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How to Start a WiFi Hotspot Business

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Introduction

You can start a WiFi hotspot business from almost anywhere including your home, this might be the best place to start as you won't need to get permission to install the equipment and you won't have to share any of the income with anyone else. Also people are more likely to pay for Internet access at home in residential areas than when just having a coffee in a cafe. This does not mean that if you are a coffee shop owner you cannot charge customers for WiFi access.

Many commercial/shopping areas now have free WiFi so it is unlikely that people will pay for something that they can get for free.

In the past few years the cost of equipment and technical knowledge required has fallen significantly making starting this type of business very simple.

You can charge people to use it on a hourly, daily, weekly, monthly or yearly basis.

Source

Internet Connection

The first thing you will need is an Internet connection, you must make sure it is one which allows resale so you will most likely need a business Internet connection. As it will be shared you should get the fastest connection available and ensure that it comes with an unlimited download allowance. You will not be using the WiFi signal from the router supplied by your ISP so you should based your choice of ISP on cost, speed & standard of the service provided, not on reviews of the router's WiFi performance.

When choosing an Internet provider to support your WiFi hotspot you should choose the best service you can afford, not all services are the same. You might be tempted to choose the first cheap Internet service you find but it always pays to do your research first. Just a quick Google search for reviews of the service you are considering using will provide invaluable information and save you a whole lot of trouble later down the line.

Something few cheap Internet service providers fail to mention is 'contention ratio', put simply this is the number of properties who will be sharing the advertised bandwidth. Contention ratios are usually 20:1 or 50:1, this means there will be between 20 and 50 people sharing that 'Up To 8Mb download speed' advertised.

Yes I'll say it again just in case you missed it or thought you misunderstood it, up to 50 people will be sharing a 8Mb Internet connection!

This is why you almost never get the download speed advertised, because all your neighbours are hogging the bandwidth.

So you must keep this in mind when shopping around for an Internet connection for your WiFi hotspot.

There are lots of different types of Internet service but I will list the most common types available.

  • ADSL - This is the service which uses the old copper telephone wires, most are old and if you are more than a few miles from the telephone exchange the service and speed is going to be pretty poor.
  • Fibre - Maximum speeds can be very good but only if fiber is used from one end to the other, often the 'last mile' will still use old copper wires so a lot of the speed is lost. Only Fibre to the home (FTTH) or Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) where no copper cabling is used will achieve true Fibre speeds but services are expensive and limited.
  • Leased Line - This is the best option and is what most businesses will use, it is however very expensive and usually subject to a hefty monthly fee. It is an 'Uncontented' or 'Dedicated' line which means the contention ratio will be 1:1, i.e. if the advertised speed is 8Mb, you will get 8Mb and it will not be shared with anyone else.




The Equipment

To keep this as simple as possible and allow anyone, regardless of technical knowledge to start a WiFi business I suggest using the free Open-Mesh/Cloudtrax system. In order to set up a paid for WiFi network you will need a special WiFi router (pictured), they only cost $79.99 so setup is really low.

You simply purchase the Open-Mesh router, add a few details from the back of the router in to the Cloudtrax central WiFi network management dashboard (free), plug in the Open-Mesh router to your Internet router and the WiFi network is up and running.

WiFi Management System - CloudTrax

In order to charge customers for access you will need a central WiFi network management system. There are many available (free & paid for) but I suggest you use the free one provided by CloudTrax, you will need to open an account and enter a few simple set up details such as the network name (SSID) which customers will see when they connect to your network. You will also need to open a PayPal account (free) if you don't already have one to accept payments for access from customers. The Cloudtrax system includes free splash/landing pages which can be customised and full Paypal integration.

Using the CloudTrax dashboard you can access, monitor and control your WiFi network from anywhere in the world with an Internet connection, including from a smart phone.

To use you WiFi service the customer will connect to your WiFi network and when they open a webpage they will be redirected to your splash/landing page. Here you can put some information about the service, instructions, TOS or even advertising. On the splash/landing page the customer can select the amount of access time they require which you can set at anything from 1 hour to one year.

I would suggest offering a range of access packages such as;

  • 1 Hour
  • 1 Day
  • 2 Days
  • 1 Week
  • 1 Month
  • 3 Months
  • 1 Year

After the customer selects their chosen access package they will be taken to Paypal to pay and issued with an access voucher. Everything is automated and once set up requires very little input on your part. You can also create access vouchers if the customer wants to pay in cash or over the phone (if you have card processing facilities such as the new Paypal Card reader for iphone/Android phones)

CloudTrax Dashboard

This is a screenshot of the Cloudtrax Dashboard which shows each node on the network, its status, mesh speed and user info.  (Click image for larger version).
This is a screenshot of the Cloudtrax Dashboard which shows each node on the network, its status, mesh speed and user info. (Click image for larger version).

How To Set Up a CloudTrax/Open-Mesh WiFi Network

WiFi unit attached to a light pole
WiFi unit attached to a light pole | Source

Positioning of Equipment

When starting a WiFi business you want to provide coverage to the widest possible area in order to reach as many potential customers as possible. WiFi signals only have a range of about 100ft indoors and 300ft outdoors so you must place/install your routers where you think they will provide the best coverage. In a cafe or coffee shop this will probably be on a wall or ceiling. In a residential area I would suggest roof mounted or window mounted where they will get the best clear line of sight (LoS). This means the signal can travel directly to users without having to pass through solid objects like walls, floors and ceilings.

If you have a balcony or window overlooking many other properties this would be the best place to put the WiFi router.

