FirstSpot® v8 (new)

    In development since 2002, FirstSpot® is a Windows hotspot management software designed to track and secure your Wi-Fi Hotspot or visitor network in a centralized way. Based on captive portal technology, FirstSpot® lets your hotspot users login simply by using a web browser. Captive portal is the technology that forces user to see the login page before accessing the Internet. User just needs to access a normal web site (e.g. yahoo.com), he will be automatically forced to see the FirstSpot login page. After entering the correct information, he will be able to surf the Internet normally.

    FirstSpot® is all about ease-of-use and giving you unprecedented control on your hotspots. Compare to other hotspot management system, FirstSpot® Windows architecture and server-based pricing gives you the most flexibility in structuring your hotspot access plan. Instead of just offering plain Wi-Fi access, building Wi-Fi Hotspots quickly becomes an important corporate image exercise.

    FirstSpot® is the number one Windows hotspot software in the world and has been deployed in more than 45 countries worldwide. With more than 2000 paid installations, they come from a variety of industry segments including hotels, coffee shops, ISPs, Internet cafes, libraries, legal firms, governments, militaries, and more.

Features highlight

You will find these hotspot-oriented features come alive on your Windows platform:

    End-user Friendly

    • Web-based login, no extra client required

    • Self sign-up accounts - CAPTCHA checking, configurable redirect option and initial credits using Plan, with email verification and auto-login (new)

    • Intelligent InfoBox showing users information (e.g. access minutes remaining, logout button, announcement - useful for sending promotion, time left reminder)

    • Configurable Instant Keywords™ support (e.g. typing "logout" in the browser address bar to logout the user). Also support Anonymous Option

    • SMTP roaming - client PC does not have to change Outlook SMTP setting to send email (enhanced in v8)

    • Universal clients support - Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7/8 (IE, Firefox and Chrome), iPhone (has optimized login page with iOS Captive Network Support), Google Android (has optimized login page), iPad, MAC OS, and device without browser (via Passive Login)

    • In-browser message - a Patronsoft innovation that shows message within the active browsing session. The following formats are currently supported : message broadcast, disconnect reminder, always-on InfoBox, Internet surfing break, top banner mode. Click here for a screenshot

    Hotspot Network Management

    • Different Authentication Modes - username & password, Scratch Code (e.g. just enter a unique number or text to login), anonymous (i.e. simply click okay inside the welcome portal to start surfing), RADIUS support (including Active Directory support via Windows IAS/NPS), Social Network (e.g. Facebook) integration (new)

    • Login Once - User needs to login once initially and all subsequent access will be automatic

    • Improved Multiple Logins - support Data Transfer Quota, Login Once user attribute, Shopping Cart, SMS Sign-up (new)

    • Username can bind to the first login client MAC address

    • Use MAC as username - mode of login that users only need to enter password. Also support passive login that users don't need to enter anything at all (e.g. useful for IP phone , game console, NDS/PSP)

    • Free Access - a new way for new user to try the service which he doesn't need to perform self sign-up and create a username

    • Bandwidth throttling - applying limits on bandwidth consumption globally or down to per-user level to stop network abuse, flexible bandwidth throttling mode which only enable when the total upload or download bandwidth utilization has reached a certain limit, support Bandwidth Throttling Exception (new)

    • Client pass-through - allowing devices with certain MAC/IP addresses to pass-through without login

    • Client Isolation - prevent clients PC from seeing one and other in Windows network browser

    • IP Block List and Web Filtering with block page - Block list which will block IP address range for blocking Intranet), Web Filtering with Shalla Blacklists (for blocking offensive Internet sites) (new)

    • Client Black List with block page- ability to block offending client PC

    • Port Filtering - allows administrator to control application access (e.g. web only), support both white or black list (enhanced in v8)


    • Blackout Period - block Internet access during a certain time period within a day (e.g. 7pm - 10pm) (enhanced in v8)

    For a Profitable Hotspot

    • Versatile tracking models including :

     

    i) access minutes (i.e. airtime credit) - e.g. coffee shop
    ii) hour-pass/day-pass (i.e. suspend at a specific date and time) - e.g. hotel (match the guest check-out time)
    iii) Recurring (e.g. every Mon/Wed at 7-9pm) - e.g. Internet cafe "off-peak hours" package, corporate environment
    iv) Restricted Account (when airtime credit or quota is used up, instead of suspending the account, user can still have access to the Internet but with Bandwidth Throttling set to global setting) - e.g. slower free access with full performance paid package, Municipal Wi-Fi, airport

    • Data Transfer tracking and Quota System - useful in countries that don't have unlimited Internet access

    • Prepaid card printout through the one-click user creation QuickAdd feature or Bulk Accounts creation - e.g. coffee shop can give out prepaid card once customers make a certain amount of purchase

    • Credit card support with full PayPal Website Payments Standard, PayPal Website Payments Pro Direct Payment support, WorldPay, Authorize.net and Interswitch WebPAY (new) integration - e.g. self-service Internet cafe, Internet kiosk. Also support live update (i.e. after top up the account, user will updated immediately. No need to logout and re-login) and auto-login after payment (new)

    • Comprehensive usage log - including time, duration, data transfer, client MAC/IP addresses of client machines, and destination URL tracking (DHCP, DNS, FTP, HTTP, POP3, POP3S, SMTP, SSL, Telnet or other customized ports)

    • Extensive reporting feature (enhanced in v8)

    Tool to email log periodically (enhanced in v8)

    Unbeatable Customizability

    • One-click login page customization - options to change (or randomize, useful for advertisement) the graphics, font type and size in the standard login page. Streamline login page that breaks down into different sections

    • Different login pages for different network segments, per network segment user account

    • Dynamic Multiple Languages Support - FirstSpot will present appropriate language to the end-users based on client settings, also integrated with PayPal locale

    • FirstSpot® API - allows administrator to modify and query user account information programmatically while maintaining data integrity (refer to chapter 10 of FirstSpot Guide for details) (enhanced in v8)

    Other Features

    • Exception free web site support (can handle wildcard sub-domain name format e.g. *.google.com) - e.g. shopping mall can make the tenants' web site free while restricting other normal surfing

    • NAT with Real IP for client PC (e.g. premium package for hotel or Internet cafe) and Port Forwarding support

    Load Balancing with Failover - setup a second FirstSpot server for load balancing and backup in case the first one fails

    Scenario 2 : Distributed Network Topologies with centralized ODBC datasource

    • support Dual Internet Connection (sometimes also known as Dual WAN)

    • QoS - ensure certain applications (e.g. VoIP - Skype, SIP) to get guaranteed bandwidth

    • Operator accounts - administrator can define operator accounts with different access levels, finer operators access right

    • Option to remove inactive user accounts automatically



FirstSpot is a registered trademark of PATRONSOFT LIMITED.



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FirstSpot® has been featured in the following books:

Wireless All-In-One Desk Reference For Dummies

Wireless Network Hacks & Mods For Dummies

Wi-Fi Hotspots: Setting Up Public Wireless Internet Access

PC Magazine Wireless Solutions

Wi-Fi Home Networking Just the Steps For Dummies