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Wi-Fi Hotspots: Setting Up Public Wireless Internet Access

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Wi-Fi Hotspots: Setting Up Public Wireless Internet Access


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  • Copyright 2007
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 1-58705-266-0
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-58705-266-8

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


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Sample Content

Online Sample Chapter

The Business Side of Hosting a Hotspot

Downloadable Sample Chapter

Download - 4.56 MB -- Chapter 2: The Business Side of Hosting a Hotspot

Table of Contents


Part I:   The Basics

Chapter 1         The Basics of Wi-Fi Hotspots

                Bridging the Gap

                Wi-Fi Hot Zones

                How Users Find Hotspots

                How Wi-Fi Works

                Chapter Review

Chapter 2         The Business Side of Hosting a Hotspot

                Benefits of Hosting a Wi-Fi Hotspot

                                Attract People to Your Location

                                Generate Additional Revenue

                                Ability to Create a Private Network

                Figuring the Costs

                Chapter Review

Chapter 3         First Steps to Setting Up a Wi-Fi Hotspot

                Step 1: Choose a Hotspot Solution

                                Solution 1: Simple Free Access Hotspot

                                Solution 2: Advanced Free Access Hotspot Using ZoneCD

                                Solution 3: Boingo's Hotspot Network to Provide Paid Access

                                Solution 4: Free or Paid Access and Private Network Using a Hotspot Gateway

                                Hotspot Features

                                Additional Solutions

                Step 2: Set Up an Internet Connection

                                Choosing the Right Internet Connect Type

                                Usage/Legal Terms of Provider

                                Getting the Internet Connection

Chapter Review   

Part II:  Setting Up the Hotspot

Chapter 4         Solution 1: Simple Free Access Hotspot

                Step 1: Gather the Necessary Items

                Step 2: Set Up the Wireless Router

                Step 3: Configure Additional Settings

                                Accessing the Web-Based Configuration Utility

                                DHCP User Limit

                                AP Isolation

                                VPN Passthrough

                                Access Restrictions

                                Blocked Services

                                Remote Router Access

                                Web-Based Configuration Utility Access Server

                                Backup Configuration

                Chapter Review

Chapter 5         Solution 2: Advanced Free Access Hotspot Using ZoneCD

                Step 1: Choose the Mode and Service

                                Open Mode

                                Closed Mode

                                Services Overview

                Step 2: Gather the Necessary Items

                                What’s Required

                                Set Up Your Zones (for the Free Service)

                                Set Up Your Zones (for the Premium Services)

                Step 3: Set Up and Configure the Access Points and Routers

                                Private Wired or Wireless Router

                                Public Access Point or Wireless Router

                Step 4: Perform a Physical Installation

                Step 5: Perform ZoneCD Initial Setup

                                The Boot Process

                                Open Mode Configuration

                                Closed Mode (Free Server) Configuration

                                Closed Mode (Premium Server) Configuration

                Check for Proper Operation

                What’s Next

                Using the Online Administration Tools

                Getting Help

                Chapter Review

Chapter 6         Solution 3: Join Boingo’s Hotspot Network to Provide Paid Access

                Understanding the Solution

                Setting Up the Solution

                                Step 1: Gather the Necessary Items

                                Step 2: Set Up the Equipment

                                Step 3: Join Boingo’s Hotspot Network

                                Step 4: Perform the Physical Installation

                Getting Help

                Chapter Review

Chapter 7         Solution 4: Free or Paid Access and Private Network Using Hotspot Gateway

                Understanding the Solution

                Setting Up the Solution

                                Step 1: Choose the Particular Solution

                                Step 4: Configure Additional Settings

                                Step 5: Perform the Physical Installation

                Getting Help

                Chapter Review

Part III: After Your Wi-Fi Hotspot Is Alive

Chapter 8         Getting the Word Out



                Online Hotspot Directories

                Chapter Review

Chapter 9         Fending Off Freeloaders

                Physically Hand Out Login Information

                Apply Usage Limits

                                Open/Closed Times

                                Bandwidth Limits

                Spell Out Usage Terms

                Monitor Your Hotspot

                Chapter Review

Chapter 10       Wi-Fi Safety and Security

                Understanding Everyone’s Responsibilities

                Hotspot Administrator/Owner Responsibilities

                                Inform Users of the Risks

                                Give Users Safety and Security Tips

                                Enable VPN Passthrough

                                Isolate Clients

                                Filter Hotspot Content

                                Secure User Information

                User Responsibilities

                                Beware of the Risks

                                Follow the Safety and Security Tips

                                Use VPN Connections

                                Use Secure (SSL) Websites

                                Disable File Sharing

                                Use a Personal Firewall

                                Keep an Eye on Valuables

                Chapter Review

Chapter 11       Common Problems and Fixes

                Unable to See/Connect to the Wi-Fi Hotspot

                                What the User Should Do

                                What You Should Do

                Frequent Disconnections

                                What the User Should Do

                                What You Should Do

                Poor Performance

                                What the User Should Do

                                What You Should Do

                Internet Connection Unavailable

                                What the User Should Do

                                What You Should Do

                Where to Find More Help

                Chapter Review

Chapter 12       Increasing Your Hotspot’s Wireless Coverage

                Higher-Gain Antenna



                Wireless Repeaters



                Adding Access Points

                                Preinstallation Site Survey

                                Configuring the APs

                                Physical Installation

                Chapter Review

Chapter 13       Using Wi-Fi Networks

                Keeping Your Operating System Up-to-Date

                Enabling and Disabling Your Network Adapter

                                Using the Start Menu

                                Using the System Tray

                Toggling Between Windows XP and the Manufacturer Utility

                                Enabling/Disabling the Windows XP Utility

                                Starting/Stopping the Wireless Zero Configuration Service

                Connecting to a Wi-Fi Network Using the Windows XP Configuration Utility

                Checking the Connection Status

                                Using the System Tray

                                Using the Status Window

                Editing Your Preferred Network List

                                Accessing the Preferred Network List

                                Changing the Preferred Order

                                Adding a Preferred Network

                                Advanced Options

                Sharing Files

                                Enabling Shared Folders

                                Accessing Shared Folders

                Sharing Printers

                                Enabling Shared Printers

                                Adding Shared Printers to Computers

                Chapter Summary

Part IV:            Appendix

Appendix A      Understanding Wi-Fi Signals




Download - 71.2 KB -- Index


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