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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."


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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
up vote 1 down vote accepted

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, 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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(emphasis mine)

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