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Clients with Static IPs in a Hotspot deployment

Tue Mar 09, 2010 6:32 pm

We are trying find a solution that allows clients in a hotel to connect to the Hotspot when they have a static ip already set on their wireless interface / card.

This would allow them to connect regardless of the IP scheme they have. I'm guessing it has something possible with the Hotspot DHCP IP being attached to the MAC address and ignoring the static IP they already have.

Am I rambling? Sorry. Any thoughts or has this already been done?
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Re: Clients with Static IPs in a Hotspot deployment

Tue Mar 09, 2010 6:40 pm
Getting Address

First of all, a client must get an IP address. It may be set on the client statically, or leased from a DHCP server. The DHCP server may provide ways of binding lent IP addresses to clients MAC addresses, if required. The HotSpot system does not care how did a client get an address before he/she gets to the HotSpot login page.

Moreover, HotSpot server may automatically and transparently change any IP address (yes, meaning really any IP address) of a client to a valid unused address from the selected IP pool. This feature gives a possibility to provide a network access (for example, Internet access) to mobile clients that are not willing (or are disallowed, not qualified enough or otherwise unable) to change their networking settings. The users will not notice the translation (i.e., there will not be any changes in the users' config), but the router itself will see completely different (from what is actually set on each client) source IP addresses on packets sent from the clients (even firewall mangle table will 'see' the translated addresses). This technique is called one-to-one NAT, but is also known as "Universal Client" as that is how it was called in the RouterOS version 2.8.

One-to-one NAT accepts any incoming address from a connected network interface and performs a network address translation so that data may be routed through standard IP networks. Clients may use any preconfigured addresses. If the one-to-one NAT feature is set to translate a client's address to a public IP address, then the client may even run a server or any other service that requires a public IP address. This NAT is changing source address of each packet just after it is received by the router (it is like source NAT that is performed earlier, so that even firewall mangle table, which normally 'sees' received packets unaltered, can only 'see' the translated address).
Configure an address pool on the Hotspot and any static IP (as long as the client also has a default gateway, any default gateway) should work.

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