This page is intended for you who want to start but don't know where.
If you are confident and feel ready - go directly to download.
We start from scratch, and assume you have "nothing".... and want to build a successful hotspot.
The first thing you need is internet access. In most places you can get internet access in at least one of the following ways:
Many different technologies - remember that the most important aspect is your total monthly cost and availability. A normal hotspot with a few users you can expect a bandwidth usage of 10 - 50 GB (Giga byte) per month.
Normally your ISP (Internet Service Provider) will suggest routers that will suit your need. What is important choosing router for a hotspot is that it needs to support many concurrent users. Additionally you want a router that is "stable" that is that it doesn't require you to restart it now and then.
Avoid any router that is in second generation as it is the the first version where the manufacturer have tried lower he cost.
Access points have two basic requirements, "no service" and "adequate" coverage. The theoretical max speed is irrelevant. We have found an entire range of Linksys wireless routers and hotspots suffering from a problem where they hang at least once a week (Rumor says it is due to an overheating chipset). We have not verified if this is the case with the latest "Cisco branded" versions.
Our best experience is with Netgear WPN802, we have documented two different Access points where both were running for over 3 months without a restart. The longest documented non hanging AP we have documented is a Dlink 900AP+ which ran for 3 years without a restart.
Industrial Access point, will offer you much better MTBF (mean time between failures) - but will also cost more. Depending on your capacity to service a location, remote power switches can be very useful to "reboot" remote equipment.
We strongly recommend any hotel or venue that is more substantial in size to offer Ethernet over Power lines. The technology has become mature and work very well. Equipment from for example Netgear (there are other providers) require no configuration and are truly plug and play. Additionally it is a way to offer connectivity in parts of your facilities where it is hard to get WiFi coverage.
Always separate the Access Controller from the Access Point and router. This is for several reason but mainly:
The hardware for the access controller should be simple and no complicated. Apart from being financially smart it is also recommended from an ecological point of view to re-use older computers.
A standard PC with 5- 10 GB IDE drives ( avoid SATA), preferably with a Pentium 2 or 3 processor and at least 128 Mb or RAM.
Stability of any network is to a large extent based on how "good" the electricity is in the location. Our experience show that by adding an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) to your hotspot equipment, the number of service occasions are significantly reduced.
You don't need a grand "UPS" to keep the equipment going for hours as the role of the UPS is to deliver a smooth and precise power supply - not to carry the load over power cuts.
These are the parts that constitute your ideal hotspot:
Connect as much as possible of your equipment to the UPS, even switches if required in your set-up.
Above you can see the different components physically, they also need to be configured from a network perspective to actually function properly:
In most cases almost almost every setting can be made automatic - and we recommend you to use automatic settings unless you for some reason absolutely need static settings.
Notice the following:
When choosing SSID most locations chose some variation of the name of their location or company name. We strongly recommend to avoid this naming policy in favor of a policy where you name the network InternetAccess or InternetAccess4U. The main reason behind this is that even big brand names are almost unknown to the general public.
You can download our software and get started here.
You can read more about pricing strategies here.
If you want to read more about how to set-up a public network or a hotspot - read our get started guide.
If you have any questions Contact us!
To understand our system better you read about our vision and goals