How to Start a WiFi Hotspot Business - ToughNickel - Money
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How to Start a WiFi Hotspot Business

I am a digital tech enthusiast who enjoys demystifying popular online products and services for my readers.

It's Simple to Start a WiFi Hotspot Business

You can start a WiFi hotspot business from almost anywhere including your home. In fact, home 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, but 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 the service on a hourly, daily, weekly, monthly or yearly basis.

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 base your choice of ISP on cost, speed, and 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.' Simply put, 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, 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.

Here are the most common types of Internet service available.

  • ADSL - This is the service which uses the old copper telephone wires. Most of these wires 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 fibre 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.

You simply purchase the Open-Mesh router, add a few details from the back of the router into 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.

Open-Mesh OM2P WiFi Router

Open-Mesh OM2P WiFi Router

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 smartphone.

To use your 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

how-to-make-a-wifi-hotspot-business

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 a roof-mounted or window-mounted router 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.

Can I Just Use One Big Antenna? How Many Antennas Will I need for X sized Area?

WiFi signals only have a range of about 100ft indoors and 300ft outdoors, hence you will need to have a WiFi router/repeater spaced approximately every 100ft indoors and 300ft outdoors, and more if there are lots of obstructions.

It is true that you can increase the power output of WiFi routers/Access Points, but firstly this may break local laws and secondly it is pointless because your customers will be able to receive a strong signal but their device will not be powerful enough to 'talk' back to the router, this will just result in lots of unhappy customers who can't use your service and time wasted trying to fix problems you created.

I have written this guide to help people, and I'm happy to answer questions, but I still receive lots of questions about this exact point. Since I have devoted a paragraph to explaining this point, I will just delete any questions such as 'How many units/antennas do I need for 10km sq.?' Or 'I want to provide WiFi to a village with 1000 people, how many routers do I need? as it means the guide has not been read properly and starting this type of business requires a lot of initiative, problem solving, working alone, and there are no real guides to work from, I pretty much learnt everything on my own, so if you have this guide then you already have a massive advantage and if you can't take onboard the information, then maybe you should stick to a day job.

Sorry if this sounds a bit harsh but I'm just trying to be honest.

Power Over Ethernet

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

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).

Scaling up the Business

This business is highly scalable. 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 reaching 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?

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 than the OM2P routers but is much more powerful 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 manufacturer of WISP (Wireless Internet Service Provider) equipment is Ubiquiti. Their products fall into the same price range with similar functionality and can be used with the Cloudtrax WiFi hotspot management system.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2013 SpaceShanty

Post Your Question or Comments Here

Manjee on August 30, 2020:

Hi, good evening. I want to start my outdoor wifi business too but there are some areas in our village that can’t reached by a signal, should I ask the main provider about 20km away from us and open this up? There are hot spots/wifi zones that is hackable how am I to evade this said hackers? For my wifi to be inpregnable? Thanks

Haile Admassie on August 23, 2020:

please tell me all the require accessories to start

SpaceShanty (author) from United Kingdom on August 14, 2020:

@Mohammed ALAMIN

You can cover an area of any size. For an area of 10km (I assume you mean 10km/sq) I would recommend having a router/access point connected to the Internet for each 0.5km/sq or 1km/sq area and then using meshing to increase coverage for that area.

WiFi signals only have a range of about 100ft indoors and 300ft outdoors, hence you will need to have a WiFi router/repeater spaced approximately every 100ft indoors and 300ft outdoors, and more if there are lots of obstructions

SpaceShanty (author) from United Kingdom on August 11, 2020:

@David

Yes, Open-Mesh have discontinued the product range, I will research some new products and update the article.

David on August 09, 2020:

Since open-mesh products are now discontinued, which product is the best to replace this one.

SpaceShanty (author) from United Kingdom on July 14, 2020:

@Mkhululi Sobekwa

I do not think this will be an issue as the majority of fixed internet service providers offer unlimited downloads/bandwidth.

If you are looking to start a WiFi hotspot business you must always look for an unlimited internet service provider.

Mkhululi Sobekwa on July 08, 2020:

Hey man i see all what your saying but, if you get a lot of people in one hour, are you not going to find yourself paying a lot of money to the service provider?

Because people will download movies and series

Nahashon Ngare on June 01, 2020:

Which is the Best marketting strategy that can be used. Or can i target apartments, or maybe can target open space public transport areas. Am Nahashon Ngare from kenya

SpaceShanty (author) from United Kingdom on January 21, 2020:

@Auni

Every set up is very different due to physical environment, number of users, available download speed etc.

But as a VERY rough guide each WiFi hotspot router will have a range of up to 50 meters indoors and 100 meters outside. However the further away a device is from the router the slower the connection will be. In environments with lots of obstructions like buildings and trees this can be drastically reduced.

