Wireless Public Network (aka HotSpot)

its exactly for scenarios like this that i keep tom-tom'ing the PublicIP's zoneCD Live distribution which enables you to configure a firewall,content filter (using dans guardian), a walled garden and also lets you control who logs in, and for how much time etc. The configuration can be done online even before you download a single byte of the software. To top it all, its free!!! try it at http:/./

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Hoping that someone can help out with a little guidance and advice.

I am thinking about setting up my coffee shop with a wireless Linksys B router, so that my customers will have the option of bringing in their laptops and connecting. I really don't want to monitor it, so I'm just going to let people connect for free. I'm already paying for the high speed internet connection, so it's only like $100 for me to get a router to provide this service to my customers, and I think that it will potentially increase sales for me. I have this set up at my house and I don't see how it would be any different at my business.

So, I have 2 questions.

  1. I'm concerned that my business computer will be less secure, as it will be part of the public wireless network that I will be creating (however, it will be hardwired to the router). Can i just run a switch before the router and pay for 2 IPs from my ISP? Will this give me added security and remove me from the public network in my shop? Are there simple measures that can be taken (ie. file/print sharing permissions) that will be just as/more effective than a switch and allow me to just connect directly to the router (this would be preferred)?

  2. Can you see there being any legal/moral responsibilities that I would have (since I am essentially providing this service) with respect to the actions taken by my guests? Can you provide this type of service unmonitored and for free? I'm guessing that with such a new technology (popularity wise) there are not yet any laws around this matter.

Your thoughts and opinions are appreciated.


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I did a lousy job on that posting. See: snipped-for-privacy@4ax.com where I cleaned it up considerably.

Reply to
Jeff Liebermann

Your ISP may have a different opinion. You are essentially reselling their service, which might violate your agreement with them. Better read the fine print.

See Jeff Liebermann's post in the thread "sharing broadband but not files" in this newsgroup.

Whether you ultimately bear any legal liability for what other people do through your connection, misdeeds can be traced back to your network and you might end up having to answer some questions. In any case, lots of restaurants, etc are providing free, unregulated wireless access to their customers; so if you get in hot water, others will probably be there with you.

Reply to
Neill Massello

if you can have 2 IP adr, then why not get 2 routers - 1 for your wired device, and one for wireless.

that way the 2 subnets are isolated apart from bandwidth sharing.

If you only get 1 IP, then cascade the wired router for the business PC from the wireless one to insulate it from the customers.

as said by others - check the ISP T & Cs to make sure they are OK with this - they probably would prefer you to pay for a business style line rather than a consumer connection since multiple users will be sharing it.

it depends how much insulation you want to provide.

An "ideal" hotspot isolates each PC so that a virus or worm on one cant attack the others locally - but then you need a router set up for that, which may increase the amount of care and attention needed. Not my area of experience, so try the other suggestions you had.

Can you provide this type of service

In Europe there is the legal concept of "due care" - i.e. if you do something you should be using reasonable levels of best practice to reduce the effects on people using your service (or a big disclaimer for everything including the sun coming up on the wall).

but if you want to check legal stuff, you need a lawyer, not an engineer....

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That's the "right" way to do this. One IP address for the wireless, one for the office network. Two routers. I do that with SBC's 5 IP address offering in my office building. See:

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Jeff Liebermann

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