dd-wrt + hotspot system = COMPLETE HOTSPOT SOLUTION


How to Setup Your Own Hotspot with DD-WRT




Generic Notes


1. Download
DD-WRT


2. Replace Firmware

OR

3. Built-in Hotspot Setup


Setup Command Method


4. Test your Installation


Troubleshooting

GENERIC NOTES

  • Important note:

    This solution requires a Hotspot Operator Account at HotSpotSystem.com. You can create an Operator Account here. If you would like to see what features you will be able to use with our solutions, click here. If you already have an Operator Account, then read on...
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  • WARNING!

    DD-WRT has several issues therefore we cannot recommend using dd-wrt with Hotspot PRO, Hotspot FREE Basic and Hotspot FREE Social.
    You can read more about the issues here.
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  • Remember that you'll need a router which is compatible with nokaid, standard, big or mega version of DD-WRT. Other versions (like mini or micro) don't contain the hotspot module so they cannot be used for hotspot purposes.

Click here to get a list of compatible router models (opens in a new window). Here we only list those models that are compatible with our system through DD-WRT.

If you are sure that you have a compatible router, then you can continue to STEP 1: download DD-WRT.

DOWNLOAD DD-WRT

  • Go to the Router Database on DD-WRT's website (opens in a new window).
  • Enter your router type into the search field (for example: 'WRT54GL' or 'Nanostation'). Search result will appear under the search field. Click on the desired router type from the list.

  • Firmware versions can be found under 'Description'. For Hotspot System support, you have to download nokaid, standard, big or mega versions. If you can only find mini or micro, it means that the router is not compatible with our system because it has not enough memory to use it as a hotspot.
  • Be sure to read the 'Additional Information' as it may contain important information about the flashing procedure. In our example, for Linksys WRT54GL it says 'Initial flashing Mini Generic via web interface'. It means that you have to upgrade with the mini generic firmware first if you are upgrading the original Linksys firmware. But since the mini doesn't contain the hotspot module, once upgraded, you have to upgrade it again with the standard generic firmware.
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  • You can also find a 'Suppored by' part in the middle where you can select different firmware builds. From build 14311, Hotspot System setup is built into the firmware and it is much easier to setup.

    WARNING: DO NOT DOWNLOAD BUILD 14896 (or around), DATE IS 2010-08, BECAUSE IT HAS BUGS WITH THE BUILT-IN SETUP.

If you downloaded the firmware image and ready to upgrade to DD-WRT, then you can continue to STEP 2.

REPLACE FIRMWARE WITH DD-WRT

  • NOTE: Replacing the factory firmware is different for every router. In this example we will replace the firmware on a Linksys WRT54GL .If you have a different router, find your solution here to replace the factory default firmware with DD-WRT.
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  • Leave your router's installation CD in the box, you won't need it.
  • 1.

    Connect your PC to the LAN of your hotspot router (do not connect it to the internet port, because you have to connect your existing netowork to the internet port). Be sure your computer obtains IP addresses automatically from your existing router or network via DHCP.
  • 2.

    Open a browser and type http://192.168.1.1 (login: admin, passwd: admin)
  • 3.

    Go to Administration > Firmware upgrade.
  • 4.

    Browse to the MINI firware which you have previously downloaded, then press UPGRADE. (In case of upgrading the original Linksys firmware, you MUST upgrade to the mini version of DD-WRT first). UPGRADE MUST NOT BE INTERRUPTED so please don't turn off the power or press the reset button. After 3-4 minutes "Upgrade successful" will come up. Please wait for this message it is very important. Do not go further until you can see the message.
  • 5.

    After the successful firmware upgrade, reset your router by pressing the reset button for at least 5 sec. on the back of your router (little button on the back of the router). Verify whether the router is doing a reset/reboot or not. If the POWER light on the front of the router is starting to flash, then everything is OK. If nothing happens, then unplug the router, then plug in again. Wait for the router to finish the boot process (the POWER light stops flashing), then press the reset button on the back for 5 seconds. The router should do a reset now.
  • 6.

    Wait aprx. 30 sec and try to open http://192.168.1.1 . If you cannot connect, then reboot your computer then try again. If you still cannot connect then visit this page.

    You should see the following screen:

    You must have to set a new username / password for the router's admin interface.
  • 7.

    Repeat step 4 and upgrade the firmware again with the standard generic firmware. After 3-4 minutes "Upgrade successful" will come up. Please wait for this message it is very important. Do not go further until you can see the message.

    Now you have a new firmware in your router, now you need to load your hotspot settings.

    TIP: If you have troubles with the first step, please visit our troubleshooting page to find a solution to your problem.

    Now you can proceed to hotspot setup.
  • If you installed v24 preSP2 Build 14311 beta OR NEWER firmware, you can continue with the built-in setup.
  • For older firmware versions, which doesn't have a built-in setup, you can use the setup command method, which works with older and newer versions too.

