I have a customer with a wireless cafe and they would like customers who use it to have to login with a password of the day before using it. I've seen some wireless services where you first internet request returns a logon page. Does anyone know of a AP that does this?
Login or approval dialog? It's called "splash page" or "http redirect". Also see "captive portal" and "nocatsplash". I think you will do better if you search Google for "How to setup a wi-fi hotspot" which returns a substantial number of devices, services, configurations, options, headaches, limitations, and clues. It's fairly simple to do, but does require a bit of planning and configuration.
My personal preference is DD-WRT firmware running either WifiDog or Chilispot hotspot software. Both require an external RADIUS server for logins and passwords. Chilispot has a small built in "local user manager", but I've never used it.
I would also suggest offering MAC-based auth. for certain customers who use older handhelds that aren't friendly to browser-based authentication schemes; the shop manager can manually manage such customer access from an admin interface. WiFi access admin at one local university does just that for such devices and for wireless printers, etc.
Shop manager? She's qualified to run a coffee shop, but is clueless as far as wireless and computers are concerned. It's like that at most of my coffee shop customers. The few that do have a computer literate person on the staff, don't want that person wasting their time tweaking the system, or dealing with customer issues. Unfortunately, what happens is that the customer gets told to talk to the admin (that's me). I get a call on my cell phone asking how to deal with a connection problem. I have yet to see any manner of "older handheld" issues.
As for MAC authentication, I have to expire the MAC address table at least once per hour at shops frequented by the local software developers and students. There's some kind of "privacy" scheme that rotates phony MAC addresses when the laptop is idle. The result is that MAC address table rapidly fills up, kicks off legitimate users, and ruins my day.
The hackers running some kind of virtual machine are also a thrill. Some of these VM's apparently also virtualizes the MAC address and replace it with a phony address. I've seen one laptop grab about 8 MAC addresses, one for each VM on the laptop.
The surest sign of success is abuse and pollution. MAC addresses are certainly successful.
There's only one kind of authentication that I really trust. X.509 certificates issued by a known certificate authority. I use those on USB dongles at medical offices for HIPAA security. Works well, except when someone forgets their dongle. However, that's overkill for a coffee shop.
Now, I have a coffee shop question. Duz anyone have an easy way to log off users after 60 minutes and prevent them from faking a MAC address and logging back in? Note that I said "easy" which means I don't want to setup a NAC security infrastructure or similar monstrosity.
I got annoyed with handholding users and problems... Consider closing your biz and test/pre-retiring.....Enjoy life while you are still young, and plan B (walmart greeter) If you are still alive, when you get old.... That's my plan and I'm sticking to it! :)
My family has a tradition of dropping dead on the job. I seem to be following the pattern. We don't get old. My father was running his lingerie factory up to age 76 and nobody mentioned his age (and lived to tell about it).
Retirement is not in the plans, but on-the-job retirement and picking my customers carefully, seems possible. It's also dubious because any retirement plans inevitably involve various government programs that show every indication falling apart. I'm 60.7 years old. I have enough cash saved that I could retire today, and loaf for about 8 years, but not enough to make it through to my expected lifespan. The only real downside is that I haven't been able to take time off for a real vacation for many years.
Drivel: Yesterday was spent going up and down stairs and on top of a
12 ft ladder. Network wiring in a converted Victorian office building. Nice to have the CAT5 running on the OUTSIDE of the building. Ended the day cleaning a Dell Inspiron 6000 that took a swim in the bay. Nice to know I can still put in a 12 hour day and survive.
This must occur almost everywhere. I have 18 "working days" left until I retire from the daily grind and I have spent the last 5 months chasing various organisations for a variety of documentation that is apparently needed to ensure I am paid what is owed in my retirement and I won't know how successful I have been until the payments become due as the feedback from said organisations is abysmal. Still, chasing any failures will keep me out of mischief for a couple of months.