I don't offer a free computer and have no plans to, sprang for the ongoing monthly expense of broadband wifi. I haven't gone to issued one time passwords/pay to play etc. yet though may in the future. Currently simply set my wifi to secured. This means they need to ask for a password to access the wifi network. We only give the password to paying customers. The password is good until I get around to changing it, sometimes months. I don't change the password often and haven't had much a problem with campers. If I see a problem beginning I simply change the password. No confrontations. Just the next time they try to access wifi the password doesn't work and they don't get the new one unless they make a purchase. I advertise free wifi for customers, not squatters. No one has made a commotion when the password is changed, why would they when they know I'm being more than fair simply requiring a minimal purchase for the password that's good for days, weeks even months. Nothing is free in life, most people understand that.Anthony
The cafe in which I work now only has free wi-fi and the problem there is that individuals will come in, not buy anything, and then sit at tables reserved for four people for several hours. We have to ask them to buy something, move to a different table, or just leave (which makes for an unpleasant confrontation on both sides). We're considering a program that issues a password to paying customers for two hours, but it really sounds like more hassle than it's worth.
I'm personally a big fan of free wi-fi and computer use but the downfall is that you have to be prepared for those unwanted campers who will try to screw you over...
Best of luck.
I currently offer both free wi-fi and two computer terminals for customer use. I have a few problems with campers (which my employees like to call poachers). For the terminals, I purchase "disposable" computers off of ebay. I will use them for a few years and then do it again. About once a month we go through and clean up the temporary internet files and defrag the hard drive. We have anti-virus, spyware and adaware programs that run automatically every night. Most importantly, there is a note on each computer explaining that it is an unsecure system and they are using it at their own risk. I just purchased 5 IBM computers off of ebay for about $75 each. Works like a charm. I don't worry about limiting time. If there is no one waiting, a customer can use the computer as long as they need. If someone comes in and needs a computer and they are all in use, the customers using the computers get 15 minutes to finish up what they are doing and get off. In 5 years I have never had a problem. **knock on wood** My shop is located in a ski resort community in Colorado, just a few minutes from Vail. Nothing is offered for free in this community, so I really stand out. It brings in a ton of business. If I have a poacher in the parking lot, we make a big deal out of it, announcing to the customers in the shop that we are "gonna shoot down that poacher, so hold on to your hats". Then we shut down the router and everybody watches to see how long it takes for them to leave! My customers now watch out for them and let me know when it is happening. I have also found that it bothers my customers when someone comes in and sits without ordering and they take care of letting them know that it is not polite to use the free services without making a purchase.