Using Vouchers in CloudTrax

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CLOUDTRAX USER GUIDE:

Using Vouchers in CloudTrax

Overview: what we’re doing

This guide is intended to help you set up your CloudTrax wireless network to generate and accept vouchers. With vouchers, you control access on a per-user basis by generating unique codes you can provide to users.

Vouchers can be set to specific time increments or bandwidth tiers, ideal for hotels, coffee shops, apartments, etc. where you want to limit access to users who you authorize to use the network for a specific period of time.

Key features include:

  • 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 “Enter” button and the new voucher button access. This enables a free service level with low bandwidth (the bandwidth options you specify on the SSID#1 tab) plus additional higher speed options you can charge for.
  • 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.
  • You can use the “Lobby Assistant” login to allow hotel or apartment managers to create vouchers without giving access to your full network.
  • With automatic MAC Authentication, you can allow users to roam between nodes without seeing the splash page again.

Here’s what’s about to happen:

  1. We’ll edit a voucher-compatible splash page
  2. We’ll adjust the settings for your vouchers
  3. We’ll create your vouchers
  4. We’ll enable your splash page and test a voucher

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

Quick Tip: Add PayPal

CloudTrax integrates with PayPal to provide users with automatic online payment options for network access.

What you’ll need

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

  1. A CloudTrax network running on Firmware 481 or later.
  2. A computer with a browser pointed to www.cloudtrax.com.
Quick Tip: Check your firmware version

You can see which firmware version you are running by logging into CloudTrax. Click on Manage > Access Points, then click “View options” and select "Version". Your firmware version appears in the “Version” column.

Step 1: Edit a splash page

Log in to CloudTrax and select the network you wish to implement vouchers on. Select “Configure” and choose the SSID you want to use as your guest network (typically SSID #1). Enable the splash page, select "Custom" splash page type and click “Edit Splash Page” to open the splash page editor.

To use the vouchers feature, we need to first select a splash page template with voucher support. This will include the input field needed to request the voucher from the user. Currently, all splash page templates have a voucher option.

At this point, you should decide if you will require vouchers for all users or if you will provide a base level of service without vouchers. This is commonly done to provide a low amount of bandwidth for checking email and light web browsing without a voucher, and offer higher amounts of bandwidth with a voucher.

To provide base bandwidth voucher-free: Keep the standard “Enter” button in addition to the voucher field.

To require vouchers for all access: Delete the standard “Enter” button, leaving only the voucher field.

Edit the splash page as you’d like (being careful to leave the voucher input field and button) and save the splash page.

Step 2: Adjust voucher settings


CloudTrax allows you to change a number of settings to customize access.

Require Vouchers: This option requires a valid voucher on splash pages. If unchecked, allows you to provide a basic tier of service at the rates and durations below and (optionally) faster service using vouchers or PayPal.

Block Pre-Authenticated Users: This option will block all ports until your splash page has been successfully clicked-through. If unchecked, only browsing is blocked. Checking initially disables services such as email, instant messengers, VoIP, etc., but will require first opening a browser to use any Internet services.

Client Force Timeout: Minutes between showing splash page regardless of activity for non-voucher access. 1 day=1440.

Bandwidth Throttling: Enable this to throttle users with non-voucher access. Voucher-specific throttles will override this setting. 

Step 3: Create vouchers

Next, click the Manage > Vouchers link in the left-side menu in the dashboard. This will open a table showing your existing vouchers, which you can edit, renew, delete, export and reprint as needed. Since we haven’t created any vouchers yet, this table should be empty.

In the top right corner above the table, you'll see three options: Create Vouchers, Edit Voucher Settings, and Actions to take on existing vouchers.

Click the “Create New” link in the top right corner of the screen. This will open a page asking you to enter several options, including:

Quantity: Number of vouchers you would like to create/print. 

Paper Size: Select the size of paper you’d like to print on.

Comment: Relevant note that will appear on the Vouchers page, such as room number, last name, etc. Will not appear on the voucher(s) when printed out.

Duration (hours): The number of hours each voucher will be valid (starting from first use).

Max Devices: The maximum number of devices (computers, smart phones, gaming consoles, etc.) that can use this one voucher. Allowed values are 0-9. Use 0 for unlimited devices.

Note that if you are using 0 for unlimited devices, individual devices connecting using this code will not report and the voucher will show as "Unused."

Download limit: Download limit in Mbits/sec, per user, for this voucher batch. Use the slider or enter a value such as .375 for 375kbps.

Upload limit: Upload limit in Mbits/sec, per user, for this voucher batch. Use the slider or enter a value such as .125 for 125kbps.

Purge after: How long before unused vouchers are deleted.

When you are happy with your voucher settings, click "Create Vouchers."

Click the "Print vouchers" button now to print them, or select the "Edit Voucher Settings" icon to customize the look of the vouchers before printing. 

