Wireless Internet Access

How to Connect

Activate your Wireless card Some laptops have switches to turn built-in wireless cards on/off, to conserve battery power and to enhance security. If you do not have wireless capability in your laptop, the library offers 802.11b PCMCIA cards for in-library checkout (driver's license deposit required).
Ensure that your wireless card is set to automatically get its information. On a Mac:
  • System Preferences Pane
  • Network
  • (Name of Wireless Card)
  • TCP/IP tab
  • Make sure that the top "Configure IPv4" is set to "Using DHCP", and click "Apply Now"
On a PC:
  • Network Connections
  • Right-click on the wireless card, and select Properties
  • Under "This connection uses the following items", double-click Internet Protocol
  • Make sure that both the top and the bottom parts are set to "Obtain..."
Connect to the BCFL network Depending on how you have your laptop set up, it may or may not automatically join our network. If it does not, use the software to view the available networks. When you see "BCFL" listed as an unsecured wireless network, click to connect.
Go to a web page, any web page. Our system will see your request, and will instead present you with a login page. The login page is a secure page (https). Your browser will complain about our certificate. Click to allow the page to load anyway.
Log in Enter your Library Card Number and PIN, click the checkbox for "I accept the Internet Access Policy" and click "Log In".
Surf away!

FAQ

Do I need a library card? Yes, in order to use the library's wireless connection, you will need to login using a valid library card and PIN.
What will I need in order to connect? The BCFL Wireless network is set up to allow connections from 802.11a/b/g. This means that all currently-available WiFi cards should work. Additionally, if you have a laptop but do not have wireless capabilities, the library offers 802.11b cards for in-library checkout (driver's license deposit required)
Is my traffic on the Library's network encrypted? Your traffic will NOT be encrypted. There is very little security on the wireless portion of the library's network to protect your computer traffic from other people's eyes. That being said, websites which are secure will still be secure and encrypted. Signing on to your bank's website is no more dangerous than doing so using a Comcast cable modem (for example).
Is my surfing filtered? Yes, in order for the library system to remain compliant with federal standards which govern our funding, we are required to filter all network traffic.
Can I print to the library's printers using my laptop? At this time, you will not be able to print directly from your laptop. We are working with our printing vendor to allow this, but at this time there is no timeline. As a workaround, you may use your laptop to compose all of your materials, and then transfer those documents to a library computer just for the printing itself. The Express Stations are ideally-suited to this purpose. They offer a 15-minute mini-session, and offer an easier login (no library card required). To transfer your files, you may use a USB drive (also called flash/jump/thumb), removable media (CD, DVD, floppy), or you can use the Internet by emailing the file to yourself or using Internet-based storage. Note that the main Internet computers offer both floppy and CD/DVD drives, but the Express Stations will have either floppy or CD/DVD, but not both.
How much time can I be on the Wireless? There are no time limits for using our Wireless network.
Can I plug my laptop into a power outlet at the Library? We are in the process of setting up available power outlets for laptop users. While the Library will have surge suppression systems in place, BCFL assumes no responsibility for the quality of the power provided. Use at your own risk.
Can I plug into a network port at the library? No, the only way that you are allowed to connect to the network is through the wireless. There are no plans at this time to offer wired access.

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