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how to setup a free public wireless network


saxtoda

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Hi,

I would like to set up a free wireless network in our local church hall for the local teenagers to use on the way home from school.

We have an ADSL router and an office computer that we would need to keep secure.

Obviously we'll need a wireless hub, but keeping the public wireless separate from the Ethernet connected PC is essential.

No idea where to start so any (basic) help would be really appreciated.

p.s. i've heard that there could also be a bunch of legal considerations too?

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rdave13

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What ADSL router do you have? These are, more or less today, a modem/router and have the ability of wireless connections if set up. Your Ethernet connection in the office will be secure as it isn't part of the wireless set-up and no one will be able to 'see' it.

The legal side is, you will be held responsible for whatever is downloaded or viewed via the wireless connection, as it will be going through your account via the ISP you are contracted to.

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mgmcc

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"Your Ethernet connection in the office will be secure as it isn't part of the wireless set-up and no one will be able to 'see' it"

I don't follow that because it makes no difference whether a computer is connected wirelessly to the router or by ethernet cable, it will still be in the same subnet and therefore visible.

A possible solution to the problem might be to connect a separate Wireless Cable/DSL Router to the existing router. Configure it to operate in a different subnet so that its clients cannot see the main router's client devices. For example, if the main router has the IP address 192.168.1.1, give the second router the address 192.168.2.1 so that it can allocate addresses in the range 192.168.2.2 to 192.168.2.254

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rdave13

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mgmcc , to gain access to the router, wirelessly, they would need the name and password of the router's log in. As long as the password is secure enough they won't be able to enter the router to do any changes.

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retep888™

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mgmcc is absolutely correct by saying that << it makes no difference whether a computer is connected wirelessly to the router or by ethernet cable, it will still be in the same subnet and therefore visible. >>

rdave13 Quoted: << to gain access to the router, wirelessly, they would need the name and password of the router's log in. As long as the password is secure enough they won't be able to enter the router to do any changes. >>

As we all understand that to join a wireless network we don't need the router's configuration set up password just the wireless key password, once people are in then everyone can see all the devices connected because they're all under the same subnet, it doesn't matter if you're connected by wireless or ethernet ,they'll be controlled by the main router's DHCP.

An easier solution as mgmcc said is connecting a separate Wireless Cable/DSL Router to the existing router then configure it to operate in a different subnet so that its clients cannot see the main router's client devices.

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Forum Editor

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i've heard that there could also be a bunch of legal considerations too?

There's the problem mentioned by rdave13 - that any illegal use of the connection (such as the illegal downloading of copyright protected software/music/films)would be traceable to your account.

In addition you may find that you'll be in contravention of the terms of your agreement with your ISP if you offer a distributed broadband service to members of the public, even if you don't charge. Best to check that before you start.

You should also be aware that heavy use of the connection may run you into bandwidth issues with your ISP - depending on the terms of your package with them.

I agree with mgmcc's suggestion that you run a subnet for these users, so they can't see your office PC. You'll also have to consider the possibility that one or more of your users will leak the access details to other people who could then sit within range with a laptop and use the connection. That could compromise your security, as you would have no control over what was being uploaded or downloaded.

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saxtoda

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thanks all - is there any software that could help manage (and log) activity?

Thanks again.

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saxtoda

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anyone please?

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Forum Editor

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