Dear Lifehacker, I want to be able to access any website at my school, and proxy servers don’t work well, so my idea was having a pocket Wi-Fi. I want to make money from this in the same way as a hotel, controlling who can use it and be able to disconnect people that haven’t paid me. I would like to be able to monitor how much data people use and shut them off if they use too much. Is it possible to do this? Thanks, Hotspot Harry
School picture from Shutterstock
We admire your initiative, but we have to recommend you don’t pursue this approach for a whole host of reasons. First, the chances are you’ll end up in serious trouble with the school for doing it. It’s one thing to accept that technically adept students will work around content blocks; it’s another thing to have someone blatantly making money out of it. There’s no way you’ll be able to keep it a secret, especially since the range of Wi-Fi hotspots is relatively limited, so anyone seeking illicit access will be hanging around near you.
Secondly, 4G Wi-Fi is hugely variable in performance, and that’s going to be exacerbated with multiple people accessing the device. Most consumer Wi-Fi hotpsots limit connections to five devices, but that’s still enough to cause problems. Finally, the contract for most hotspot services will usually forbid selling the service to others. Again, this might not be detected, but when you get busted it’s not going to help matters any.
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