NE1 here a DIY Wi-Fi Hotspot?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by GITANAJAVA, Oct 27, 2006.

  1. GITANAJAVA macrumors regular

    GITANAJAVA

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    #1
    Our neighborhood association -- which includes condo owners (like me), condo renters, and residents of the surrounding houses -- are toying with the idea of setting up our own Wi-Fi hotspot. I'm reading up on it, there are plenty of examples of other small communities, business centers, etc. who've done the same. I'd like to hear from anyone here at MR who has actually done it themselves, used/belongs to one, the pros and cons, etc.

    Thanks!
     
  2. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #2
    Don't forget to make sure that your ISP's EULA allows for this, and if not get another ISP.

    If you want it to be a public hotspot you could look at supporting FON http://en.fon.com/ or something similar.

    B
     
  3. GITANAJAVA thread starter macrumors regular

    GITANAJAVA

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    #3
    What is a EULA? End User Legal Agreement? As far as I've read so far, if we set ourselves up as a "business/community center", and advise whatever ISP we choose of same, there's no prob.

    Other ideas/issues????
     
  4. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #4
    Yeah, that's the point I was trying to make, don't expect to be able to share a cheap individual DSL line or similar. Business pays 2-3x as much for the same level of service as an individual, but gets better support & availability.

    There are plenty of "Hotspot-in-a-box" HOWTOs online using either Linux PCs or other Linux based embedded hardware like the Linksys WRT54G(L).

    How many houses and what geographical area are we talking about?

    B
     
  5. GITANAJAVA thread starter macrumors regular

    GITANAJAVA

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    #5
    Also, NE1 have URL(s) for North American equivalents of FON? Yes, I'm a Kiwi stranded in Texas :eek:
     
  6. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #6
  7. GITANAJAVA thread starter macrumors regular

    GITANAJAVA

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    #7
    One small advantage our community association has is its legal status as a non-profit corporation; it often provides pricing breaks not available to for-profit enterprises.

    Our geographical area is less than 1/10 of a larger, adjacent city that recently added what they're calling "border-to-border" Wi-Fi that they are offering their residents at a nominal fee per month (electric rates, gas rates, and now, Wi-Fi rates). So far it has met with accolades and has proved to be a strong attractor for new residents. We are MUCH tinier, both in number of households, geography, and revenues. I see lots of boot sales and bring-&-buy fundraisers in our future to accomplish this....
     
  8. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #8
    Another link for you to consider: http://www.speakeasy.net/netshare/

    Speakeasy are a great tech friendly ISP that could help point you in the right direction. Their EULA/TOS allows for sharing, and even charging for service.

    Another thought is to contact local small ISPs (if there are any) and see what they have to say...

    (You still didn't answer the question on how many houses and size in absolute terms).

    B
     
  9. GITANAJAVA thread starter macrumors regular

    GITANAJAVA

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    #9
    Thanks for the additional link, B!

    I've contacted a private Wi-Fi contractor, Boingo, Deep Blue, and several more of their ilk. But, to assemble a thoroughly informed recommendation with pros/cons, caveats, and instructions, I'd welcome hearing from anyone who wants to share their "been there, done that" experiences.

    Must dash for now, back ASAP....
     
  10. GITANAJAVA thread starter macrumors regular

    GITANAJAVA

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    #10
    And that would be because... I didn't realise you were asking for an exact quantification. Until that information arrives from the association's fearless leader, I've no way to pinpoint it without leaving my cozy bungalow and performing a house-to-house and condo-to-condo count. Best I can do for you is this: our association covers 7 parallel streets of mostly 1-story homes & condominiums and our grandest topological challenge will be the immense trees growing throughout the neighbourhood.

    Thank you for the additional info, VERY helpful.

    As the song says, I really must go. Back tomorrow to catch up :)
     
  11. poisenedapple macrumors member

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    #11
    I know this thread is old...but I found it while searching for something else....

    I've actually thought about this, and public wifi through uhf analog tv signals, or possibly through radio signals...

    on the other hand, someone who researches this can try using dd-wrt firmware and one of it's supported devices....
    routers rather... ie- linksys wrt54g(s)
    http://www.dd-wrt.com
     

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