Small Business/Wifi ?s

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by mooshoo, Apr 10, 2005.

  1. mooshoo macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    #1
    I own a small cafe/restaurant here in Vancouver, BC. I just recently installed a wireless network, for my customers. I use it occasionally to do some shop-related work. The network itself is completely open, I intentionally did not set a password (the firewalls are up on our PBs). I essentially offering free wireless service, to those that have laptops and PDAs. I am not charging my customers for this service.

    Now, my question is this: Is there any way that I can monitor how many people are actually using the network at any given time? Is there a function in my PB that can show this? I am just curious to see how many people are actually using the service, without having to count laptops. Our wireless router is made by a company called SMC, btw. Thanks!
     
  2. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #2
    Congrats on doing what i think is the right thing in general.

    I have no answers for what you asked. Though Paneras bakery in the DC area offers free access. They do have the user go through a gateway with terms of usage agreement. i think that this is a safe bet, since you may be liable if you have open access for some one maybe using your free service to send SPAM.
     
  3. superbovine macrumors 68030

    superbovine

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2003
    #3
    most routers i have used are able to access a list on people online through the router setup menus. not sure about smc though, but more than likely yes. i have seen software on the pc the will monitor traffic that will do exactly what you want but i don't remember the name. there is several programs that analyze network traffic on more sophisticated level though.
     
  4. Mechcozmo macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    #4
    1. Place a password on the router. That way no one can screw up your settings. (Doesn't mean a network password-- just one for the router)

    2. Look around the router by typing in its IP address in a web browser. You can find a "DHCP list" or on some a list of all computers on the network.
     
  5. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #5
  6. jeremy.king macrumors 603

    jeremy.king

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    #6
    As much as I would like to commend you on offering free wifi, but could you at least put a WEP or WAP password on your router. Change it everyday and put the key/pass on every sales receipt for your paying customers to use.

    The potential issue I see is that the hacker on the street that isn't a customer, but he could just as easily use your wide open network to attack/pilfer/hack/spam/DOS other machines on the internet or even worse, on your very network. Obviously I don't know the legal liabilities if someone were to use your "public" network to do bad things, but I am guessing it wouldn't look too good for your business.
     
  7. mooshoo thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    #7
    Thanks guys for the replies.

    I did enter the IP addy of the router, but some wierd page came up, and that was that. There wasn't anything to look at, nor change.

    I was also worried about the whole liability issue in the beginning. I ended up putting up a very obvious disclaimer sign near the customer area. I also tell everyone (that I can see at least) that there is no firewall (except the router itself), and I am NOT responsible for ANYTHING. I also reserved the right to kick someone out if I feel uncomfortable with their use.

    For the most part, I see a lot of my customers using PB/IB here. Hardly any PC users at all. It's just that I wish I could see how much bandwidth is being used up at any given time.
     
  8. mooshoo thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    #8
    Thanks, I'm downloading now, and will give it a try!
     

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