Open Wifi Access Point As An Evangelism Tool?

Discussion in 'Technology and Internet' started by porcupine73, May 24, 2014.

  1. I'm guessing this concept is already out there but I'm wondering how a person would go about setting up such a thing.

    An open wifi access point for others to freely connect to, but set up like they do at hotels where when you first go to a web page, it shows you the hotel's screen where you agree to the terms and conditions of use.

    I was thinking maybe on that page of having a brief presentation of the Gospel? Nothing cunning or crafty, just a straight forward presentation (1cor 2:1-2)

    I imagine there are risks in running this type of access point, especially if someone uses it for illegal activity and then the police come knocking at your door.

    I live in a fairly busy light commercial area where many people probably scan/look for open access points, I was thinking if this might be a viable idea of even maybe using a chimney mounted antenna to increase the range.

    What do you think? Is it viable? Any pointers or things to watch out for? Specific hardware/software recommendations?
    DavidG likes this.
  2. I've not done this but I think what you are looking for is a Captive Portal. WifiDog might be a candidate. There may also be some Linux distributions built for hosting hotspots.
  3. Beware of Hackers if you are going to open WiFi access. Unless you really know what u r doing I would ask professional advice
    Stay safe Brother. :)
  4. Fon might provide a simple means of overcoming security and usage concerns, at least if it's done through one of their partners. As far as I understand it in the UK and through BT, the router (BT Home Hub) distinguishes between your personal use and other people's use. I have read that this is a big advantage as the bandwidth used by others is not counted as part of your allowance but I'd guess that as the system knows which connections are made form the outside, it might be useful in cases of illegal downloads. I doubt that you could use your own portal for that though.
  5. Ah a captive portal that's what it is called.

    True to offer open wifi access means making sure my own computers are isolated. I would think that if the captive portal blocks all ports all protocols to all non routable/internal IP's such as 10. etc that should do it. I think my main concern would be it being used illegally, I know people drive around looking for open wifi to use for various things and since all that activity would get traced back to my IP address that would be bad. I'm on Verizon FiOS in the U.S.

    I also wasn't sure spiritually if this idea would be workable/be a good idea.
  6. I am unsure about that.

    One thing that has just crossed my mind is: Is it possible that a set up like you propose might actually encourage some crank who eg. would think it fun to download porn from a Christian's Internet?

    Back to security. I'd think it would be possible to route the outside traffic through something like Dans Guardian but I've no experience.

    I did a bit of reading a couple of years ago when I was trying to think about how I'd like to set up wireless access for friends and family when they visit but settled on a secured network, and just used a separate subnet and firewall to prevent them using anything other than our printers on the LAN.
  7. My question is would be if you connected to free wifi and was sent to an atheist page would enjoy that?
  8. Is it not a good idea because some might be offended by the Gospel?
  9. Could you answer the question? Would you be pleased by it?
  10. I love the heart and creativity behind the idea.

    On the practical side- It would pull added attention to your private network as well, so you would want to make sure your personal network security is up to a challenge. Get a second solid fire wall to make a DMZ where you can split the networks and handle packet shaping and run apps to watch for ARP poisoning and such.

    On the moral side- If you are worried about the consequences of someone else's actions on the public spot falling on you, you can talk to your service provider and see if you can construct some sort of waiver or disclaimer on the login page that would satisfy them. If you are more worried about being an accessory to something immoral (be it illegal hacking, or phishing, or internet porn) you're stuck. There's not really anything you can do to be %100 sure someone wouldn't use it for some immoral purpose.

    @Dave Lucas - I think your question depends on the atheist. Besides that, for the umpteen people who don't appreciate or don't care about the splash page, he may really minister to some seeker who stumbles across it.
    porcupine73 likes this.
  11. @DavidG
    What does The King command about treating our neighbour?

    Does this thing follow that command?
  12. I wouldn't say I would enjoy or be pleased by an athiest message because it would be a message contradictory to the truth.
  13. Hi DavidG thanks for the input. I think my main concern would be use for illegal activity where the police say to Verizon "tell us who was assigned this IP address at this date and time" and then come knocking or breaking down my door.

