Welcome Wifi Guests

Posted on January 14, 2006 in misc

Hello! Some of you reading this entry may have been directed here because you connected to the wireless network I have running at my house. If you joined the arionnet unprotected network and then tried to visit a web site, you might have been surprised to see this page. Don't worry, I didn't hack your computer or anything! However, you have been subjected to the restrictions of my wireless network. I'm not quite ready to allow anyone to have unfettered access to the Internet through my system. So in the meantime, please feel free to view the rest of Arion.Net and send me an IM or email to say "Hi!".

For those of you that are interested in the technical details of this wireless network thingie, read on for more info.

So, you want to get the low-down on this wireless network? Here goes! You are connected through a Linksys WRT54GS access point. This access point runs an embedded version of the Linux operating system. The version of Linux that is preloaded on the WRT54GS is for consumers and has a nice pretty web interface for configuration. However, several other groups have produced alternative versions of Linux that can be installed on this device. I'm running OpenWRT. OpenWRT provides a Debian-like environment with a slim-lined base system and the ability to add additional software and features through a package-management system.

The reason that visitors on my wireless network are redirected to Arion.Net for every web request made is through the magic of a "captive portal" program called Chillispot. Chillispot divides users into two categories: authenticated and unauthenticated users. As you might have guessed, unauthenticated users can't do much besides browse Arion.Net. All requests are redirected back to my web server. Authentication is handled through a radius server. I have FreeRadius running on my firewall. It makes the decision about who is allowed full access to the Internet and who is not.

So, there you have it. If you would like to request authenticated access through my wireless network, send me an IM or email and I'll consider it.