Duration Text: Text to print to indicate how many hours voucher is valid.

Access Text: Text to print on each voucher before the voucher code.

Show Border: Check to draw a border around each voucher. Useful if you are not printing on business card stock.

Show Image: Include logo on each voucher.

Voucher image: Upload the image you would like to show. 

Save Defaults: Select to save these settings as your defaults for this network. These settings will be used by the Lobby Assistant login.

Management > Share Vouchers: When enabled, vouchers created on this network will be usable on all other networks under this account.

Lobby Assistant > Password: Create a password to limit control of CloudTrax to features required for creating and printing vouchers. Users must login with your network name and this password. 

When your settings are correct, click “Save Changes."

Quick Tip: Use http://logout to return to splash page when using "Free Access"

At any time, a user authenticated using the "Free Access" option can enter "http://logout" in their browser to return to the splash page and log in with a voucher code or purchase a voucher via PayPal.

Note: A user already authenticated with a voucher code must wait for that voucher to expire before they will see the splash page again. http://logout will not redirect them to the splash page.

Note that vouchers can be created for a duration of up to 1 year, however they must be used for the first time within 90 days of creation or they will be automatically deleted.

Quick tip: custom logos Internet

If you replace the Valid: 1 Hours CloudTrax logo in the top left corner of the screen with your own, that logo can be used on vouchers.

Logo files should be sized to 175 pixels wide by 75 pixels tall for the best results.

Step 4: view the Edit/View Vouchers page

Select Manage > Vouchers from the left menu to go back to your Vouchers page.

From the Vouchers page, you’ll see a list of all existing vouchers. These can be edited, renewed, reprinted, exported as CSV or XML, or deleted at any time, 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. 

When you generate a voucher, it is added to your network on CloudTrax. Vouchers are good for the specified period beginning with their first use. So a 1 day voucher is good for 24 hours from first use, not 24 hours of actual online activity over a longer period. Note that expired vouchers will be auto-removed every night so you don’t have to delete them manually.

Quick tip: mind the cap

CloudTrax imposes a cap of 1,000 unused and active vouchers. Be sure to use all the vouchers you create all vouchers within 90 days to avoid the cap.

Step 5: test

When you connect to the SSID you just enabled vouchers on, you should see your new splash page. To test the system, simply enter one of the voucher codes you created and connect.

Step 6 (optional): use Lobby Assistant


As noted in the introduction, Lobby Assistant gives you a separate login for lobby or apartment managers to create vouchers in real-time without giving access to the full network.

To enable Lobby Assistant, simply set a unique password for “Lobby Password” in the Configure > Vouchers page of CloudTrax.

To login to Lobby Assistant, use your network name and Lobby Assistant password at CloudTrax.com.

When you log in to Lobby Assistant, you’ll see a list of all existing vouchers identical to the list you saw in the full version of CloudTrax under the “Vouchers” link. As in CloudTrax, these can be edited, renewed, reprinted, exported as CSV or XML, or deleted at any time.

Next steps

To enable automatic online payments for your network using vouchers, read the Using PayPal 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.

Have more questions? Submit a request

Comments

  • Avatar
    Thomas Anderson

    If i have a client join the 'free' network, but then decide to buy a voucher for faster bandwidth... how can they get back to the splashe page without having to wait for client timeout?

  • Avatar
    Ryan Detwiller

    Clients can enter "http://logout" in their browser to return to the splash page.

  • Avatar
    Thomas Anderson

    That's just awesome. Too easy. Did I miss it in the article? Anyway thanks for the tip. I can't tell you how much I'm loving our new Open-Mesh. Your company has made me look awesome to my employers.

  • Avatar
    Rob Korn

    Newbie here, please forgive.

    Setup for apartments, how do my clients use "Voucher" if device does not support a web browser, such as Roku or Xbox? Can the "voucher" instead be created like a "private pre-shared Key" so that the device can remember the Key and connect automatically?

    Thanks.

  • Avatar
    Ryan Detwiller

    @Rob for these users your best option is to whitelist the device's MAC address in CloudTrax so they will bypass the splash page.

  • Avatar
    Lee S.

    Is there a way to use the splash page to authenticate users by their email addresses?

    They enter their email address, a code is sent to that email and they're on. We get the email they logged in with for marketing purposes. Is that a thing?

  • Avatar
    Ryan Detwiller

    @Lee - it's not native functionality but a number of add-on services (Turnstyle, Purple WiFi, Cloud4Wi) offer this (or similar) functionality.

  • Avatar
    Geoffrey Schaller

    We're using OM / CT in an office environment. We'd like to offer full speed access, without vouchers, to our guests (we just tell them the password, since many times they come back for future meetings). We'd like to remove all speed limits on ssid1 - that is our guest network, while ssid2 is internal. Is there a way to disable all speed limits on all devices / ssid's?

