Tips on Setting Up and Hosting a Wi-Fi Hotspot
- Secure Your Private Network
- Protect Your Hotspot Users
- To Cover Large or Busy Areas, Consider Creating a Wi-Fi Mesh Network
- Place the Hotspot Gateway in a Central Spot
- Use an Identifying Network Name (SSID)
- Discover the Hotspot-Specific Firmware Replacement: CoovaAP
- Possibly Use a General Firmware Replacement
- Look into Using the Sputnik Service
- Look into 802.1X Authentication and WPA/WPA2 Enterprise Encryption
- Consider ZoneCD if You Have an Old PC Lying Around
Whether you're in the process of setting up a Wi-Fi hotspot or already offer wireless Internet, this article is for you. You'll discover a few different hotspot solutions, most of which are free.
I'll also show you how you can make your public and private network more secure and how to save time and money.
Secure Your Private Network
You need to make sure that you properly secure your private network, if you have one. Never let any visitors use your network. Your private network should be secured with WPA or WPA2 encryption, either the easy-to-set up personal (PSK) mode or the enterprise mode that requires a RADIUS server.
You also want to make sure that the hotspot solution keeps the private and public traffic segregated. Some hotspot gateways that support private networks, for example, offer a port that has a direct connection to the Internet and is separated from the hotspot. That way, hotspot users can't sniff your network traffic or access network shares.
If putting together your own gateway, such as with replacement firmware, you should look into using VLANs.