Hotspot Frequently Asked Questions
Wireless and Wired Hotspot Frequently Asked Questions
1. Q: I Can't get a Signal! What's wrong?
A: You might have either a weak antenna in your wireless device, or your wireless card is not correctly connected to your computer. Try moving around the Library to find a signal. The "sweet" spot is the ATRIUM area on each floor. Access points are centrally located to the center of the building. You may also need to simply turn on or activate the wireless card in your wireless device!
2. Q: What is WEP? Or why doesn't the Library use WEP? or WPA?
A: WEP is Wireless Encryption Protocol. It comes in 40, 64, 128, and 256 bit flavors. WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) is an advanced version of WEP that requires pass phrases. WEP and WPA are intended to protect wireless traffic from interception by encrypting the wireless traffic, like scramling a radio signal. However, both WEP and WPA have proven to be completely inadequate and are easily crackable with freely available software. Enabling WEP or WPA become just another level of complexity in the login process. We've disabled WEP and WPA in favor of simplicity when logging in.
3. Q: My computer won't login! Can you help me?
A: Absolutley. However, the Library staff CANNOT fix your computer for you. Our help on getting connected to the Wireless or Wired Hotsppot is limited to diagnosing any connection difficulties on our end and suggesting possible fixes on your end. Fixes on our end may include rebooting the Authentication Gateway.
4. Q: How secure is the Wireless and Wired Hotspot Connection at the Library?
A: Between computers connected within the Library, only in as much as the level of security installed on your computer. For example, Apple and Linux users probably do not have much to worry about (because both have a firewall enabled in almost all cases). Windows users with a software firewall enabled are generally in good shape. Those without a software firewall enabled are susceptible to snooping from each other. Remember, it is part of the Guidelines and Policies of the Library to NOT use the Library's Internet Connections for illegal purposes. Accessing someone elses computer without their permission is a CRIME and will be treated as such.
5. Q: Is the Wired connection "safer" than wireless?
A: There is no real safety difference between wired and wireless connectivity from a network standpoint. The only difference is there is no "signal" to intercept with a Wired connection.
6. Q: Can I print from the Hotspot connection?
A: Yes! The Library provides WIRELESS PRINTING for laptops and notebooks running Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7. Click for more details.