This entry is part 1 of 5 in the Ubuntu Hotspot with Daily Per-User Quotas series

There are a number of free hotspot/captive portal solutions available on Linux, but believe it or not, not a single one of them offers daily per-user upload/download quotas.

I ended up going with a customized EasyHotSpot solution which is based off the defunct Chillispot, FreeRadius and MySQL.

Its way more involved than I initially thought. At the beginning, I was like, how difficult can it be? Well, turns out, pretty difficult.

This is a series documenting the epic quest for the ultimate free Captive Portal with daily per-user quotas. 🙂

First, before going too far, here's a glossary of jargon you're probably going to have to swallow when entering this world:

  • Captive Portal solution – software that redirects users to a login page before granting them access to the internet.
  • HotSpot/Access Point – generic term for a wireless solution that offers internet access to a number of users
  • Radius,FreeRadius,etc – a popular authentication/authorization/accounting framework and software used by a number of captive portal providers
  • QoS – Quality Of Service. A mechanism for prioritizing network traffic.
  • throttling – Often used with the term QoS. It means limiting bandwidth speeds, measured in kbps (kilobits per second) or KBps (kilobytes per second). This is NOT the same as bandwidth quotas.
  • per-user bandwidth quotas – Limits on the amount that can be downloaded by a user. Has to provide some mechanism of disconnecting the user when the quota has been used up

More to come in the next post on the features I was looking for in the Captive Portal solution..