Sunday, January 04, 2009

WiFi at the WPL

Free high speed WiFi access is one of the Waterloo Public Library's many services to patron. The second floor has two Linksys 802.11a/b/g access points serving some 250-300 sessions each month.

Usually, if you start up your computer, wait a few seconds, then start your browser, you'll automatically attach to an access point. If you're unsuccessful the first time, wait a minute or two (yes, 60-120 seconds!) and try again. If you're still not connecting, use your computer's network utility to search for available networks.

The two access points will show up as "linksys" and "TrainingCenter" when you scan (your computer should have done this automatically) for available network services. If your computer finds reference01 and reference02, select the one with the strongest signal.

Once you're connected, wait a few seconds, then launch your browser (e.g., Internet Explorer or FireFox). If you've successfully attached to an access point, you should be prompted to login. Agree to our acceptable use policy, then either login with a user name and password, or click the "skip" button and off you go.
Once you're connected and browsing, you have 8 hours of 4mbs/256 access to the Internet. You may also download up to 2gb/day. Most of the commonly available ports are accessible, but if you have difficulty using a resource, give a detailed report to a librarian who will forward the problem to our technical staff.

While the AP signal is strongest on the second floor in the vincinity of either the stairwell or the Tranining Center, some computers are sensitive enough to connect and work well on the first floor; especially in the area west of the large type collection. At some point we'll be improving service on the first floor and will also upgrade to 802.11n service.

Meanwhile, enjoy the WiFi access, report any problems to staff members, understand that staff members have been asked to NOT configure patron WiFi devices, and try to be careful with your drop cords! If someone were to trip over a dangling cord they could be injured or your expensive computer might be damaged.

c 2008 Waterloo Public Library

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