Library Offers Wireless Internet "Hotspot"

Library WiFi log by Alan Melancon

In response to the increasing demand for Internet access on its public computers, the library has installed equipment that will allow patrons with properly equipped laptop computers to wirelessly access the library’s high-speed Internet connection.

Locations with this type of Internet access are commonly known as wireless hotspots, and are becoming increasingly common as wireless networking technology often referred to as WiFi, becomes more mainstream. With this technology in place, library patrons can bring their own laptop computers to the library and use them to access the Internet as well as the familiar programs and personal documents stored on their computers.

Library Director Catherine Creedon says that this service alleviates some of the demand for the traditional wired public access computers. The demand typically reaches its peak during the summer season, but remains fairly high year-round. “Waiting times for our seven public access stations have decreased as more and more patrons opt to bring their own laptops and connect wirelessly. Our wired-stations are most commonly used to read e-mail, which requires a connection to the Internet. Now that those with their own computers can connect wirelessly, we are able to provide Internet access to more patrons than ever before,” Creedon said.

Wireless laptop, front view

“The wireless access moved with us to our temporary location at 34 West Water Street,” said John Jermain’s Coordinator of Technology and Media, Eric Cohen. “We used the opportunity of the move to uprade our WiFi network by installing equipment that supports the technical standard known as 802.11n. Our hotspot also supports the older and more common standards known as 802.11a, 802.11b and 802.11g. Continuing to support the older standardspermits a significantly larger group of wireless laptop owners to utilize the system.” The main difference between the various types of wireless access is the speed at which the transmitting and receiving radios are able to move data. 802.11n reaches speeds of up to 100 Mbps (megabits per second). The 802.11g standard supports speeds up to 54Mbs, while 802.11b peaks at 11Mbs.

In order to take advantage of this new technology, laptop computers must be equipped with a wireless network adapter supporting the 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g or 802.11n standards. In addition, the library has three laptops computers (two PCs, one Macintosh) equipped with wireless technology that are available for loan to library patrons. We also have a wireless network adapter to loan patrons who may own older laptop comptuers which are not equipped for wireless Internet access.The wireless adaptors and laptop computers are available to library cardholders for in-library use only.

Experienced WiFi users will find it quiet simple to configure their systems to connect to the library’s network. Just connect to the JJER-Publc WiFi network and then open a browser, and agree to our terms and conditions. Please note that printing is not currently available to WiFi users. Those with less experience will be able to get technical support from the network administrator. For more information contact Eric Cohen at 631-725-0049, ext. 237 or ericc@johnjermain.org.



Wifi Logo © Alan Melancon used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike-Noncommercial license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/.