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setting up a internet cafe

Discussion in 'Networks & Internet Connectivity' started by B&W, 28 May 2006.

  1. B&W

    Soldato

    Joined: 3 Oct 2003

    Posts: 7,476

    Location: Birmingham

    hi, i have a relative who is going to setup a cafe he has the building and the computers. 8 computers it will have to begin with.

    ive recommended that he choose a isp with the highest upload possible.

    the people who will be using it will be at best individuals who have a basic knowledge of operating computers. so the equipment cant be professional (cisco routers, etc).

    im thinking that he can use a commerical router(netgear, linksys,etc) and a switch setup.

    however tbh i am unsure of how he will do all the wiring (this is what he mainly needs help on).

    i mean will he use Twisted Pair Cable under the floorboards and terminate it with a rj45 wall port at 1 end. with a patch panel at the other end?

    then wires from the patch panel to switch. and switch to router?

    also would 1mb upload be enuff for 8 pcs. i mean at the moment hes limited to using commerical isps and equipment. and 1mb is around the max most isps do.

    the other problem is software.

    he will need software that allows him to monitor how much time a user is using on each pc. ie say they pay for 1 hour, the net must stop working for him after 1 hour and the internat cache/history must clear so the next user can start fresh.

    he'll need upload/download limiters also, but it will have to be a server-client proggy. ie he will have 1 main machine (server) controlling their access.
     
  2. Phil99

    Capodecina

    Joined: 29 Oct 2004

    Posts: 10,883

    Depends what services are available in his area.

    A normal 256k upload will probably be fine as long as you limit the download speeds, ie. set up some traffic shaping or something so download rates are high for a couple of seconds then throttle back. That would be fine for browsing and email etc, keeping it nice and fast but will stop people setting a couple of downloads going and slowing it down for everyone (we managed to bring the speed of the Internet across my old school to sub-56k speeds by starting 2 Linux ISO downloads a couple of years ago)

    A business MaxDSL package would be good as you could get up to 8meg down and 0.8k up, but it's not the most stable connection ever due to its nature and it depends on where it's going to be situated.

    For 8 PCs a standard 2meg down/256k up connection should be absolutely fine though, not sure where they would stand on the terms and conditions of most packages though as I don't know if they allow you to resell the connection and things like that.

    Basically as long as he isn't planning on hosting a website on the connection and things like that the upload speed shouldn't matter at all, I'd be more concerned about blocking dodgy sites and stopping people maxing out the download.
     
  3. B&W

    Soldato

    Joined: 3 Oct 2003

    Posts: 7,476

    Location: Birmingham

    hi phil thanks for the advice.

    how would i go about setting up traffic shaping? i guess it works at software level?

    also, stopping people from using p2p (bit torrent) and accessing dodgy sites would be very useful.

    surely there must be some proggie out there that does something like this?
     
  4. garyh

    Hitman

    Joined: 16 Mar 2005

    Posts: 845

    Yes, having a linux gateway along with configured iptables would do all this for you along with keeping costs low.
     
  5. B&W

    Soldato

    Joined: 3 Oct 2003

    Posts: 7,476

    Location: Birmingham

    ahh and therein lies the problem. the people who will be managing this will be standard windows users they have no experience of linux.

    thx for the suggestion tho
     
  6. Phil99

    Capodecina

    Joined: 29 Oct 2004

    Posts: 10,883

    Looks like the best solution would be to get someone qualified to set it up with a simple user interface, e.g. type the site name to be blocked in and add it to the list, ability to unblock sites, things like that could probably be done through a simple web based interface.

    There are probably all-in-one packages specifically for Internet cafes but I've never heard/used of any so don't know for certain.
     
    Last edited: 29 May 2006
  7. garyh

    Hitman

    Joined: 16 Mar 2005

    Posts: 845

    Yes but you have to look at it this way; you implement decent security at the start of trading then there are less options for the systems to die.

    If you fail to implement decent rules from the outset they will have a situation of constant cat and mouse trying to recalibrate the systems to their defaults each time they fail – costing both time and money.

    Why not offer to install them a cheap preconfigured gateway model such as m0n0wall, IPCOP etc and lock down all ports except those needed to operate the network.

    You could also implement QoS with something like this through a nice and friendly GUI interface.

    Take a look at

    http://www.ipcop.org and http://www.m0n0.ch

    I know which option I’d choose - and even make a little money in the process ;)
     
  8. B&W

    Soldato

    Joined: 3 Oct 2003

    Posts: 7,476

    Location: Birmingham

    certainly looks like the right thing for them gary, but tbh i aint got the time to do something like that for em.

    gonna need to find some software that does something similar but is simple to use & quick to configure. something windows based would be nice.



    what router should i look at. switch/patch panel isnt a problem. but the router must be good and reliable.

    also is this the right type of cabling to use between the rj45 sockets and patch panel: Cat 5e Twisted Pair Cable
     
  9. Beansprout

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 31 Jan 2004

    Posts: 16,326

    Location: Plymouth

    Sounds like you should advise them to hire professionals :yes yes: :)
     
  10. hybrid

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 18 Nov 2003

    Posts: 1,311

    Location: Newcastle

    Well, i'd stick in a switch... maybe a 24 port switch. You can pick these up quite cheap and this will then allow for future expansion.