Power Over Etherent

The Open-Mesh router supports 'Power over Ethernet' (PoE) which means the data and power for the unit travels over the same Ethernet cable at just 12 volts so there is no risk of electrical shock from outdoor installations and a qualified electrician is not needed to install outdoor units.

The maximum length of the Ethernet cable with PoE support is 300ft so your Internet router can be installed near the phone line and the WiFi units can be installed in other rooms or on rooftops up to 300ft away to create a much larger coverage area. You can also connect another unit to the first one with another 300ft cable and so on in a daisy chain formation. Weatherproof Ethernet cable can be used for outdoor installations.

PoE Injector
PoE Injector | Source
This picture shows an Open-Mesh router being powered using a Power over Ethernet injector (PoE).
This picture shows an Open-Mesh router being powered using a Power over Ethernet injector (PoE).
Open-Mesh OM2P WiFi Router
Open-Mesh OM2P WiFi Router | Source

Scalable

This business is highly scalable as you can start with just one unit and as demand or funding grows you can just add more units to the system to increase coverage and reach more potential customers.

The meshing capabilities of the Open-Mesh routers allow you to simply plug in another unit in to a power outlet and it will connect to the other units creating a much larger coverage area and reach even more customers.

I have created a more in depth page on the CloudTrax system and meshing capabilities here.

Are You Ready To Start a WiFi Hotspot Business?

Do you Think You Can Start a WiFi Business?

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Open-Mesh MR900 Performance WiFi Hotspot Router

Open-Mesh have just created a new product, the MR900, a high performance router designed for high usage areas and installations. It supports the common 2.4Ghz range and the less congested 5Ghz range to give optimum performance and speed, up to 900Mbps.

Just like the OM2P routers, the MAC address only needs to be added to your Cloudtrax dashboard and the network/hotspot is up and running. It can also be added to existing networks and will mesh with OM2 routers.

  • Supports 50 - 100 Simultaneous Users
  • AR9558 700mhz Processor
  • 182MB DRAM
  • Backwards Compatible with OM2P


I have not tested this unit yet but taking into account the performance of other Open-Mesh equipment I expect it should be very good. It is more expensive that the OM2P routers but it is a much more powerful router and can support more users, the 5Ghz support is a big advantage as 5Ghz is being incorporated into more devices such as laptops and smartphones.


You can see a full list of the specifications on Amazon.

Other WiFi Equipment To Consider

Although the Open-Mesh OM2 routers have been mentioned throughout this page it does not mean that they are the only WiFi router that can be used to create a paid for WiFi hotspot. Another popular manufacture of WISP (Wireless Internet Service Provider) equipment is Ubiquiti, their products fall in to the same price range with similar functionality and can be used with the Cloudtrax WiFi hotspot management system.

© 2013 SpaceShanty

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Post Your Question or Comments Here. 147 comments

NateB11 profile image

NateB11 3 years ago from California, United States of America

This is truly educational for me, I did not know you could do this kind of thing and I never would have thought of it. I really like the idea, seems like a smart way to make some money. I'm not too tech-savvy, don't know if I could do it; but your instructions are good, makes me want to try it. Thanks much for the information.


SpaceShanty profile image

SpaceShanty 3 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Thanks for your comment NateB11.

Please let me know if you do start a wiFi business.


vibesites profile image

vibesites 3 years ago from United States

I'm not aware that having just a Wifi at home could also enable you to make a business. That's really nice, I see this as a really a new concept here. I have yet to know someone who might be actually running such kind of business to get more in-depth info, you know, how he really charges customers on an everyday basis, etc.

However, your hub is really good and your tips seem quite easy to follow. Thanks for posting. Up and useful, shared.


rose-the planner profile image

rose-the planner 3 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

This is very insightful! I never thought about something like this. You have offered excellent tips. Thank you for sharing. (Voted Up) -Rose


SpaceShanty profile image

SpaceShanty 3 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi,

Thanks for your comment. I have started such a business and put a link above to a much more detailed guide.


SpaceShanty profile image

SpaceShanty 3 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi,

Thank you for your comment!

Chris


Hezekiah profile image

Hezekiah 3 years ago from Japan

Interesting, never really of thought of doing that.


SpaceShanty profile image

SpaceShanty 3 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi,

Thanks for your comment!


Adama 3 years ago

But i think that is note possible to make advertising over wifi with Open-mesh


SpaceShanty profile image

SpaceShanty 3 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi, Thanks for your comment. Yes you can put some advertising on the network. After the user logs on they are redirected to a page, I just redirect them to Google but they could be redircted to the website of a local business who supports your network by having a unit on their buliding or your own website where you could put lots of other types of advertising such as promotions for local businesses, wifi booster units or even pay per click adverts.


Luke c 2 years ago

Hi, nice tutorial. I am an IT professional who worked as a wifi engineer around the UK installing various networks in shopping centres etc. I understand your concept, but, why would anyone pay for a wifi connection for say 1hour in a coffee shop, if the coffee shop already had free wifi? I maybe wrong, but just a thought.


SpaceShanty profile image

SpaceShanty 2 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Luke, Thanks for your comment. I did mention near the top that it is probably not worth starting a wifi business in an area that already has free wifi. It is best to target residential areas, I have found areas with bedsits or HMOs are best as they are often short term lets with no phone line. Basically offering a simliar service to BT Openzone/BT WiFi but charging less, BT WiFi is £39 for 30 days! You could easily get a fibre (40MB line) at about £40 a month and sell access to five people at £20 a month each. Making a £60 per month/£720 profit a year.


