If you have wifi which provides internet to multiple users(suppose a wifi network in college or town which have a wifi range of 1km) then controlling the network speed and internet access authentication are the main things to manage.
I’m basically part of an ISP company which provide internet in a town and providing internet over 2,000 users. So all detail I’m sharing related to practical work.
Assume you have 50 MB of the Internet and broadcast by your outdoor Wi-Fi device. The first problem is WIFI speed allocation. How much speed will be received by a particular user?
Assume there are 20 users who are connected with your device, if someone uses to download a big movie file then other 19 users will disturb and receive very low speed. The second problem is security, for example, your Wi-Fi device has WPA2 security. In this scenario, your Wi-Fi has a password. The access of the password to an authorized person is really a big problem because keep secret the password is almost impossible if you have a broad network.
To manage all these problems a device is used called Mikrotik Server. All ISP company uses this type of servers from different companies but Mikrotik is one the best server.
Mikrotik server can control and manage from hundreds to thousands of users simultaneously. It doesn’t matter which type of network you are broadcasting. MikroTik works simultaneously for both WiFi and LAN connection.
The price depends on the number of users per device. For example, RB750 GR2 can handle a maximum of 50 users with a price of $35. The same model with little upgrade RB750 GR3 can handle a maximum of 100 users with a price of $50. If you have 200+ user then RB450 is a good choice and upgrade version is also available. If you want to handle thousands of users then RB1100AH X2 or X4 is outclass server which can handle 1600+ of users simultaneously. It has a price of $350. There are also many other servers available which can be used to manage the internet. It depends on your requirement which one is better for you.
How Mikrotik server work?
The working of Mikrotik server is very simple and one-time configure setting are required. When you buy a new server you need to connect it with two types of connection. First is your internet connection, you can input multiple internet connection and server can load balance all connection. The second is the output connection. You need a switch to make multiple connections from a single wire.
The configuration required technical knowledge and most people hire a technician to do that job. But if you have a small setup of wifi network then watch some youtube tutorials to configure.
For simple, you need to connect your computer with server and change the default IPs. After that, you need to download a server software file from Mikrotik website and install it.
Once your configuration completes a non-technical person can handle server and add new users, users ID or profile. Every internet distribution system requires two main things to control the internet. First is speed allocation, how much speed a particular user will receive and the second thing is security management which makes sure only authorized person should have internet access. All these features can handle by servers. You can also make a filter for blocking website.
There is a number of methods used for controlling the network but here we will discuss three main methods which are used by college and offices.
MAC address system
Mobile and laptop both have Mac addresses. You need to copy the MAC address of mobile and laptops and copy in your server. You can set a limit of internet speed or Mikrotik also have an option of limit download. Universities and colleges use these options. They provide full speed to all users but when someone tries to download a big file then the server does not allow them. User can download pictures and documents but movies or big software will take an entire day to download. The main benefit of this protocol is that a 50Mbps connection speed will be enough for 150 to 300 uses.
Hotspot ID in MikroTik server used to provide internet without any MAC address requirement. In server, you make an ID of hotspot with fixed or unlimited speed. Every ID has a username and password. When you connect with the network, the browser of your device will automatically open a webpage which has two options for username and password. As you enter the username and password, the internet starts to work on your device. It doesn’t matter which device you are using. You just need to a hotspot ID. MAC address protocol has some limitation and hotspot can fulfill most of the requirements.
PPPoE protocol is one the most used system and most of ISP company use this protocol. In this protocol, you make a user profile with two things, first username, and second password. Server set the limit of internet. For more details about PPPoE server setting and details check this article
ISP company mostly provide the internet with LAN. For example, a company with a name BrainNET provide internet in your town. When you apply for internet connection, the company will make your profile which has username and password. The company will give you a router device in which the company employ enter your PPPoE username and password. But they never told you password and username. There are many reasons for this. First and most common is that you or someone else can use it on multiple places if you have the same company connection. So, if you want to provide internet through LAN then you can use a router or can use directly in your PC. Windows Operating system has PPPoE configuration in network settings. You just need to open New connection option and select PPPoE connection then enter your username and password and save it. But I recommend you to use a router because a router has wifi features and can provide internet on your mobile and PC same time. Most of the router have PPPoE configure settings.
If you want to use PPPoE system for your outdoor wifi, (where you want to provide internet in 1km range through WiFi) then your user needs a wifi router device (like Tenda, Netis, Toto link) which can receive your wifi signal and work same as your LAN connection router. The reason for the router is that the mobile phone doesn’t support PPPoE connection but your laptop can. So, the Netis or Toto link router can receive signal and you need to save PPPoE username and password only one time. Once you enter username and password, the router starts to work same as your ISP router works. You can connect the Mobile phone, laptop, PC and every other device.
Which option is better?
It depends on your requirement, MAC address is better in most of the cases you can set speed limit and particular mobile on or you can choose to limit the download. University and offices user MAC address for Wi-Fi connection
Every user can access the internet on multiple devices with a single ID but not at the same time. The only problem is input ID every time you connect with the internet. Not too much used but some offices use it.
This setting is better in the case when you want to provide internet on commercial purposes. If you want to provide internet in a town then this option is absolutely perfect. Every user needs to buy a router.
Most of the ISP company use PPPoE profile system and provide internet on a large scale.