2008 WiFi Connectivity Grant Setup
Congratulations! You've been approved for the Gates WiFi Connectivity grant.
Soon you will be receiving your equipment. One box contains a
Linksys WRT54G Wireless-G Broadband
Router. The other contains either a
Samsung Q1 Ultra (Q1) or
Inspiron 1525 laptop (Dell). Although you may be tempted to
start unpacking everything and plugging things in, please take a moment to
read through this complete document first as it contains important information
that you should know before offering WiFi to your patrons.
(images not to scale)
Here's what the Commission has done to your computer
- Both have been setup for you including the first-run, software updates, and
- A basic anti-virus program (ClamWin)
and office suite (Open Office) have
been installed on the computer. You are free to replace or augment either of
these with other programs as you see fit. However, if you choose to install
another anti-virus program you MUST uninstall ClamWin first.
- Firefox 3 and
Windows Live Photo
Gallery have also been installed.
Softex OmniPass software, which controls the functionality of the Q1's
fingerprint authentication control, has been disabled because this machine needs to be made available to
- Two accounts have been created: one for staff (you have been e-mailed
the password for that account) and one for the public (which is not password
protected). Both have administrative privileges.
Windows Steady State has been installed. This program is similar to
Centurion Guard which came on previous Gates computers. Any changes made
while logged in as "public" will not be kept. Changes made while logged in
as "staff" will be kept. Access to SteadyState
has been blocked from the public login. (Refer to the section on Windows
Steady State for further details.)
- The library is responsible for installing future software/security updates.
- Michael Sauers at the Commission is generally available to assist with
technical support issues regarding the Q1 and the Dell laptop for 60 days. However, we
strongly encourage you to take advantage of any local tech support resources
you may have before contacting him.
WiFi Router Hardware Setup - Step 1: Initial placement
IMPORTANT: There is no need to install the software that comes on the CD in
the box. Please ignore the CD and Linksys' instructions. Also, just peel the
warning sticker off the back of the router and discard.
- Unpack the router and extend the antenna.
- Connect the power cable to the back of the router and a wall outlet.
- Choose one of your public access desktop computers and unplug the
Ethernet cable from the wall. (Leave it connected to the computer.)
- Using the blue wire that comes in the Linksys box, connect one end of
the wire to the "Internet" outlet in the back of the router.
- Connect the other end of the wire into a public LAN jack that your
desktop computer was connected to.
- Plug the desktop's Ethernet cable into outlet "1" on the back of
Setting Up the WiFi Router Software
On the desktop computer open a browser (Firefox or Internet Explorer).
- In the address bar type http://192.168.1.1/ and press enter.
- The first time you log into the router the username and password are
If your browser offers to remember this password for you say NO or you may
be giving access to your router to any member of the public that uses this
- You will now be on the Basic Setup screen. Change the Time Zone setting
and click the Save Settings button. (Each time you click Save Settings you
will probably see a screen informing you that the settings are being saved.
This is ok and when the router is finished you'll be returned to the
settings screen you were on.)
- Next, click the Wireless link at the top of the page. Once there choose
the Wireless Network Name (SSID) for your router. This is the name that
users will see when they look for signals. Feel free to use something more
specific than Library as I have done in the example. Once you have picked a
name, click Save Settings.
- Now click the Administration link at the top of the page. Here, choose a
new password for logging into your router. THIS IS IMPORTANT! Keeping
admin/admin as you router's login credentials is just asking for someone
to come into your library and cause trouble. Also, be sure to record the new
password in a secure location as unlike many Web sites there is no simple
way to recover it. You will also want to change the UPnP setting to Disable.
This will prevent certain types of software on user laptops from
automatically changing router settings. Once finished, click Save Settings.
- After saving the settings this time you will be asked to re-login to the
router with your new password. (The username is still admin.)
- The final step is to close your browser to log you out of your router.
If you skip this step, the computer's next user may be able to access your
router's settings even without the username and password.
To test your router turn on your laptop (or Q1) and have it display available
networks. You should see the name of your WiFi network listed. Select your
network and connect. If everything is working correctly you should now have full
Internet connectivity. (Refer to the Connecting to WiFi with Vista section
for more details.) If you do not, start over and double-check your settings. If
you are still having trouble connecting refer to the Troubleshooting section
It is recommended that you now disconnect the router from the computer and
the wall, reconnect the desktop
computer to the wall LAN jack, and relocate the router to a new location in your
building. (See the next section.) All of your settings will be remembered even
though the router has been disconnected from a power source. You will not need
to repeat these steps after you've moved the router.