So as a very rough guide I would create a map of the area you wish to cover and divide it in to a grid with 50 meter spacing. Try putting hotspot routers 100 meters apart and then test the speed and coverage. If it is poor then place routers 50 meters apart.

Auni on January 17, 2020:

I want to start this business in my small village i need to know more

LexApp on June 02, 2019:

Thanks for this info

SpaceShanty (author) from United Kingdom on April 27, 2019:

Hi HowardHelg!

Inheriting a WiFi business can be both a blessing and a hassle, unfortunately it sounds like you are experiencing the latter at the moment! Am I understanding you correctly that the main issue you are having is with the payment process programme/software?

If so, I suggest you do what I did and switch to Cloudtrax, it's completely free and you will only pay a small percentage on Paypal fees received for payments for access to the service (i.e. customers buying access to your service.)

The only issue is that your existing equipment must be able to run the OpenMesh firmware (free), if it does that you will just need to 'flash' your APs/Routers with the new firmware which is pretty simple and there are lots of YouTube tutorials.

If you know the model numbers of your APs/Routers then I can tell you if they are supported or not.

I have not run the WiFi business for a few years now and see that OpenMesh has now become a new company, I cannot comment on the chances but I think you should take a look at both the Cloudtrax website and OpenMesh https://www.openmesh.com/datto-networking

Good luck!

HowardHelg on April 25, 2019:

Hello I am new to this forum and have a couple of questions I hope you can answer? I own and operate a small WISP in the south Pacific Islands. I have had nothing but problems trying to connect payment gateways so my customers can pay via credit card at my Hot Spots. I inherited this business when both of my son in laws left for various reasons. I was intrigued with the the technology and could see the future value in it. Its been 10 years and I am still in business although most of my investment has been out of pocket. If anyone has experience in payment gateways any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

SpaceShanty (author) from United Kingdom on September 16, 2018:

Domestic yes, which is why you should get a business line and check the ToS.

Rajat on August 29, 2018:

Thnxx ...you have a whole lot of stuff about wifi at the same place...

Its pretty helpful...

#Keep it up...

Francis432 on November 08, 2017:

Reselling bandwidth is most likely against the ToS of your internet provider.

SpaceShanty (author) from United Kingdom on June 06, 2017:

Serge,

Sorry for the late reply, your comment went in to the 'spam' folder here but I think you raise an important issue which I have considered myself.

Firstly I am not a lawyer so please do not take my answer as 100% accurate legal advice, also different countries have different laws.

Everything everyone does online is tracked or logged somewhere, somehow by someone, which is good and bad!

In other words if someone did do something very illegal (child p0rn probably being the most concerning activity) on your network there would be a record somewhere of which device (smartphone/laptop/table/pc) as well as MAC address and serial number of the device. So if the police did come to investigate you could explain that you run a WiFi network, and they are free to check all your devices forensically and would find out it was not you. However this probably isn't ideal either.

The other option is to have some kind of parental block on the network which stops all adult/illegal file sharing sites. Again this might upset some customers who want to view legal adult stuff!

One other option is to monitor and record all of the activity on your network, BUT then you are risking breaching data protection privacy laws!

So there is no 100% right answer here really. Just use your best judgement and maybe seek some legal advice first.

SpaceShanty (author) from United Kingdom on June 06, 2017:

Mike, Happy to hear this helped you!

SpaceShanty (author) from United Kingdom on June 06, 2017:

Ovidiu, I am surprised too, but I have been using it for years and they have never asked for a penny. I think it stared as an MIT project, I guess not everyone in the world only does things for money. Yes they might make something from the routers but you can flash other bands of routers too.

SpaceShanty (author) from United Kingdom on June 06, 2017:

You can start this business almost anywhere in the world.

SpaceShanty (author) from United Kingdom on June 06, 2017:

Huduma Poa, You can just order the OMP2 routers from their website http://www.open-mesh.com/products/access-points.ht... eBay, Amazon or many other websites.

SpaceShanty (author) from United Kingdom on June 19, 2016:

Abdulrasheed, Thanks for your comment and good luck!

Abdulrasheed on June 08, 2016:

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

Ferhan Patel from Montreal, Canada on April 27, 2016:

Very interesting idea. Thanks for the information!

SpaceShanty (author) from United Kingdom on April 05, 2016:

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.

SpaceShanty (author) from United Kingdom on April 05, 2016:

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 (author) from United Kingdom on April 05, 2016:

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 (author) from United Kingdom on April 05, 2016:

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

SpaceShanty (author) from United Kingdom on April 05, 2016:

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

mohamed on November 15, 2015:

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.

