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Legacy Open Mesh: Using Paypal in CloudTrax 4



This article explains how to use PayPal with CloudTrax


  • CloudTrax


This guide is intended to help you set up your CloudTrax wireless network to accept payments through PayPal. With PayPal, you can charge users for access to your network based on time increments or bandwidth tiers.

Key features include:

  • You keep 100% of revenue (less PayPal transaction fees). All payments go directly to you; Cloudtrax does not take a cut.
  • You can use PayPal “Website Payments Standard”. You will only pay transactions fees—no commission or monthly fee.
  • You keep control of the look and feel of your splash page and simply paste a PayPal “Buy Now” button into your splash page.
  • With automatic MAC Authentication, you can allow users to roam between nodes without seeing the splash page again.
  • You can offer multiple bandwidth tiers, or offer a free lower-speed service tier and one or more paid tiers at higher speeds.

Here’s what’s about to happen:

  1. We’ll create an account on PayPal where you can receive payments.
  2. We’ll enable auto-return and Payment Data Transfer in PayPal and integrate this into Cloudtrax.
  3. We’ll create a “Buy Now” button and payments page at PayPal.
  4. We’ll integrate PayPal into your splash page at Cloudtrax.

This guide is intended to be used with existing networks. If you haven’t set up your network yet, download the CloudTrax Quick Start Guide.

How it works: user perspective

With PayPal-enabled CloudTrax networks, a splash page with a “voucher” and “PayPal” option appears for users. To access the network, they:

  1. Click on the PayPal button and complete the payment with a PayPal account or credit card.
  2. Are directed to a simple screen on CloudTrax (with your logo if you choose) that gives them their new voucher. They simply click the ‘begin browsing’ button.

At this point the user is online. The voucher token is also emailed to them for future use should they need it.

What you’ll need

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

  1. A CloudTrax network running on Firmware ng 573 or later, using the CloudTrax 4 dashboard at

Quick Tip: Check your firmware version

You can see which firmware version you are running by logging into CloudTrax. Click on your node list, then click “More node details”. Your firmware version appears in the “version” column.


We’ll make this process as easy as possible. Here are a few key words that will help:

PayPal: An online payment service that, in our case, allows users to pay for network access with their Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or PayPal account.

Voucher: A code generated by CloudTrax that lets you control access on a per-user basis without requiring an external captive portal service provider.

Step 1: Create a PayPal account

Note: if you have an account already, skip to Step 2.

Start by going to and sign up for a new account.

  1. Click the “Sign Up” button at the top right of the page.
  2. Next, select “Business” and click “Continue”.
  3. Select “PayPal Payments Standard”.
  4. Fill in the form then click “Continue”. Fill in the second page, then click “Agree and Continue”.

After a few seconds, you should see this message: Welcome! Your account is open. Let's set it up so you can get paid.

Quick Tip: Upgrade to a PayPal business account

If you have a personal PayPal account already, you can simply upgrade to a business account to access the required features.

Step 2: Enable auto-return and Payment Data Transfer (PDT)

If you skipped Step 1, go to and login.

  1. Click on the “Profile” button (on the top right of the page next to “log out”) and choose “Profile and settings” from the list.
  2. Next click on the “My Selling Tools” section, then the “update” button next to “Website preferences”.
  3. Under “Auto Return for Website Payments,” click “On” and enter the following URL in the “Return URL” field:  (Note the “https”)
  4. Under “Payment Data Transfer,” click “On.”
  5. Your “Identity Token” will appear at the bottom of the "Payment data transfer" pane. You will want to select that and copy it (Ctrl-C in Windows or Command-C on Mac). Next we will paste it into CloudTrax.
  6. Open up in a new browser window or tab and login to your account. Select the network from the drop-down list that you are going to link to this PayPal account. Configure / Vouchers pages is a section titled “PayPal”. It has a few options we will now set:
  • Clients Per Voucher: Number of Client Devices per PayPal purchase. Typically one to five (maximum 10). If you're running a coffee shop, you’ll likely want one device. If you run a hotel or apartment complex, you might want to set this to 3 to 5 to cover multiple guests and their laptops, phones, tablets, etc.
  • Download Bandwidth: Download bandwidth per client device (in mbps) for PayPal.
  • Upload Bandwidth: Upload bandwidth per client device (in mbps) for PayPal.
  • PayPal Identity Token: This is the unique string of numbers and letters you copied from the PayPal website. Paste it here.

Note: Bandwidth throttling for PayPal vouchers will *not* work unless you've enabled bandwidth throttling for all SSID's being used with the captive portal and splash-page.


