menu
          2. Using the System Tray
        3. Toggling Between Windows XP and the Manufacturer Utility
          1. Enabling/Disabling the Windows XP Utility
          2. Starting/Stopping the Wireless Zero Configuration Service
        4. Connecting to a Wi-Fi Network Using the Windows XP Configuration Utility
        5. Checking the Connection Status
          1. Using the System Tray
          2. Using the Status Window
        6. Editing Your Preferred Network List
          1. Accessing the Preferred Network List
          2. Changing the Preferred Order
          3. Adding a Preferred Network
          4. Advanced Options
        7. Sharing Files
          1. Enabling Shared Folders
          2. Accessing Shared Folders
        8. Sharing Printers
          1. Enabling Shared Printers
          2. Adding Shared Printers to Computers
        9. Chapter Summary
    9. IV. Appendix
      1. A. Understanding Wi-Fi Signals
        1. Comparing 802.11 Standards
        2. Wi-Fi System Operation
          1. Beacons
          2. Wireless Client Scanning
          3. Connecting
          4. Sending and Receiving
        3. Nonoverlapping Channels
        4. RF Propagation
        5. RF Interference and Attenuation
        6. Final Review
      2. Glossary