Wi-Fi hotspot setup
more travelers are expecting wireless access
everywhere they go:
 stores, restaurants and of
course where they stay

iPhones are everywhere - there are apps to update facebook, research wine, check or add tripadvisor ratings, look at menus, update blogs... the list goes on and on 

all of these need a connection to the internet
and a Wi-Fi hotspot will give that to your customers or guests

and of course they need to login with their laptops back in their room: email; facebook; streaming netfix; research where to eat drink or visit while on MDI and possibly even do some work...

what is a Wi-Fi hotspot?
a Wi-Fi hotspot is simply an antenna that plugs into your internet connection which allows people within a small radius to connect wirelessly
how far does it reach?
the equipment and location determines how far it will reach. an over-the-counter wireless solution will typically reach about 100'. walls and trees will reduce this distance as they absorb the wireless signals energy

more professional equipment can extend that reach significantly - on the order of 500+ feet (even through trees). click here for some example installations here on MDI

is it secure?
yes, it can be - but you need to understand a few things...
there are 2 modes of Wi-Fi: open and encrypted.
  • encrypted requires the user connecting to type in a password
  • open allows anybody to connect. but a password does not mean it is secure...
think of it like a room full of money - the front door lock is like encryption - if you don't have the key, you can't come in. but once you have the key, you can come in and have full access. an alternative, safer way would be to build a wall inside the room and have several ATM's there like a bank. you could leave the front door unlocked, people can come in and have access to some money via the ATM and the big pile of money stays safe

simple encrypted solution:
if you simply have a private Wi-Fi connection in your home only for use by your family or only your rental property guests, you can turn on encryption which simply asks for a password to connect. once you are connected though - you have full access to the network... so if you have your computer plugged in, your guests could access it

open public solution:
the most versatile solution is to have an open Wi-Fi hotspot so it's very simple for your  customers to access it. this gateway is actually a firewall between your private network and the public access to your ISP

what does it cost?
the antenna is $100
a public gateway is $200
a router (if you do not already have one) is $80
labor to install and configure 

other items to know about
many laptops are either infected or setup with some sort of file sharing - like bit torrent file sharing. these sorts of programs slam the upload line to maximum which takes down the whole line. 

bandwidth limiting the upload line solves this problem. this has been an issue at 2 separate locations - and bandwidth limiting the upload has solved the problem. bandwidth limiting is available with the gateway appliance