BUILT-IN HOTSPOT SYSTEM SETUP

  • WARNING: Don't use Safari to configure DD-WRT, it won't work. Use IE, Chrome or FIrefox instead.
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  • 1.

    Open your router's admin page again at http://192.168.1.1
  • 2.

    From around build 18000 you have to create an additional wireless interface for the Hotspot.
    You can read how to do this here.
  • 3.

    Go to Services > Hotspot. Enable Hotspot System (where you see our logo). If you don't have this option, then you need to use the setup command method.
  • 4.

    Fill out the following fields:
  • Operator Username: this is the username which you have registered when you signed up at hotspotsystem.com.
  • Location ID: put '1' if this is your 1st location, put '2' for 2nd location, etc. If you are installing multiple routers at the same location, for example WDS routers, you have to add '_wds' to the location number, for example '2_wds' is the 2nd router in location #2, '2_wds_2' is the 3rd router for location #2, etc.

    If you are unsure, just type '1'.
  • DHCP Interface: Choose the interface where you want the hotspot to work. Choose the interface you created previously in Step #2.
  • For Hotspot FREE BASIC and SOCIAL locations only: click on Special Settings 'Enable', then Login on Splash Page 'Enable'.
  • For Hotspot FREE SOCIAL locations only: you must enter 'www.apple.com' into the 'UAM Allowed' field.
  • Leave every other fields as it is, and press 'APPLY SETTINGS'. You can set up advanced functions later, like paid LAN ports, or add allowed sites.

    Wait a few minutes and check the router's LED lights. If everything was OK, then the 'LinkSys' led on the left of your router has to show yellow light. Then connect to the router wirelessly and open a browser window and type a web address. You should be forwarded to your Wi-Fi splash page. Also, you can check your e-mail address, the system is sending automatic e-mail to the e-mail address you have provided at the registration upon successful installation.
  • IF YOU DON'T GET AN IP FROM THE ROUTER OR NOTHING HAPPENS WHEN YOU TYPE A WEB ADDRESS: Set the DNS server to your ISP's DNS address or 8.8.8.8 manually in Setup > Basic Setup, then press 'APPLY SETTINGS'. Wait a few minutes and try to connect to the router again
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  • You are done. Before you go live, it's time to test your hotspot. You can also set custom packages, pricing, etc. in the Control Center (you can log in to the Control Center from the top left corner of our main page). Click here to download the User Guide for Operators.
  • IMPORTANT!
    After the setup procedure the router will be set to redirect the LAN interface to the splash page also, so you will need a valid hotspot user account to get access to the hotspot first if you want to access the router's admin interface. You can use a master account, or a test voucher code that comes with your account. Click this link to see how you can set up a master account.
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SETUP COMMAND METHOD FOR DD-WRT

  • WARNING: Don't use Safari to configure DD-WRT, it won't work. Use IE, Chrome or Firefox instead.
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  • For the setup command method you need to have an internet connection through the router.

    To verify this, connect to the router and try to browse the internet. If it doesn't work then go to your router's admin page again (http://192.168.1.1, with the username/password you have changed at the end of the first step). If it won't load unplug your network cable for 2 sec or try to reboot your router by unplugging the power cord.

    Check the router's time at the upper-right corner. It has to show the current time in GMT. If you see that the time is '00:00:00' (and the current time is not midnight in GMT) it means that the router is not connected to the internet. If you're not sure what time the router has to show, you can check the GMT time here.
  • IF YOUR ROUTER DOESN'T GET CONNECTED TO THE INTERNET...

    A. If your router is connected to an internal network via another router then maybe you need to modify the IP address (as seen on the internal LAN) of the router . By default it is set to 192.168.1.1 .If both routers are using the same IP, the communication won't work. In this case go to Setup > BASIC Setup > IP Address and Subnet Mask > change the IP address to 192.168.20.1 (leave the rest unchanged). Important: you won't be able to connect to the router until you reboot your computer because the router will have a different IP address.

    B. If your router is connected directly to your adsl modem instead of an internal network (another router) then you have to go to Setup > Basic Setup and choose PPPoE and you have to fill out your ADSL username and password.

    This step won't work if your router is not connected to the internet correctly, so do not go further until you see the current time in GMT.
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  • If everything looks fine, then you can proceed...
  • 1.

    Now you have to run a special command on your router. This is unique for every operator and can be found in the Control Center.

    Log in to the Control Center with your Operator Username and password (this is the username and password that you've choosen at the registration). You can log in to the Control Center from our main page at the top left. Go to Manage > Locations and choose the location where you'd like to install your HotSpot. Then find the "ROUTER SETUP COMMAND" section at the bottom , click on the 'Highlight Text' button to select all the text in the text area, then copy it to the clipboard. (Press CTRL+C or APPLE+C or select the copy command from the browser's EDIT menu)


    2.

