What is Captive Portal?
A captive portal is a web page that a user must view and interact with before gaining access to a public network.
It is mainly used for authentication purposes and is usually present on free WiFi hotspots, business centers, airports, lounges and lobbies. A captive portal can also restrict users on a public network based on usage and the services they can provide.
Features of the captive portal:
Most captive portals hold idle and hard time out, that is, a minimum amount of time that a user needs to interact with or use services in order to maintain the basic level of security.
Only selected MAC or IP addresses are allowed to access the network.
Can set bandwidth limits for users.
Different user authentication options are provided along with https authentication.
Can provide customizable content on the portal page.
Allows local user management options
Requires customers to read and accept the Acceptable Use Policy.
All internet traffic is blocked until the user finishes the authentication process. A redirect URL is provided if you log out or have other technical problems.
Can indirectly help attract more customers to the business, especially if free wifi is provided.
Browsing patterns can also be captured indirectly using the same.
Can help generate income. The customizable page can be displayed with offers and advertisements. Another way is to make the customer pay to use the internet plan.