Portal-based WLANs

There are many types of portal-based WLANs and they can be distinguished based on where the user credentials are stored, and where the portal page is hosted.

Table 25 Portal-based WLANs
WLAN Type User Credential Portal on which WLAN is Hosted
Guest Guest passes on the controller AP
Hotspot (WISPr) RADIUS server. LDAP/Active Directory from SmartZone release 3.2 and later External portal server or internal portal on the controller
Web Auth RADIUS/LDAP/Active Directory AP

Guest and WebAuth WLAN portals are hosted on the controller AP with limited customization. WISPr WLANs are usually hosted on external portal servers providing the flexibility to customize. WISPr WLANs allow for sophisticated customization such as providing a customized login page which could include locale information, advertisements etc.

WISPr WLANs can also be configured to bypass the authentication portal such that if an end user device’s MAC address (as a credential) is stored on a RADIUS server, there is no need to redirect the end user to the portal server for authentication.

Characteristics of portal-based WLANs

Portal-based WLANs have the following characteristics:
  • WebAuth WLAN
    • Does not provide and option to modify the portal (WYSIWYG)
    • User authentication is done by the RADIUS server, LDAP and Active Directory
    • Allows redirecting user web pages
  • Guest WLAN
    • Provides and option to modify the portal elements such as the logo, Terms and Conditions, title etc
    • User authentication is by using guest passphrases or select the Always Accepted option
    • Allows redirecting user web pages
    • Does not posses a local database, LDAP, Active Directory or RADIUS server
  • Hotspot (WISPr) WLAN
    • Internal Portal
      • Provides and option to modify the portal elements such as the logo, Terms and Conditions, title etc
      • Allows redirecting user web pages
      • User authentication is by the local database, LDAP, Active Directory, RADIUS server or rendered by selecting the Always Accepted option
      • Supports the Walled Garden approach to allow user access to specific areas within the network
    • External Portal
      • Allows customization of the portal pages through external services
      • Supports Northbound Portal Interface for authentication
      • User authentication is by the local database, LDAP, Active Directory, RADIUS server or rendered by selecting the Always Accepted option
      • Supports the Walled Garden approach to allow user access to specific areas within the network
      • Allows redirecting user web pages