Setting up your own Wi-Fi hot spot, whether for philanthropic or economic purposes, is not a difficult process. It will require some basic networking knowledge and some equipment. You can offer your Wi-Fi hot spot for free or make a little money by making it a paid hot spot. To get started you'll need to understand the terms of your agreement with your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and decide how you intend to offer your hot spot.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Wireless router
- Broadband Internet connection
- High-gain wireless antenna (optional)
Read your contract with your ISP. Be sure that offering a Wi-Fi hot spot won't violate the terms of the agreement. Chances are, if you are going to be setting up a hot spot from your home Internet connection, that it will violate the contract. If you're setting it up for a business, that may not be the case. It's best to know what the contract says before you get started.
Set up your Internet connection through your wireless router and ensure that you can access the Internet. Once you can access the Internet determine the area you'd like your Wi-Fi hot spot to cover. If it's a small area, say a small bookshop or cafe, then you won't need an additional antenna. If it's a larger area, such as a park, library or apartment building, you should get a high-gain wireless antenna. The high gain antenna will offer a signal boost for the larger area.
Set up your router in a position that will allow the best coverage for your area. This should be off the ground and away from obstructions and large metal objects. The better the line-of-sight to the router, the better the signal will be.
Set up security for your wireless network. If you are using a separate network for your home or business uses, you may not want to put additional security on the wireless router intended for the hot spot. If you'd like to maintain a single network that allows guests, but won't allow them access to your home or business network resources, make sure your router has a Guest Zone or similar feature. If you have separate networks but want to limit the access to, for example, customers of your cafe, then set-up a WPA password to protect the network and provide the password as you feel is appropriate.
Tips and warnings
- If you want to make money by creating a paid Wi-Fi hot spot, check out a service like Hotspotsystem, which offers software you can install on your router to bill your hot spot users.
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