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Enquiries about FirstSpot Hotpsot Management Software

 
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TarekAHF



Joined: 05 Dec 2004
Posts: 6
Location: Saudi Arabia

PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2004 10:51 am    
Post subject: Enquiries about FirstSpot Hotpsot Management Software

After reading about the services/products you offer about the Hotspot Management Software, I actually wanted some more clarification.

First, the reason why I am looking into this issue, is that we need to deploy a Simple Hotspot Solution for a new Coffee Shop in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Also, my understanding about Hotspot, is that it is very easy to deploy, so I was wondering if I need to subscribe with Hotspot service provider via the Internet, and what is the added value of such subscription.

Is it not engough to install a Wirless Hotspot using ADSL and Wi-Fi/Bluetooth Access Point (such as Linksys Wireless ADSL Gateway), and then install a Software to manage the Hotpost and enable Billing?

In Jeddah, for example, I can arrange to install a DSL Line from any ISP, get a Wi-Fi & Bluetooth Access Point plus some other devices, and with some configuration work, the Hotspot is Up and Running. Of course, in this case, we will be offering the Wi-Fi Internet Access Free of Charge to the Coffee Shop Customers.

I think if we want to provide a paid access to the Hotspot, we can simply install a Hotspot Management/Billing Software, like FirstSpot [edited] Hotspot Software, is this correct?

I would like to know if FirstSpot Hotspot Software can provide centralized web based control and billing for the Hotspot for multiple different locations.

Is it enough to use an Access Point like Linksys Wireless ADSL Gateway WAG54G for a simple deployment in a Coffee Shop? What are my ulternatives.

Our requirements for the time being:

1. Deploy a simple Hotspot Service in the new Coffee Shop.

2. We are located in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

3. We are planning to offer a free access in the beginning for evaluation purposes.

4. Need to provide wireless access via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth at the same time. You know, there are now Bluetooth Access Points with 100 meters range. If there is interference, how I can avoid it or minimize it.

5. Customers must be able to use Notebooks and/or PDAs like Palm and PocketPCs to connect to the Hotspot.

6. Minimum specs are required to evaluate the service. Ability to allow connection for 30 concurrent users with a good speed and with the converage range of 100 meters aprox.

7. We need to have the ability to provide more controled access to the hotspot using prepaid cards, and/or by billing the user with various methods with the time he used to access the Internet.

Kindly, in view of the questions I mentioned above, our requirements, I will appreciate your feedback with different options. Also, I appreciate if you can give me some idea about the price and time estimates/cost for installation.

You help will be greatly appreciated.
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TarekAHF



Joined: 05 Dec 2004
Posts: 6
Location: Saudi Arabia

PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2004 10:56 am    
Post subject:

Dear Sir,

I kindly ask you to give me any possible feedback about my previous post.

Your help will be greatly appreciated.
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alan
Forum facilitator


Joined: 26 Sep 2003
Posts: 4404

PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2004 3:18 am    
Post subject:

First, you cannot use Linksys WAG54G since FirstSpot is sat between the ADSL modem and AP. The setup will like:

AP -> FirstSpot -> ADSL Modem

See http://patronsoft.com/firstspot/topologies.html for the network diagram.

Even you plan to initially offer the service for free, you still want to install Wi-Fi Hotspot software like FirstSpot since:
1) you can place disclaimer page in the login page
2) you can place advertisement or do some branding in the login page or InfoBox
3) you want to control (i.e. throttle) bandwidth, and limit the data transfer
4) even it is free, you might want to control the maximum access minutes to avoid abuse

FirstSpot should fit almost all of your requirements. The thing you need to aware is that you might need some kind of small thermal printer to generate the prepaid card.
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TarekAHF



Joined: 05 Dec 2004
Posts: 6
Location: Saudi Arabia

PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2004 11:08 am    
Post subject:

Thank you so much for your reply.

I am surprised I can not use Linksys ADSL Modem + Wireless Router!

Maybe I can use it as a Wireless Router only? Is this possible?

