Frequently Asked Questions

1. I can’t get a WiFi signal, but the person next to me can.

Not all wireless cards are the same. Your card may not be the same quality as your neighbor's.

2. Do all PDAs support wireless?

While not all PDAs support wireless, several manufacturers have adopted the 802.11b standard.

3. Will my Macintosh work with the KPL WiFi network?

Yes, as long as it supports 802.11b or 802.11g wireless.

4. Do I need special software or drivers to connect?

While you don’t need special software, up-to-date drivers have remedied many connection problems. The drivers included with your card may be several generations old. Updates are usually available on the vendor's website.

5. What are 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, etc.?

 802.11a (aka WiFi5) - Theoretical speeds up to 54 Mbps (with a fallback to 48Mbps, 36Mbps, 24Mbps 18Mbps, 12Mbps, 9Mbps, 6Mbps) in the 5 GHz band. Not compatible with 802.11b.

 802.11b (aka WiFi) - Theoretical speeds up to 11 Mbps (with a fallback to 5.5 Mbps, 2 Mbps and 1 Mbps) in the 2.4 GHz band, the most popular standard. The majority of WiFi HotSpot locations and equipment utilize this.

 802.11g - Theoretical speeds up to 54 Mbps (with a fallback to 48 Mbps, 36 Mbps, 24 Mbps, 18 Mbps, 12 Mbps, 11 Mbps, 9 Mbps, 6 Mbps, 5.5 Mbps, 2 Mbps, 1 Mbps) in the 2.4 GHz band, extremely fast AND compatible with 802.11b.

6. What do all the acronyms mean?

  • AP - Access Point
  • ISP - Internet Service Provider
  • SSID - Service Set Identifier
  • VPN - Virtual Private Networking
  • WEP - Wired Equivalent Privacy
  • WIFI - Wireless Fidelity
  • WISP - Wireless Internet Service Provider
  • WLAN - Wireless Local Area Network

7. Can I print  from my laptop using the KPL’s printers?

Yes! KPL WiFi users may print from portable computers (sorry, no tablets or smart phones). Follow these instructions.

8. I don’t have a laptop computer. How can I use the network?

You may access the Internet and KPL’s online resources from computers located throughout the library.

9. Does the WiFi network pose a health hazard?

No, the WiFi network does not pose any health risk. It uses radio signals within the spectrum of safety. Learn more at the FCC.

10. What kind of wireless card do I need?

You need an 11Mbps 802.11b or 802.11g wireless network card. Many new laptop computers have wireless capability built in.

11. How long may I connect to KPL’s WiFi network?

We have not yet implemented a time limit; we reserve the right to set a limit later.

12. Why can’t I use Outlook, AOL, or other email clients with KPL’s WiFi network?

KPL does not enable use of POP3 email clients, such as Outlook, to prevent the use of the library’s network to send spam. You may use web-based email services such as Gmail or Yahoo while connected to KPL’s WiFi. Check with your ISP – they may provide a web-based email site that you can use while you're connected via KPL’s WiFi network.

13. Do I need to update Windows for wireless?

You don't need to update Windows specifically for wireless, but you should keep your system software fully patched and up to date. Microsoft recommends that you protect your computer by installing all "service packs" for your version of Windows. Protect your machine with anti-virus and personal firewall software.

14. I can't get XP to connect with KPL's WiFi.

On some XP laptops with both wireless and wired (Ethernet) connectivity, vendors ship with the Network Bridge turned on. You may need to delete this (under Control Panel, Network Connections). Numerous problems reported with Windows XP Service Pack 1 have been resolved by Service Pack 2.

15. I can't use your wireless with Windows 2000.

A machine with an integrated wireless card running Windows 2000 might stop working after installing SP3. Microsoft Knowledge Base article 327947 states that Windows 2000 SP3 turns off PCMCIA-to-PCI IRQ routing, which causes problems for integrated Lucent/Orinoco wireless adapters. Follow the Microsoft Support document instructions to re-enable the card.

16. Does a wireless card reduce battery life?

The wireless card does use the battery more since it is constantly radiating a signal to the access point.

17. I have problems connecting with Internet Explorer (IE).

In some cases, the proxy server setting is present in your browser. On a public network like KPL's, you should turn off proxy servers. The wireless network cannot allow unauthenticated connections to external proxy servers for security reasons.

To check your proxy setting, go under Internet Options, Connections, verify that the Dial-up and Virtual Private Network settings are set to "Never dial a connection."

Under Local Area Network (LAN) Settings, uncheck the following:

  • "Automatic Detect Settings"
  • "Use Automatic Configuration Script"
  • "Use a Proxy Server for your LAN"

18. I own a Cisco, D-Link, Linksys, Netgear, Nortel, or SMC a/b/g wireless card. My WiFi connection seems slow.

Check with the manufacturer. Upgrades are regularly available for popular cards.

19. Can a cell phone interrupt my KPL WiFi connection?

A cell phone probably won't interrupt your connection with KPL's WiFi. However, some cordless phones and microwave ovens operate within the frequency range of wireless networks and can interfere with their connection.

20. What else can interrupt my connection?

Wireless connects using radio waves. Things that interfere with radio signals can also interfere with your wireless connection. Wood, people, fish tanks, and walls can all interrupt or diminish the signal. If you have trouble, try moving to a different part of the room or within sight of the Wireless Access Point (AP).

21. Why does the wireless network data transfer rate vary?

Two possibilities include your distance from the AP and the number of users connected. Rates range from 54 Mbps to 1 Mbps depending on your signal strength. Since a wireless network is a shared network, its data transfer capability also depends on how many users are using the same AP.

22. I think I got a virus from KPL's WiFi.

WiFi networks do not produce viruses. Viruses are transmitted through the Internet, often as attachments to email. KPL strongly recommends that all users have virus protection and personal firewall software installed on their laptops.

23. If I use my laptop at KPL, does public WiFi provide the same filters and security protections that are on the library’s public PCs?

The public WiFi is not encrypted, nor does it provide any anti-virus or security software. There are no Internet filters on the public computers or KPL’s public WiFi. Just like most public places, our WiFi is open and could be scanned by outsiders. Patrons should be careful with passwords and on-line shopping when using any public WiFi connection.