Barry 2 years ago

My frustrations might be at an end. This article got me thinking. I live in a rural area with NO phone lines. You have to pay through your nose here per gig. You know you are being ripped off but pay or have nothing.

Could I ask you some questions? If so please email me on barrypr@hotmail.com. Appreciate it.

Love this article!


michael 2 years ago

i must confess that you have done a wonderful job. please any advice on setting up small wifi business for a start here in nigeria? secondly, any ideas of how i can set-up the business to charge customer per minute usage voucher (30min, 1hour, 4hours or 10MB, 20MB,5OMB,100MB) as credit card and paypal option is not so common in nigeria so that when the customer time is up, the software will automatically disconnect or disallow internet connectivity.


SpaceShanty profile image

SpaceShanty 2 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Thanks for your comment. Again I would suggest finding a place where there is no free WiFi Internet, maybe from your home. Buy an Open-Mesh OM2P router with an 8dBi antenna. You can then create vouchers in the Cloudtrax dashboard and take payment in cash and give the customer the voucher code. You can set the voucher for any amount of time and upload/download speed.


Mahmood 2 years ago

Hi

Thanks for the information, very insightful. How can I contact you for more information.


mahmoodjama 2 years ago

Looking to start a wireless hotspot business


SpaceShanty profile image

SpaceShanty 2 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi, You can post questions here, that way other people will be able to benefit from the answers.

Thanks


SpaceShanty profile image

SpaceShanty 2 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Do you have a specific question?

Thanks


sapiktor profile image

sapiktor 2 years ago from Kelantan

Nicely done man. Looks good. And seems like a high yield business. I bet you got profit in no time.

So, I gotta ask about the security of this setup. Anybody have tried to hacked it or managed to use your wifi somehow without paying?


Brian 2 years ago

Hi,the article is insightful indeed,however,my estate has 72 units and I want to start the WiFi business . Kindly outline step by step what I need considering my ISP can offer up to 20Mbps.

Other than the Open Mesh router are there other routers that can perform similarly including cloudtrax software.my Email is rabramwel@gmail.com


SpaceShanty profile image

SpaceShanty 2 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Without seeing your site I cannot explain the ideal setup. I am happy to help with any specific questions but I cannot outline step by step your entire plan.


Brian 2 years ago

The units have taken an L shaped organization with a central water tank 10metres high. My question was do I need the point to point 5Ghz 20km range and secondly,is cloudtrax the only software for managing paid hotspot?


mandy 2 years ago

If i want to start a city wide wifi business what do i do? I mean I will create wifi hot spots at client locs. So for evry hotspot loc , will I require a separate internet connection which I will be taking as a paid service from an ISP? OR will I take one high capacity Internet connection and distribute it to different hot spot locations? In latter option, How do I achieve Bandwidth optimization? Please clarify.


SpaceShanty profile image

SpaceShanty 2 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi, I would suggest have a few high speed Internet connections spaced out evenly throughout the area you want to cover and then use either WiFi meshing or point to point 5Ghz equipment to bring Internet coverage to the entire area. This way you will not need a separate internet connection at each location.


SpaceShanty profile image

SpaceShanty 2 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Can you please clarify what size area you are trying to cover, I cannot answer if you need to use equipment with a 20km range without knowing the distance between users and internet connection. There is lots of wifi hotspot management software available, I have only used Cloudtrax and have found it to be very good, I cannot comment on other software.


David J 2 years ago

Hi Guys!

First of all thanks for this great article, I love it!

I'm thinking about to start a hotspot network in my city. As I live in the centre of the city Malmoe, Sweden with buildings with 5 floors I wonder what equipment I should get?

I want to have a radius of 10km from the beginning, I have a 1000mbit connection, I want to offer my clients good network connection without drop.

What equipment do you recommend? How many AP's do I need? Please let me know, appriciate your time to answer those questions.


Brian 2 years ago

well,my isp is giving me 21mbps line,the entire area is less than 1km square and the houses are close to each other,no through passes. The compound assumes an E shaped compound.


crystolite profile image

crystolite 2 years ago from Houston TX

This is great information, thanks for sharing this! but i would like to get the original and latest model of this device to run business in my company, how possible will that be?


SpaceShanty profile image

SpaceShanty 2 years ago from United Kingdom Author

If you mean the Open-Mesh device, the OM2 is the latest model. You can set it to update to the most recent firmware version in the Cloudtrax dashboard.


SpaceShanty profile image

SpaceShanty 2 years ago from United Kingdom Author

I would suggest 1 Gateway (a unit directly connected to your Internet connection/router) for 5 repeaters. So you should evenly space out your Gateways and then add repeaters so that each unit is about 300 feet apart.


SpaceShanty profile image

SpaceShanty 2 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Well I am very happy with the performance of the Open-Mesh equipment for the price but other popular brands are Ubiquiti, Engenius and Aruba, it depends on the performance you want and the funds available, you will also need cables, masts/mounting brackets and maybe cherry pickers, all these costs should be tken into consideration when planning a budget.

When planning the placement of equipment you must rememeber than most users devices (smartphones/laptops) only have a range of around 100 - 300 feet so I would suggest placing units 300 foot apart in areas where you expect users to be.


2 years ago

Hey, just wanted to say this post was very interesting to read. I would like to know how well the long-distance relays work in wooded areas with varying elevation though.


