Im looking for a solutions to set-up free wifi hot spot, but not completely open - i want to give access to all customers via paper coupons/codes. Like, each code is valid for 3 hours of surfing internet. It is kinda complicated, so i`ll try to explain the idea by steps:

  1. Client come to a place (coffee shop, etc) and ask for the access code
  2. Connect to unsecured wireless network
  3. Redirect to gateway login page until client enter his access code (if not - disconnect in 3-5 mins)
  4. Assign the access code to client`s MAC address and IP address
  5. Disconnect client on code expiration time

Another problem is: how to control the traffic on regular wifi access point? I know, it is easy to do with server gateway, but the original requirement is based on basic wifi routers.

I understand, this is really specific project, so i wanna know, which systems can fit this requirements the best ? Any helpful ideas ?

4 Answers 4


If you got WRTG54 routers, using OpenWRT and WiFi Dog might suit your needs. It all depends on your AP software and Radius server for accounting.

There's also CovaAP that may interest you.

I'll hope somebody will fully answer your question as i am planning a similar setup.

Hope this helps.

  • i have seen this type of solution in one coffee shop by my house, so i might go there and try to spy. maybe ill figure out at least the hardware/software theyre using. Aug 5, 2009 at 9:32
  • dd-wrt + chilispot can be considered too.
    – sybreon
    Aug 5, 2009 at 10:01
  • By the way i would like to know if someone could provide some feedback about HotCakes Hotspot solution. Thanks in advance.
    – Maxwell
    Aug 5, 2009 at 13:38

I believe PfSense offers a "captive portal" mode.

  • Yes it does provide it.
    – Maxwell
    Aug 5, 2009 at 12:00

I used to use Clark Connect for one of the places I supported. It worked well, did everything you ask for if I remember correctly, it was a few years ago.

There are other small linux distros like this out there, all you need is a old clunker of a computer and you're set.


you can use hosted service solution for your alternative .. theres several hotspot management : - easyhotspot-nano.com - wifigator.com - worldspot.net

you only need wr54gl or any router that capable run CoovaAP

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