MikroTik Hotspot Configuration Using Winbox
Hotspot is one of the most popular services in MikroTik router. MikroTik Hotspot Gateway is a policy to authorize network clients before to access local network resources as well as public network resources through MikroTik router. MikroTik Hotspot is also known as MikroTik captive portal because no user can access to your network without authentication. In a Hotspot network, the user can login or authenticate using almost any web browser, so there is no need to install any additional software to client end. As Hotspot login prompt is a webpage, Hotspot service can effectively be used as an advertising medium of your company as well as your partner company. So, MikroTik Hotspot service can popularly be used in a place where people stayed for a few time such as Hotel and Restaurant, Railway Station or Airport, School or University Campus and so on. Even any ISP network or any official network may also be run with MikroTik Hotspot for authenticating network clients/users. MikroTik Hotspot has a lot of features which helps to customize your network as your demand. Among these, a few frequently used features of MikroTik Hotspot are mentioned below.
MikroTik Hotspot Gateway features
- Hotspot user management with local database or remote RADIUS server.
- Multiple user authentication methods both in local database and remote RADIUS server.
- Walled Garden system which helps to access some webpages without authentication.
- Trial user login without authentication with some conditions.
- Profile base advertising facility.
- Advertising partner company as well as own company within fixed time interval.
- Highly customizable login page where you can put company advertisement as well as partner advertisement.
- IP binding on a MAC address to provide fixed IP address to any device.
- Bypass known devices without authentication
- Able to store authorization credentials to cookie to avoid frequent login prompt.
These are some important features of MikroTik Hotspot Gateway service. You may find more features about MikroTik Hotspot on MikroTik Hotspot Introduction Wiki Page. If you have enough time, then visit this wiki page and learn more about MikroTik Hotspot. In this article, I will show how to configure and customize Hotspot server in MikroTik router so that you can run Hotspot service in your network smoothly. So, keep reading the rest of this article if you wish to run Hotspot service in your network.
Hotspot Configuration in MikroTik Router
MikroTik Hotspot configuration is not so difficult task. If you follow some easy steps, Hotspot will be configured perfectly. Complete Hotspot configuration can be divided into below 4 steps.
- MikroTik router basic configuration
- MikroTik Hotspot server configuration
- Hotspot user profile configuration
- Hotspot user creation
Now I will show you these steps one by one. If you follow these steps, you will be able to run a Hotspot service in your network perfectly.
Step 1: MikroTik Router Basic Configuration
Before going to setup Hotspot server in MikroTik router, first we need to complete basic MikroTik router configuration. MikroTik basic configuration includes assigning WAN, LAN, Gateway and DNS IP address and NAT configuration. Complete MikroTik router basic configuration was explained in another article. If you wish to learn basic router configuration, spend some time to study about MikroTik Router Basic Configuration Using Winbox. In this step, we do not configure NAT because it will automatically be configured while configuring Hotspot server. So, we will assign WAN, LAN, Gateway and DNS IP address in this step. For my configuration, I am using below IP information. This information must be changed according to your ISP and network information.
- WAN IP: 192.168.30.2/30
- LAN Gateway IP: 172.22.22.1/24
- Gateway: 192.168.30.1
- DNS IP: 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52 (Public DNS)
Now collect WAN IP and Gateway address as well as DNS IP from your ISP and choose your LAN Gateway IP whatever you like or you can use that I am using here and then follow my below steps to assign in your MikroTik router.
- Open Winbox and login with your login credentials. If you try at first time, put username admin and password left blank.
- Go to IP > Addresses menu from Winbox. Address List window will appear. Click on add new button (PLUS SIGN). New Address window will appear. Now put WAN IP in Address input box and choose your MikroTik WAN interface from Interface drop-down menu and then click Apply and OK
- Click on PLUS SIGN again and put your LAN Gateway IP in Address input box and choose your LAN interface from Interface drop-down menu and then click Apply and OK
- Now go to IP > Routes Route List window will appear. Click on PLUS SIGN button to add gateway address. In New Route window, put your gateway address in Gateway input box and then click Apply and OK button.
- Now go to IP > DNS menu. DNS Settings window will appear. Put DNS server IP in Servers input box and if you wish to add secondary DNS IP, click on add new value button located after Servers input box and put secondary DNS server IP in new arrival input box. Now click on Allow Remote Requests check box so that your MikroTik router acts as a DNS server for your Hotspot user. This option is necessary because your MikroTik router will be primary DNS server for your Hotspot user.
Basic MikroTik router configuration has been completed. Now we will start our second step named Hotspot server configuration.
Step 2: MikroTik Hotspot Server Configuration
After completing MikroTik router basic configuration, we are now going to setup Hotspot server in our MikroTik router. Follow my below steps to setup Hotspot server.
