Captive Portal

Secure and controlled WiFi Access for Schools and Businesses

The new Captive Portal feature available for NetPilot and SoHoBlue units equipped with forthcoming V6 software, is ideal for schools or businesses that want to offer specific user groups a more controlled and locked-down WiFi access environment, than perhaps they provide to their normal ‘trusted’ users or staff members.

Students are using increasing numbers of tablet and small, highly portable laptops. Often the requirement is for temporary access for these mobile devices, to network resources for the duration of particular lesson. Captive Portal provides the means to authenticate these students with the school’s own active directory server and then provide a locked-down and secure network environment where access can be optionally time limited to lesson periods. A portal welcome page displayed from the NIS product can be customised to give relevant advice and usage information to students. The network access session can be automatically checked by both the unit’s content filtering (as configured by the network manager to adhere the organisation’s usage policies) and virus scanning to ensure all traffic is malware free. For particular subject lessons website allow/block lists can be configured to ensure only subject associated sites are visit for the duration of the lesson.

For businesses, Captive Portal provides the means to provide controlled and user friendly guest network access for visitors. A portal home page can be displayed by the NetPilot or SoHoBlue unit giving access details and defining the organisation’s terms of use for the facility.

Unlike WiFi guest network access offered on some low cost broadband routers, Captive Portal offers the means to content filter traffic so your organisation’s network cannot be used to view inappropriate or illegal material and in addition, guest network traffic can be scanned for malware. The guest network access would be typically be segregated using the unit’s sophisticated firewall preventing access to any other part of the organisation’s network. Logs of activity on the guest network can of course be analysed. Time limited controls can be enabled to ensure sessions are only of a temporary nature.

The Captive Portal feature provides yet another example of customers requesting new features and functions and UK based NIS being able to quickly implement new software to meet evolving UK education and business needs.

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