HOTSPLOTS installation

Welcome to the HOTSPLOTS FAQ. Here you can find interesting and helpful information about the installation of your Wi-Fi hotspot.

FAQ hotspot installation

  1. How do I register a new hotspot?

    If you don't have a HOTSPLOTS account yet, you'll have to register with us first. Under "My hotspots" in the registered users section you will find the following form which lets you register a new hotspot under your account:

    Here's an explanation of the different fields:

    1. Name of the Hotspot: The name identifies the hotspot in our database and should be as clear as possible. This name must not contain special characters or spaces.
    2. Passphrase: It identifies your hotspot for our billing system. The key that you enter here also has to be left at the hotspot's firmware. Try choosing a random sequence of characters.
      This key is a password that you can choose yourself.
    3. Public name: This name will be seen on the registration page by everybody who accesses the internet via your hotspot. On our map this name is also used (except for hotspots with rate "V.I.P. / Nur Tickets").
    4. Rate: Here you choose the (online) rate for your hotspot. This defines the conditions for users who registered online at the HOTSPLOTS website. This is completely independent of the optional offering of location tickets and an also optional FreeRate contract.
      The choice of "Direct login" or "Biz kostenlos" implies the conclusion of a HOTSPLOTS FreeRate contract. If you choose"Biz kostenlos" or "Direct login" for the first time, you are directed to the online forms to close the FreeRate contract. It starts immediately. Since you can change the online tariff any time we suggest to leave the standard rate at first and close the FreeRate contract after the installation of the hotspot router.
      "V.I.P. / nur Tickets" means, that the hotspot usage is prohibited for all registered users except of the hotspot owner and the Free users (see point B below).
    5. FlexiFlat-Option: If the "FlexiFlat-Option" is selected, the given amount is the maximum a user will pay per month for the use of all hotspots that have activated this option. If "Fun 1,50Cent/MB" was chosen, the FlexiFlat is automatically set active.
    6. LocationFlat:The LocationFlat ist an alternative to the FlexiFlat. In contrast to the FlexiFlat the hotspot operator can choose the amount for the LocationFlat limit but users do not benefit from a roaming feature as it is provided by sites with FlexiFlat.
    7. Default language: Select your default language. At the moment (July 2010) you have the choice between German, English, French, Polish, Dutch and Greek. This setting is used as default for the login page of this hotspot.
    8. Address, ZIP and City: Put in your hotspot's location here. The default setting will be the address you registered with. This information helps other users to find your Wi-Fi hotspot in our database. The area code will be used in a first step to geographically locate your hotspot and show it on our map. You can correctly adjust the location on the map afterwards.
    9. Publish: We can automatically enter your hotspot into other Wi-Fi hotspot directories. If you select this option we will publish your WLAN hotspot in all major hotspot directories on the internet. That way it can be more easily located by users.
    10. Description: Here you can enter a description of your hotspot that users will see in our database.
    11. Website: For each of your hotspots you can enter a URL that's displayed on our map. This way you can publish your hotel's homepage, for example.
    12. Publish E-Mail: If you publish your email address, it will be shown as contact information for your hotspot. This can be helpful if surfers have questions about your offer. That happens for example if regular users suddenly miss the Wi-Fi signal because you turn the antenna or unplugged the router accidentally.

    Then click on the green button to register new hotspot. You can delete or change its details at any time by clicking on its name in your hotspot list:


    1. In addition to the fields explained above you can register "free users" for your hotspot. For you the hotspot is free, of course. In the example above, the HOTSPLOTS users "JohnDoe", "linus" and "maxi" can use your hotspot for free. Naturally you don't earn any money off these users.
    2. As Admin contact several email address can be entered, seperated by spaces. To those addresses our monitoring system sends notification emails, e.g. if the hotspot is offline and Downtime notification is acivated.
    3. You can also adjust the login page of your hotspot, for example to show a picture of your hotel or a personalised welcome message.



  2. Features of the hotspot router firmware

    1. Gateway with captive portal. On LAN ports the captive portal is optional.
    2. Comfortable graphical user interface.
    3. Three options for WAN connection: pppoe, static, dynamic/DHCP
    4. Three ways of operation:

      1. hotspot router with captive portal (the chilli process)
      2. access point with wired connection to a hotspot router (LAN port to LAN port)
      3. WDS repeater with wireless connection to a hotspot router or access point

    5. Packet secure port forwarding. I.e. the WLAN clients do not see each other. (This security feature can be deactivated if unwanted.)
    6. Configuration of WiFi parameters: Transmitter power, operating mode of antennas, SSID.
    7. Walled garden: List of domains that can be accessed without authentication.
    8. Wireless encryption with openVPN. Administration of certificates is done by hotsplots' servers, hence one click configuration!
    9. Traffic shaping
    10. Three protocols for administration: web, ssh and telnet
    11. Three ways to access administration (all configurable): WAN (typically internet), LAN and WLAN (wireless)
    12. Installing updates directly from hotsplots' server.
    13. Verification of authentication data for hotsplots servers.
  3. Which ports must be allowed at a firewall to the internet?

    <p>All connections are initiated by the hotspot router. For stateful firewall it is therefore not necessary to open or forward any ports.</p>
    <p>For manually configured firewalls it might be necessary to allow certain ports. The following ports are relevant for hotspot-routers:</p>
    <li> DNS: UDP port 53</li>
    <li> Web: TCP ports 80, 443</li>
    <li> NTP: UDP port 123 </li>
    <li> VPN-Routing: UDP ports 1193, 1194, 1195</li>
    <li>Radius: UDP ports 1812, 1813 </li>
    <li> Load-Balancing: TCP ports 5001-5008 (for appliance only) </li>

  4. Can I inhibit filesharing?

    At the moment there is no method known to inhibit filesharing effectively. The often

    mentioned blocking of certain ports that are often used by filesharing clients can easily be eluded by using ports that are supposed to be use by other programs. E. g. common ports are the ports for normal surfing, 80 and 443.

    Who uses filesharing intensively will probably get his own DSL connection. Until then: Enjoy the turnover.

    Nevertheless you can use the traffic shaping of our firmware. The traffic is classified into three groups:

    1. High priority (DNS, SSH, VoIP)
    2. normal (telnet, Web and email)
    3. bilk traffic (edonkey, bittorent, etc.)

    The traffic shaping can be acitvated in the admin interface. Additionally the bandwidth of the own internet connection has to be set. If for example it is set to only half of the real bandwidth, the clients behind the HOTSPLOT can use only that half. In that case a congestion of the own traffic is prevented.

  5. Are there any alternatives to DSL?

    Unfortunally in many areas of germany (A)DSL is not available. Together with (TV) cable connection it is most common and most appropriate for WLAN hotspots. Nevertheless our billing system works completely independent of the type of internet connection.

    As alternatives one can use for example:

    • Satellite for download or for down- and upload
    • UMTS and LTE
    • (TV) cable

    Satellite connections

    Thanks to a new satellite satellite connections provide a service similar to DSL at resonable price rates. We have partners in this field. If you think, this might be the solution for your location, please contact us.

    UMTS and LTE


    • mobile usage


    • shared medium, i.e. no garanteed bandwidth
    • high traffic might be very expensive

    Cable connections

    • similar to DSL
    • often very high dowload bandwidth at low prices