SpaceShanty (author) from United Kingdom on November 04, 2015:

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...

SpaceShanty (author) from United Kingdom on November 04, 2015:

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...

Yahya on October 08, 2015:

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 :-)

SpaceShanty (author) from United Kingdom on September 18, 2015:

YAKUBU SKY, Do you have Skype?

YAKUBU SKY on September 18, 2015:

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

SpaceShanty (author) from United Kingdom on September 17, 2015:

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

SpaceShanty (author) from United Kingdom on September 17, 2015:

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...

YAKUBU SKY on September 17, 2015:

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?

alanhalley on September 09, 2015:

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

SpaceShanty (author) from United Kingdom on September 01, 2015:

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.

SpaceShanty (author) from United Kingdom on August 27, 2015:

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...

SpaceShanty (author) from United Kingdom on August 27, 2015:

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.

Bhavesh Sathawara on August 25, 2015:

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

shanky on August 23, 2015:

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

SpaceShanty (author) from United Kingdom on July 27, 2015:

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.

Akshay khobragade on July 27, 2015:

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

SpaceShanty (author) from United Kingdom on July 25, 2015:

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?

SpaceShanty (author) from United Kingdom on July 25, 2015:

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

Akshay khobragade on July 25, 2015:

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

sunil kumar india on July 24, 2015:

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

SpaceShanty (author) from United Kingdom on May 24, 2015:

Asif abid Khan,

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

Asif abid Khan on May 24, 2015:

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

SpaceShanty (author) from United Kingdom on May 21, 2015:

ettore,

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

ettore on May 21, 2015:

dear space shanty,

i fascinated me with your story

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

SpaceShanty (author) from United Kingdom on May 05, 2015:

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

Pradeep on May 05, 2015:

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 (author) from United Kingdom on May 02, 2015:

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.

john s on May 01, 2015:

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 (author) from United Kingdom on May 01, 2015:

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.

djmart4luv@yahoo.com on May 01, 2015:

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

SpaceShanty (author) from United Kingdom on April 16, 2015:

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.

SpaceShanty (author) from United Kingdom on March 18, 2015:

Hi,

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

hi on March 17, 2015:

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

SpaceShanty (author) from United Kingdom on February 15, 2015:

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)

jaureguichris on February 15, 2015:

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 (author) from United Kingdom on January 05, 2015:

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.

Devin Potter on January 05, 2015:

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 (author) from United Kingdom on November 28, 2014:

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.

Tom Williams on November 27, 2014:

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

SpaceShanty (author) from United Kingdom on November 13, 2014:

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.

Ian from Colorado on November 12, 2014:

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 (author) from United Kingdom on November 04, 2014:

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

Neblev27 on October 30, 2014:

How would you advertise for a business like this?

SpaceShanty (author) from United Kingdom on October 29, 2014:

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.

ulrich on October 29, 2014:

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 (author) from United Kingdom on October 27, 2014:

There isn't much you can do about this.

bhagya on October 06, 2014:

Thank's for information

SpaceShanty (author) from United Kingdom on October 05, 2014:

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 on October 05, 2014:

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 .

tania on September 18, 2014:

Thank you for Information.

I will try.

SpaceShanty (author) from United Kingdom on September 16, 2014:

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.

Ross on September 15, 2014:

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 (author) from United Kingdom on September 15, 2014:

Katya,

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

SpaceShanty (author) from United Kingdom on September 15, 2014:

Hi catsamongus,

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

Katya Drake from Wisconsin on September 15, 2014:

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

Gbemileke Akinyemi from Akure on September 15, 2014:

This is awesome! Nice Hub!

SpaceShanty (author) from United Kingdom on September 11, 2014:

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.

Elvin Tejada from Ridgewood, New York on September 10, 2014:

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 (author) from United Kingdom on September 06, 2014:

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.

Vikas Phougat from Rohtak on September 06, 2014:

aney way of extand the rang ?

100 foot rang of a normal wifi router .

SpaceShanty (author) from United Kingdom on September 06, 2014:

Vikas,

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

Vikas Phougat from Rohtak on September 06, 2014:

what is maximum rang or wifi after extand

SpaceShanty (author) from United Kingdom on September 06, 2014:

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...

SpaceShanty (author) from United Kingdom on September 06, 2014:

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.

Vikas Phougat from Rohtak on September 06, 2014:

hii

Can i start this in full city

robertzimmerman2 on September 05, 2014:

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.

SpaceShanty (author) from United Kingdom on September 02, 2014:

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 https://turbofuture.com/computers/CloudTrax-Open-M...

SpaceShanty (author) from United Kingdom on September 02, 2014:

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.

KMaCH on September 02, 2014:

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

Emmanuel on August 18, 2014:

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.