Free public Wi-Fi allows anyone with a mobile wireless device to log on to a high-speed Internet connection. Many libraries and universities offer free public Wi-Fi, but anyone who has access to a high-speed Internet connection near a public place can create one as well. Building owners and small businesses can offer free wireless Internet to their customers while they wait for service or do business. Keeping a public network separate from an Internal network on the same connection requires a router with a special "Guest Zone" feature.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Wireless router
- Pigtail connector
Call your Internet service provider (ISP) to find out if creating a public network complies with your Terms of Service. Tell your ISP how many people you expect to use your network and the size of the coverage area.
Insert your router's installation disc in your computer's CD drive. Click "Start" at the bottom of your computer screen. Click "My Computer, and double-click "Drive D:" to run the set-up program.
Turn off your modem and unplug it from the outlet. Unplug the Ethernet cable from your computer and reconnect the cable to the "Modem" port on your router. Connect the Ethernet port on your computer to port 1 on your router with the supplied cable. Plug in your modem and turn on your modem and router.
Click "Next" to continue the set-up. Enter your ISP login information when prompted, if you have a PPPoE connection. Click "Next" and "Finish" to configure your router's wireless settings, or configure them manually from the router set-up page on the Internet. Name your wireless network when prompted, and leave the password field blank.
Click "Quit" to exit the set-up. Double-click the desktop shortcut your set-up program created to open the router set-up page. If you don't see the shortcut, right-click anywhere on the desktop and drag the mouse to "Arrange Icons By." Drag the mouse to "Show Desktop Icons."
Click the "Wireless settings" tab on your router set-up page. Click the drop-down menu next to "Mbps" to select the rate of megabits per second you'd like to offer on your wireless network. Click the option button next to "Enable Guest Zone" if your router offers this feature.
Unscrew the antenna that came with your router. Attach the pigtail connector to the router, and attach your new antenna to the pigtail cable. The antenna works out of the box without any software installation.
Tips and warnings
- Use the shortest possible pigtail connector with your antenna to minimise the amount of signal loss. Place your antenna as close to your router as possible.
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