Small Business/Wifi ?s

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

  1. mooshoo macrumors regular

    Apr 14, 2004
    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

    Dec 25, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    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


    Nov 7, 2003
    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


    Jul 17, 2004
    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


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
  6. jeremy.king macrumors 603


    Jul 23, 2002
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    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

    Apr 14, 2004
    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

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

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