How Do I Use Vouchers in Datto Networking?

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Question

How do I use vouchers in Datto Networking?

Environment

  • Datto Networking

Answer

Vouchers allow administrators to control network access on a per-user basis by creating unique codes for each user.

You can set vouchers to use specific time increments or bandwidth tiers. They are ideal for hotels, coffee shops, apartments, or other places where it is necessary to limit users' access and authorized usage time.

Key features

  • 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 requirements, plus additional higher speed options for which you can charge users.
  • 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.

Procedure

Create and edit a splash page

1. Navigate to a device web session for your access point, then select Configure SSID.

2. In the Captive Portal section, select the Splash page toggle to enable the feature, and select Edit Splash Page, shown in Figure 1.

enable_splash.jpgFigure 1: Edit the splash page (click to enlarge)

3. When editing your splash page, decide if you will require vouchers for all users or if you will provide a base level of service without vouchers. Voucher-free network access provides connecting users a lower amount of bandwidth for checking email and light web browsing without a voucher, and offer higher amounts of bandwidth for users connecting with a voucher.

  • To provide a voucher-free base bandwidth: 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.

At any time, a user authenticated using the Free Access option can enter http://logout in their browser to return to the splash page.

For more information about editing a Splash Page, read our article on Using the Splash Page Editor.

Adjust voucher settings

Datto Networking allows you to configure a number of options to customize access:

Figure 2: Voucher-specific Captive Portal settings (click to enlarge)

  • Bandwidth Throttling: Enable this option to throttle users with non-voucher access. Voucher-specific throttles will override this setting. 
  • Client Force Timeout: This option allows you to define when the splash page will appear after a set number of minutes.
  • Require Vouchers: This option requires a valid voucher on splash pages.
  • Block Unauthenticated Users: This option blocks all ports until a user navigates past the splash page. If unchecked, Datto Networking will only block web browsing. Checking initially disables services such as email, instant messengers, VoIP, etc., but will require first opening a browser to use any Internet services.

Create vouchers

1. 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.

2. There are three options in the top right corner above the table: Create New, Edit Voucher Settings, and Actions to take on existing vouchers.

create_vouchers.jpgFigure 3: Create new voucher (click to enlarge)

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

Figure 4: Create Vouchers (click to enlarge)

  • Quantity: This option allows you to set the number of vouchers to create/print. 
  • Voucher code: If you would like to use a custom code enter it here, otherwise the Create Vouchers feature will generate a random one for you.
  • Paper Size: This option allows you select the size of the paper that the voucher will print on.
  • Comment: This option allows you to enter a note that will appear on the Vouchers page, such as room number, last name, etc. Comments will not appear on the voucher(s) when printed out.
  • Duration (hours): This option allows you to enter the number of hours each voucher remain active.
  • Max Devices: This option allows you to enter the maximum number of devices (computers, smart phones, gaming consoles, etc.) that can use a voucher. Allowed values are 0-9. Use 0 for unlimited devices.
If you use 0 for unlimited devices, individual devices connecting using this code will not report and the voucher display as Unused.
  • Download limit (Mbps): This option allows you to enter a download limit in Mbps.
  • Upload limit (Mbps): This option allows you to enter an upload limit in Mbps.
  • Purge after (days): This option allows you to enter when Datto Networking will automatically purge an unused voucher. You can enter a number of days in this field.

When finished choosing voucher settings, click Create Vouchers.

Click Print vouchers button as shown in Figure 5 to print your vouchers, or select the Edit Voucher Settings icon next to the Create New button as shown in Figure 4 to customize the look of the vouchers before printing.

printed.jpgFigure 5: Print vouchers (click to enlarge)

You can configure the following Voucher Settings:

Figure 6: Voucher Settings (click to enlarge)

  • Duration Text: This option allows you to enter text that indicates how many hours the voucher will remain active.
  • Access Text: This option allows you to enter text on that displays above voucher code.
  • Show Border: When enabled, this option will draw a border around each voucher.
  • Show Image: When enabled, you can use Browse... button next to Voucher Image to select and upload an image that will display on your voucher.
  • Share Vouchers: When enabled, vouchers created on this network will be usable on all other networks under this account.

When your settings are correct, click the Save Changes on the top-right corner of the Voucher Settings page.

All vouchers will remain active for a maximum of 1 year. Datto Networking automatically purges vouchers after 90 days of no activity, and imposes a combined cap of 2000 active and nonactive voucher

Edit/View Vouchers page

After you create a voucher, you can view them by navigating to Manage → Vouchers in the Datto Networking Portal. The page will list all vouchers in one table, as shown Figure 7.

Figure 7: Vouchers (click to enlarge)

Select the gear icon as shown in Figure 3 and Figure 8 to display available actions you can perform on the voucher. You can edit, renew, reprint, export in .CSV or XML format, or delete, 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. 

actions_menu.jpgFigure 8: Available actions (click to enlarge)

Test the voucher

When you connect to the SSID on which you enabled vouchers, 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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