Wireless Internet Access

Connect At the Library Via Wi-Fi

What is a Wireless Connection?

Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) is a wireless technology similar to what cellular telephones use to communicate. Wireless-enabled computers, laptops, and PDAs use radio frequencies to send and receive data indoors and out; anywhere within range of a wireless signal. JCPL has added Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) points to allow patrons the opportunity to connect to the Internet using their own equipment in the Library.

For wireless Internet access, your laptop must have 802.11b- or 802.11g- compliant wireless capability, a charged battery and/or a power cord, and an Internet browser such as Internet Explorer or Firefox.

Please Note:

JCPL's Wi-Fi service is offered as a courtesy to patrons who have their own equipment. Because of the vast array of wireless cards on the market, JCPL staff will not be able to answer technical questions about your specific card configuration. The Library cannot guarantee that your equipment will work with the Library's network and is not responsible for any changes you make to your computer's settings.

Connecting with Wireless

Follow these steps to connect to the Internet:

  1. Plug in your power cord (if needed)
  2. If your laptop does not have built-in wireless capability, make sure the internel wireless card is turned on. If the laptop does not have built-in wireless capability, insert the wireless card. Connect to one of JCPL's "Public" networks (there is one in each Branch building.)
  3. Power on the laptop
  4. Open a browser window e.g. Internet Explorer or Firefox

In most cases you will not need to change the settings on your laptop to connect. However, if you are unable to connect immediately, see the "Trouble Connecting" section.

Note: The Library's wireless network is not secure and information sent from or to your laptop could be captured by anyone else with a wireless device and the appropriate software. We recommend your laptop have the latest operating system service packs and anti-virus software before connecting to the Internet.

Trouble Connecting? Check these first

  • Check your wireless card configuration properties. Locate available networks and connect to one of JCPL's "Public" networks. WEP encryption should be disabled. The mode or network type should be "infrastructure mode" or "access point."
  • Check that your wireless connection is enabled and is receiving a strong signal. If the signal strength is poor, try moving to another location within the Library to improve signal strength and quality.
  • Ensure your browser is not configured to work offline.
  • Ensure your browser is not configured to use a dial-up connection.
  • Ensure your browser is not set to run through a proxy. For example, the proxy settings in Internet Explorer are under Tools > Internet Options > Connections > LAN Settings. If using Mac OS X, go to the Apple menu and click System Preferences > Network > Proxies.
  • Check your laptop's network TCP/IP settings:
    • Windows 2000/XP: Access the Control Panel under Network and/or Internet Connections > Wireless Network Connection. Find the properties for TCP/IP and ensure that Obtain an IP Address Automatically and Obtain a DNS Server Automatically are selected.
    • Windows Vista: Access the Control Panel under Network & Internet > under Network & Sharing Center select View Network Status & Tasks > Connection Wireless Network Connection (Public) > View Status > Properties > Select Internet Protocol version 4 > Properties and ensure that Obtain an IP Address Automatically and Obtain a DNS Server Automatically are selected.
    • Mac OS X: Go to the Apple menu and click System Preferences > Network. Find the TCP/IP settings. Configure IPv4 should be using DHCP. Leave the DNS Servers and Search Domains boxes blank.

Also, try these suggestions

  1. On the task bar at the bottom of the screen, in the lower right hand corner, position the mouse pointer over the icon that looks like a computer until the screen tip indicates "Wireless Network Connection"
  2. Right click on the computer icon and a shortcut menu will appear
  3. On the shortcut menu click on "Open Network Connections"
  4. A window will open listing one or more 'connections', i.e., Local Area Connection
  5. Right-click on "Wireless Network Connection" and a shortcut menu will appear
  6. On the shortcut menu click on "Properties"
  7. A dialog box will appear. Click the "General" tab at the top of the dialog box
  8. Midway down the dialog box, find "This connection uses the following items"
  9. Click on the words "Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)"
  10. Click on the "Properties" button below and to the right of "Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)"
  11. A dialog box will appear that says "Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) Properties" at the top. Click on the "General" tab.
  12. Click inside the radio button next to Obtain an IP address automatically
  13. Click inside the radio button next to Obtain DNS server address automatically
  14. Click on OK; Click on OK again
  15. Close the "Network Connections" window
  16. Bring up a browser window on the laptop and a webpage should now display.

Please note: If you were still unable to connect after trying these suggestions, you may need to contact the manufacturer of your hardware or software for assistance. If you are using a work computer, contact your IT department.