WiFi FAQ

  1. What kind of network card do I need in my laptop or PDA in order to use the wireless network at CSM Library?
  2. Is 802.11a supported?
  3. What settings do I use to connect to the library's wireless network?
  4. Do I need a specific IP address or DNS or gateway server configured for this to work?
  5. Do I need to login with a username or password to use the wireless network?
  6. Do I need a WEP key in order access the wireless network?
  7. From where can I access CSM Library’s wireless network?
  8. Can I print from the library's wireless network?
  9. Can I do email over the wireless network?
  10. What is the maximum bandwidth available over a wireless connection?
  11. Does it matter how many people are using the wireless network at one time?
  12. Will I experience interference or disruptions on the wireless network?
  13. Are wireless communications between client computers and access points encrypted?
  14. Who can I contact if I am having trouble connecting?


What kind of network card do I need in my laptop or PDA in order to use the wireless network at CSM Library?
An 802.11b or 802.11g wireless network card. Even though 802.11b and 802.11g wireless network adapters may be compatible, CSM Library/SMCCCD will not guarantee your adapter will work with our network. We have successfully tested adapters from Cisco, 3COM, Intel, Dell, Netgear and Apple.

Is 802.11a supported?
No.

What settings do I use to connect to the library's wireless network?
SSID or Network Name: SMCCCD Public
WEP: Disable
IP or Network Settings: DHCP enabled or obtain an IP address automatically
DNS: Obtain DNS address automatically
Gateway: No default gateway set - your card should detect it automatically
Close settings and restart computer if necessary.

Do I need a specific IP address or DNS or gateway server configured for this to work?
No. Your IP address will be assigned automatically by our DHCP server.

Do I need to login with a username or password to use the wireless network?
No.  Once your wireless network card is configured correctly, it will recognize our access point and you will have access to the Internet.

Do I need a WEP key in order access the wireless network?
No. The network is open to all users without a special login or account.

From where can I access CSM Library’s wireless network?
The network is accessible from anywhere inside of the library and in many areas adjacent to the library building.

Can I print from the library's wireless network?
B&W printing is available from the library's wireless network.  Follow the link for specific instructions on how to set-up your Windows® or Macintosh® laptop computer to connect to the library’s printer.

Can I do email over the wireless network?
If you are using web-based mail, then the answer is yes.  For security reasons many non-standard Internet ports are blocked on the wireless network, so non-web-based email may not work. 

What is the maximum bandwidth available over a wireless connection?
With 802.11b the maximum possible is 11Mbs and with 802.11g the maximum is 54Mbs.  Actual bandwidth may vary greatly depending on factors such as: network adapter, local building materials, proximity to access points, etc.

Does it matter how many people are using the wireless network at one time?
Yes.  The more active users there are on the same wireless network, the slower it will work.  They share the available bandwidth, so it depends on what they are all doing.  A single access point should be able to handle about 30 connected users without becoming too sluggish, unless they are all attempting some high bandwidth operation.  For the consideration of all we recommend that you do not try to download large email attachments or run streaming media over the wireless network.

Will I experience interference or disruptions on the wireless network?
It is possible.  The wireless network operates at the 2.4GHz radio frequency range, the same range used by mobile phones, microwave ovens and other RF devices.  Large physical barriers, like steel reinforced walls, will cause interference.

Are wireless communications between client computers and access points encrypted?
No.  They are open, non-encrypted, and could potentially be intercepted.  Use the network with this understanding.

Who can I contact if I am having trouble connecting?
CSM Library cannot assist with wireless configuration on a user's laptop or other device. We ask that you consult the user manual that came with your wireless adaptor for configuration information.