I am trying to set up a wireless 'test' box to use on a private club (11,000 acres). The initial tests won't need anything fancy, it will just be checking the visibility of a hotspot from a high-point in the middle of the property. But if it proves to have good visibility, later tests will be (hopefully) promoted by the club and made aware to members. I would like to set up a captive portal to redirect them to a comments page where they can post a quick message if they were able to connect and hopefully say what they think about the idea.

Most of the examples I see online of captive portal are based on having an internet connection and/or a NAT scheme set up. I just need a hotspot and a single web-page for these promotional tests. If possible, I would like to trigger any devices capable to suggest or otherwise open a browser to go to the promotional landing page. It would also be nice if some kind of dns masquerading or other mechanism was in place to redirect all browser traffic in the event their device doesn't support a pop-up.

Any help is appreciated.

1 Answer 1


Having just completed a similar project, I suggest you do the following:

  • install your preferred flavour of Ubuntu
  • open up a terminal

  • sudo apt-get install lamp-server^

  • sudo apt-get install phpmyadmin

  • create your webpage (I used wordpress), and have apache2 configure it

  • sudo apt-get install dnsmasq

  • edit the /etc/dnsmasq.conf to listen on your IP
  • insert the line address=/#/webserverIP

now anyone connecting to your hotspot will be redirected to the page you created, so long as they do not have "/" in the address. facebook.com will redirect. facebook.com/xyz will not. I'm still trying to find an answer for that bit.

  • Bear in mind that the above is a heavily summarised version of the process which has taken me a couple weeks to figure out. There are a few tutorials around, about getting this to run on a raspberry pi. Maybe use a Banana Pi with a 2Bd antenna, for a small, contained setup.
    – Dave
    Jul 14, 2016 at 7:28

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