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What I'd like to do, for an event, is use a Mac Mini to share a Internet connection via WiFi. However, I'd like to put up a splash page to the joining device's browser. It would display the free WiFi is sponsored by blah, terms and conditions are blah, etc.

How would I force that redirect on joining? I know plenty of companies do it but I can't find a solution that either isn't a Hotel level enterprise product or a hack to a existing router. Any ideas?

  • I think you pretty much answered your own question - there has to be something at the router level that jumps in when it sees a new MAC (not to be confused with Mac) address and shows the T&C page before allowing access to proceed. I don't think there's probably any software that you wouldn't consider a "hack" by your description. – tubedogg Sep 5 '13 at 3:31
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    I've seen something similar done on a Raspberry Pi, so it can be done on a computer and not solely relying on a router with the capability. What you're looking for is called a Captive Portal, or Network Access Control. There are enterprise applications for OSX as you have discovered, but I found this link which may help. macinstruct.com/node/188 It was written back in 2007, so there's probably a lot which is isn't relevant anymore. – AlanJC Sep 5 '13 at 8:15
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You could do it with LinSpot. They take a 15% cut of for-pay access. You can install their software on your Mac. http://www.linspot.com/

As for doing it yourself, it's a bit trickier. You'd have to run your own DNS server, so when a user connects to your network, the first request would be redirected to your splash page. Then all subsequent DNS requests would pass through your server to a real DNS server. That type of policy may be possible with OSX Server or iDNS server, but I'm not 100% sure on how it's done. You will need server administration software, and you will need capture the DNS to create your own Captive Portal (as it's called).

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