SpaceShanty profile image

SpaceShanty 2 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi, thanks for your comment. If by long distant relays you mean point-to-point (PTP) they won't work well through wooded areas, the water in the trees will absorbe the signal, you will need to place the equipment so it goes over the top of the trees. You must also consider the curvature of the earth, ie two units 1 foot off the ground, over a long distance the signal will not be in a stright line, there are calculators online to work this out. Some equipment will come with software to assist in the optimum placement of units to achive a direct line of sight or your cound use lazers at night to position the equipment.


ben 2 years ago

Since most devices i.e. laptops and smartphones have range of up to 300 feet range, and one cannot place repeaters nearby. If we wish to distribute our hotspot coverage up to 1 km radius, how can this be achieved considering above


SpaceShanty profile image

SpaceShanty 2 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Ben,

I have made a few suggestions to slove this problem in one of the other pages I have written 'How to Build a Large Citywide WiFi Hotspot/Zone' which you can find on my profile.

One of the best methods is to offer customers a 'booster unit' which is simply a repeater, you can either sell them one or take a deposit, as they only cost $55 most customers are happy with this solution. This method will help expand your network without any extra cost.


pfogg007@aol.com 2 years ago

I want to set up my our long rang wifi business as soon as possible . This business will support all the hotels that we manage in calabar cross river state


SpaceShanty profile image

SpaceShanty 2 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Ok, Do you need some advice?


dumisani 2 years ago

I'm happy with this kind of information you are sharing here with us, thanks. What I would like to know is, the kind of equipment you mentioned here, available in South Africa if so do you know where to find them?


SpaceShanty profile image

SpaceShanty 2 years ago from United Kingdom Author

You can buy the equipment from the Open-Mesh website, Amazon and eBay, they all ship internationally.


james 2 years ago

Again this will be perfect for rural or residential areas where there is no wifi or very expensive access. Market is so huge in developing countries. One point though, we want to make sure it is secured wifi network as much as possible.


SpaceShanty profile image

SpaceShanty 2 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi James, yes in rural areas with no internet connection you can make a decent amount of money. The system is secure as any WiFi, clients can use a VPN if they are really concerned about their security.


Oyite OPjok David 2 years ago

I'm happy with this kind of information you are sharing here with us, thanks. What I would like to know is, the kind of equipment you mentioned here, if they are available in Uganda if so do you know where to find them? Secondly, to estimate how much does it cost to acquire all the required equipments/Devices to setup WiFi hotspot in rural area: Thirdly How long does it take to received equipments if i buy from the Open-Mesh website


SpaceShanty profile image

SpaceShanty 2 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Oyite,

I purchased the equipment fro the open-mesh dot com site and I am in the UK, delivery took about 4 days. I see no reason why they wouldn't ship to Uganda.

As for cost, it depends on the size of the area you are trying to cover, one unit installed outdoors might have a range of 100 meters, and with a mast and cables could cost just under $100 USD.


Emmanuel 2 years ago

I appreciated your guidelines.it is very useful information indeed and I am so glad to read your educative information.

I am planning to operate or have a wireless Internet business although I don't have the technical experience. I want to operate it in such a such away that my ISP can distribute to my customers smaller router in their various homes. When a customer purchase he can have access to wifi wherever they are within my network coverage area Which means when the router is on Wifi will be accessible in the premises and can be connected with laptops and smartphones where ever they go. Please may I know how I can go about it.


KMaCH 2 years ago

Great article. How do I determine how much to charge my hotspot guests?


SpaceShanty profile image

SpaceShanty 2 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Thanks for your comment.

The price you charge really depends on the speed (slow dial up or super fast fibre optic) and the competition.

How much does Internet access cost in the area you plan to cover? Take in to account home Internet, mobile Internet, Interent cafes, hotels etc. and try to offer a better price or service for a slighlty lower price.


SpaceShanty profile image

SpaceShanty 2 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Emmanuel.

As mentioned in the page, the Cloudtrax system is really simple to use and with meshing you can just add extra units (just plug into power socket) to increase the network coverage.

All smartphones/PCs/Laptops with WiFi will be able to use it.

You can read details about it here http://hubpages.com/technology/CloudTrax-Open-Mesh...


robertzimmerman2 profile image

robertzimmerman2 2 years ago from SE Florida, USA

I bet the location would make a big difference because in some areas they already have many free wifi. I liked the information you provided in that it gives us something to go on.


Vikas Phougat profile image

Vikas Phougat 2 years ago from Rohtak

hii

Can i start this in full city


SpaceShanty profile image

SpaceShanty 2 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Robert,

Yes location is very important. You cannot sell something in an area where people can get it for free.

This is why I suggest residential areas without free WiFi.


SpaceShanty profile image

SpaceShanty 2 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Vikas,

Yes you can start this business is a large city, please view the guide I have written about building a city wide WiFi network. https://turbofuture.com/computers/How-to-Build-a-L...


Vikas Phougat profile image

Vikas Phougat 2 years ago from Rohtak

what is maximum rang or wifi after extand


SpaceShanty profile image

SpaceShanty 2 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Vikas,

The range of WiFi is about 100 foot inside and 300 foot outside, the distance between two units can be larger.


Vikas Phougat profile image

Vikas Phougat 2 years ago from Rohtak

aney way of extand the rang ?

100 foot rang of a normal wifi router .


SpaceShanty profile image

SpaceShanty 2 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Vikas,

There are lots of ways to improve the range of a normal WiFi router.

However if you are creating a WiFi hotspot you will need special equipment, such as the Open-Mesh OM2P mentioned on this page. The OM2P can support a much larger antenna.

You must rememeber that the range is limited but the users WiFi equipment, ie the WiFi card in a smartphone will only have a short range so you will need a WiFi unit every 300 foot outside.


