Using Vouchers in Datto Networking

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Scope

This guide is intended to help you set up your Datto network to generate and accept vouchers. With vouchers, you control access on a per-user basis by generating unique codes you can provide to users.

Vouchers can be set to specific time increments or bandwidth tiers, ideal for hotels, coffee shops, apartments, etc. where you want to limit access to users who you authorize to use the network for a specific period of time.

Key features include:

  • You keep control of the look and feel of your splash page.
  • You create business card-sized vouchers that can be customized with your text and logo.
  • You can offer multiple bandwidth tiers, or offer a free lower-speed service tier and one or more paid tiers at higher speeds.
  • You can combine vouchers with an open network by keeping the standard Continue button and the new voucher button access. This enables a free service level with low bandwidth (the bandwidth options you specify on the SSID#1 tab) plus additional higher speed options you can charge for.
  • You can set the number of users per voucher to support multiple devices—laptops, smart phones, etc.—under one voucher. In a hotel room or apartment, for example, you may want to allow five or so users per voucher.
  • With automatic MAC Authentication, you can allow users to roam between nodes without seeing the splash page again.

Steps to take:

  1. Edit a voucher-compatible splash page.
  2. Adjust the settings for your vouchers.
  3. Create your vouchers.
  4. Enable your splash page and test a voucher.

This guide is intended to be used with existing networks. If you haven’t set up your network yet, see the Getting Started with Datto Networking.

Quick Tip: Add PayPal

Datto Networking integrates with PayPal to provide users with automatic online payment options for network access.

What you’ll need

To set up vouchers or PayPal on your network, you’ll need the following:

  1. A Datto network running on Firmware 481 or later.
  2. A computer with a browser pointed to network.datto.com or logged in to the Partner Portal.
Quick Tip: Check your firmware version

You can see which firmware version you are running by accessing Datto Networking through the Partner Portal. Click Manage > Access Points, then click View options and select Version. Your firmware version appears in the “Version” column.

Step 1: Edit a splash page

enable_splash.jpgLog in to the Partner Portal and choose Devices > Networking Status. Select the network you wish to implement vouchers on. Select "Configure" from the left pane and choose the SSID you want to use as your guest network (typically SSID #1). Enable the Splash Page option under Captive Portal and then click Edit Splash Page to open the splash page editor.

To use the vouchers feature, you need to first select a splash page template with voucher support. This will include the input field needed to request the voucher from the user. Currently, all splash page templates have a voucher option.

At this point, you should decide if you will require vouchers for all users or if you will provide a base level of service without vouchers. This is commonly done to provide a low amount of bandwidth for checking email and light web browsing without a voucher, and offer higher amounts of bandwidth with a voucher.

  • To provide base bandwidth voucher-free: Keep the standard Free Access section and the Continue button in addition to the Passcode Access and Purchase fields.

  • To require vouchers for all access: Delete the Continue button, leaving only the Passcode and Purchase fields.

Edit the splash page as you’d like (being careful to leave the voucher input fields and buttons) and save the splash page.

Step 2: Adjust voucher settings

adjust_voucher_settings.jpg

Datto Networking allows you to change a number of settings to customize access.

Bandwidth Throttling: Enable this to throttle users with non-voucher access. Voucher-specific throttles will override this setting. 

Client Force Timeout: Minutes between showing splash page regardless of activity for non-voucher access. 1 day=1440.

Require Vouchers: This option requires a valid voucher on splash pages. If unchecked, allows you to provide a basic tier of service at the rates and durations below and (optionally) faster service using vouchers or PayPal.

Block Unuthenticated Users: This option will block all ports until your splash page has been successfully clicked-through. If unchecked, only browsing is blocked. Checking initially disables services such as email, instant messengers, VoIP, etc., but will require first opening a browser to use any Internet services.

Step 3: Create vouchers

Next, select Manage > Vouchers from the left pane in the dashboard. This opens a table showing your existing vouchers, which you can edit, renew, delete, export and reprint as needed. If you haven’t created any vouchers yet, this table should be empty.

In the top right corner above the table, you'll see three options: Create New, Edit Voucher Settings, and Actions to take on existing vouchers.

create_vouchers.jpg

Click the Create New button. This opens a page asking you to enter several options, including:


Quantity:
Number of vouchers you would like to create/print. 

Paper Size: Select the size of paper you’d like to print on.

Comment: Relevant note that will appear on the Vouchers page, such as room number, last name, etc. Will not appear on the voucher(s) when printed out.

Duration (hours): The number of hours each voucher will be valid (starting from first use).

Max Devices: The maximum number of devices (computers, smart phones, gaming consoles, etc.) that can use this one voucher. Allowed values are 0-9. Use 0 for unlimited devices.

Note that if you are using 0 for unlimited devices, individual devices connecting using this code will not report and the voucher will show as "Unused."

Download limit: Download limit in Mbits/sec, per user, for this voucher batch. Use the slider or enter a value such as .375 for 375kbps.

Upload limit: Upload limit in Mbits/sec, per user, for this voucher batch. Use the slider or enter a value such as .125 for 125kbps.

Purge after: How long before unused vouchers are deleted.

When you are happy with your voucher settings, click Create Vouchers.

Click Print vouchers button to print them, or select the "Edit Voucher Settings" icon to customize the look of the vouchers before printing. 

printed.jpg

Duration Text: Text to print to indicate how many hours voucher is valid.

Access Text: Text to print on each voucher before the voucher code.

Show Border: Check to draw a border around each voucher. Useful if you are not printing on business card stock.

Show Image: Include logo on each voucher.

Voucher image: Upload the image you would like to show. 

Save Defaults: Select to save these settings as your defaults for this network. These settings will be used by the Lobby Assistant login.

Management > Share Vouchers: When enabled, vouchers created on this network will be usable on all other networks under this account.

Lobby Assistant > Password: Create a password to limit control of Datto Networking to features required for creating and printing vouchers. Users must login with your network name and this password. 

When your settings are correct, click Save Changes.

Quick Tip: Use http://logout to return to splash page when using "Free Access"

At any time, a user authenticated using the "Free Access" option can enter "http://logout" in your browser to return to the splash page and log in with a voucher code or purchase a voucher via PayPal.

Note: A user already authenticated with a voucher code must wait for that voucher to expire before they will see the splash page again. http://logout will not redirect them to the splash page.

Note that vouchers can be created for a duration of up to 1 year, however they must be used at least once within 90 days of creation or they will be automatically deleted.

Quick tip: custom logos

If you replace the Datto logo in the top left corner of the screen with your own, you can also use your custom logo on vouchers.

Logo files should be 175 px wide by 75 px tall for the best results.

Step 4: View the Edit/View Vouchers page

Select Manage > Vouchers from the left pane to go back to your Vouchers page.


actions_menu.jpgFrom the Vouchers page, you’ll see a list of all existing vouchers. These can be edited, renewed, reprinted, exported as CSV or XML, or deleted at any time, either by selecting the gear icon next to individual vouchers, or by selecting multiple vouchers and using the gear icon in the top right corner of the table. 

When you generate a voucher, it is added to your network on Datto Networking. Vouchers are good for the specified period beginning with their first use. So a one day voucher is good for 24 hours from first use, not 24 hours of actual online activity over a longer period. Note that expired vouchers will be auto-removed every night so you don’t have to delete them manually.

Quick tip: mind the cap

Datto imposes a cap of 1,000 unused and active vouchers. Be sure to use all the vouchers you create within 90 days to avoid the cap.

Step 5: Test

When you connect to the SSID you just enabled vouchers on, you should see your new splash page. To test the system, enter one of the voucher codes you created and connect.


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