    I didn't think to check Verizon Fios 'consumer' terms of service first, it says "you may not provide Internet access to third parties through a wired or wireless connection or use the Service to facilitate public Internet access (such as through a Wi-Fi hotspot)". So I'd have to upgrade to business class service to do it anyway which is about double the price.

  14. Alas! Well, glad you found the clause while you were still in the planning phase rather after you were invested in it. :)
  15. Then if it does not please you, why would you wish to displease another?
    Was not the Kings command love as we love ourselves?

    We cannot in love render the good news as a barrier to our works.
  16. #16 porcupine73, Jun 27, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2014
    Hi Dave Lucas, yes one of the King's commands is 'thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself', and I agree it is right to consider His commands in all that we do.
    I'm not sure I would necessarily say loving our neighbour means we must please our brother. Suppose one person says "I am displeased that this wifi hotspot has the Gospel message." Then another person says "I'm pleased someone set up this wifi hotspot for me to use." Should the hotspot be offered then, since some could be pleased and some could be displeased?

    Or suppose someone did use the hotspot, saw the Gospel message and God used it to plant/water/draw the person unto Himself. I would think that person would be pleased.

    I know of a Church that has an advertisement containing the Gospel message in the local newspaper each week. Should they stop running that ad since some people might be reading the newspaper, see the message, and be displeased?

    What if a Christian radio station is playing some music, and someone tunes to and listens to the music, then hears the Gospel message and is displeased. Should the Christian radio station stop transmitting?
  17. So what you are saying is that Our King would be alright for you to offer grace at a price?

    Does Our King do this? Are the good fruits of his love ONLY for those that acknowledge him?

    The problem I am struggling with and continue to struggle with followers of The King are they want to spread the good news by the carrot and stick method. I know that I do not like at all when I am baited with an offer of free this or that but with conditions.

    As far as I know MY King allows the rain to fall on the just and unjust. With no conditions.

    I know you mean well, but there is a better way.
  18. #18 porcupine73, Jun 27, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2014
    Hi Dave. Editing ... I don't know if the wifi is a good idea or not. For some reason I see criticism of it as a personal attack on me, which obviously it isn't and probably reveals to me some things I need help with or to work on.

    There's another idea I was thinking of, any advice or input you have would be welcome. You know how a lot of stores have bulletin boards where you can place your business card, car for sale, etc? How about a card that briefly states the Gospel message to put up there? I was thinking maybe as I was out and about on my errands of putting those cards up?
  19. OK let me put it to you this way.

    You are a time share sales person. You want to get clients so you send out flyers offering a free dinner. After which they MUST listen to your pitch about time shares.

    Would you go? Probably not.

    Now let's make it more like the wifi idea.

    The same sales person offers the dinner, but does not tell anyone it is a pitch afterwards until after the dinner.

    Would you be upset? I'll bet you would.

    WHY? It is bait and switch. You offer for free what so many others can give, but there is a price. You must be proselytized to.

    Why must that be a condition? Can you not just GIVE the gift away? Out of pure kindness. No price to be paid even in time.

    See this is the problem I have. You offer a carrot and I get the stick. And I'll be honest I do not want the stick. Could I just have the carrot?

    The King would just give me the carrot. Knowing that after a few carrots I'm going to think, wow what a nice guy. He doesn't charge me for carrots. I wonder if I have anything he'd might like. Or maybe there is something I can give to others they might like.

    Are you seeing the pattern? You do good out of the kindness of your heart for NOTHING. And it causes others to follow by your example.

    Work that you do when you know you will get something in return is like straw, placed on a fire it burns and becomes nothing.
    Work that you do expecting something in return is like twigs, placed on a fire it burns and becomes nothing.
    Work that you do with no expectation of return is like gold, placed on a fire it remains gold.

    Why not do works of gold, not straw or twigs?

    As for the bulletin board idea, instead offer a service instead, for free. When they ask WHY you do it. Say I do it because My King does. I follow The King. Then you may get asked who is this king? Then go to town.

    If The King followed the normal Christian methods we'd all be born with a bible strapped to our arm. But we're not. Because he wants to you to come of free will. Not be baited into it or hit with a stick.
  20. Those are some good points to ponder thank you Dave.


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