Elvin Tejada profile image

Elvin Tejada 2 years ago from Ridgewood, New York

Great article. Thanks for putting this up!

I have a question about legal issues one might come across when hosting a Wi-Fi hot spot service. How would I legally protect myself from any users that would presumably have malicious intentions when using my network?

Should I have users accept a 'terms of service' clause every time they connect?


SpaceShanty profile image

SpaceShanty 2 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Elvin,

I would suggest you just put in the TOS that by using the service they agree that they will not hold you (the WiFi provider) responsible for anything such as hacking or stolent information and that they must not commit any illegal activity over the network.

Some systems do log user data such as MAC address to show who did what on the network. However, by logging users data you will become subject to a host of other legal issues. I think the Cloudtrax system will have some kind of data logging system soon.

It is a bit of a difficult question to answer as I have never managed to get a solid answer either. If you are really concerned I would suggest you start a limited liability company and take out the Internet connection in the company's name, this way if anything bad happens the company will be responsible, not you.


catsamongus profile image

catsamongus 2 years ago from Akure

This is awesome! Nice Hub!


Katya Drake profile image

Katya Drake 2 years ago from Wisconsin

Very nice hub! I never thought of starting this type of business but it sounds like it would be a great way to make a little extra money. Thank you


SpaceShanty profile image

SpaceShanty 2 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi catsamongus,

I'm happy to hear you enjoyed it. Thanks for your comment!


SpaceShanty profile image

SpaceShanty 2 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Katya,

Thanks for your comment, it really is a good business to start if you only have a small amount of start up money.


Ross 2 years ago

Hi, very insight articles, two part question

1. When it comes to Using a 5Ghz point to point link of internet connection to another location how would I go about attaching the 5Ghz access point to a cell tower for maximum height

2. When it comes to any outdoor access point rural area or city! how would I be able to run direct internet connectivity up to the access point that's at significant height?

Hopefully you can help answer this.


SpaceShanty profile image

SpaceShanty 2 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Ross,

1. The majority of wireless units will have some sort of fixing bracket on the back to attach it to a pole/mast. Usually they come supplied with some kind of fixing like a jubilee clip or even cable tips.

2. Most outdoor access points support 'power over ethernet' (PoE) which means power is sent through the Ethernet cable along with the data. Using a PoE adapter (which is usually supplied with the unit or is available to purchase separately) you can plug the adapter into a mains power supply on the ground near the router and only the power required for the unit (usually 12 or 24 volts) is sent along the cable to the router. This means there is no risk of electric shock and you don't need a qualified electrican to install it. Usually PoE support will work on cable runs up to 300 feet.

I will update this article with an example/picture.


tania 2 years ago

Thank you for Information.

I will try.


bhagya 2 years ago

Hello sir this is very good knowledge for me I fully prepare for start my business I understand all thing but I not understand how to paid money if anyone want to use my connection.please replay fast .


SpaceShanty profile image

SpaceShanty 2 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi bhagya,

The Cloudtrax system has a set of landing/splash pages you can use and you intergrate paypal into them (here is the guide http://help.cloudtrax.com/hc/en-us/articles/202296...

Then when a user connects to your network they will see the landing/splash and can pay for access with a card, they will then be given an access voucher code. You can also take payment in the form of cash and just create a voucher in your Cloudtrax dashbord and give the code to the customer.


bhagya 2 years ago

Thank's for information


SpaceShanty profile image

SpaceShanty 2 years ago from United Kingdom Author

There isn't much you can do about this.


ulrich 2 years ago

I about to start this business, but I still have some questions left. Can I install as many repeater as I want?or it is limited to only one repeater?

What are all the equipment necessary to get started


SpaceShanty profile image

SpaceShanty 2 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi, There is no limit to the number of repeaters you can use but i would suggest no more than 5 to each gateway.

You can start this business with just one Open Mesh WiFi router mentioned in the page.


Neblev27 2 years ago

How would you advertise for a business like this?


SpaceShanty profile image

SpaceShanty 2 years ago from United Kingdom Author

I would advertise it using flyers, Facebook page and at local businesses.


Perpendicular profile image

Perpendicular 2 years ago from Colorado

I'm assuming that you would need to control the setting where you put your router right? You can't just set it up in the bushes behind the coffee shop next door. That said, what methods do you use to really get your signal (or entire router) out there to the people that would buy it rather than just your neighbors?

Cool article though. Peaked my interests.


SpaceShanty profile image

SpaceShanty 2 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Perpendicular,

I understand your question but you can, in theory put a WiFi router wherever you like, as long as you own the property/mast/tower or have permission. Using a solar panel and deep cycle battery you could put one in a bush or up a tree! The 2.4Ghz frequency which WiFi uses is an unlicensed band, you can distribute the signal wherever you like.

As for getting the signal 'out there' to people other than your neighbours I would suggest contacting local businesses (cafes/bars/clubs/sports grounds/shopping malls etc.) and ask them if you can install a free WiFi hotspot. Most would be happy as it won't cost them anything and it will attract more customers.


Tom Williams 2 years ago

How much does it cost to buy the band and what do I ask for. Who are the best suppliers. I have a campground with 45 full-time users and many overnighters


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SpaceShanty 2 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Tom Williams,

Hi, sorry I am a little confused by what you mean by 'buy the band'. If you are referring to bandwidth/Internet connection I would suggest trying to provide at least 1Mb to each person, obviously not all of your 45 customers will be online at the same time so a 20Mb connection may surffice. If you are reselling or sharing an internet connection you will need one which allows resale, so a business connection will be required, I am in the UK so could only recommend BT business or Virgin business Internet. If you are in the US or elsewhere you will need to research it yourself, look for reviews on forums or comparison websites.

