Hi all :)
Let me prefix this with the obligatory "I'm new to m0n0wall". I'm a
longtime FreeBSD user, and happened to come up with an idea that
required something like m0n0wall, and instead of re-inventing the
wheel, I'm investigating using m0n0wall, and modifying it to suit if
need be. Let me start by giving a quick summary of what I am doing, and
then follow up with my questions. I have been through the archives as
best I could to find answers (and found many, I had dozens and dozens
of questions) and also spent time playing around with m0n0wall and a
few spare machines/etc.
I'm planning to setup wireless access points to cover an entire state.
These will not be free access points, however, due to the financial
demand placed on providing that level of service. I've got to fund
support, bandwidth, up front costs, etc.
The plan is to place a machine/antenna/network feed every X amount of
distance, and create a wireless mesh to cover all of the area. I'm
looking at a DS1 for each "hotspot".
In order to provide wireless service, I will have to bill customers
monthly. I've not yet finished my market analysis, or cost analysis due
to the variables I am trying to determine by asking my questions here,
so I have not yet determined the pricing. However, it is irrelevant
concerning my questions. I think this is enough background in order for
my questions to be understood.
#1 - I am not a lawyer, and I'd rather not hire one at this time. Does
the BSD license m0n0wall is under allow me to use it for commercial
purposes? From my reading, I believe it does. I would just like some
clarification for peace of mind. :)
#2 - I intend on using the captive portal feature in order to provide
potential users with a signup page, granting them X amount of time free
access. Once that time had elapsed, the next time they logged in it
would provide them a place to enter payment information, and have an
automated processing system verify their CC information, place the
charge, and then activate their account for that month. With options to
allow automatic charging every month until they chose not to, or to
only one-time charge their card and close the account at the end of the
month. Is this possible? If so - how? I didn't see it in the
documentation, and did not see it in the archives (which are quite hard
to go through, so it is quite possible I missed it).
#3 - Does m0n0wall tie accounts to MAC addresses (I know they are
spoofable, but it's not a concern of mine, the minority that would go
to all that trouble are insignificant in the big picture). For
instance, if person 'A' signs up for an account, if he passes out his
account info to 10 of his buddies, would it disallow them access since
their MAC address differed? This would also prevent people from simply
creating multiple accounts with bogus info to continually get free
trials (remember the good ole' days with AOL? :P) If so - how?
#4 - In terms of the system, I see two embedded platforms suggested on
the m0n0wall site. For what I am trying to do, there will be one
ethernet feed going into the machine (WAN/net) and then wireless access
from the machine. This is a multi-part question.
a) Would you suggest going with an internal supported wireless card,
and running an antenna off of it or going with an access point, and
simply putting in another ethernet in the box, and running it to the
b) Depending on which scenario above you suggest, which platform would
you go with? Obviously, only handling 1.5mbit worth of bandwidth,
processing power is not going to be an issue.
This is all I have thought of so far, and I would greatly appreciate
any responses. Again, I've searched through the archives and checked
the documentation. It's very likely I've missed previous answers to
these questions, but hopefully not. :) Any and all input is welcomed,
be it answers to my questions or simply suggestions. :)
PS - If some of this is not implemented, and there are no plans for it,
I would be willing to attempt to implement it myself, and provide all
changes back to the m0n0wall community, as I believe in the open source
model. :) However, I am no coding god, so I'd obviously prefer
something from the obviously talented team already working on m0n0wall.
:) I applaud all of your work so far, from my testing/usage so far, I
have been nothing but impressed.