Practically Networked Home Earthweb HardwareCentral earthwebdeveloper CrossNodes Datamation
Welcome to PractiallyNetworked
Product Reviews

 • Routers
 • Hubs/Switches
 • Wireless Gateway
 • Wireless AP
 • Wireless NIC
 • Network Storage
 • Print Servers
 • Bluetooth Adapters
& Tutorials

 • Networking
 • Internet Sharing
 • Security
 • Backgrounders
 • Troubleshooting

 • PracNet How To's
User Opinions
Practicallynetworked Glossary

 Find a Network Term  

  Most Popular Tutorials

• Microsoft Vista Home Networking Setup and Options
The most daunting part of upgrading to Windows Vista may be trying to figure out where in the layers of menus the networking and file-sharing options are hidden.

• Do It Yourself: Roll Your Own Network Cables
It may not be something you do everyday, but having the supplies and know-how to whip up a network cable on the spot can be very handy.

• Tips for Securing Your Home Router
Seemingly minor and easily overlooked settings can still have profound security implications. Here are some steps you can take to make sure your wired or wireless home router and by extension, your network is as secure as possible.

  Most Popular Reviews

• Microsoft Windows Home Server
If you have a home network, you'll welcome the easy file sharing, remote access and the image-based backup features of Windows Home Server.

• Iomega StorCenter Network Hard Drive
Iomega's fourth generation StorCenter Network Hard Drive brings many of the features found in higher-end storage devices down to an attractive price.

• MikroTik's The Dude
This free tool delivers many of the same capabilities that you'd find in pricey network monitoring tools. As long as you don't mind tinkering, The Dude is a decent network utility that should be worth the download.

Ask the Wi-Fi Guy: Hotspot Sharing

By Aaron Weiss

There are many writers you can turn to for advice. Want to know how to confront your mother-in-law about that single-slice toaster she gave on your birthday? Write to Dear Abby. Want to know whether you owe $50 to replace your friends' tire after he drove over a nail in your driveway? Write to The Ethicist.

But if you want to know what kind of connector you need to plug a booster antenna into your wireless router, or why your wireless router is much slower than the claims on the box, you can ask The Wi-Fi Guru. You should. Please. We would like that. And unlike The Ethicist, we won't make fun of you. To submit your question, simply send me an e-mail, and be sure to put "Wi-Fi Guru" in the subject line.

Today's question:

Q: I just set up wireless in my house using a Linksys WRT54G. I'm thinking of sharing the cost of it via hotspot with my neighbor. How can I manage and control this hotspot? Is there any free hotspot management firmware available, and how do I use it?

A: As described in a recent tutorial on setting up a hotspot using DD-WRT, you can use your router to set up several different kinds of hotspots, which vary in features and complexity. When it comes to sharing the cost of your service, there are two ways you could go about managing your hotspot: one, use a hotspot service that lets you directly bill your neighbor for their usage or, two, use a service that lets you simply restrict their usage (in hours or bandwidth) to the proportion of service you've agreed to share with them.

What's That Term?

Not sure what a particular networking term means? Check out our searchable glossary.

Billing your neighbor directly is probably not the best solution. You would need to use a fee-based hotspot service, which undermines the savings of cost-sharing with one neighbor. Two, your neighbor would probably then bill you when you drop by to borrow sugar. It could get ugly.

Using your WRT54G with DD-WRT, you can use its built in support for Chillispot, an open source hotspot solution. But rather than setup your own Chillispot server, which is a little bit complicated for this small-scale scenario, sign up for a free account at Worldspot will provide you with the exact settings you need to plug into the Chillispot configuration page on your router. You can then create an access profile for your neighbor, which limits her usage by your choice of criteria. If your broadband service offers 5Mbps download, for example, and you split the cost 50/50 with your neighbor, you can setup an access profile that limits your neighbor to 2.5Mbps. When you drop by for that sugar, you can collect their half of the service cost.

This article was excerpted from an article originally published on Wi-Fi Planet.

For more help, check out the PracticallyNetworked Forums.

Add to | DiggThis Earthweb HardwareCentral earthwebdeveloper CrossNodes Datamation

Home | Networking | Backgrounders | Internet Sharing | Security | HowTo | Troubleshooting | Reviews | News | About | Jobs | Tools | Forums