Q: Where can I use the MPL wireless network?
A: The network is accessible from anyplace in the library, including the outside patio and the downstairs conference room.
Q: How do I connect / Do I need to log in?
A: MPL provides an open, unsecured network, so no login is required. Your Windows network, Apple Airport, or wireless card software should automatically detect the access points.
Q: Which network to I connect to?
Depending on where you are in the library, you will see one or more of the following access points:
You should only use these APs, and can connect to whichever signal is strongest. Any other access points listed are either unavailable for public use, or are coming from other users in the library.
- MPL Great Hall
- MPL Fiction
- MPL Offices
- MPL Basement
- MPL Childrens
Q: What if I can't connect?
A: Please try the following steps:
- Does it work for others in your area of the library? If yes, continue with #3 . If no, see #2.
- Does it work for you in another area of the library, using another access point? If yes, please tell staff which AP name (or area of the library) gave you trouble. If no, continue with #3.
- Check that your wireless card is set to use automatic addressing (DHCP) (It may not be set this way if you use other specific wifi network settings when at home or work.)
- Check that your wireless card is turned on. Many laptops have an on/off switch for the wireless card.
- Check if Windows is preventing you from automatically connecting. Windows may detect the network, but will not connect until you tell it to do so. (This is especially true when it detects an "unsecured" network, like at MPL.)
- Try refreshing the network list, and/or disconnecting and reconnecting to the strongest MPL access point.
- In Windows Network Connections, if you see an IEEE 1394 connection, try disabling it (Right click - disable).
Q: Is the information on my laptop safe / Are my Internet activities safe?
No, unless you have taken your own steps toward making them safe. The library wireless network is an "open", or "unsecured", network. As such, it does not protect the information on your laptop, or information transmitted when using the Internet.
Gathered from various Internet sources, here are some tips to make your use of an unsecured wireless network safer:
- Install firewall sofware to guard against incoming network attacks
- Install and frequently update anti-virus software, preferably one that scans Internet traffic as it passes to and from the host system
- Install anti-spyware sofware
- Avoid checking confidential accounts or making personal transactions online when using a wireless connection.
- If you do check confidential accounts (including web-based email) or make transactions, be sure the web site uses a secured (https://) connection.
- If using POP3 to check your email, contact your email provider and see if they support an SSL connection.
- Minimize the amount of time you are exposed to network threats, by disconnecting from the wireless network when you're not using it.
- Consider a VPN service, which creates an encrypted connection to the service, and routes all your internet traffic through that.
Q: What does "Laptop-friendly table" mean?
A: It is a place with an electrical outlet nearby, in case you need to plug in your laptop.
Q: Do you filter web sites or web content?
Q: If there are too many users, will I be blocked from using the wireless network?
Q: How fast is the Internet connection at MPL?
A: The connection is comparable to average DSL/Cable modem service, but your speed will vary, depending on traffic from other wifi users in the library and beyond. MPL access points operate at up to 54Mbps (802.11g); and the library has a fiber optic connection to the Internet. The wireless network has been allocated a portion of this connection, which is shared among users. You can see your current connection speed by going to http://reviews.cnet.com/internet-speed-test/
Q: How was the wireless network funded?
A: MPL wireless network
equipment and setup costs were kindly funded by the Friends of
the Menlo Park Library. The Friends is an organization of volunteers
dedicated to enhancing the library, its resources and services.
Activities include sponsorship of events and efforts to promote
literacy, as well as raising funds through the sale of donated
books. To volunteer, or for more information, call 330-2521.