Is there any special requirements for the Access Point? Can you give me some models which are best chosen for Hotspots?

Does FirstSpot work with W-Fi and Bluetooth Enabled Devices?

We have applied for an ADSL Line, and it will take some time to be available.

In the mean time, I have setup a prototype to provide wireless Internet access on a dial-up Internet Account for both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. I used the Linksys Wireless Router and the Billionton Bluetooth Access Point + Broadband Router. I want to download the FirstSpot Trial Version to test it with this setup. Will it work? I mean, will I be able to test or at least have a feeling of its features?

My plan now is to connect this Prototype (model) to the ADSL Line when it is available, then, when we are happy with FirstSpot, we will GO LIVE with the proper model for FirstSpot.

Is the thermal printer a MUST, or any printer will do?

Can you give example of a thermal printer (maybe give me a URL where I can see its features)?

I appreciate your feeback.
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Airhead



Joined: 09 Dec 2004
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2004 7:22 pm    
Post subject:

Running 2.4Ghz APs in the same location as Bluetooth is not a good idea.
Bluetooth uses FHSS and hops all over the 2.4ghz band. This appears as
noise to the 2.4Ghz DSSS Wlan and will interfere to the point that you are running at 1mbs on a 54mbs AP with frequent disconnects. The only real option to have them co-exist is to use 802.11a (which most peoples laptops dont support yet).

I use a Linksys WAP54G, it will work great for a coffee shop.

I have been evaluating V3 of FirstSpot, so far the only problem I have ran into is with a win98 laptop running IE 5.0. It worked ok without HTTPS but with it on it wouldnt work. So I upgraded it to 6.0 and it now works.
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TarekAHF



Joined: 05 Dec 2004
Posts: 6
Location: Saudi Arabia

PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2004 8:49 pm    
Post subject:

Mr. Airhead,

Thank you so much for your reply.

In the prototype I setup with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, I could not see any noticable problems regarding interference. However, this was a simple test, and I can not confirm if there will be problems for the real situations.

On the otherhand, I read many articles on the Internet talking about such interference. Some articles mentioned that the interference is going to have some effect on speed, others mentioned different ways to implement co-existance with minimal effects.

The bottom line; we can deploy a Dual Wi-Fi/Bluetooth solution without any additional major cost, and we can follow the instructions to minimize the interefence issue. The cost of a Bluetooth AP is less than 100.00 US$ which is OK. I am willing to GO LIVE and see the results. As a mater of fact, I have ideas to utilize this co-existance limitation as a chance for better success for the Coffee Shop. If you are interested, I will email you the results when I am read!

Regarding the WAP45G, I think the only difference is that WAG45G has a built-in ADSL Modem/Router. I thought it is better to have 2 devices in 1, but it appears that this will not work with FirstSpot! Could you please tell me how to best use this device in my case?

My concern here: Does FirstSpot has any problem working with dual solution of Bluetoot/Wi-Fi Hotspots?

Do you have any idea if I can use WAG45G with FirstSpot only as a Router/Wireless AP? Or, do you recommend to return this device and get something similar to WAP45G? In what ways the WAP45G is better than WAG45G?
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miguel.rosa



Joined: 01 Dec 2004
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2004 2:39 am    
Post subject: Hello

TarekAHF,
I am currently testing the FirstSpot with these components:
1. WAG45G (Currently my gateway connected to the cable modem)
2. Symbol WS2000 wireless switch with 2 Access Ports (Testing environment)
3. FirstSpot server connected to the WS2000 (I configured some Vlans and I route network traffic between the ws2000 LAN segments and the wag45g.)

The advantage here is that I make use of the advanced firewall security setiings and divide the testing environment from my production environment. I currently does not have any problems connecting and using the FirstSpot but I have the same problem of the Thermal Printer. I was thinking on several ways to make this process authomatically but it appears that I have to create a number of bulk user accounts and later pre-print cards to give it to the clients.

Any suggestion on thermal printers will be welcome!!

-Miguel
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alan
Forum facilitator


Joined: 26 Sep 2003
Posts: 4404

PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2004 5:05 am    
Post subject:

Airhead, Win98's IE5 (not IE5 in general) is acting really weird. E.g. If you go to www.paypal.com login page (which is https) directly without using FirstSpot, it will give strange certification error. IE5.5/6 or Firefox is a much better solution for Win98. Also, please note that you cannot visit a https page as your first visit site before login FirstSpot. You have to visit a http page first, login, then go to the https page.

TarekAHF, I guess you can use WAG54G as an AP. It's just the ADSL Modem part is wasted. Regarding the thermal printer, no it is not a must. You can write username/password, or you can pre-print some prepaid card in advance using 3rd party printer. Note that FirstSpot is pure IP-based, so it will work with either Wi-Fi or Bluetooth without problems.
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TarekAHF



Joined: 05 Dec 2004
Posts: 6
Location: Saudi Arabia

PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2004 9:04 am    
Post subject:

Miguel,

Very smart.... So this makes me feel happy that my WAG45G is not wasted! Could you please give more details about your test/live environment setup. I am a little bit confused how you did that, since the requirements of FirstSpot is to use a separate AP/ADSL Modem Combination. Are you using 2 PCs to manage the Hotspot? Appreciate your help.


Alan,

Please give me suggestions about the suitable printers that could be used to print the pre-defined user name/passwords. Because I understand that you could print them on Plastic Cards too, which may look more professional. What do you suggest.

What if we want to charge the customers of the Hotspot with the time they used the Internet??? For example, we want FirstSpot to create a permanant account for a regular customer, and every time he logs on, and then logs off, it will generate/print a report of the time and usage details of the Hotspot, and then we can include it in the bill with the Capatchinoo (wrong spelling, I know) he had!!!.

Is this possible?
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alan
Forum facilitator


Joined: 26 Sep 2003
Posts: 4404

PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2004 8:08 am    
Post subject:

1) We really don't have any specific preference on thermal printers. Still, you can take a look at the Epson one like http://pos.epson.com/products/TM-U220.htm .

2) For the usage report you mentioned, yes it is possible with FirstSpot. FirstSpot will write the user usage information in the table fsusrlog when users log off. You can then use this piece of information to generate the bill. Note that there are some customization/integration involved here.
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TarekAHF



Joined: 05 Dec 2004
Posts: 6
Location: Saudi Arabia

PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2004 9:23 am    
Post subject:

Alan,

So far so good.

The only problem we are facing now is Availability of DSL. We were told that it might be available in 4-6 weeks. Some people suggested to use Satellite Internet or DLL (Lease Line). Such options are available immediatly, but very $$$ expensive. Initial cost for Satellite is aprox US$4,500.00 and monthly cost is US$1500.00 for 512KPBS Internet Speed. Where as DSL main cost the the monthly fee which is about US$700.00 per month for high-speed and low line share.

Currenlty, the only Internet we have now is Dial-Up!!!

So,

1. Is it going to be useful to download now the trial version of FirstSpot and connected to the Dial-Up in some way? Or this will be ridiculous?

2. What is your feedback on using Satellite Internet? Any feedback will be appreciated?

Thank you.
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alan
Forum facilitator


Joined: 26 Sep 2003
Posts: 4404

PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2004 9:39 am    
Post subject:

1) You need to have a PC or router that does the dial-up since FirstSpot cannot work with Windows dialup interface directly. E.g.

FirstSpot -> PC/Router ---> Internet (via Dialup)

2) Satellite Internet - don't really know much. But it should be fine with FirstSpot as long as it is stable.
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Hermione



Joined: 22 Sep 2017
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:56 am    
Post subject:

In want to know more about Hotpsot Management Software. Could you please explain it in a simple way. I don't have a technical background. Thanks for understanding! Sad
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alan
Forum facilitator


Joined: 26 Sep 2003
Posts: 4404

PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 12:11 pm    
Post subject:

In the simplest term, our software FirstSpot provides login page to end users. You can view the video at http://patronsoft.com/firstspot/firstspot_demo2.html for a demo.
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