Step 3: Flash Router with the DD-WRT Firmware
There are two basic methods to flash a router: Trivial File Transfer Protocol (TFTP), a simple file transfer method using a command line interface, and using a router's web interface firmware upgrade feature. Flashing via the web interface is easier and supported by most routers. The exception is Buffalo devices, where you must use TFTP.
Since the exact flashing procedure can vary depending on the router manufacturer vendor and model, you need to reference the flashing directions on the DD-WRT website.
Step 4: Setup a Hotspot Solution
As touched on before, DD-WRT integrates many independent open source projects specifically designed for hotspots into its firmware, including the following:
- Sputnik: Integration with a free/paid hosted service from Sputnik that provides user authentication and device management for use with free or pay access hotspot solutions. Although you may pay for the service, its a bit more user-friendly than the other solutions, which are all open-source.
- Wifidog: Integrated into the firmware, providing advanced captive portal and content management features for free access hotspots. You must set up an external server with their proprietary software which requires some advanced web development skills and knowledge.
- Chillispot: Enables hotspot user authentication and management for free or pay access hotspot solutions, but requiring an external RADIUS server. Hosted servers, however, provide an easily way to obtain the advanced hotspot features and functionality. Heres a few places that offer free/paid hosted services for use with this solution:
- NoCatSplash: Provides only a simple captive portal (splash screen) feature with a few filtering options, however is excellent for giving away free access (or even paid access with some work) when user tracking and advanced hotspot management isnt necessary. Its best to have some web development experience, as you must create your own splash screen. Otherwise its fairly straightforward.
Now that you have chosen a solution, here are the basic steps (in v23 SP2) to set it up:
- Login to the web interface (figure 3 shows an example) using the routers IP address (by default 192.168.1.1).
Figure 3: Example of the DD-WRT web interface.
- Click the Services tab.
- Enter the routers username and password (by default root and admin) into the dialog box.
- Click the Hotspot tab. Figure 4 shows an example of this page.
Figure 4: Example of the hotspot settings page in DD-WRT.
- Enable one of the hotspot solutions, configure the settings, and click Save Settings.
Although we wont discuss configuring each solution, most of the bullets given earlier offer links to configuration instructions or at least the website of the project where you can obtain help.