Wireless @ Your
Why are we doing this?Westlake
Porter Public Library is offering free wireless Internet access for our
patrons as another public service. Students find convenience in having
their own computer at hand with the resources of the library all around
them. Users are also able to access some resources, like World Book
Online, previously reachable only through library-owned computers.
Business people and travelers can receive and send email and connect
with their office networks at high speed and without being tethered to
the wall by a cable. Owners of Wi-Fi equipped devices such as iPhones,
iPads, Kindles and Nooks, are able to do all of those things plus
easily carry their personal access to our Web catalog as they walk
around the library in search of just the right item. Users can access
our network to download ebooks and other materials to their personal
What areas are covered?
With only a few weak spots, the entire main floor of the library has
free public wireless Internet access available. A single Wireless
Access Point (WAP) serves nearly the entire main public floor (SSID =
WPPL) of the library; good signal strength can be found from Special
Services and the Circulation Desk to the Reference Desk and from the
outdoor reading garden to Youth Services. Weaker signal strength is
noted in the Reference Study Rooms due to steel stud work inside the
walls. The meeting room wing is served by the WAP "WPPL_North." The
Cafe and lobby areas are best served by "WPPL_Cafe."
What are the settings to use ?
The default setting is to use DHCP to obtain an IP address. Our access
points are set for "infrastructure" operation. Encryption is not
available so no key or password is required. Be sure your laptop's
Wi-Fi is turned on or enabled and not in "airplane mode" (turned off).
How do I connect?From
the library location you have chosen to use and using the operating
system and wireless networking software that is installed on your
computer, scan for WAPs. You may be given a list of several WAPs from
which to choose. Our SSIDs are: "WPPL", "WPPL_North", and "WPPL_Cafe"
-- do NOT connect to any other SSID while visiting here! Our primary
public WAPs use open authentication which means you do not need an
encryption key nor will encryption be available (see "Is It Secure?", below).
Choose to connect to the WAP having the stronger signal. Be sure to
consider and acknowledge any security notices your system
presents -- you are connecting to a broadband public network and
it is good to be safe and bad to be sorry!
How fast is it?
The IEEE 802.11b standard has a nominal speed of 11 megabits per second
(Mbps). The 802.11g standard's best is 54 Mbps. However, depending on
signal quality and how many other people are using the wireless
Ethernet through a particular Access Point, usable speed may be less.
Speed will likely still be substantially faster than most dialup
connections, and faster than many DSL and cable modem connections. To
put that into perspective, wired 10BaseT Ethernet is a full 10 Mbps,
and a 56K modem connection is
.056 Mbps. Our Internet connection is via 10 Mbps fiber-Ethernet
provided by the OPLIN: Ohio Public Library Information Network, funded
by the state of Ohio.
Is it secure?
No! Wireless Ethernet is
insecure by default.
Any user on the Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) can spy on
unencrypted traffic from other wireless users. Our public hot spots are
currently unencrypted to allow for open access. Please take wise
security precautions. All users should, at the very least, use personal
firewalls and turn off file/print sharing to protect against intrusion
and data theft.
Wireless users are advised to use SSL to
connect to secure web pages and mail hosts, SSH instead of telnet
whenever possible, and VPNs (virtual private networks) for all other
data to ensure privacy and security. Business users in wireless hot
spots should utilize their corporate VPN connection, if one is
available, to protect traffic as it travels over the airwaves and
through the Internet.
Wired connections are generally
more secure than wireless but wired users should also take precautions
such as use of personal firewalls and VPNs, when available. Free
high-speed (100 Mbps) wired connections are available in specified
areas of the library -- ask at the Electronic Services Desk.
sure your browser is connected via a secure channel before entering
passwords, account numbers, etc. Ask for advice if you are uncertain
about how to learn your encryption status.
It's my computer, can't I do whatever I want?
Within limits, you may. But since you will be attached to the library's
network you must abide by our rules concerning acceptable
use. Among those rules: no attempts to attack our systems or those of
others, no illegal behavior. Personal behavior policies also apply
while you are on library property; those policies generally require
simple respect for the rights of others -- no excessive noise,
offensive language, etc. Breaking the rules may lead to loss of
computer and/or library privileges, even criminal prosecution. Ask a
librarian for a printed copy of our policy if you wish to learn more.
What equipment do I need?Modern notebook computers generally have wireless networking built-in. Key attributes to
look for are a system that is fully 802.11b/g compliant, and Wi-Fi
How much will this cost me
for equipment?Westlake Porter Public Library's Wi-Fi is a free public service and there is no cost to access it.
last modified: 9/17/2012