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BCPL Wireless

The Broome County Public Library is pleased to offer Wireless Internet Access.

What is Wireless Internet Access?

Wireless Internet Access allows you to access the Internet from your laptop computer without plugging it into a wall outlet or a floor box to gain a connection. This allows you to use the Internet in most areas of the library.

What do I need?

You need a laptop computer with a standard wireless network interface card (NIC). Your NIC needs to be compatible with the Wi-Fi standards "802.11b" or 802.11g."

What do these terms mean?

  • Wi-Fi - stands for WIreless-FIdelity. This is a logo from the Wi-Fi Alliance that certifies that Ethernet devices comply with the IEEE 802.11 wireless standard. In the early 2000s, Wi-Fi/802.11 became widely used ("Wi-Fi").

  • 802.11b - wireless standard that transmits data at up to 11 Mbps (megabits per second), approximately the same speed as most office networks today and can reach up to 300 feet if there are no obstructions.

  • 802.11g - newer wireless standard that works with 802.11b equipment. It can transmit data up to five times faster (55 Mbps) and is designed to use the same wireless transmitters and receivers as 802.11 b.

What speed is the wireless connection at BCPL?

All of the wireless connections at BCPL access the Internet through a wireless link to our ISP that sends and receives data at 1.5 mbs in each direction. The response time you see on your laptop also depends upon how large the web page or file is, the speed of the website's connection to the Internet and how many other wireless users are transmitting data at the same time.

Where Can I Get a Wi-Fi Card?

Many new laptops come with Wi-Fi as a standard feature. Older laptops can be outfitted with an 802.11b or 802.11g wireless network interface (NIC) card at local electronics and computer stores or by purchasing online. Consult your laptop manual for specifications.

How can I tell whether the wireless network is working?

After your laptop has been properly configured it should sense the wireless network as soon as you turn it on. If you don't get a response for two or three minutes, please "reboot" your laptop and try again. "Rebooting" means shutting off electrical power to the laptop using the recommended method and then turning it back on again.

My computer works in the Library but now won't work at home or work. Do you know why?

If you changed your laptop's network configuration to make it work in the Library, remember to change it back when you are at home or at work.

My software programs won't work in the library.

The library does not guarantee or support wireless access with any specific software program.

Is the information on my laptop safe from hackers while I am connected?

The Library's wireless network is not secure. Information sent from or to your laptop can be captured by anyone else with a wireless device and the appropriate software, within three hundred feet. We recommend that you utilize virus protection, personal firewall, and other measures to protect the information on your laptop. The library is not responsible for any loss of information or damage to your laptop that might result from using the wireless network.

Works Cited:

Thank you to the Tompkins County Public Library, the Juneau Public Libraries and Schenectady County Public Library for providing some of their text in creating this FAQ.

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