The idea is simple, I'm hoping the process is simple or do-able at least. In short, the full story is that my Dad is coming to town. The hotel he stays at has a wired Internet, but no wireless.

I want to provide a wireless router for them (already have permission) and give my Dad (retiring and turning 64) a laptop with Wireless access built in. Dad and I take turns embarassing each other... I would like to create a page on the wireless router or somewhere so that anytime someone signs on wirelessly, a message comes up and then they can click to continue on to the Internet.

The message will be properly humiliating for Dad, but the way to do this eludes me. I want to basically over ride a user's homepage and get them somewhere else without highjacking the machine - just the first point of the Internet. I don't need help making a page, but where would I put this message that everyone signing on would have to see before surfing?

If it's a complex answer, use simple words! Thanks.

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This would require using a proxy. Check with your gateway vendor and see if there is the option. Doubtful though.

Okay, I can find out shortly, but let's assume there is a proxy because I'm an optomist. What then?

I don't know about making a web page per se, but if you use a linksys router, then check with Cisco. They have some software (Perfigo) that will allow you to do a check for id, authentication and billing that you might be able to use. It doesn't have to be Cisco or linksys, just one that I know. Sorry, I don't know if there is a free version of this but, since it's a hotel, there might be some software that is relatively inexpensive that you can use. Then, you would get an authentication page which you could design for your own purposes. The hotel might like to have some authentication, in any case, which could be a password they give the guests at checkin to make sure nobody outside is using their bandwidth.

Believe it or not, I actually want outside people to use some bandwidth! In the past couple of days, the ability to advertise on this has settled into my head.

I've learned a few better ways to ask this... Is there a VPN router 10/100 that can hold external data? That 'page' I'm referring to would be the data. This would eliminate the need for an expensive server with many MB or GB or RAM...

I called, and Linksys has no router that accepts external data. I can't be the only person looking to save money on this sort of idea - so I'm guessing it exists from some company!
Huge helpful answer Zeroth, thanks. :D

I was just suggesting that if you wanted authentication you could do it, however, my point was that you could use the authentication page for your info page, with the authentication being optional.

It appears from your research on Linksys that these cheap routers won´t do the job you want, however, I´m not so sure you need the router itself to do it. But let´s skip that just now and go a little further with the hardware. First, a caveat, I´m not technical enough on the particulars of this to give you a definitive answer without some research, but I´m going to try and lead you in the right direction. I work with wireless infrastructure and the last mile bit is just an adjunct to what I do, so I know just enough about it to be dangerous.

1. Since Linksys equipment won´t do the job, check with Cisco on one of their access points. These are going to be a lot more expensive, though. BUT, they may be able to give you the info you want so that you can approach other, less expensive vendors that have better solutions IYKWIM...

2. There are many manufacturers of APs that might offer exactly what you want, so don´t just go with Cisco, which is one of the more expensive. All of these vendors use chip sets made by only a handful of chip manufacturers worldwide, so the choice is really not that big, technology wise. The software to make it work, however, is widely different.

3. I think there is a better way to do this.

Now, I´m of the opinion that you don´t need to upload a page of information to the router to do what you want to do. You just need a server connected to the router that anyone wanting to sign in (normally authenticate, but in your case, maybe just an open sign-in page that you can take over for your purposes) gets when he picks up the network on his notebook or whatever. This would be very simple to implement given the right path to do so.

The Perfigo solution that I gave you is just an example of what you can do, although I don´t know how to get there, as I´m not hands on enough.

However, if they can do the authentication page, which is an example of what you are driving at, then you can do the same thing without having to buy an expensive software solution, depending on your skillset.

Let me know how this progresses. If you can´t get a handle on it, I´m interested enough to help you research it, although I don´t have the time at the present moment. But I am very interested in what you find out. Good luck...


Zyxel ZyAIR G-4100 - I had never heard of it. After some of your post's buzzwords, Mr. Zeroth, I wound up Googling the company.

One of their solutions for Gateways is a chumpy little $65 wireless doo-hickey that sounded like it could be configured for what I was looking for. I called Tech Support. The $65 doo-dad isn't capable of what I want, but...

Turns out I was looking for a Wireless HotSpot Router the whole time. All that coffee house stuff is mostly doing this already - but I have desires to make it free.

The G-4100 allows you to carry users to any start up page you want them at (webpage, PDF document, etc.) with minimal effort. That got big smiles from me. It's made for pay-for-access hotspots so it initially asks for a user name and password before shipping a user off to the Internet.

That can be disabled while maintaining the start page WITHOUT highjacking (NetZero experimented with this 'free' surfing by installing an ad sponsored browser like Opera). I don't want to highjack; most of us spend our time fighting highjackers.

This device totally answers my questions. It's quick view page is at this URL:

And it's User manual which I'll be reading for days I think is at this .pdf ftp URL:

Obviously, the cost is too much for cheesy applications as I've described initially. It's no less than $500 unless you're a distributor. I encourage many of you to think outside the box: Got an advertiser? Got a G-4100 that can direct users to a start-up page for free? Think about it. :idea:

Hi-ho! Thanks for your inputs and interest!

Glad to help and glad you got a solution to your question. There are hundreds of these guys around and I think with some more research you could find a way to do it for free. I also still think you could probably come up with a way to do it on the cheapo routers like Linksys and the like...

Happy hunting... :mrgreen:

Continued searching has only revealed things that seem too good to be true.
That link goes to some super powered Linksys for far less than $500 but probably requires a server to provide that magical homepage I was talking about.

This super charged device is interesting however. How do they do it? Is it a gimmick where they're not telling the whole story? I'm more interested in device than I am about the offer to 'join' some whatever network.

It appears to be a scam...

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