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Hello! This post will be long but I need some help.

I have recently run into an interesting dilemma and need some advice. I'm in college and live in a large house with a lot of other people. I have my own internet connection in my room, and up to now everyone in the house used another kids internet connection. He recently disabled his internet because nobody was paying him even though they used his connection. SO a few people came to me asking if they could use mine for a few days, and being the nonconfrontational person that I am, I gave them the info.

Well now everyone in the house is using it, and I have 15 separate devices connected to my wireless router. Now I could just change the password, but it would no doubt be an endless cycle, and as I said I hate confrontation. So I really want to set up a custom router so that I can control what is going on.

I'm considering two options, either buying an older used computer(<100$) and turning it into a software router, or putting custom firmware on a router. I was hoping you guys could help me figure out which would be better for me, because I can't decide.

I have to be able to limit bandwidth to users, because I payed for a separate connection in the first place so that I could have quick internet all to myself. I have a few roommates that I know torrent illegally like crazy, and I don't want to deal with that, so I want to be able to block that and be able to set up a terms of use agreement splash page. I would really really like to be able to set up a pay to use thing, so I don't even allow them to connect unless I've gotten money for the month (to completely avoid what happened to the other kid).

I've read some articles about both methods, and I still can't decide. I'm a computer science major and just the thought of setting up a linux box and learning all of the network stuff and implementing it myself gets me excited, but I am kind of pressed for time too. I also wouldn't mind having a file/media server.

Any thoughts, suggestions, ideas? I just don't know where to start.

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Posted

Anything that can run tomato firmware, or a router that has a guest network feature.

With tomatoUSB from shabby or toastman you can set up a bandwidth limit within the QoS menu on the same ranges your DHCP scope. You then set all your own devices to static up in dhcp on the router(not on the devices).

Or if you use a router with a guest network feature, I believe you can set up BW limits on the guest network, us I'm not sure. Of course with tomato you could also set up a feature where they would have to pay to your Paypal account for noter net access, which seems the fair option ;)
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Posted

WPA Enterprise will let you give each user a different username and key but needs an external computer with a radius installed, You might want to look at the Cisco (not Linksys) 87x series which are going cheap online these days.

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Posted

Guest networks. most decent routers have them. On Amped Wireless! ones you can have 4 per band (frequency)

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Posted

Anyone with any experience with a software router solution rather than a hardware solution? What advantages/disadvantages does running an older computer as a router have over running customer firmware on a hardware router? (Other than more power consumption)

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Posted

Build a pfsense box and get an amped wireless!!!

For the wireless stuff


Pfsense is really powerful enterprise grade router software you install on a pc.

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Can get a used Cisco router, but really you should make them pay up front or people will be using your bandwidth always. even a small 5$ each person since you are in school. That goes a long way. Every month change the password.
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Posted

you tune their bandwidth down with the right router and let it go. its been a long time for me since school but i recall seeing some real payback when you take something away. if that orange juice taste funny you will know why.....just saying something to think about.

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Posted

disable torrenting! you will be held liable for their actions.

i think you can do this easily on Tomato

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Posted

Get a deposit from each of them, and get a guest enabled wifi router. Disable any torrents too!

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Posted

If you have the time and wanting to learn something good go with pfSense (look at their website, you'll find good stuff there) but if you don't have time go with the already suggested Tomato firmware or ww-drt on an old router (read the specs of the firmware because they don't support all routers and hardwares) it's easy to set up and you'll like how it looks too. ;)

pfSense:
www.pfsense.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=40&Itemid=43

Tomato:
www.polarcloud.com

ww-drt:
www.dd-wrt.com/site/index

Good luck and please post if ya need further help.

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Posted

Nabz0r, I think you got that backwards.. It's not WW-DRT. Even your link says DD-WRT, lol. :p

I used ptSense in the past. Awesome software.

(OT: CJ33, I miss Vivi :( )

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Posted

Your going to have to learn how to deal with confrontation if you plan on coexisting in the real world.

Change the password - and be done with it. When they ask you to use it again for "a couple" of days. That has already passed, and it seems you like to share since now there are 15 people using it, etc.

Going forward.

If you go with say pfsense on your own hardware - you could setup a captive portal that allow for vouchers (version 2.x of pfsense). And you could limit the bandwidth as well. You could create vouchers that are good for say different periods of time be it 1 hour, be it 24, 7 days, month, etc.. Then as they give you money you give them the voucher number that matches up with that amount of time. Once they put in the voucher number - clock starts ticking. Once time is up they loose access and would have to pay for new voucher number.

http://doc.pfsense.org/index.php/Captive_Portal_Vouchers

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Posted

[quote name='Mindovermaster' timestamp='1352131005' post='595298395']
Nabz0r, I think you got that backwards.. It's not WW-DRT. Even your link says DD-WRT, lol. :p
[/quote]

LOL! It was 6 in the morning and I was on the train on my way to work and I am glad that this was the only mistake I made. :p

Back to topic:
How did it go? Any updates?
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Posted

I have a similar situation and I throttle devices with abandon. I use the stock software on a newish Linksys router. The stock firmware will do what you want it to, but its really your call on that. Getting it all setup is the time consuming part, obviously, but it can be done. My router now features a parental control feature. You can time allow/disallow devices-I LOVE THIS.

I also agree with the bit about charging people for using your bandwidth. Fair is fair.

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