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WiFi Is Here: Wireless Internet Access at MHL

Memorial Hall Library offers wireless "WiFi" access to the Library's Internet service for properly equipped laptops. When you use the Internet in the Library you are accepting the library's Internet Access Policy (Acceptable Use Policy). Please take the time to read the policy before accessing the network.


  • No waiting for a free PC
  • No enforced time limits...connect as long as you like
  • Spread out at a larger table in a quieter area of the building
  • Fast access
  • Download files
  • Save your files permanently on your own device


  • A WiFi network is less secure than a wired network (see below
  • Signal strength varies within the Library

Where You Can Pick Up the Wireless Signal

The entire building is not wireless accessible -- the library steel shelving interferes with the wireless signal. But you should be able to pick up the wireless signal on most of the main level (Level 1), on part of Level 2, and in parts of the Ground Floor.

What You Will Need

  • Wireless network interface card (most newer laptops have this built in)
  • A laptop configured to use the Library's Internet connection
  • Charged battery -- the library has some accessible electrical outlets near some tables, but not all. The tables in the Teen Room are wired for power and data, and everyone is free to use those tables when school is in session. However, after school and on weekends, those tables are reserved for use by teens.
  • Compatible headphones if you plan to use audio files. Inexpensive headphones are available at the Circulation Desk for $4.

If You Want to Print...

You can print from virtually any internet connected computer or device to our printer by visiting Mobile printing apps for for most smart phones and tablets are also available. See for details.

How Safe is WiFi?

The Internet is a public communications network, which means that there can be untrusted parties between you and anybody you communicate with. WiFi unplugs the Internet and makes personal security risks more visible. WiFi poses the same risks to your personal information that a wired network poses, as well as some new risks. WiFi users need to educate themselves about these risks, and take steps to secure their personal information. Cautious WiFi users may choose not to transmit their credit card information and passwords while using any WiFi "hotspot", including the library's. The library cannot assure the safety of your data when you use either our wired or wireless Internet access. See Your Privacy and Confidentiality at MHL.

Wireless Technical Information

Wireless hardware and software varies as to the operating systems you may use on your laptop, so we can't give you precise instructions. In many cases, you need to do nothing to hook up (just click on Internet Explorer), but you might need to check the following in your configuration:

  • The "Service Set Identifier" (SSID) should be set to "mhl" Wherever your software ask for a "name" or "wireless area" or "access point name" insert "mhl"
  • The "Wireless Mode" should be set to "Infrastructure" (not "ad hoc")
  • In Network Neighborhood Properties (right click on Network Neighborhood and click on "Properties") click on the Wireless TCP/IP adapter setting and look at its properties. Ensure that you have checked "Obtain an IP address automatically."
  • You may want to check the following pdf links to the Boston Public Library website which explain how to do this for Windows2000 and Windows98 operating systems.
  • If you use Windows 2000 or XP and have more than one adaptor, you may have to disable the one you are not using. Some adaptors have a physical switch (very small) that must be turned on in order to connect to to the Internet.
  • Most wireless software has an indicator that tells you a signal is being received. Make sure the link quality and signal strength are both at least "good". If not, move about the room to a location that has a stronger signal.
  • Open your browser (e.g., Internet Explorer) and the Internet should come right up! If not, you can try temporarily disabling any firewall software you may have running.
  • Note that our wireless setup does not support VPN connections.

The Library cannot assist you with your laptop, card, or configuration. The Library cannot accept the liability of handling your equipment.

Last updated: August 23, 2013
Memorial Hall Library   2 N. Main Street   Andover, MA 01810   p:978-623-8400   f:978-623-8407