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Wireless Internet Help

On this page you will find some general information for connecting to our wireless network, as well as some specific information for configuring Macintosh OS X and Windows XP.

General Information

  • There might be several wireless networks in range and available to your computer when you are in the library. Make sure you select Branch Dist. Lib. Public Access.
  • Your wireless settings should be on Infrastructure or Access Point mode. Ad-hoc mode will not work.
  • WEP Encryption should be disabled.
  • No passwords are required.
  • Your computer's networking settings should be set to get its TCP/IP and DNS information automatically (via DHCP).

Macintosh OS X

If you have a Mac, you can connect to the library's wireless network with either an AirPort (802.11b) or AirPort Extreme (802.11g) card. If you are using OS 9 the process is similar, though the screens look slightly different. Unless you are using an older Apple laptop with a third-party wireless network card, all the software and drivers you need to connect are preloaded on the computer.

Image: Airport Icon on the Menubar

If the AirPort icon appears on the menu bar, click on it and choose Branch Dist. Lib. Public Access from the drop-down list. No password is needed to connect.

That is usually all you need to do to connect. But if you do not see the AirPort icon, or if you can't get web pages to appear, read on.

Image: Internet Connect Application

If there is no AirPort icon on the menu bar, open the Internet Connect Image: Internet Connect Icon application (usually in the Applications folder). Select AirPort Configuration and make sure that the AirPort is turned on. Choose Branch Dist. Lib. Public Access from the list of networks in range.

Image: Network Preferences

If you have done all the above and are connected to the network, but still cannot access any web sites, you should check to see that your network settings are correct for the library's network. In the System Preferences, select AirPort then click on "Configure". Choose the TCP/IP tab and make sure that Configure IPv4 is set to Using DHCP. Be sure to click Apply Now and you should be ready to go.

Windows XP

Below are some generic instructions for connecting your Windows XP computer to our wireless network. These directions assume that you have already installed your wireless card and the software and drivers that came with it. Some wireless cards will have their own interface to set up the wireless connection. If this is the case for you, you should consult the documentation that came with your wireless card.

Image: Networks Detected

When you turn on your computer, or insert the wireless card, you should see a message in the notification area of the task bar telling you that a wireless network is available. Click on the message balloon. If there is no balloon, you can right-click on the network adapter icon, then select View Available Wireless Networks.

Image: View Networks

Image: Available Networks

On the window that pops up, there may be several available wireless networks listed. Choose Branch Dist. Lib. Public Access and click on Connect. A warning message will appear, stating that the our wireless network is not secure. Click on Connect Anyway, and you should be on our network.

Image: View Networks

If you have done all the above and are connected to the network, but still cannot access any web sites, you should check to see that your network settings are correct for the library's network. Read on for more…

Image: Network Properties

Either right-click on the Wireless Network Connection icon in the notification area and click on Properties, or go to the Control Panel, then the Network Settings control panel, and open up the properties page for your wireless network connection. In the properties window, click on the Wireless Networks tab.

Image: Network Properties--Advanced

Click on the Advanced button and make sure Networks to access is set either to Any or Access point. Click Close.

Image: Network Properties

Back on the Wireless Connection Properties windows, with Branch Dist. Lib. Public Access highlighted, click the Properties button and make sure Network Authentication is set to Open and Data Encryption is set to Disabled. Click OK.

Image: Network Properties

Back on the Wireless Connection Properties window, click on the General tab. Scroll down the list of items until you see TCP/IP. Click on that line, then click the Properties button.

Image: TCP/IP Properties

Confirm that Obtain an IP address automatically and Obtain DNS server automatically are both selected. Click OK, then OK again to close all windows. The configuration for the wireless card should now be correct and you should be able to use our network.