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Wireless Computing

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Which branches have wireless connections?

A. All San Diego Public Library locations

Q. How does it work?

A. Wireless access points located throughout the library communicate with your wireless device. You should be able to connect almost anywhere in the building where there is a sitting area. When your wireless network card senses a signal, a message may appear on your screen indicating a wireless network is available. Open your web browser. If your laptop does not have wireless built-in, you can install a WiFi-compatible network card. The Library cannot guarantee your equipment will work with the Library's network.

Q. Is my information safe while using wireless?

A. Your information is not protected while using wireless, unless you are connected to a web page that employs encryption (stores, banks, etc.). Keep this in mind if you are accessing sensitive business or personal information.

Q. Are there any restrictions on my use of the Internet?

A. Wireless users agree to abide by the Library's Internet use policy which prohibits abusive or illegal activity while using the Library's Internet service. Only web browsing is available via our wireless connection. Services other than http/https, such as telnet, secure shell, etc. are not supported. The Library assumes no responsibility for the safety of equipment or for laptop configurations, security, or data files resulting from connection to the Library's network.

Q. Will I need any special settings or passwords to connect?

A. No special encryption settings, user names or passwords are required. Use the SSID of sdpl and turn web encryption off. The Library supports 802.11n wireless networking specifications.

Some settings which may help are:

  • SSID or Network Name: SD Library WiFi
  • WEP: disabled
  • IP or Network Settings: DHCP enabled (or) obtain IP address automatically
  • DNS: obtain DNS automatically
  • Network Mode: Infrastructure (or) Access point

Q. Is the library's wireless network secured?

A. The Library's wireless network does not allow clients to communicate with each other, however, personal device security is the responsibility of the individual.

Q. Can I send email over the wireless network?

A. If you are using a web-based email service (Hotmail, Yahoo, etc.), you will be able to send emails. If you are using a client-based SMTP server, you may be able to receive mail but NOT send. Sending email using an email client (e.g. Microsoft Outlook) is blocked for security reasons.

Q. Can the library help me configure my computer?

A. Sorry, everyone's computer is different and you are responsible for knowing how to configure your own equipment. Below are some basic troubleshooting techniques, but you should contact your hardware or software provider for any additional assistance:

  • You will need a WiFi-compliant 802.11n wireless Ethernet device installed in your laptop or a laptop with built-in WiFi capability.
  • Set your TCP client software to obtain addresses automatically from a server.
  • Install and configure TCP/IP software by opening the Network icon in the Control Panel. Under Protocol settings, add TCP/IP. Set the IP address to obtain an IP address automatically. Leave all other fields blank. Restart the laptop for the changes to take effect.

Q. What else should I know about using the Library's hotspots?

A. The Library has a limited number of public tables and seating, and not all seating is within easy reach of electrical outlets. Be prepared for your computer to be self-powered. Do not block or cross aisles or floors with extension or power cords. Your power cord cannot constitute a trip hazard or otherwise block access for Library patrons or staff. Please do not move chairs or tables to electrical outlets.

Turn off any audible sound if you use your laptop computers in the Library, or use headphones. The Library does not provide headphones.

Signal strength and performance will vary within the Library depending on the location of the equipment that produces the radio signals, so some areas of our buildings may not have wireless service or may have slower internet service.

Although the wireless internet service is usually available, it is not guaranteed and during times of high use or technical problems the wireless service may not be available.

Q. How fast is the wireless connection at the Library?

A. Connection speeds will fluctuate due to varying levels of use at different times of the day, and your proximity to wireless access points and signal strength may have some impact on connection speed.