Setting up of a hotspot manager for Mikrotik
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Internet access has become a key issue in how we live and communicate in our communities. This project seeks to design and develop a hotspot manager for MikroTik. Currently the MikroTik hotspot manager can enable a hotspot on a single access point. However there is no way to manage a group of access points from a single location but rather apply configuration settings to each access point one at a time. This presents a challenge to the network administrator as there is time wastage in deploying changes to a single access point. We therefore designed and developed a hotspot manager that could provide hotspot access to devices with wireless capability, control individual access points and also scale a hotspot to various access points. This enables network management of all access points from a single hotspot manager rather than deploying configuration to a single access point at a time. In order to achieve this, we studied about the operation of hotspots or access points from online articles and journals. We then used prototyping tools to prototype the User Interface of the system. We then designed a wrapper Application Programming Interface (API) that accesses the Router Operating System API (Router OS API) which enables functions like firewall, bandwidth management on the MikroTik hardware called RouterBoard. We designed a desktop application that integrates and interfaces with the wrapper API to send commands to the MikroTik router. Within the application, a network administrator can click a button to create a hotspot on a master access point and access points which broadcasts the same Service Set Identifier (SSID) on the slave access points, perform user management and volume based monitoring. This project thus leads to creation of a hotspot manager that eases monitoring, bandwidth control for different users and can easily scale hotspots to multiple routers.