I have been running a very small open-mesh network in my community for the past almost three years. We are simply a group of houses in a very remote part of California. There is no DSL or cable here, so I have taken it upon myself to install a T1 line at my home and broadcast to via Open Mesh to 8 houses in the area. Each home pays $50 a month for this. I am not making any money on it as the T1 costs me $386 per month. Still it is MUCH faster than dial up and much more reliable than satellite.
My problems are with the administration of the network. When I first started, Coova was the captive portal I used for authentication and administration. At some point they decided to discontinue their association with Open Mesh. I reluctantly switched over to Cloudtrax. It has nowhere near the capabilities as did Coova, but it has been free. My problem now is that there are leechers that are sucking up the bandwidth as there is no real authentication.
I also have a wired network that is connected to the T1 line that I use for my employment. When I put this thing together I used Windows Home Server (Windows 2003 server) and installed routing and remote service to connect the two networks to the T1. I have subsequently upgraded to the latest version of WHS based on Windows 2008 server.
What I would like to do is be able to give my paying neighbors a user name/password to access the network and be able to throttle any users that decide to upload movies and such using BitTorrent, etc. I would also like to keep the notifications that email me when a router does not check in after a while. I don't want to buy another computer and run Linux in order to do this.
I have looked at using FreeRadius to do this, but am not sure if it will work on Windows 2008. Are there any other alternatives out there? Also, should I change from Open Mesh to Robin Mesh? The only routers that I have on the network are: OM1Ps (1), Engenius 2610s (6) and Ubiquity PicoStation HPs (2).
Any help would be appreciated.