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Password Protection for Wired Internet Access -- Is it possible?


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11 replies to this topic

#1 JayoBayo

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 05:05 AM

I provide internet access for guests at my center with ethernet wires that they can plug into their laptops in a study room. I need to be able to control who can use the internet and who cannot, so I would like that when they plug the ethernet cable in, they need to enter a password in order to get access to the internet.
I know passwords are easy to set for wireless routers, but I'd prefer not to use wireless for several reasons.

Does anyone know of an ethernet switch which has the possibility of setting a password for use? Or any other way this can be accomplished?

Thanks very much,

JayoBayo

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#2 MBakerNH

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 11:48 AM

Unless it's a fairly high end switch, you're not going to get a switch with that kind of intelligence. It would be a VLAN architecture, and even then, I don't know of one that asks for authentication, and even then, it does an LDAP query to some AD server for permission. I think your best bet is to get a low end Cisco ASA or SonicWALL, that can prompt for outbound and inbound authentication. The entry models are between $700.00 and $1,000.00. But even then, there's a catch. They would be on your network, and not need authentication until they go outbound, such as using the internet. So, if you were trying to keep people off of your network assets until authenticated, you would need to tie it into DHCP. NOW you are talking a server. Maybe someone knows of a commercial router that prompts for authentication on DHCP requests, but I don't.

#3 s1lents0ul

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 02:22 PM

I dont know how to do it, but if you are familiar hotel wireless login IE pages, its a web access control, that you get a code to login with, once your a registered guest. The wired desktops in the lobby have it also, so someone more Network savvy then me should be able to figure that out. Im sure the hotels dont spend to much time/money on that feature.
==]--s1lents0ul-->

#4 JayoBayo

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 03:52 AM

Thanks very much for the ideas.

Hmmm... $700 is out of my range, I would be able to spend $200 max on setting this up. I looked a bit at hotel software on the web, but so far it also looks a bit too expensive. I'm still hoping for a simple solution, like finding an affordable switch with password authentication (like all wireless routers have). Sounds like that may not possible.

In case anyone knows of a solution, here's more details:
My setup is that I have a simple internet router with several cables going to different places in the building. One of those cables goes to a switch in a cupboard with cables coming out of it for guests to connect their laptop to. I'm looking for a low cost (not over $200) solution so that guests need a password in order to use the internet. There's also a computer in that room connected to the switch, which requires a password to use.

I need to be able to control who can access internet from these cables, but once guests are online security is not so much an issue, because for our business computers I have a physically separate router and server with firewall.

#5 Out_of_Line

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 09:43 AM

I need to be able to control who can use the internet and who cannot

Hmmm you sound like a bit of a sadist, so im not sure i should be helping you anyhow when you are the administrator you can control what users have permissions and which are guests and so on check out user account control in the control panel it will tell you all about it

Also in the bios i believe you can control who can do what check that out as well

#6 JayoBayo

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 10:53 AM

No, I'm not a sadist, I just need people to pay the small fee we charge for internet to cover the expense of the setup, maintenance, etc. of the having this internet connection in our center.

Thanks for offering an idea, but in this case it's not about setting user account permissions in the control panel, because there is no computer, we just have ethernet cables available for people to plug their laptop into to access the internet. I just want the cables to be password protected so people who have paid and therefore get a password can use the internet and those who haven't paid can't use the internet if they plug into one of the cables.

#7 s1lents0ul

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 11:01 AM

Why dont you just label each end of a wire, -1---------1- as an example.... and just disconnect the non used wires, only plugging in the wire that needs to be used?
==]--s1lents0ul-->

#8 Out_of_Line

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 11:39 AM

Why dont you just label each end of a wire, -1---------1- as an example.... and just disconnect the non used wires, only plugging in the wire that needs to be used?

Because the people will only use the wires that are plugged in lol

Check out your router you might be able to have password protected ports but im not sure such a thing exists

#9 Eyesee

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 12:39 PM

You might consider eliminating the cables and doing it all wirelessly as the clients are all using laptops.
Then its easy to do.
In the beginning there was the command line.

#10 s1lents0ul

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 02:00 PM

To block wired connections on a router, you can utilize MAC filtering. Its rugged, but should be adequate.
==]--s1lents0ul-->

#11 Out_of_Line

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 05:30 PM

To block wired connections on a router, you can utilize MAC filtering. Its rugged, but should be adequate.

HEY why didnt i think of that :thumbsup:

#12 JayoBayo

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 01:34 PM

Thanks for all the great suggestions, I appreciate all the input.
The MAC filtering could do it, but I think it will be too time consuming to keep it up in this situation.

In the end I'll just stick with the honor system (ask people to monitor themselves that they've paid for the internet service) because the amount of time it would take for me to explain to people who arrive here how to find their MAC addresses and for me to keep the MAC's up to date in the router interface would be too much compared to the small fee we charge for the internet use (We have many people connecting many different kinds of devices, and they come and go often). Thanks again all!




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