Dual SSID Wireless Access Points?

by Brian McConnell

I was talking with a colleague about metro wi-fi initiatives, and whether a better solution is to make it a no-brainer for residents and businesses to setup public wi-fi hotspots without opening themselves up to all sorts of freeloading and abuse.

One way to do this would be to design a dual SSID wireless access point. This device would have two wi-fi transceivers, one set up for public access with limited access rights, and one set up for private use with decent security settings by default. The public WAP would only allow access to the router on the local area network, and would throttle the connection to prevent freeloaders from hogging the entire connection.

It seems to me that this would be a good way to seed metropolitan areas with wi-fi hotspots while avoiding the problems associated with leaving an access point wide open. Does anybody know if this is an option in off-the-shelf wireless access points?

3 Comments

Mark
2006-03-07 05:40:27
Don't Cisco wap's allow this?
Mike
2006-03-07 15:38:30
Juniper's NetScreen 5GT Wireless routers support up to 4 SSIDs (depending on what license you have on the unit). By default, it allows up to two SSIDs in what they call a "Home/Work" configuration. They are great units, but a bit pricey for most.
kate
2006-03-09 01:36:30
Many of Cisco's AP's can provide multiple SSID's & VLAN's that would allow you to provide different classes of service on a single AP. I am not aware of any consumer grade products that can do this.