Many years ago I thought that Alex Trebek was the smartest man in the world. After all, he knew the answers to everything! Well, it turns out the answers are fed to him. I know, right? Who knew? Now I wonder who told him to shave his mustache. My point is, it only seemed like Alex Trebek knew everything. Likewise, it is only natural that each month, I tend to choose wireless networking questions for which I think there's a good chance I know what to say.
But, I also receive questions that are real stumpers. Some are stumpers because they ask for the impossible, like "can you tell me the password to my neighbor's Wi-Fi network?" No, I can't, even if I knew it (which I don't). Others are more like head-scratchers. I may have an inkling what the problem might be, but can't really be sure. Enter the wisdom of the crowd. So this month, we take a look at a few questions that I kinda maybe perhaps have a thought or two about, but could really use your input on. Of course, you're always welcome to share your two cents about anything you read here, but this month especially, we invite your ideas!
A: Let's first unpack this scenarioyou want to setup a single piece of hardware that will give nearby users wireless Internet access. But, you want to force them to see a splash page upon connecting (such as ads from sponsors), and you want to define limits on their upload and download speeds, presumably so that no single user can hog all the available bandwidth to the Internet.
As you have discovered, NoDogSplash meets all of your needs, but with one catchit runs on OpenWRT, which is a less user-friendly router firmware than, say, DD-WRT (or Tomato). The OpenWRT learning curve is considerable compared to these others, and although it is quite powerful, it may not be the most inviting choice for a turnkey solution.
Unfortunately, it does not seem like anyone has posted a successful report of installing NoDogSplash on DD-WRT or Tomato. However, there are two alternative approaches to consider:
Like Jason says, most captive portal solutions require interacting with an external server, most typically a RADIUS server. But for a simple, quick-n-dirty hotspot with bandwidth control, but without user management, what other solutions come to mind? Click on my byline above to send us your feedback, or use the Comments tool below.
A: You have to admire Microsoft for keeping its "Unhelpful Error Message Department" busy, continually inventing new and ever more cryptic ways to tell you that what you want to do doesn't work. The clue here is "certificate" because, chances are, your wireless network does not use a certificate. And the problem is likely with the client PCin this case, your Sony Vaio, which may be misconfigured to look for a different kind of network than the one that you have.
It isn't clear whether you are connecting to the wireless network using Windows' built-in wireless management or the Intel PROset wireless connection utility pre-installed on the Vaio. If you are using the Windows connection utility, I would first try to switch to the PROset utility instead.
Failing that, two things to consider:
Has anyone else seen this cryptic "certificate" error and, if so, found another solution to (or explanation for) the problem? If so, use the Comments tool.