WiFi Router Hardware Setup - Step 2: Final placement
Now that your router is set up you should disconnect the router, plug the
desktop back into the wall directly, and move your router to a better location. The Nebraska Library Commission cannot guarantee that this single Linksys
Wireless Router will provide access throughout your whole building. Factors such
as your building's square footage, number of floors, and construction material
will affect the signal's range. Keeping these things in mind we offer the
following suggestions for where to place your router:
- Try to place the router centrally to where you wish to provide access. As
radio signals radiate out in all directions from the transmission point, a
central placement is best.
- If you have a specific area in your library where you think users would like
to use their laptops, feel free to consider that space when placing your router.
For example, if you have a seating area at one end of the building, and no
seating at the other end, you may want to place the router closer to the seating
area instead of in the middle of the floor.
- Physical security of the router should be something you consider. For
example, the chance of the router walking out of the building is significantly
reduced if you place the router behind the reference desk. Also, you can
probably attach the router high on a wall using some strong Velcro or by
installing a small shelf.
- Considering the location of an available LAN jack will always be important.
The LAN cable that comes with the router is not that long. However, you can
always purchase a longer cable (CAT-5) to extend the distance from an outlet you
can place your router. If you wish to invest a little, you could also get a new
LAN jack installed in the location of your choice. Please keep in mind that for
security reasons, do not plug the router into a jack into which you would connect
a staff computer. (If you do not delineate between staff and public LAN jacks,
then this should not matter to you.) Please keep the router connected only to outlets to which you
would connect a public computer.
- Placing the router in the plenum (the space between the ceiling and the
floor/roof above) is not recommended as this placement will quickly degrade
signal strength and quality. Keeping the outer antenna out in the open will
allow for greater signal strength.
Photo examples of WiFi Router placement. Some are better than others.
Connecting to WiFi with Windows Vista
Your new laptop or Q1 that came with this grant is running Windows Vista and you
may not be familiar with how to connect it to a WiFi signal. Here are the basic
- Boot the computer and log in as either staff or public.
- Look for the connectivity icon in the system tray near the clock. The
icon should be of two computer monitors.
- Click on the connectivity icon and select "Connect to a network".
- When the Connect to a network window appears, the computer will search for
available WiFi signals. It should find yours and show the Network Name (SSID) that you set up
in your router. The bars to the right of the SSID indicate the signal strength.
The closer to your router you are the more bars you should receive.
- Select your Network Name (SSID) and click the Connect button.
- Since you are running an unsecured connection you will receive a warning to that
effect. Click Connect Anyway to confirm you wish to connect.
- Now give the computer a chance to connect to the network. This should
take about 10-15 seconds.
- You will be given the option to Save this network. Be sure this is checked. This
way, in the future, your computer will always connect to this signal whenever it
can without requiring you to repeat this process.
- You should now be connected to the Internet and the connectivity icon
will include a small globe.
- After a few moments you may be asked to set the location type of this
connection. Choose "Public". This disallows others using your WiFi connection
from being able to see items on this computer from across the network.
If in the future you lose connectivity try one or more of the following
troubleshooting steps on the computer:
- If available, test another WiFi enabled device. If it works, it's probably your
computer. If not, it's probably the router. (Refer to the Router Troubleshooting
section of this document.)
- Click on the connectivity icon and choose Connect or disconnect... Select the
WiFi signal you're currently connected to and click Disconnect. They try
reconnecting to the signal.
- Manually disable and re-enable the WiFi antenna on your computer.
- Dell 1525
There is a WiFi switch on the right side of the laptop toward the front.
Slide the switch toward you to turn off the WiFi antenna. Slide it away
from you to reset the antenna.
Press the Menu button above the right side of the screen. Using your
stylus, tap the on-screen "Off" button for Wireless LAN. Wait 10 seconds
then repeat the process tapping the "On" button. (See page 15
of the Q1 Getting Started Guide for screenshots and button locations.)
- Reboot the computer and try reconnecting to the signal.
If none of these steps worked, try troubleshooting the router.
WiFi Router Troubleshooting
When WiFi routers work, they work great. When they don't work, there's not
much you can honestly do. If your patrons are having trouble seeing the SSID,
getting a solid connection, or seem to be surfing more slowly than usual there's
generally just one thing you can do: unplug the router's power (from either
the back of the router or the wall), wait 10-15 seconds, and plug it back in.
After about 30 seconds, the router should reacquire the information it needs
from your network and be ready to start providing access to wireless devices
again. If this doesn't solve the problem, please consider these other relevant
- If the library's Internet connection is down, your router will not be able
to provide WiFi access.
