Providing Internet Access

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How to Setup a Free Wireless Internet Access Point

  • The Zone CD is free software to help you setup a wifi access point. The features list is here and includes things like user login, customizable home pages in multiple languages, etc.
  • An Open Source Wi-Fi Roundup - comparison of free, open-source wifi hotspot solutions.
  • Hotsplots - its not free, but allows you to sell certain amounts of time, perfect for making some extra revenue

How to Troubleshoot an Internet Connection

Guests hate it when the Internet connection goes down, especially if the staff doesn't make a serious effort to fix the problem.

If Internet/wifi is down, make sure all front desk staff know how to reset the modem/router. If resetting the modem/router doesn't work they should call the ISP to see if it's an ISP problem. Backpackers don't want to hear, "I don't know what's wrong, try later", because it might be a local network problem with an easy solution.

The following trick often works to fix a wireless Internet connection:

On a wireless Internet connection there are usually two boxes: the modem and the router. The router is the one with the antennae First thing to do is unplug them both to turn them off (warn people in the room before you completely shut down the Internet connection). Leave them both off for 10 seconds. Plug in the modem first. Wait for all the lights on the modem to come online and start flashing. Once the modem is fully online, then plug the router back in.

  • Add more tips how to troubleshoot a wireless Internet connection when the system goes down

How to Setup an Internet Cafe With Linux

Hostel computers running Ubuntu Linux.

See the following page:

Internet Cafe Software

Computer Hardware

A hostel that provides a webcam for guests to use
  • Guests will appreciate if you have a webcam for them to use.
  • Headsets allow guests to make Internet telephone calls, though they may be fragile.
Headset for using Internet telephones. This model cost about US$10.

Computer Software

  • Many guests like to use Skype - a free program that allows people to make Internet phone calls.
  • See also the Free Software page. Installing free software can save hundreds or thousands of dollars when setting up guest computers.

Virus and Malware Control

Guest Internet computers quickly become infected with spyware, viruses, and trojans. One way to keep your computers clean is to use a program called Deepfreeze. More about Deepfreeze can be found in the forum thread about it.