Q: How Do I Connect?
A: Follow these easy steps:
- Power up your laptop or PDA.
- Make sure your wireless card is installed and working.
- Select "cobpl" from the list of available networks.
- Make sure that WEP Encryption is disabled or “off”.
- Open your Internet browser.
- When the welcome screen appears type in your library card number in the first box.
- Type in the image code in the second box.
- Click enter.
- Congratulations! Surf’s Up
Q: How much does it cost?
A: For Texas residents, there is no charge to access the network, however you must have a Bedford library card.
Q: Ok, then how do I get a library card?
A: You can get a library card by showing a photo ID and proof of address to the staff at the Checkout Desk. Cards are free for Texas residents. Patrons from outside of Texas may purchase a non-resident card for a small fee: $5 for one month, $25 for a year.
Q: When is the network available?
A: The network is available whenever the library is open.
Q: Do I need a password to connect?
A: No. Your Bedford library card number grants you access to the wireless network.
Q: Can I search the Library Catalog and special databases using wireless?
A: Yes. Once you access the wireless connection, you can do anything that you can do on a computer connected to the Internet via a wired connection.
The Nuts & Bolts
Q: How does it work?
A: Wireless Internet (or "Wi-Fi") replaces the “wire” with radio signals. Your laptop or PDA sends and receives signals to an “access point,” which is a computer with an antenna, permanently connected to the Internet.
Q: Are there any hardware and software requirements?
A: Yes. You need to be using a wireless device that is 802.11a or 802.11g compliant and you will need a web browser such as Firefox, Opera, or Internet Explorer.
Q: Why is more than one network listed?
A: You are seeing private wireless networks not affiliated with the library. To use the Library’s public wireless network, select “cobpl.”
Q: Why am I getting a weak signal?
A: Radio waves are affected by distance and other factors such as the amount of metal between the antennas. Generally you will be able to access a signal anywhere there is a table and chairs. However if you have trouble connecting try moving to a different location.
Q: Can the library help me configure or troubleshoot my computer or wireless card?
A: Sorry, everyone's computer is different; you are responsible for configuring your own equipment. However, we can help you locate books that may assist you.
The Fine Print
Q: Are there any restrictions on my use of the Internet?
A: Yes. Wireless users agree to abide by the Library's Acceptable Public Access Computer and Wireless Use Policy. Hacking, spamming, viewing obscene materials, and illegal activities are prohibited. The Library assumes no responsibility for the safety of your equipment or for laptop configurations, security, or data files resulting from connection to the Library's network. Remember, you are in a public place; please behave accordingly.
Q: Is my personal information safe while using wireless?
A: It depends. The library’s wireless network is not encrypted (WEP should be disabled in your settings). Unless you employ data encryption software such as VPN or utilize secure websites via HTTPS, your personal data is not protected and can be “sniffed” by anyone with the right equipment. The library strongly urges that you learn how to secure your personal data when surfing the net.
Q: What else should I know?
A: Please be courteous of other library patrons. We have a small building with limited seating.
- Use headphones or turn off any audible sound if you use your laptop computers in the library.
- Please take cell phone conversations to the lobby.
- Be prepared for your laptop or PDA to be self-powered. Seating near an electrical outlet may not be available; please do not stretch out your power cord so that it presents a tripping hazard.