    Proxy/filtering wise I'd go with Censornet. It provides a VERY easy to use and maintain solution. Its brilliant!! Oh and best of all, its free!! For 8 machines you could run it on an 800Mhz Duron chip if you wanted to. It runs on its on Linux distro too.

    Restrictions wise, i'd lock down each workstation so they cant install/run anything they aint meant to.

    I think its a brilliant project this, i'd love to do something on these lines.

    Also, as previously said, depending where the cafe will be located might hinder getting 8mbit.

    Business package broadband will also be very much so suited for this type of thing. Better contention rates than residential packages.

    Hope this helps.
     
  11. fluiduk

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 13 Nov 2003

    Posts: 1,567

    Location: Manchester

    Something like a draytek would be a good router/modem.

    Pretty cheap and easy to use when compared with Cisco, I put drayteks in at all my clients. Something like a vigor 2600 should do the trick. That ways you can VPN in should the need arise

    Aaron
     
  12. B&W

    Soldato

    Joined: 3 Oct 2003

    Posts: 7,476

    Location: Birmingham

    hi hybrid, had a look at the censornet site. am liking it from what i can see so far, certainly seems quite easy to configure.

    will have to get a router that supports rj 11 and can be used as a bridge also, so it can connect to the censornet box.
     
  13. B&W

    Soldato

    Joined: 3 Oct 2003

    Posts: 7,476

    Location: Birmingham

    hi will have a look into draytek. just need something that can be used in bridge mode so it can pass the routing to the censornet box.
     
  14. oddjob62

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 8 Nov 2002

    Posts: 9,128

    Location: NW London

    Any router with inbuilt modem will have an RJ11 port to connect the phoneline
     
  15. hybrid

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 18 Nov 2003

    Posts: 1,311

    Location: Newcastle

    Well, you could build a box with 2 NIC's.

    One connecting to your router using a crossover cable. The other NIC will be used to connect directly into the switch.

    Basically on each workstation you will have to set the gateway as being the censornet box. The CN box will have the gateway of the router/modem.

    Its very easy to setup too. Censornet can also act as the DCHP server too. :)

    Oh and a couple of other features include traffic/bandwidth shaping/throttling. If your clever enough you can also customise the IP chains to stop certain applications from getting past the box.

    A rather clever piece of software. :)
     
  16. B&W

    Soldato

    Joined: 3 Oct 2003

    Posts: 7,476

    Location: Birmingham

    yup. does sound quite simple

    thx for the link m8.
     
  17. hybrid

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 18 Nov 2003

    Posts: 1,311

    Location: Newcastle

    No probs mate.

    PS, CN doesnt have to run as a router, it can run as a bridge/sideways proxy. This then doesnt have to have 2 NICs.

    The support is pretty good too. :)
     
  18. tsj

    PermaBanned

    Joined: 7 May 2004

    Posts: 1,051

    Location: United Kingdom

    location is a important factor for him.. make sure he thinks alot about location.. would be stupid to put a internet cafe in wolverhampton for example.. but birmingham may be ok... london would be best i reckon...

    as for connection id reccomend a high speed dsl one but get a low cable connection as a backup... run them simultaneiously if anything goes wrong atleast u have a backup and u can balance the load onto both connections so if one guy was sending a bunch of pics to a friend it wouldnt slow everyone elses browsing down.. etc

    alot of time is needed to think what is the best options
     
  19. iam

    PermaBanned

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 3,472

    Location: Wirral, Cheshire

    Basically exactly what he said. :)

    Worked with Censornet a lot and it's a breeze to get it up and working. I've worked with the people that develop it and they're all amazingly helpful - if you get stuck I advise getting in touch with them directly, they'll be more than happy to help you out. (Just be sure to check that the solution isn't on the forum first!) ;)
     
  20. skiba

    Mobster

    Joined: 27 Aug 2004

    Posts: 2,955

    Location: Singapore ExPat

    I used to run 2 netcafes in a tourist resort overseas. We used NetStop as our kiosk software but CyberCafePro was the main competitor and was much cheaper from what I recall, both will do everything you have mentioned above, manage content, stop installations etc.etc.

    Things to consider off the top of my head:
    Is he going to be providing wireless also?
    Why not run the clients off of a wireless connection?
    What refreshments will he provide (can make alot of money here)
    Will he provide a games machine/graphics manipulation machine?
    How will he manage printing?

    just got in from work so brains not working but if you want to know anything let me know.