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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Jan 2010
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    Providing WiFi legally

    This is similar to the "Who's connected to my WiFi" thread, but I thought I should open my own.

    I am providing free WiFi, password protected of course, to my holiday cottages. I understand that, legally, as the WiFi provider, I should be recording the following details for a year:

    • User ID; name and address; date and time of login and log off
    • IP address allocated to a user; MAC Address, originator of the communication;
    • The internet service used (“communications data”).HTTP,POP,IMAP,SKYPE etc

    These details are solely concerned with the data of a user's activity, not the content. This is to protect me, in the event that one of my guests does something illegal on the internet connection I have provided. I don't want the authorities coming after me, the bill payer for the connection, in the event of any wrong-doing.

    I have found that there are firms that provide this service, but they are way more expensive than I am prepared to pay, and they require me to replace my hardware.

    I am looking into the possibility of using a cheap laptop in the network, running something that is recording the necessary details. Can anyone help?


  2. #2
    Gold Lounger wavy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    You might also look into whether it is legal under the terms of your isp contract to offer 'free' service.

    You could likely setup Wireshark to filter out all the stuff you don't want but that might be Kosher.

    Last edited by wavy; 2015-09-10 at 11:28.

    Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.

  3. #3
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
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    There is a service called American Family Online ( which provides filtering of objectionable material (e.g. porn). One type of filter that they offer is a router filter -- you put two proxy IP addresses into your router, and then all traffic going through your router gets filtered through the AFO filters.

    A side benefit that they offer is that you can log on and see when people have logged on, and where they have been.

    Since each computer will have a unique name, you would have a complete record of who went where, and when they went there.

    Some things are blocked, however, that you might want to allow, such as Youtube, so you might not want to use this method. But it would be a very easy (and cheap) way of keeping a log of all internet activity.

    (The reason they block Youtube is that they have no way to determine if videos are pornographic or not, so they simply block the entire site.)

  4. #4
    5 Star Lounger RussB's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
    Grand Rapids, Michigan
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    You may be able to get that report form OpenDNS, its not expensive.
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  5. #5
    WS Lounge VIP
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Thanked 1,116 Times in 1,039 Posts
    To do this you need to capture all data with a proxy server to make users log on.
    Get an old PC, with a wifi network card as well as ethernet and load one of the free router programs, then connect the ethernet to your existing router and disable / lock wifi - you need to disable the DHCP server for normal users. You may also be able to do it with your router if it supports DD-WRT.

    cheers, Paul

  6. #6
    Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Carlisle UK
    Thanked 9 Times in 7 Posts
    I assume you're in the UK from your user name, If you do this you might want to cover yourself by stating that you are keeping this information under your T&C or better still printed on the connection details you give to your customers, otherwise you may find you have a problem with the Data Protection Act.

    That will put them off doing anything naughty in the first place probably
    Last edited by Slorm; 2015-09-17 at 06:38. Reason: added text

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