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Hot Box

It's a snap to set up a hot spot with these package solutions.
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This story appears in the March 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »
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Many businesses now offer Wi-Fi hot spots as a convenience and lure for customers. Restaurants, cafes and coffee shops are at the forefront, with most providing free or cheap wireless access. But entrepreneurs have had to sort through a heap of hardware, then deal with installation. Now, many package solutions are available to ease the pain.

One is the SMC EliteConnect 2.4GHz 802.11g wireless Hotspot Gateway Kit. The combined access point and bridge comes with security features like a firewall, and a mini POS ticket printer makes charging for access easier. The kit costs just under $900 (all prices street).

At about $500 is the D-Link DSA-3100 gateway kit. It makes it easy to keep your business network secure while allowing customers to log on for net access. The drawback is that it doesn't include an access point. But SMC and D-Link aren't the only players in the market. As ease of installation and use improve, you should be able to install your own hot spot with minimal headaches.

Edition: May 2017

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