Step 3: Create your Buy Now button

  1. Now that you're in your business PayPal account, select the Tools drop-down and choose All Tools.all_tools.PNG
  2. Under All Tools, select PayPal Buttons.PayPal_Buttons.PNG
  3. Select Buy Now button option.Buy_Now_button.PNG
  4. Choose "Buy Now" for button type, other button types are not supported.
  5. Enter “Internet Access” in the “Item Name” box.
  6. Go to the Configure / SSID page for the SSID on which you are enabling Paypal. At the bottom of that page is the item ID. Select this value and copy it.
  7. Paste the Item ID that you copied in step 4 into the “Item ID” field on the Paypal site. This is very important. It is how CloudTrax will know what network users belong to when they purchase.
  8. Leave the price field blank.
  9. In the “Customize Button” box, click on “Add drop-down menu with price/option”. Enter “Purchase:” (or whatever you’d like to title the “purchase” option) in the “Name of drop-down menu” box.
  10. Enter your various durations and prices in the three boxes. It is very important that you use terms that CloudTrax can parse. CloudTrax knows “hour”, “week”, “day” and “month” (including plural versions), so you can use any of these terms (but not abbreviations) in specifying your times. “2 hours”, “3 days”, “1 week” and “3 months” are all examples of durations you can enter. You must use the numerical value, not the number spelled out (i.e. use “3” instead of “three”).

    Note: If you need non-English words, you'll need to manually edit the PayPal-generated button code, for example (in Spanish)
    <option value="1 hour">1 hour $1.00 USD</option>
    would be changed to
    <option value="1 hour">1 hora $1.00 USD</option>
    Enter the price you would like to charge next to each duration you enter (the minimum value we accept is 1.00). If you need more than three, there is an “Add another option” link you can click to add up to ten options.
  11. Next, click on the “Step 3: Customize advanced features (optional)” headline (you might have to scroll down to see it). This will open up a new section with various options we need to customize:
  12. Make sure that “Do you want to let your customer change order quantities?”, “Can your customer add special instructions in a message to you?”, and “Do you need your customer’s shipping address?” are all set to “No”.
  13. Check “Add Advanced Variables” and in the box below, enter the following lines exactly:

  14. Click on the “Create Button” button at the bottom of the page.
  15. Now you will see your button “source” in a box on the left and what the button will look like on the right. You can click on the drop down menu on the right to make sure your options look the way you want. If you want to change anything, you can do so by clicking the “Go back to edit this button” link. When you are satisfied with your button, click the “Select Code” button, then click the Ctrl-C (Windows) or Cmd-C (Mac) to copy the button source to your computers clipboard.

Next, we will paste it into a splash page.

Step 4: Add the button to your splash page

  1. Go back to the browser tab or window containing your CloudTrax network that you opened in Step 2 above.
  2. Select the Configure / SSID page for the SSID which you are configuring for Paypal.
  3. Click the “Edit Splash Page” button.
  4. Choose a template from the drop down list at the top.
  5. Click the HTML editing (“<>”) button at the top left of the editor.
  6. Scroll the page down to the bottom. Look for the lines: <-- PayPal Button Start --> and <-- PayPal Button End -->
  7. Select the sample PayPal button code (everything between the above lines) and delete it. Then hit “CTL-V” (windows) or “CMD-V” (Mac) to paste your PayPal button code into the splash page between the lines.
  8. De-select the “<>” tab to return to the editor view to see what your splash page will look like. You should see both a voucher entry field and your new PayPal Buy Now button.
  9. Click the Save Changes button at the top-right of the editor window, close the Splash Page editor window, and click the Save Changes button at the top-right the SSID configuration pane. Your splash page has now been saved.
  10. Your site is now ready to accept payments. Give your nodes 10-15 minutes to update.

Testing your new splash page with PayPal

When you connect to the SSID you just enabled PayPal on, you should see your new splash page. To test the page, follow these steps:

  1. Click the PayPal “Buy Now” button you created.
  2. Purchase one of your options using a different PayPal account or use the “Credit card as a PayPal Guest” option.
  3. CloudTrax will display (with your logo if you uploaded one to the CloudTrax site) the voucher (and will also email it to you as the customer for future reference). Click the “Begin browsing” button.
  4. You should now be online. From here you can browse to any site you wish.

    Note: If the "Begin Browsing" button is not selected, the user must manually enter the voucher code into the splash page to begin the voucher session.

Users will see the splash page whenever their duration (that they selected from the Buy Now button) expires. They can roam within your network without seeing the splash page again as their MAC address will be automatically verified as they move between nodes.

Need additional help?

To learn more about planning and optimizing your network, read the Cloudtrax Network Planning Guide.

To learn more about the features within CloudTrax, read the CloudTrax Quick Start Guide.

To learn more about CloudTrax’s splash page feature, read the Using the Splash Page Editor Guide.

To learn more about CloudTrax’s vouchers feature, read the Using Vouchers in CloudTrax Guide.

To use Lobby Assistant or train others, read the Using Lobby Assistant Guide. This guide is written specifically for hotel and apartment front-desk staff.

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