I'm working in a high school and I'd like to put in place a public Wi-Fi network with a captive portal that asks for authentication but also keeps track of user information, like the amount of data transferred (to spot those who do excessive downloading).
I already have a wireless network covering almost the entire school (6 WRT54G V5 and V8 running DD-WRT Micro). This is accessed by school owned laptops that are used by students. My Wi-Fi network is secured with WPA2 and the key is only used for school laptops. I have never given the wireless key to students for obvious reasons like bandwidth abuse, but teachers have it. No student ever succeeded to key the key, so this is perfect...
What I want to do is to put public AP's in specific zones of the school to allow students with their own laptops to have controlled Internet access with user and password.
I've investigated many software solutions. One has retained my attention for a while. It was ZoneCD, but then I saw that It wasn't free anymore since March 2009. That was exactly what I was searching for, they were using WiFiDog as Auth core. That was the perfect solution. This is not expensive to buy (175$ US for a year with complete features) but I guess my boss will be happier if it could be done for free.
Running a dedicated server only for that isn't an issue for me.
I also came across RADIUS, was good but doesn't have accounting features I want to have.
So to conclude, I'd like to build something where students will be able to register an account for themselves, and then be forced to use it to have Internet access. And as WRT54G V1 to V4 (able to run DDWRT Standard and allow WiFiDog gateway to be install) are very rare these days, the access point I might buy to build this public network with could be anything, but this is unfortunate. So I really need a server solution that will achieve what I want.