- Go to IP > Hotspot menu from your Winbox software. Hotspot window will appear.
- From Hotspot window, click on Hotspot Setup A small window named Hotspot Setup will appear now.
- Choose your LAN interface from Hotspot Interface drop-down menu because we have to install Hotspot server in LAN interface. If you have bridge interface created before and want to setup Hotspot server on bridge interface, choose your bridge interface from drop-down menu. Now click Next
- Your LAN gateway IP will automatically be selected as Hotspot address or local address of your network. So, nothing to do here just click Next
- Now option to choose address pool for your Hotspot server from where IP address will be assigned to clients. Normally, it will show your network IP range without gateway IP. You can change default range as your wish or can keep the default range. Click Next button now.
- If you have SSL certificate, you can import by choosing import other certificate option or select none if you do not have any SSL certificate. Now click Next
- If you have SMTP server, you can put your SMTP server address in IP Address of SMTP Server input box or you can keep blank if you do not to use SMTP server. Click Next
- Now it is option to setup DNS configuration. DNS servers that you have provided in basic configuration will automatically be selected here. So, nothing to do just click Next button now.
- Now it is time to put DNS name and this is a mandatory field. DNS name will be used to get Hotspot login page. So, put a standard DNS name such as systemzone.mk or systemzone.mk etc. and click Next button.
- Now put a local Hotspot user. By default it is admin. You can keep this user or change as your wish. Also put password in Password for the User input box. Click Next button.
- Hotspot server setup has been completed and you will get a successful message now.
MikroTik Hotspot server configuration has been completed. In the next step, we are going to create Hotspot user profile so that we can make user group and apply different facility to different user.
Step 3: Hotspot User Profile Configuration
After completing Hotspot server configuration, we need to create and configure user profile. By creating different user profiles, you can make different user groups and can provide different facilities to the users such you can assign fixed IP range’s IP to any profile users, you can fixed bandwidth to these users and you can also run different advertisement to different profile users. So, follow my below steps to create user profiles for your Hotspot user.
- Go to IP > Hotspot Hotspot window will appear. Click on User Profiles tab. A default profile is present there but we do nothing to this default profile rather we will create a new one. Click on PLUS SIGN to create a new user profile. New Hotspot User Profile window will appear.
- In New Hotspot User Profile window, put a meaningful profile name in Name input box and choose IP pool, from where IP address will be assigned to the users, from Address Pool drop-down menu.
- You can also assign bandwidth to the users of this profile. To assign bandwidth, put your targeted upload and download speed as bits per second in Rate Limit input box. For example, if you want to assign 1Mbps speed, write as 100000/100000.
- Now click Apply and OK
You have successfully created a Hotspot user profile. You can create as many user profiles as you need according to the above steps and provide different facilities to different users.
Step 4: Hotspot User Creation
After creating user profiles, you need to create users and assign them to any profile so that they can get facility as their demand. Follow my below steps to create Hotspot user.
- Click on Users tab and you will see a user is present there which you have created while installing Hotspot server. Now we will create a new user. So, click on PLUS SIGN. New Hotspot User window will appear.
- In New Hotspot User window, select Hotspot server from Server drop-down menu.
- Put user name in Name input box and password in Password input field.
- Now choose user profile from Profile drop-down menu.
- It is possible to assign fixed IP address to any user. If you want to assign fixed IP address, put it in Address input field. You can also put client’s MAC address here. If you put client MAC address in MAC Address input field, the user cannot login without this device.
- Now click Apply and OK
A Hotspot user has been created successfully. You can create as many users as you want according to the above steps and assign them to different profile to provide different facility.
All the necessary steps to run a Hotspot service and to authenticate any user in your network have been completed. Now it is time to test our Hotspot server. For this, connect any IP device to your network. After connecting, a dynamic IP will be assigned to your device from DHCP server that was created while installing Hotspot server. Usually, Hotspot uses DHCP server to assign IP address and other related information that are necessary to get login page. Now open any web browser and try to visit any web page. You can see the login page of your Hotspot server. If you do not get login page for any cause, type your DNS name that was provided while installing Hotspot server. Now you can see your Hotspot login page. Put username and password and then click OK button. You are now able to visit any webpage if you provide correct username and password.
All the necessary steps to configure Hotspot in MikroTik router has been explained above. However, if you face any confusion, watch my below video tutorial about MikroTik Hotspot Configuration Using Winbox carefully. I hope it will remove your confusion.
MikroTik Hotspot basic configuration has been explained in this article. I hope you are now able to configure a Hotspot service with MikroTik router in your network. However, if you face any problem to configure Hotspot server with MikroTik router in your network, feel free to discuss in comment or contact with form Contact page. I will try my best to stay with you.