Wireless Internet Access

The Ripon Public Library offers free wireless Internet access to all library visitors. Handouts are usually available at the circulation desk with basic information about the service and how to configuring your Windows-based laptop to use the wireless connection. This document provides additional information about the service.

Wireless access is available to both library patrons and visitors. A library or temporary use card is not currently required. There are no age requirements or restrictions; however, parents or guardians of children under 18 years of age should take responsibility in supervising their children's proper and safe use of the Internet.  Our library's computer and Internet use policy also applies to wireless users.

I'm having connection issues with my iPad and your library's Wi-Fi!

We have encountered a number of patrons who have been unable to use our free Wi-Fi service with iPad devices.  Symptoms include dropped network connections and extremely slow speeds.  The solution for this has been to reset the network settings on the iPad in question. To this:

  • Go to the Settings app
  • On the left side, select General
  • Scroll down and select Reset
  • Select Reset Network Settings

How do I use this service?

In order to access the wireless Internet connection, you will need a notebook / laptop computer with either built-in wireless technology or a wireless network card. Other wireless devices (such as wireless-capable PDAs) might also work. The Library does not provide laptop computers for public use. Most newer computers will automatically detect and connect to an available wireless network. Although the handout includes basic information on configuring your computer's settings, you should consult your equipment's documentation for information on changing your equipment's network settings to connect to our network.

Where is this service available?

The wireless Internet connection is available anywhere within the library building, including the lower level meeting rooms, although signal strength and connection speed may be reduced in certain locations (including the lower level meeting rooms). In testing, a more than usable connection was obtainable in all public areas of the building, and in travelling throughout the building, no signal loss occurred. (Even at the slower 2.0 Mbps speeds, your connection could still be 35 times faster than a dial-up connection!)

If you need to use the wireless access in the lower level meeting rooms, we suggest that you test your equipment prior to the date of the actual meeting.

Why / how is this service provided?

In keeping with the goals of the Ripon Public Library, offering wireless Internet access helps to provide the public with open access to informational, educational, and recreational materials and information sources. Potentially, it may also reduce the congestion which sometimes occurs with our public Internet stations.

The wireless Internet access is provided through the Library's existing high-speed T1 line and multiple wireless routers. Funding for the wireless equipment and related hardware was provided through the Library's normal operating budget. System setup was conducted by technical staff from Winnefox and Ripon.

What are some advantages?

You won't spend any time waiting for an available Internet station - our wireless connection is always on, always available. There are times of the day when demand for Internet access outweighs the available computer resources. Our wireless access provides an extension to our existing Internet service.

There are no limits on time or use with the wireless network (although we do request that users refrain from activities which may monopolize available bandwidth and interfere with other users).

Users may access the Internet from almost any location in the library - even a comfortable chair by the fireplace.

Are there any limitations?

Users are subject to existing Library policies concerning computer / Internet use and public behavior where applicable.

Wireless Internet access is limited to World Wide Web content only. FTP service, POP email access (Outlook / Outlook Express), and other Internet programs will not work.

Printing is not possible through the wireless network - however, you may save your files to a USB flash drive, floppy disk or recordable CD-ROM, or email them to a web-based email account, and then print them from one of our public Internet workstations. The Internet workstations allow you to open Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher) files, and most image files, from USB flash drives, floppy disk or CD-ROM.

Wireless access speed may be limited by the number of users simultaneously connected, your physical location in the building, and other factors over which the Library has no control.

What if I'm having trouble connecting?

Library staff will not assist you with your computer equipment; in general, Library staff are not trained to service or configure computer equipment, and cannot accept the liability of handling your personal property. Library staff will be happy to assist you in finding books or online resources that will teach you how to do this yourself.

If you are having problems connecting, Library staff are available to assist you in obtaining reference materials about using your computer, and in locating a local computer service center.

What about privacy / security?

The wireless network is not secure, and it may be possible for other users to potentially eavesdrop on your communications. We suggest that you take additional steps to secure your data, such as using websites with Secure Socket Layer (SSL) connections, or using SSH or VPN connections. We also encourage the use of antivirus and firewall software on your personal computer equipment. The Library is not responsible for ensuring your privacy or the safety of your data or hardware while connected to our wireless network.

The Library does not save any personal information, details about your connection, or the information you transmit and receive, other than the temporary information that must be stored about your computer in order to allow it to establish a wireless connection. The Library does not actively monitor your connection; however, users who are discovered, by staff or other patrons, to be viewing inappropriate content or performing illegal activities may be asked to cease using the wireless network or leave the building, and may be reported to the proper authorities.  Users who abuse the wireless connection or cause disruptions to the network may have their device blocked from wireless access.

You as a user are responsible for taking appropriate steps to safeguard your computer from viruses and other online threats. The Library is not responsible for any loss or damage incurred as a direct or indirect result of using our wireless network.