4ipnet HSG200-P Wi-Fi Hotspot Kit review
4ipnet’s HSG200-P is a complete kit for wireless hotspot management and automated billing. It’s one of the cheapest solutions we’ve seen and better value than ZyXEL’s N4100.
The kit comprises an HSG200 hotspot gateway and its solid steel shell looks capable of handling the rigours of a wide range of business environments. Its WAN port supports PoE, and we had no problems powering the unit from our HP ProCurve 2626-PWR switch.
The ticketing kit comprises a thermal printer and SDS100 control panel. This links to the printer via RS-232 and has a network port, so it can be placed away from the gateway. You can add multiple ticketing kits, and the HSG200-P supports up to ten printer/keypad combos.
The gateway has a pair of LAN ports and provides two security zones. The private zone allows unauthorised access to any users coming on the first LAN port or via the associated wireless SSID. The second LAN port is fixed in a public zone that has a unique wireless SSID and will apply the selected authentication scheme to any user requesting access.
The public zone can have up to four authentication methods, including multiple RADIUS servers, and the control panel’s IP address is already configured in the on-demand authentication scheme. Each scheme has one of five access policies applied that include firewall rules, a schedule for permitted login periods and even a QoS profile.
Up to ten billing plans can be created using the buttons below the display. User accounts for each plan are based on a set duration, a cumulative usage period, a traffic volume quota, or a cut-off time for limiting usage to business hours or to finish at a set time.
The login portal for the public zone can be customised, and you can present customers with a disclaimer page. This is useful, as there’s no website filtering.
Customers can be presented with a walled garden, where you can offer up to 20 URLs for advertising or allow them to access some sites free of charge. You can take payments using a range of online methods, including PayPal.
When users have successfully authenticated they can be directed to a specific web page. The original login portal page remains loaded and provides a counter showing the remaining time. Users can also enter their account details and see what their balance is without having to log in.
4ipnet’s HSG200-P kit is an easily deployed solution for managing wireless hotspot services. Along with industrial-strength build quality for all components, it has good security measures, is simple to use and very good value.