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Upon connecting to a wireless connect, how would I go about directing the user's browers to a specific website?

My dad wants his bowling alley's wireless to do so without having to pay someone to come do it. He said, "If you're as smart as you think you are, you'll get this done."

Well....?

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If you're as smart as he thinks you are, you'll get him to pay you for it. ;) –  quack quixote Nov 19 '09 at 22:17

3 Answers 3

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What you're looking for is generally called a Captive Portal and there are a variety of open source ones available that run on commodity hardware. E.g. the highly hackable Linksys WRT54G. The one I'm most familiar with is NoCat.net, specifically their NoCatAuth software. Sadly, this looks like hasn't been updated in awhile.

A quick Google search for "captive portal software" turns up many others though. The Wikipedia page (Captive_portal) might be a good place to start.

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Look over the products on this page. They make the wireless access points that you see at various public places, where you have to accept an agreement before you can use the internet. Also the ones on college campuses where you have to log in with your student ID before you can use the wireless. I'm sure it would be easy to set it up so that on the initial connection it sends the client to your dad's website.

Now, there could be a free solution. If your dad has a server at the bowling alley. What you could do is have it take care of the DHCP assignment. When a new client connects, it can add it to a temporary list where all the DNS entries point to your dad's website. That way no matter what the home page is on the browser, it will force your dad's website. You should probably have some kind of popup that comes up where they agree to the terms of the wireless network. After they click agree, it will move the client from a temporary list to the regular one, and the DNS is switched to a real one.

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Not sure if this is what you need, but take a look at WorldSpot.net:

WorldSpot.net provides an easy and competitive solution for anyone to share his internet connection with advanced features for authenticating your hotspot users and controlling how they can connect to the internet.

WorldSpot.net is the ideal solution for hotels, campings, marinas, cafes, bars, campus, residences, WISPs and many others who live near such places.

For public places owners, you can easily print WYSIWYG customized access tickets with codes to gain access to your hotspot.

You can bill your users online and fully automate your hotspot. You set your own prices and get the highest revenue share of the market: 75% of your hotspot revenue goes directly to your paypal account. Please click here for more information.

No need for a PC, your hotspot can fit inside a single cheap wifi router. But you can choose any hardware you want to scale your hotspot to ANY size (municipal metro scale wifi is possible)

You can easily fully customize and brand your hotspot landing page with an embedded wysiwyg editor. Here is a live landing page demonstration.

(emphasis mine)

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