    Thank you!

  • Avatar
    Ryan Detwiller

    Hi Geoffrey - just slide the SSID #1 bandwidth throttle all the way to the right to disable throttling. We'll make this more explicit in an upcoming release, but this disabled the bandwidth throttling.

  • Avatar
    Kwameampomah

    my question is a bit peculiar .... will you be able to throttle wired connections ? i tried bridging but throttling doesn't seem to apply

  • Avatar
    Ryan Detwiller

    @kwameampomah - Your wired clients will receive SSID 1 settings (including throttling) as long as you haven't selected "Wired Clients" on the SSID 2 tab (doing so would make your wired clients take SSID 2 settings). Hope that helps!

  • Avatar
    SBR

    Newbie here -- My Apology for the silly question...

    Replacing the "Dashboard Logo" (for printing onto vouchers). Above it suggests doing this to customize the voucher. Elsewhere I found it said "replace the upper left logo" to use your own logo. Sorry, but I can't seem to figure out WHERE or how to do these steps. Thanks!

  • Avatar
    Ryan Detwiller

    @Steve - if you're in the Edit mode, you'll see a small "Replace" link next to the CloudTrax logo. Click it and upload a new logo.

  • Avatar
    Jeloabucay

    Hello. We've been using cloudtrax for about 6 months now but we've lost the ability of having custom splash pages. It used to work before but now it doesn't. Tried using a different SSID but a splash page won't appear but instead, they get to browse without entering a voucher code. When we also type in "http://logout", it would redirect to the open-mesh website. Any advice?

  • Avatar
    Ryan Detwiller

    @Jeloabucay - could you send us a ticket with your network name to support@open-mesh.com? We'll take a look.

  • Avatar
    NExT

    Voucher generation needs to be automated. Is there an API for this? Also would like to automatically generate bulk voucher numbers. Would like to integrate with POS, SMS based voucher systems and other options.

  • Avatar
    Kirkcapps

    Log into network master account. Go to Manage Vouchers. Hit the create button. It give you the option to create as many as you want. To create the bulk vouchers leave code blank.

  • Avatar
    NExT
    Kirkcapps, I repeat, Voucher generation needs to be automated via API or integrate with POS, SMS based voucher systems and other options. Also I note there is no total MB limit per voucher except for the bandwidth limit. This is required for selling of total MB as a pricing option.
  • Avatar
    Bryan Patterson
    The voucher system currently isn't in the API but it will be in the future. In the meantime you can bulk create vouchers and export them all via CSV or XML to a system that you can use to integrate into your own processes.
  • Avatar
    Miami06

    I want to make a SSID for my kids so they can only log in to that Particular SSID. And at the same time I would like to have another SSID for me and wife. How can I make it so they can only log in to their SSID ? IF they try to log in to Mine, would give then an error.

  • Avatar
    Bryan Patterson

    @Miami06 - Your best option is to have your SSID protected with a WPA password and then use another SSID for the kids. The kids' SSID can be time limited with the Wifi Scheduling feature or by using vouchers.

  • Avatar
    Faizan Durrani

    Hi Bryan, i am new to open-mesh. do we have only no of hours to set in vouchers? what if i have to provide 30 days validity voucher, is there any option to set expiry on specific date?

  • Avatar
    Andy Gilmour

    The problem we are having is while designing the splash page we use a voucher, and then when we next want to see the splash page in a real world environment, we cannot as we are already logged in (initially we used a 1 year voucher ) Is there a way of forcing back to the splash screen when a voucher has been used, similar to the way http://logout works if you log in without a voucher? Can I revoke and reinstate a voucher to do this? (some clients are on the network now so dont want to just try this and discover any complications the hard way)

  • Avatar
    Bryan Patterson

    Andy - http://logout only works to logout of free access. When you use it while authenticated with a voucher it will log you out but immediately log you back in if you still have an active voucher session. It's currently not possible to log out of a voucher.

  • Avatar
    Harry Toumbas

    Hey Bryan are thier any plans to allow vouchers to log out. it seems like a huge feature left out that causes our setup many problems. Do you have a work around?

  • Avatar
    Bryan Patterson

    Harry - We're still working on exactly what features will be going into an update to the voucher system but the ability to log out of a voucher is a common request we would like to implement if possible.

  • Avatar
    Larry R

    Hi Bryan, Good day.

    Can I request for the next cloudtrax update to have a bandwidth capping or bandwidth limit ? Etc. voucher is up to 3 days with bandwidth limit of 2gig only.

    Thank you.

  • Avatar
    Lester Ninez

    newbie here!
    1. can i set the duration into 1 month per voucher?
    2. can i set data cap per month per voucher?

  • Avatar
    Bryan Patterson

    Lester - Yes, you can set the duration all the way up to one year but you need to specify it in a number of hours. Bandwidth speed can be restricted but no data caps yet.

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