    Go to your router's admin page again at http://192.168.1.1 or http://192.168.20.1 if you've changed it previously.

    Go to Administration > Commands. Copy your special command (that you've copied from the HotSpotSystem.com's Control Center) from the clipboard to the text box (click on the text box and press CTRL+V or APPLE+V or select the paste command from the browser's EDIT menu).
    Press the 'Run Commands' button.

    The router will now download your special settings from our server and will configure itself.
  • If you see what is on the picture above is normal. The router will configure itself and reboot. Wait about 30 seconds. You may see a "Page not found" error message in the browser, because the router may get a new IP.
  • IF NOTHING HAPPENS...

    If you get an error message or the page reloads without anything happens to the router (it is not rebooting), then...

    A. you installed a micro or mini version of DD-WRT which is not compatible (Solution: upgrade it to NOKAID or STANDARD (STD) version)

    B. there's an SPI firewall working in the parent router/computer with intrusion detection capabilities which is blocking access to our website (Solution: turn off any firewalls on your main router)

    C. be sure that the router gets the proper DNS server settings from the parent router via DHCP. You can set the DNS servers manually in Setup > Basic Setup.
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  • If everything was OK, then the 'LinkSys' led on the left of your router has to be yellow. Connect to your HotSpot wirelessly with a laptop and see what's happening. Your HotSpot startup page has to come up if you enter a web page in your browser. Also, you can check your e-mail address, the system is sending automatic e-mail to the e-mail address you have provided at the registration upon successful installation.
  • IMPORTANT!

    1. After you run the command the router will be set to redirect the LAN interface to the splash page also, so you will need a valid hotspot user account to get access to the hotspot first if you want to access the router's admin interface. You can use a master account, or a test voucher code that comes with your account. Click this link to see how you can set up a master account.

    2. You won't be able to connect to the router until you reboot your computer because the router will have a different IP address (if you changed the IP previously you don't have to reboot).
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  • In case of successful upgrade the admin page of your router will be available at: http://192.168.20.1, after you log in to the hotspot with a valid account.
  • IF YOU ARE NOT REDIRECTED TO THE START PAGE, BUT GET FREE INTERNET WHEN CONNECTED TO THE ROUTER WIRELESSLY...

    Check that DHCP Interface is set to "WLAN" under Services > Hotspot page. If not, then set it to "WLAN" or "eth1" and press "Apply". The router will now reboot. If you don't have a "WLAN" option, then your router has different interface types. You have to find out what interface is the wireless interface. Try to set an interface, then connect to the router wirelessly. Do this until you find the right interface and you can connect to the router successfully via Wi-Fi.
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  • You are done. Now you can operate your router as a HotSpot and you can watch your transactions on your admin page.
  • But before you go live, it's time to test your hotspot. You can also set custom packages, pricing, etc. in the Control Center (you can log in to the Control Center from the top left corner of our main page). Click here to download the User Guide for Operators.

TEST!

To test your Hotspot installation, follow the steps below:

  • 1.

    Connect to your hotspot wirelessly. After you have connected, try to visit a website. You should be redirected to your Hotspot Start Page.
  • If you don't get redirected, then visit the troubleshooting page to find out, why.
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  • 2.

    Hotspot FREE/PRO only: Check if you can login. To do this, you need a valid access. In the Control Center, go to Manage > Vouchers and click on the Voucher Group link. You can find some codes there, like '10p-xxxxx'. Write down this code. On your Hotspot Splash Page, enter the code into the activation box, then activate it. Then log in using the same code as a username and password. If the login was successful, then you should be able to browse the internet.
  • If you get 'Hotspot Login Failed', even if you sure you used the correct login name and password, then probably the radius ports are blocked by your ISP or by a firewall. Click here for troubleshooting article.
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  • 3.

    Hotspot PRO only: To fully test your hotspot, you should buy a package just like your customers. Don't worry, you will get back 70% of your money. You can even set up a cheap package in the Control Center.
  • 4.

    Check if you can send e-mails using a custom SMTP server. ISPs often block foreign SMTP servers which means that your customers won't be able to send e-mails if they are using a desktop email application like Outlook.
  • If you get an error while sending an email, then you should set SMTP redirection.
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  • CUSTOMIZE!

    To manage your Hotspot location, set packages, prices, bandwidth and traffic limits, upload logos, etc, go to: http://www.hotspotsystem.com ,and log in to the Control Center with your Operator Username and password.
  • EXTEND!

    You can extend your signal coverage, by using repeaters or other WDS routers. Click here to learn how.
  • PROMOTE!

    Now it's time to promote your New Hotspot! You can use our Promotion Materials, download them here.
  • LEARN MORE!

    After-installation how-tos: click here.
  • Should you have any questions, please visit our Help Desk.

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