For the equipment I would suggest using two open-mesh OM2P routers with external 8dBi antennas positioned to provide even coverage.


Devin Potter 23 months ago

how do you do this with Android for free already have the wifi hotspot enabled what app do I need that's equipment to the one stated up above I DO NOT CARE ABOUT ( terms of condition ) from Verizon

My email : potterutah@Gmail.com


SpaceShanty profile image

SpaceShanty 23 months ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Devin,

The WiFi hotspot business described in this article is based on using specialist WiFi equipment and cannot really be done using the WiFi hotspot function on an android device.


jaureguichris 21 months ago

Hey I have a question. I loved your article Im doing as much research as possible to make this happen. Im running with what you are suggesting but rather then reselling the internet I would like to set up "FREE WIFI" post in high traffic areas (beaches etc...) so when they connect they agree to the terms. The are redirected/forwarded to my landing page/homepage to where they will be forced to watch a 15-30 sec ad in order to continue free wifi use. So its unlimited use for them at the expense of having to watch an ad initially and every 20 minutes of continuous use they would be interupted by another 15-30 second ad. So i would be generating revenue off the ads that are watched by the multiple users that use the wifi everyday. Is this idea possible?


SpaceShanty profile image

SpaceShanty 21 months ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi jaureguichris,

Basically yes this is possible. When a user connects to the network you can send them to the 'Splash' or 'landing' page where they will need to hit the 'Free Access' button/accept T&Cs, you can then redirect them to any page after they login (called a 'Walled Garden'), I usually just use www.google.com.

I understand what you want to do (I think it is a really good idea actually!) but there is no function built into the Cloudtrax system to force the user to watch a video first. I understand you want a function like with Adfly where the user must view an ad for 5 seconds before viewing the content of the site.

So I suggest you redirect them to your site (walled garden) where you have the 15-30 ad, after which they can browse your site or any other site.

For free WiFi access (known as non-voucher access) you can set a time limit (in your case 20 minutes), after the time you set elapses they will be taken back to the 'Splash'/Landing' page where they will have to hit the free access button again.

This is a really good idea, you could also put extra advertising on your site that you redirect them to, if you are doing it in high traffic areas you could sell advertising space on your site to local businesses in that area, like bars, restaurants etc.

I would be really interested to see how this goes, feel free to connect with me on Google Plus (Link on my profile page)


hi 21 months ago

I have read and find out that this business is very interesting, i would like to know that, can this business be possible in Africa especially Tanzania?

my email 2529masero@gmail.com


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SpaceShanty 20 months ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi,

Yes this business can be profitable in any country anywhere in the world.


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SpaceShanty 20 months ago from United Kingdom Author

sonu kumar singh,

As per the article I would suggest using the Cloudtrax system (Free) and an Open-Mesh router (about $75 USD). There will be no other costs and you can just easily add more routers if you need them.


djmart4luv@yahoo.com 19 months ago

Do I need an ISP eg Glo MTN etc,and how much will it cost me to start up especially cost of companies providing me the connection


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SpaceShanty 19 months ago from United Kingdom Author

djmart4luv@yahoo.com,

Yes you will need an Internet connection provided by an ISP for the WiFi network. The cost can range from $20 a month to thousands depending on the type and speed of the connection.


john s 19 months ago

I want to start a wifi business but I don't know about this. Please tell me how much capital is required and getting any permission from government or not please inform me.

Johnsrisailapu6@gmail.com....please send replay to my mail..


SpaceShanty profile image

SpaceShanty 19 months ago from United Kingdom Author

john s,

You can start a WiFi hotspot business from as little as $100. As WiFi is not a regulated frequency you do not need any special permissions/licences. You may however need some form of permission to start/register a business in your county, everywhere is different so you will need to check with your country's regulations and laws.


Pradeep 19 months ago

Hai.. I am pradeep from India. Your Topics is really great. I would like to start WiFi INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDER Business. So please give me your idea and suggestion.

Thanks in advance

By

Pradeep

India.

Email: pradeepcbe18@gmail.com


SpaceShanty profile image

SpaceShanty 19 months ago from United Kingdom Author

Pradeep,

I have written this guide and another one which totals over 8000 words (you can find it by looking at all the articles I have written in my profile) and like to think I have covered most of your questions. If there is anything you would like me to add please reply to this post or send me a private message.

Thanks


ettore 18 months ago

dear space shanty,

i fascinated me with your story

i would like to ask you some questions, could i have you email?


SpaceShanty profile image

SpaceShanty 18 months ago from United Kingdom Author

ettore,

Could you please ask them here and then everyone can benefit from the answers. Thanks


Asif abid Khan 18 months ago

I am really confuse about the range how i can extend and is 360 degree direction?


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SpaceShanty 18 months ago from United Kingdom Author

Asif abid Khan,

Most antennas have a 360 degree range, ie the signal is distributed in all directions and are known as 'omnidirectional'.


sunil kumar india 16 months ago

Sir i am very interesting in your idea, i read all of your posts, i have one question only, can we add repeaters/routers wirelessly in our network


Akshay khobragade 16 months ago

Can you suggest me which is the best long range router and anantennas for provide best speed


SpaceShanty profile image

SpaceShanty 16 months ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi, Yes the open-mesh routers used with the Cloudtrax system will allow you to add repeaters wirelessly.


SpaceShanty profile image

SpaceShanty 16 months ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi, There are so many factors which effect speed. Even if you have the best equipment and antennas but there is lots of radio interference, obstructions and the users have poor WiFi cards in their devices you will not achieve the best speed.

