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Hot­spot installation

How do I regis­ter a new hotspot?

If you don’t have a HOTSPLOTS account yet, you’ll have to regis­ter with us first. Under “My hot­spots” in the regis­tered users sec­tion you will find the fol­lowing form which lets you regis­ter a new hot­spot under your account:

Here’s an explana­ti­on of the dif­fe­rent fields:

  1. Name of the Hot­spot: The name iden­ti­fies the hot­spot in our data­ba­se and should be as clear as pos­si­ble. This name must not con­tain spe­cial cha­rac­ters or spaces.
  2. Pass­phra­se: It iden­ti­fies your hot­spot for our bil­ling sys­tem. The key that you enter here also has to be left at the hot­spo­t’s firm­ware. Try choo­sing a ran­dom sequence of cha­rac­ters.
    This key is a pass­word that you can choo­se yourself. 
  3. Public name: Sin­ce neit­her spaces nor umlauts are allo­wed in the hot­spot name, the­re is also the public name. If not­hing is ent­e­red, the hot­spot name is used ins­tead. All users will see this name on the log­in page of your hot­spot: Wel­co­me to the hot­spot “Hotel­Mus­ter”. On our map this name is also used (except for hot­spots with rate “V.I.P. / Nur Tickets”).
  4. Rate: Here you choo­se the (online) rate for your hot­spot. This defi­nes the con­di­ti­ons for users who regis­tered online at the HOTSPLOTS web­site. This is com­ple­te­ly inde­pen­dent of the optio­nal offe­ring of loca­ti­on tickets and an also optio­nal Fre­e­Ra­te con­tract.
    The choice of “Direct log­in” or “Biz kos­ten­los” implies the con­clu­si­on of a HOTSPLOTS Fre­e­Ra­te con­tract. If you choose“Biz kos­ten­los” or “Direct log­in” for the first time, you are direc­ted to the online forms to clo­se the Fre­e­Ra­te con­tract. It starts immedia­te­ly. Sin­ce you can chan­ge the online tariff any time we sug­gest to lea­ve the stan­dard rate at first and clo­se the Fre­e­Ra­te con­tract after the instal­la­ti­on of the hot­spot rou­ter.
    “V.I.P. / nur Tickets” means, that the hot­spot usa­ge is pro­hi­bi­ted for all regis­tered users except of the hot­spot owner and the Free users (see point B below). 
  5. Fle­xiF­lat-Opti­on: If the “Fle­xiF­lat-Opti­on” is selec­ted, the given amount is the maxi­mum a user will pay per mon­th for the use of all hot­spots that have acti­va­ted this opti­on. If “Fun 1,50Cent/MB” was cho­sen, the Fle­xiF­lat is auto­ma­ti­cal­ly set active.
  6. Loca­ti­on Flat: The Loca­tion­Flat ist an alter­na­ti­ve to the Fle­xiF­lat. In con­trast to the Fle­xiF­lat the hot­spot ope­ra­tor can choo­se the amount for the Loca­tion­Flat limit but users do not bene­fit from a roa­ming fea­ture as it is pro­vi­ded by sites with FlexiFlat.
  7. Default lan­guage: Select your default lan­guage. At the moment (July 2010) you have the choice bet­ween Ger­man, Eng­lish, French, Polish, Dut­ch and Greek. This set­ting is used as default for the log­in page of this hotspot.
  8. Address, Post­code, City: Put in your hot­spo­t’s loca­ti­on here. The default set­ting will be the address you regis­tered with. This infor­ma­ti­on hel­ps other users to find your WiFi hot­spot in our data­ba­se. The area code will be used in a first step to geo­gra­phi­cal­ly loca­te your hot­spot and show it on our map. You can cor­rect­ly adjust the loca­ti­on on the map afterwards. .
  9. Publish: We can auto­ma­ti­cal­ly enter your hot­spot into other WiFi hot­spot direc­to­ries. If you select this opti­on we will publish your WLAN hot­spot in all major hot­spot direc­to­ries on the inter­net. That way it can be more easi­ly loca­ted by users. .
  10. Descrip­ti­on: Here you can enter a descrip­ti­on of your hot­spot that users will see in our database.
  11. Web­site: For each of your hot­spots you can enter a URL tha­t’s dis­play­ed on our map. This way you can publish your hotel’s home­page, for example.
  12. Publish E‑Mail: If you publish your email address, it will be shown as con­ta­ct infor­ma­ti­on for your hot­spot. This can be hel­pful if sur­fers have ques­ti­ons about your offer. 

Then click on the green but­ton to regis­ter new hot­spot. You can dele­te or chan­ge its details at any time by cli­cking on its name in your hot­spot list:

In addi­ti­on to the fiel­ds exp­lai­ned abo­ve you can regis­ter “free users” for your hot­spot. For you the hot­spot is free, of cour­se. In the examp­le abo­ve, the HOTSPLOTS users “John­Doe”, “linus” and “maxi” can use your hot­spot for free. Natu­ral­ly you don’t earn any money off the­se users.

As Admin con­ta­ct several email address can be ent­e­red, sepe­ra­ted by spaces. To tho­se addres­ses our moni­to­ring sys­tem sends noti­fi­ca­ti­on emails, e.g. if the hot­spot is off­line and Down­ti­me noti­fi­ca­ti­on is activated.

You can also adjust the log­in page of your hot­spot, for examp­le to show a pic­tu­re of your hotel or a per­so­na­li­sed wel­co­me message.

What do I need to run a hotspot?

To run a hot­spot, you need two things:

Pre­fer­a­b­ly a DSL connection: 

A DSL con­nec­tion with a flat rate pro­vi­des a fast con­nec­tion to the inter­net. Depen­ding on the loca­ti­on, alter­na­ti­ves to DSL can also be used to con­nect to the internet.

A WiFi router: 

Users can use it to con­nect to the wire­less net­work. At the same time, it moni­tors who is using the inter­net. Only tho­se who can authen­ti­ca­te them­sel­ves via HOTSPLOTS are for­war­ded to the inter­net. And you as the ope­ra­tor will regu­lar­ly recei­ve your share of the revenue.

Which WiFi rou­ters are sui­ta­ble for HOTSPLOTS?

We recom­mend the rou­ters from our web­shop as hot­spot rou­ters. For out­door WiFi instal­la­ti­ons we recom­mend the devices from Ubiquiti.

All hot­spot rou­ters can also be used as access points or repeaters. All devices with the same firm­ware genera­ti­on can be con­nec­ted to each other as repeaters. Repeaters with firm­ware 2.0 can work but can­not be con­nec­ted to newer access points or rou­ters via radio – but the other way around.

Our firm­ware offers the fol­lowing advan­ta­ges, among others:

  • The hot­spot can be mana­ged easi­ly with a web browser
  • VPN rou­ting as pro­tec­tion for hot­spot operators
  • Moni­to­ring sys­tem: If the hot­spot rou­ter is no lon­ger online, the HOTSPLOTS ser­ver auto­ma­ti­cal­ly sends a fail­u­re mes­sa­ge by e‑mail as well as a mes­sa­ge when the mal­func­tion is resolved.
  • Auto­ma­tic firm­ware updates can be car­ri­ed out with just a mou­se click
  • The ope­ra­tor can release his own web addres­ses (e.g. for the web­site of his hotel, cafe, club, etc.).
  • A so-cal­led “traf­fic shaping” ensu­res that uploads do not “clog up” the DSL
Can I con­ti­nue using my DSL con­nec­tion properly?

Yes, not­hing chan­ges for the hot­spot ope­ra­tor. The DSL con­nec­tion remains unch­an­ged and can be used as usual.

The hot­spot has a fire­wall run­ning on it that can pre­vent hot­spot users from acces­sing your pri­va­te net­work. In addi­ti­on, VPN rou­ting can be acti­va­ted, which tun­nels the data from the hot­spot rou­ter through your pri­va­te net­work to a VPN ser­ver of HOTSPLOTS.

If you want a sepa­ra­te DSL con­nec­tion for the hot­spot, you can also get one from us. Plea­se con­ta­ct our sales department.

Fea­tures of the hot­spot rou­ter firmware
  1. Gate­way with cap­ti­ve por­tal. On LAN ports the cap­ti­ve por­tal is optional.
  2. Three opti­ons for WAN con­nec­tion: pppoe, sta­tic, dynamic/DHCP
  3. Con­fi­gu­ra­ti­on as hot­spot rou­ter or repeater
  4. Packet secu­re port for­war­ding (PSPF). I.e. the WLAN cli­ents do not see each other. (This secu­ri­ty fea­ture can be deac­ti­va­ted if unwanted.)
  5. Con­fi­gu­ra­ti­on of trans­mit­ter power
  6. Wal­led gar­den: List of domains that can be acces­sed without authen­ti­ca­ti­on and who­se traf­fic is not charged.
  7. Wire­less encryp­ti­on with openVPN.
  8. Traf­fic shaping
  9. Com­for­ta­ble gra­phi­cal user interface 
    • Con­fi­gu­ra­ti­on of all net­work settings
    • Input and test of HOTSPLOTS ope­ra­tor data
    • Down­load OpenVPN cer­ti­fi­ca­te from the HOTSPLOTS ser­ver with just a mou­se click
    • Down­load and instal­la­ti­on of new firm­ware ver­si­ons by mou­se click
    • Activation/deactivation of SSH as an alter­na­ti­ve admi­nis­tra­ti­on tool
    • Activation/deactivation of admi­nis­tra­ti­on by WLAN, LAN and WAN ports
    • Chan­ge passwords
Which ports must be allo­wed at a fire­wall to the internet?

All con­nec­tions are initia­ted by the hot­spot rou­ter. For sta­te­ful fire­wall it is the­re­fo­re not necessa­ry to open or for­ward any ports.

For manu­al­ly con­fi­gu­red fire­walls it might be necessa­ry to allow cer­tain ports. The fol­lowing ports are rele­vant for hotspot-routers:

  • DNS:UDP Port 53
  • Web: TCP Ports 80, 443
  • NTP: UDP Port 123
  • VPN-Rou­ting: UDP Ports 1193, 1194, 1195
  • HSVPN-Rou­ting: UDP Port 2001
  • Radi­us: UDP Ports 1812, 1813
  • Load-Balan­cing: TCP Ports 5001–5008 (App­li­an­ces up to ver­si­on p6.5), UDP Port 2001 (App­li­an­ces with ver­si­on d8.0 or higher)
Can I inhi­bit filesharing?

At the moment the­re is no method known to inhi­bit file­sha­ring effec­tively. The often men­tio­ned blo­cking of cer­tain ports that are often used by file­sha­ring cli­ents can easi­ly be elu­ded by using ports that are sup­po­sed to be use by other pro­grams. E. g. com­mon ports are the ports for nor­mal sur­fing, 80 and 443.

Who uses file­sha­ring inten­si­ve­ly will pro­bab­ly get his own DSL con­nec­tion. Until then: Enjoy the turnover.

Nevertheless you can use the traf­fic shaping of our firm­ware. The traf­fic is clas­si­fied into three groups:

  1. High prio­ri­ty (DNS, SSH, VoIP)
  2. nor­mal (tel­net, Web and email)
  3. bilk traf­fic (edon­key, bit­to­rent, etc.)

The traf­fic shaping can be acti­va­ted in the admin inter­face. Addi­tio­nal­ly the band­width of the own inter­net con­nec­tion has to be set. If for examp­le it is set to only half of the real band­width, the cli­ents behind the hot­spot can use only that half. In that case a con­ges­ti­on of the own traf­fic is prevented.

With which inter­net con­nec­tions does Hot­splots work?

The pro­vi­der or respec­tively the medi­um hard­ly plays a role here as long as our sys­tems get access to the inter­net. Howe­ver, one must be awa­re that shared inter­net lines (shared medi­um) such as cable net­works or LTE do not gua­ran­tee band­width and the­re­fo­re offer lower through­put in core hours. You can usual­ly find details on this in the gene­ral terms and con­di­ti­ons of the inter­net provider.


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