Time Variable Internet Access

5 pts.
Tags:
Wireless networking
Hello, I own a restaurant and I'm trying to setup a free Wi-Fi network for my customers. My problem is that there are busy times of the day that I don't want people to hold up a table so that they can be on their laptop for hours. For example, during lunch time we want a quick table turnover so I would like to be able to restrict the amount of time they can use the internet. I've been doing some research on the subject and I have only found software that allows me to completely shut off internet access or restrict certain pages with a scheduled timer. Instead I am looking for a way to give each customer a specific time that they can be on the network. For example, during slow times we can have it unlimited and during busy times we can set the limit to 45 minutes. Is this possible? Am I asking for too much? Thank you in advance. A.E.

Software/Hardware used:
None

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It is perfectly possible, and the easiest for you is a packaged system designed to do exactly what you want.

These are usually called Hot-Spot routers, and come with a ticket printer, and allow you to set the time that people can access the wi-fi, and the access is cut off after that time expires. D-Link used to make one of these, but is now discontinued, however I have found the following from SMC, that appears to do the same thing. It is not particularly cheap, but could save you all the hassle in the long run. The product model number is the SMCWHSG14-G. Have a look at this review, and I think this does what you need.

http://www.trustedreviews.com/networking/review/2007/11/19/SMC-EliteConnect-Wireless-Hotspot-Gateway/p1

Just a thought, free access is good, but why not have a Charity box, and ask users to contribute a little into that box when they get their ticket to use the Wi-Fi ? That way you help a good cause, and keep the Customers happy, and get a good reputation :-)

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