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bigguns
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Hotspot - setup advice / experience

Mon May 24, 2010 8:36 am

Looking into setting up Hotspot

Hi there,
I'm looking into setting up a hotspot controller system, but I'm not sure in the best way to do this. I've got a few setups in mind, but I'm not sure what would be best, so any input on this would be great. I'm thinking about two ways of doing this - either through DDwrt or Mikrotik. I'm sorry for all the questions on this topic!

Situation:
Looking to create a building-wide wifi/wired solution - connecting upto 40 clients.
ISP > Modem > Router > EAPs > End users
At the moment I'm using EAP-3660 units flashed with openmesh controlled by pro-mesh.net (for user creation/monitoring of timings/billing). But the problem with this setup is with the openmesh - it doesn't allow mail clients to work natively; also there is very little protection from BT users which would cripple the network.
The router used is current running DDwrt.

Aim:
Create a system that can be used, with both wireless and wired solutions, which can block BT downloading/uploading and either continue to use pro-mesh.net for the hotspot or something else to manage the users time/billing.

Potential solutions:
1) Flash all the EAPs with DD-wrt and setup them up as hotspot controllers forwarding to the main DD-wrt router.
2) Flash all the EAPs with DD-wrt (again has hotspot controllers) and setup a Mikrotik router (not sure which would would be best) and use that to prevent BT?
3) Flash all the EAPs back to standard firmware and get the Mikrotik router to affectively be the hotspot controller, therefore everything would be controlled by that.

Questions:
Given your knowledge, which way would provide most cost effective/trouble free solution?
I have at the moment basic knowledge of Mikrotik and I haven't tried hotspot configuration yet. So can someone tell me how well it works?
Can MT's create/delete/self manage/track/billing/auth/ users on the network and how involved is the setup of this?
Is the hotspot system easy to hack (i.e. get free access)?
Would it be better to use an external system to manage this?
 
Feklar
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Re: Hotspot - setup advice / experience

Mon May 24, 2010 4:55 pm

Number 3 will be your easiest, most cost effective, and trouble free installation. Anytime that you have routers doing NAT behind routers doing NAT and so on, your install becomes very complex and very hard to manage, monitor or support.

The basic hotspot configuration script works very well for most situations. You shouldn't need to modify the basic functionality unless you are trying to do something specific.

Mikrotik does have a user manager package you can get with it, I however have very little experience with it. For one or two locations it might be fine to have all of the accounting stuff locally, but if you want to expand at all, look into getting a centrally managed accounting service. This makes things much easier in the long run.

MAC spoofing is the main way to do that, but that is a problem with most gateways. There is no way for it to mitigate something like that at the center of the network because there is no way for it to tell the difference between one computer or the other. That needs to be done at the edge with security settings on the access points/switches.
 
bigguns
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Re: Hotspot - setup advice / experience

Mon May 24, 2010 6:39 pm

Hi,

Thanks for your input -
In terms of QoS I'm guessing its best to apply PCQ - rules. I've never actually done PCQ before so could you tell me please say if I have 10 users on a 10mb line - each user will get 1mb. But say if 9 users weren't doing much i.e. using 256kb but the last user was downloading a file. Would PCQ allow that user to have access to more than the 1mb, until such a time that the other users require their bandwidth?

I hope someone with hotspot knowledge can answer my other questions.
 
Feklar
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Re: Hotspot - setup advice / experience

Mon May 24, 2010 7:16 pm

I believe PCQ should allow you to set a hard limit on how much any one person can take. So depending on your setup, you could let that one user take up 8 megs, or let them only ever take 1 meg at most.

http://wiki.mikrotik.com/wiki/Manual:Queues_-_PCQ

My experience with Queues and QoS is very limited in the MikroTik world, but from what I've read PCQ is generally the easiest one to set up and use.
 
bigguns
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Re: Hotspot - setup advice / experience

Tue May 25, 2010 9:00 am

Can anyone tell me if a RB450G would be suitable and able to control around 40 users for a hotspot.
 
keefus
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Re: Hotspot - setup advice / experience

Tue May 25, 2010 4:24 pm

Yeah the 450g will be fine I have about 20 working with between 10 and 100 users on
 
Feklar
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Re: Hotspot - setup advice / experience

Tue May 25, 2010 4:55 pm

450G would actually be overkill for 40 users (but who doesn't like overkill :lol: ), a 450 would be fine for that.
 
bigguns
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Re: Hotspot - setup advice / experience

Wed May 26, 2010 7:45 am

:) your right there, too much power it better than too little.

I've read over the manual on hotspot, but I'm still unsure if it possible do exactly what I want. But I guess there is only one way to find out!

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