- WiFi connections are slower than cabled connections. While your desktop
computers are most likely getting speeds up to 100MBPS, your WiFi router will
only supply a connection up to 56MBPS. Both of these are also affected by the
number of concurrent users. So, two patrons using your WiFi access at one time
will have faster connections than when there are 10 users at one time.
- Sometimes they just don't want to reset immediately. Try leaving it
unplugged for a longer period of time (maybe 30 minutes) and try again.
- Lastly, you can try resetting the router to the factory settings. To do this,
use a pen or pencil to hold down the reset button on the back of the router for
approximately 15 seconds. If you do this you must immediately redo the setup
steps listed at the beginning of this document.
In the end, this equipment will not last forever and if none of this worked, you
may need to replace it.
WiFi Policy Issues
Here is a short list of items that should be in your library's policy
regarding public-access WiFi.
- Introduce the service
Use your policy as a marketing tool. Start out by pointing out all of the
benefits of the service before you focus on the limitations.
- Technical requirements
What will your patrons need to get connected?
- Disclaimer of liability
It’s their equipment, if they want to use it, they’re responsible for
whatever happens to it.
- Security issues
Open WiFi connections can be intercepted by others with the right equipment
and software. Your patrons need to be warned of this.
- Limits of staff assistance
Unless your whole staff is knowledgeable enough to be able to assist your
patrons with their equipment, make sure to specify that they should not
expect such assistance.
More complete explanations and examples of each of these points can be found
in the Web Junction article
Policy for Public Wireless Internet Access" and the MaintainIT article
"Now that you have
wireless, how about a policy?".
Regarding CIPA and your new Mobile Computer
If you are currently filtering Internet access in order to fulfill certain
requirements of the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) then there may be
certain additional steps you may need to take regarding your new mobile
- If you are filtering at the network level then you need to perform no
additional steps. Since your new mobile computer is connecting to that
network it will also be filtered. This will also filter the public's
equipment that is connecting to your WiFi signal.
- If you are filtering through the installation of software on your public
access computers you will also need to install that software on your new
mobile computer. This will not filter the public's equipment and it is our
understanding at this time that you are not required to filter equipment not
owned by the library.
Equipment Loaning Policy Issues
As part of this Gates Foundation grant libraries are required to make the
computers (Q1 or Dell) available to the public. Here are policies that we
suggest your library should implement in regards to this requirement:
- Mobile computers checked out by the public are not allowed to leave the
- Photo identification should be required to check out a mobile computer.
It is also suggested that you keep the photo identification during the
length of the checkout period.
- Establish a time limit for checking out a mobile computer.
- Have staff shutdown or reboot the computer immediately after it is
returned. This will remove any changes made by, or files left by, the
Promote Your WiFi
sure your patrons are told that you now have free WiFi! Here are a few ideas to
get you started:
Windows Steady State
Windows Steady State is a free Microsoft product that allows computer
administrators to lock down many features of Windows. It has been installed on
both the Q1 and the Dell as a means of security. Only two features have been
enabled in these installations:
feature is set to remove all changes made while logged in to the public
account. Public users will see an on-screen warning of this when the log in.
Steady State allows an administrator to block certain users from running
certain programs. The only program that has been blocked on these computers
is Steady State itself for the public account.
There are many more settings available. If you are interested in finding out
more about the options Steady State offers please refer to the
Steady State Support page on the Microsoft site. However, please consider
carefully any additional restrictions you put on these computers as each
additional restriction can significantly impact usability of the computer.
Also, the staff login will have access to the Steady State program via a
desktop icon (and via the Start menu).
Updating your Mobile Computer
default, Windows Steady State will remove any changes you make to the computer.
However, this is a problem when you wish to do things like install/remove
software and run updates. Here are the steps to make computer-wide changes and
updates to your computer
without Steady State causing problems:
- Boot the computer
- Log in as staff.
- Perform all your changes/updates rebooting if/when necessary making sure
you log in each time as staff.
- Log out of the staff account or shutdown the computer.
If you wish to make a change specifically to the public account (set up
desktop icons, change the sidebar widgets, etc.) you will need to take a few
- Log in as Staff and run Steady State.
- Open the Public account via the icon on the right side of the Steady
- Uncheck the lock profile option and click OK and close Steady State.
- Log out of the Staff account.
- Log in to the Public account.
- Make your changes.
- Log out of the Public account.
- Log in once more to the Staff account and run Steady State.
- Open the Public account, check the lock profile option and click OK.
- Close Steady State and log out of the Staff account.
A few more configuration issues
If you're looking for additional documentation, drivers, or updates they can
be found through the following links: