How can I sell my Wireless?
December 9, 2007 7:05 AM   Subscribe

- Anyone had any luck in (re-)selling internet access through their wireless routers. The program LinSpot seems like the perfect answer but alas, Mac only. I live in a military barracks where people are constantly coming and going, where they charge $5 an hour for WiFi, I would like to do it for about a buck a day. Right now I give it away but sometimes it just gets too slow. Thanks everyone.
posted by Benzle to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
No experience, but have you considered fon?
posted by seanyboy at 7:26 AM on December 9, 2007

I went the dirt-simple route and made my SSID call_5551212_for_access. This might not work for a really high-traffic environment or if you're paranoid about giving out your telephone number. You could also try something like see_bunk_a3_to_connect.

I charge $5 a day and have made a surprising amount of money. I've also been surprised by a a few neighbors who routinely pay me $20 or $30 a month when they could get a dedicated DSL line for $10/month.

You'll have to set your SSID to broadcast for this to work so I recommend that you always have WPA security active. I also have a dual-router setup to more fully isolate my internal network from those who connect via wifi, and everything that the external router does gets logged.
posted by aerotive at 8:04 AM on December 9, 2007

You could try Meraki.
posted by wyzewoman at 8:32 AM on December 9, 2007 [1 favorite]

Wyzewoman, you certainly are. That Meraki is brilliant. Thanks for the link.
posted by 543DoublePlay at 8:39 AM on December 9, 2007 [1 favorite]

Dang it Just getting ready to say Meraki.
posted by DJWeezy at 9:04 AM on December 9, 2007

You can do this by loading the dd-wrt firmware on your wireless router (if it supports it). dd-wrt supports a captive hotspot page that uses radius for authentication.

Now the only problem is automating payment. I assume thats what you want to do. Perhaps use paypal and write a script that detects payment which then updates the radius server to include their username and password?

Also a credit card processor takes a certain % from credit card transactions. So if you charge 1 dollar youre getting like 60-70 cents. If you charge 5 then youre getting 4.80 or whatever. You might even run into your credit card processor forcing you to have a 5 dollar minimum.

On top of that you should really be asking yourself about what happens if something breaks. will you be ok call 24/7? How will customers contact you for refurnds and tech support? WIll you have access to these servers from outside your home? etc.
posted by damn dirty ape at 9:25 AM on December 9, 2007

Also you should think about investing in a better antenna than what came on your router. If the barracks is in a certain direction then you should buy a direction antenna. If not buy a nice (10db gain) omnidirectional. I picked one up for 35 dollars at microcenter recently. Ideally you want to maximize your profits by being able to connect to as many laptops as possible. Mounting your access point on your roof/attic or near a window on a top floor is a good idea too. A few flyers or posters or whatever helps.

While youre at it, you might want to find out if this stuff is compatible with a squid proxy to save bandwidth and something like dansguardian to block certain types of content if need be or if local laws force you to.

Id also block any peer-to-peer apps. One guy running one torrent can hose down your network. Or at least look to see if you have any throttling options with dd-wrt.
posted by damn dirty ape at 9:37 AM on December 9, 2007

Question - is re-selling your service any sort of TOS violation?
posted by jquinby at 10:12 AM on December 9, 2007

Is reselling allowed by your terms of service with your ISP?
Is this something you can get it trouble for doing? I only ask this since you say you live in "military barracks" which I think changes the dynamics of reselling wireless.
posted by bottlebrushtree at 10:20 AM on December 9, 2007

I was at a cafe yesterday that uses to charge WIFI access.
posted by of strange foe at 11:31 AM on December 9, 2007

How hard is it to find internet access that permits reselling?
posted by iknowizbirfmark at 1:29 PM on December 10, 2007

Likely pretty easy if you get a business account, but you might have to get a T1.
posted by rhizome at 4:34 PM on December 12, 2007

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