When you say 'long range' do you mean a point to point link (ie connecting two buildings) or Router/AP to user?


Akshay khobragade 16 months ago

I am interested to start but how can I start with 100 USD to connect more device


SpaceShanty profile image

SpaceShanty 16 months ago from United Kingdom Author

You could buy 2 Open-Mesh WiFi routers with $100 to start. Just use one to start your network and then when more people want to use the wifi service but are not in range give them the other router but take a refundable deposit for $50 which you can then use to buy another router and keep doing that. Your network will grow without you having to invest too much money.


shanky 15 months ago

hello shanty ...I Want to a wifi service in my city as a bussiness can tell me briefly how to start it from the beginning.

I am waiting for your response


Bhavesh Sathawara 15 months ago

Hi , I want to start this business in my city, How to stay safe by using public wifi? Security can be issue? do we need to use VPN ?

Thank you


SpaceShanty profile image

SpaceShanty 15 months ago from United Kingdom Author

There is always a risk with any wireless technology, even your cellphone data can be hacked. Security is getting much better but you can sell VPN services to customers who are concerned about security.


SpaceShanty profile image

SpaceShanty 15 months ago from United Kingdom Author

Shanky, Please read my other guide which is far more detailed. Thanks

Here is the link https://turbofuture.com/computers/How-to-Build-a-L...


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SpaceShanty 15 months ago from United Kingdom Author

YAKUBU SKY,

Hi! You can just use an Open-Mesh Router ($75 USD), you can add a bigger antenna ($15), Cloudtrax (FREE). That is all you need really to get started, you will need to set it up on a computer but as the system is cloud based you won't need a computer to run it. You can produce vouchers in the Cloudtrax dashboard which produces a code which you can give to paying customers. I think you can buy a small printer for the vouchers but this is more suited to hotels, I have never used one.


alanhalley 15 months ago

I'd like to offer free WiFi in my neighbor's restaurant. I've read about Open-Mesh and that seems like a good hardware/software solution, but I'm in Brazil and Open-Mesh products are not sold here. Can I use another brand of AP with CloudTrax?

Thanks for any ideas.

Alan


YAKUBU SKY 14 months ago

My brother thank you for supporting me, i want to buy all this divice, please how i will send you morney to buy it for me?


SpaceShanty profile image

SpaceShanty 14 months ago from United Kingdom Author

alanhalley,

You can buy the open Mesh router from their USA site or Amazon and get them delivered to Brazil. Or you can flash one of the supported routers found here https://dev.open-mesh.com/projects/dev/wiki/Ap51-s...


SpaceShanty profile image

SpaceShanty 14 months ago from United Kingdom Author

YAKUBU SKY,

Thanks for your comment. I do not sell the equipment myself, I just use it. You can click on any of the amazon links in the article to buy the Routers. Thanks


YAKUBU SKY 14 months ago

Thanks very moch my brother, i will try to buy and i need your parsonal contact.


SpaceShanty profile image

SpaceShanty 14 months ago from United Kingdom Author

YAKUBU SKY, Do you have Skype?


alanhalley 14 months ago

SpaceShanty,

A guy at Open-Mesh told me that I can use CloudTrax only with Open-Mesh routers.

Alan


Yahya 14 months ago

Hi

I want to know if 3 square km wi fi zone is feasible(budget of $1200)

if i do not use any repeater,because it is not possible here.

And you also said that many laptop,dongle etc will not support more than 300 ft range but what if we increase their range also means replace them with high range dongles.

I want to know what i have to do in that case.

Thank you very much you reply to almost everyone :-)


Vikas Phougat profile image

Vikas Phougat 13 months ago from Rohtak

I want starf wifi hotspot business with cable. What type of cable i need. Power suplly of 220w. With poe. Maximum lenth 1500 mtr.


SpaceShanty profile image

SpaceShanty 13 months ago from United Kingdom Author

Vikas Phougat, The Open Mesh routers support 'Power over Ethernet' (PoE). You will a special 'power injector' which Open Mesh supply and just a normal/standard Ethernet cable, the maximum length is 300ft. Instead of plugging the power adapter directly into the router you plug it into the power injector. There is a picture in this hub https://toughnickel.com/starting-business/How-To-M...


SpaceShanty profile image

SpaceShanty 13 months ago from United Kingdom Author

alanhalley, I know from personal experience that you can use other brands but you will have to 'flash' them (install firmware) with Open-Mesh firmware. And they say so on their site! https://dev.cloudtrax.com/projects/dev/wiki/Ap51-s...


mohamed 12 months ago

thank you so much for sharing such wonderful information. i have been on the internet over the last couple of days trying to search for information on how to start a networking service i.e providing both wireless and wired network . i also walked through most of our shops in Nairobi,Kenya but it is too unfortunate that most of the networking equipment i find on the net are not available here. finally, i have not done any IT course but have the basic computer skills. i would appreciate so much if you can give me guidance on the best equipment to buy for my potential business and how to configure them. your kind response is highly awaited. thank you so much.


Anuj lohiya 10 months ago

hi

i want to know about how can i setup my own wireless business business and how should i do this at cheap investing , please guide me .


tushar 10 months ago

hi

can i limit speed of wifi for a smartphone connected to it


Avdhi Kabra 9 months ago

Hi

I am an IT student and i wanted to know if i can use any other router and access point for example cisco ones? Will it still be in working condition?

Thanks


SpaceShanty profile image

SpaceShanty 8 months ago from United Kingdom Author

Avdhi Kabra, If the router can be flashed with third party firmware then yes.


