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"Limiting Guest Wifi time (how to?)"

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Mon 28/03/16 at 13:48
Regular
Posts: 595
Hi,

My friend owns a coffee shop and is currently having problems with wifi 'campers' There are a number of people who sit in his (small) shop and use his free wifi literally for hours on end, usually with one coffee, and even just water.

He is losing business because of this.

Is there a technical way to limit free guest wifi to 1 hour and then force a disconnect, preferably with no reconnect option?

I'd be very interested in your thoughts.

Many thanks,

Neil
Wed 30/03/16 at 22:30
Regular
"Braaains"
Posts: 439
Is it his own non-branded shop, or is it a franchise? If it's the latter, complaints could potentially get passed to the franchise owner. There do seem to be a myriad of options.

But the one thing that springs to mind is changing the wi-fi password every couple of hours, and only giving it out again if someone buys something else.

It could be argued that blocking/limiting wi-fi isn't good customer service, but it sounds like the ones using it aren't good customers.
Mon 28/03/16 at 18:46
Regular
Posts: 595
Many thanks for the replies.

N.
Mon 28/03/16 at 17:22
Moderator
"Are you sure?"
Posts: 5,000
Before (or as well as) going down a tech route to bump MAC addresses off after a specified period, I would suggest some signage explaining the 'rules' for the free wifi so customers are aware they are causing problems.

EDIT: For technical solutions (looks like there are many) try a search on: 'pfsense coffee shop wifi' for an Open Source firewall that can place a time limit etc.

[s]Hmmm...[/s]
Mon 28/03/16 at 14:51
Regular
"Devil in disguise"
Posts: 3,151
Buy a router that supports time limits for guests, they do exist. Or go the whole way and just buy a hotspot that requires sign up from users.

I do wonder though if free wifi is even worthwhile? Whats the profile of wifi users, individuals that turn up with a laptop/tablet and stay a long time? Even if they are considerate and continue to refresh their coffee etc. they are still buying at a slower rate. If space is an issue, then it seems like they are customers you just don't want.
Mon 28/03/16 at 13:48
Regular
Posts: 595
Hi,

My friend owns a coffee shop and is currently having problems with wifi 'campers' There are a number of people who sit in his (small) shop and use his free wifi literally for hours on end, usually with one coffee, and even just water.

He is losing business because of this.

Is there a technical way to limit free guest wifi to 1 hour and then force a disconnect, preferably with no reconnect option?

I'd be very interested in your thoughts.

Many thanks,

Neil

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