I am interested in creating a wireless network using Apple airport
base stations (the new ones that support RADIUS and 128 WEP – 2.1.1 I
believe). I would like to have these hotspots only connected to a
high-speed connection (i.e. DSL or Cable Modem) and not a computer.
These are *not* going to be connected to one another via lan or any
other device, just throught the ISP's internet connection. I am
interested in creating accounts whereby people can pay a very small
fee to use the network from any hotspot. My questions are these:
1) Do I need to have a computer on-site to do this sort of
authentication or is the airport base station enough?
2) Will a RADIUS server connected to the net somewhere else provide
the type of authentication/time tracking ability I am looking for
without being directly connected to the hotspots – in other words, are
the base stations 'smart' enough to query a server out on the net and
authenticate the user and provide the appropriate access, while only
being plugged into the cable/dsl modem.
3) If this is indeed possible, are there any *cheap* RADIUS server
packages/AAA software that will accomplish the task of allowing
certain users (ideally identified by username and password, not MAC)
to have access for the amount of time alloted.
4) If there are any other suggestions to achieve this result cheaply
(with or without Apple hardware), please let me know.