How can I stop guests from downloading movies from the internet on our hotel’s network?

Anonymous July 7, 2014
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I control the WiFi in several hotels. We have installed a sophisticated router. We have a password that changes but of course it must be provided to the guests. We occasionally get “Copyright Infringement Notices” from our IP (MediaCom). Is there any sure fix to stop guest from downloading a movie?

  1. Rajaa Chowdhury
    July 8, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    Why don't you put a Good UTM (Unified Threat Management) device on the Gateway and define policy in it. Probably, you can look into Fortinet, Cyberoam (now Sophos), DELL Sonicwall, etc. However, just make it sure from the solution provider, that it can be done.

    • Jan F
      July 8, 2014 at 2:58 pm

      Rajaa is correct, to prevent people from downloading you really need a sophisticated software, hardware or appliance capable to filter such things. A simple firewall from a router won't do.

      At best you need something that can perform packet inspection as Hovsep pointed out which will then allow you to block traffic not only via ports but also via the content.

      The problem with simple port blocking is that you need to keep e.g. port 80 and 443 open for HTTP(s), web surfing, and therefor people will still be able to download illegal content from file host and it's sheer impossible to block torrent via ports only as the protocol and applications are designed to find a way around these restrictions.

      Get something that can do Layer 7 filtering and block by protocol 'torrent','edonkey', 'gnutella' and all the other stuff. And you also should filter via keywords like "torrent", "bdrip","porn" and whatnot.

      You should also setup proper network monitoring and a usage policy which allows you to monitor and log activity of your guests and prohibits them from illegal actions. Maybe, make sure you can identify them e.g. a captive portal with individual logins per machine/guest.

      If you provide public internet don't take it lightly and INVEST for your on sake. It is your internet and you will be held responsible.

  2. Hovsep A
    July 7, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    maybe you need WiFi Hotspot Gateway for network packet inspection capabilities to block illegal downloads
    http://www.guest-internet.com/guest_internet_r4_hotspot_gateway.html
    when file sharing filter activated will block all Internet data packets that are identified as file sharing communications

  3. Flair_blair
    July 7, 2014 at 11:34 am

    I'd recommend you to check your Wifi Router, if it gives any option to limit download size.
    If not, You may secure your network in a better way by installing a Hardware Firewall on your network. This will keep a track on the sites being accessed, allows to limit download size, and also provides you an option to block porn or any other website on your network.

    All the best!