One of the plus points of the gîte as a place for people to come and stay for a few days, is the WiFi internet access service. WiFi is becoming ubiquitous, you find it at McDonalds, most hotels and and increasing number of other places where people gather. It really is a good idea to have it.
It's not a good idea just to share your internet connection with clients you don't know very well. A law in France called HADOPI basically means that your internet provider can cut you off if your line has been used to download copyright material, and although most clients are, I am sure, trustworthy, the gîte business is critically dependent on the internet, specifically email, to function. So a system for controlling and checking online access is mandated.
I used to use a service called ZoneCD. It cost about 50 quid a year to operate, which is small enough not to matter too much, but unfortunately it relied on the company's servers, somwhere in the USA, to handle all the admin. These servers went offline some time ago, and haven't been seen since. So I have had to replace the WiFi.
This took longer than I expected, and I have spent the last two days pretty much tied to a desk, driving up to 3 PCs at a time, trying to get a new one installed and working. For the technicians amongst my avid readership, there were three problems:
1) The WiFi access point subnet was based on IP 10.10.10.n and I had lost the IP address of the antenna so I couldn't log into it to change it. (I think it got corrupted in fact)
2) I was misinformed that this didn't matter as I could continue to use the 10.10.10.n subnet with Microsoft Internet Connection Sharing Service (ICS) (dead wrong)
3) My ADSL modem/router used address 192.168.0.1 (even though its own address is 192.168.255.1), and for no apparent reason whatsoever. This clashes with Microsoft's ICS addresses and means that ICS doesn't work.
So having resolved all of these, and despite having a most unpleasant cold, and, independently, an ear infection that won't go away, I took time out to go to the Laval Christmas market. On the way, the fog lifted into a day of glorious sunshine. It was good to be out. Back home, it is still foggy.