SpaceShanty profile image

SpaceShanty 8 months ago from United Kingdom Author

tushar, With the Cloudtrax system you can limit the speed for any user, regardless of the device they are using.


SpaceShanty profile image

SpaceShanty 8 months ago from United Kingdom Author

Anuj lohiya, As stated in the article, you can set up a network for the cost of a single AP (router) which is less then $100 new, far less with a used device.


SpaceShanty profile image

SpaceShanty 8 months ago from United Kingdom Author

mohamed, The equipment you can buy from the vendors website, eBay, Amazon or any other major networking equipment website. As the article states I suggest you use Open-Mesh routers and the Cloudtrax system management dashboard. The equipment does not require any configuration, you just enter the MAC address of the router in to your Cloudtrax dashboard.


SpaceShanty profile image

SpaceShanty 8 months ago from United Kingdom Author

Yahya, Yes 3km Sq. WiFi zone is feasible, you may need a larger budget than $1200.

Unless you can have a unit connected to the Internet every 300ft you will have to use repeaters.


Realmission 7 months ago

Can this work any other way,, like set it up to connect to other Antennas already in the area eg sprint r ATT.....


Ferhan Patel profile image

Ferhan Patel 7 months ago from Montreal, Canada

Very interesting idea. Thanks for the information!


joseph 6 months ago

am very happy to read about this..i have been thinking of a small business to start and i think this is a very nice one.my question is,what if you have 50 people connected to your wifi wont it make you pay more on internet bill?also one would probably need an extended routers to send the signal round.and wont the internet service provider sue you when they find out you are using it for commercial purpose


Raz 6 months ago

Thank you so much for your artiticle, I am setting up a wifi business in Africa, I went through all your article and comments, is there any way you can give me your Skype so I can ask you some questions please my Skype is: razackissa

Thank you


Abdulrasheed 6 months ago

Hi, thanks for your time on this article. Just wanna be a pioneer of a wifi distribution company in my country. I am happy it's this cheap. I will dedicate £10,000 for this project. I need to grow, beginning with a work force of 15 employees. Once again, thanks a lot and stay blessed


John_Dilvas 5 months ago

Dear Space Shanty,

Nice reading your article,is there any way i could use offline billing system? U've been running this project since 5years back, does profit from users pays you back money from ISP? Can i use this for my real time business ?


krishnakumarc07 profile image

krishnakumarc07 5 months ago

Hi spaceshanty,

I am planning to do this in india, and planning to install the OM2P -Open-Mesh OM2P 802.11gn PNP Wireless Mesh Mini-Router, so how many users can connect to this device, I have a very small budget, I can maximum install 2 of these devices, or should I go with OM2P-HS 802.11gn 300mbps HIGH POWER Access Point Router (With 802.3af) - router, for the initial stages what is the best router I should go with also in one of the article you have suggested a engenius antenna-"Engenius Outdoor High Gain 8dBi Omni Antenna (EAG-2408)" so if I am installing the former router I have mentioned should I go with this antenna for that device? Also how do configure the splash landing page to have a different payment gateway other than paypal?


SpaceShanty profile image

SpaceShanty 5 months ago from United Kingdom Author

Abdulrasheed, Thanks for your comment and good luck!


Mike 5 months ago

im doing a wifi hotspot for the flats i live in and this is really helpful


oge 4 months ago

Hi dear

I like this article it really helped me. I want to start a wifi business in my school but I am financially challenged. In order to get financial aid i was asked to write a feasibility report and a business plan on this wifi business. what are the main things or equipment needed in this business and its price, is it profitable, how much will it cost me to startup this business and how can i have a wireless internet service provider.


oge 4 months ago

please i need the response, it is urgent. thanks


oge 4 months ago

please i need the response, it is urgent. thanks


Ovidiu 4 months ago

Hi there, the guide sounds great however I am wondering why cloudtrax is offering its service for free, care to shed some light?

Do they have some kind of premium addon one has to buy to get more features?

Or is cloudtrax provided by mesh hence they make money by selling their hardware?


i want to start wifi business 4 months ago

10 km range high speed for 30 thousand mobile and 30 office useses


nenebanty21@gmail.com 4 months ago

I'm in Africa '?

Can I stert a MESH ROUTERS

In to my village side


nenebanty 4 months ago

Hi dear Mash Routers serves

I'm in Africa can I stert dis mesh Routers

WiFi bussiness in on my village?


Craggsy 2 months ago

Hey... i've read that (a while ago- amazon review) these will not forward https (port 443) and will only forward http (port 80)? Which means if anyone opens gmail, facebook (which use https) it will not forward...do you know if that has been fixed in a firmware upgrade or is this still an issue?


Hassan 2 months ago

It's really good idea to make money, but I don't think it's possible here in Yemen we have weak Internet connection the highest speed here is just 2mb.


Tareq 6 weeks ago

i want to start 1.5km range wifi business , so what should i need to start new business, and please help me what kind of equipment i need and total estimate price of this business


tareq9989 6 weeks ago

i want to start 1.5 km range area wifi business , what should i do and what kind of equipment i need and also help me total how much money i need to spent for strating this business . and my place is village area , have lots of trees. please hlep me given the info


Zen2oh 5 weeks ago

Well said pal, but what if I come down to you country and set these set ups myself, am planning to set up a bigger one with a new ISP apart from my country, how do I go about it?


Naphtali 2 days ago

this is what av been waiting for I want to start immediately pls assist.(nambwatechnical81@gmail.com)

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