The Gulfport Wireless Wi-Fi Zone(GWIZ) is a Wi-Fi hotspot located near the Gulfport Marina. The following questions and answers should help you sort out any problems you may encounter.
About the Gulfport Wireless Wi-Fi Zone(GWIZ)
Wi-Fi (short for Wireless Fidelity) is a technology that includes the IEEE 802.11b standard that uses radio waves in place of wires to transmit data. Gulfport Wireless Wi-Fi Service uses this standard to offer our citizens a high-speed wireless way to access the Internet at the City Marina.
A hotspot is a term that is used to indicate an area where Wi-Fi is accessible to the public.
Use your existing Wi-Fi connection software to connect to the Gulfport Wireless Wi-Fi network (SSID = “gwiz”) and then launch your internet browser.
Yes. the GWIZ supports connections for companies that allow their employees to access corporate information through the Internet, and the most common method for this access is through a VPN (virtual private network). You can check with your company’s help desk or IT manager to determine if your company offers a VPN or secure tunneling client software connection to receive and send e-mail or allows remote Internet access into the corporate network.
Please refer to your corporate e-mail policy or your company’s help desk if you have difficulty accessing your corporate email.
The GWIZ is only available at the City of Gulfport Marina.
Nothing! The service is free.
Safety and Security
None. You should always be careful about sending any passwords or credit card information over the Internet, whether you are at home or in a public area. The City recommends installation of firewall software on your computer.
Yes, but… The risk of someone capturing information sent to or from your computer is independent of how you connect to the Internet. The City of Gulfport strongly encourages and supports certain customer-provided security solutions, such as virtual private networks (VPNs), but does not provide these to its Wi-Fi users and is not responsible for their effectiveness. The City of Gulfport also encourages users to observe standard security practices such as ensuring that computer hard drives are not shared.
Please visit WECA (Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance) at http://www.weca.net/ for additional information on security, standards and information on Wi-Fi.
Yes, but… Wireless communications can be intercepted by equipment and software designed for that purpose. Unless you are using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) or encryption software, your e-mail (or the web site you are browsing) could be copied and read at many nodes that are part of the public Internet. This can happen no matter where you are, even at home. The only additional vulnerability from Wi-Fi is it is possible that someone sitting near you can “see” your e-mail (or the web site you are browsing). To do this they would need a special computer system and be close enough to you to capture your radio signal. Furthermore, many web sites transmit sensitive information submitted by you via SSL, which provides additional protection from eavesdroppers regardless of the type of Internet connection.
WEP is a form of data encryption, primarily used to limit specific users on a private network. WEP data encryption may prevent (i) access to the network by “intruders” using similar wireless LAN equipment and (ii) capture of wireless LAN traffic through eavesdropping. WEP allows the administrator of a private network to define a set of respective “Keys” for each wireless network user based on a “Key String” passed through the WEP encryption algorithm. Access is denied by anyone who does not have an assigned key assigned by that administrator.
No. Gulfport Wireless Wi-Fi Service users need to turn off the WEP key in order to use our public service.
Connection & Information
Modern computers will work with almost any modern browser using the computer’s built-in WiFi software.
All you need to access the GWIZ is a laptop with embedded Wi-Fi or a laptop or handheld device with a Wi-Fi compliant (IEEE 802.11b) wireless network interface card (see network card information below).
Wi-Fi Network Interface Cards (NICs) are available from major networking vendors such as Lucent, Nokia, Cisco, Intel, Sony, Symbol, Xircom and Buffalo. In addition, you can purchase a NIC from your favorite computer or electronic stores. NICs are also available through many on-line vendors. The GWIZ works with most major Wi-Fi manufacturer’s Wi-Fi cards.
Notebook computers with wireless-integrated Wi-Fi (802.11b) standards are also being offered by vendors such as Dell, Compaq, IBM, Toshiba, and Apple.
Almost all modern laptop computers have Wi-Fi cards built into the computer instead of using a removable NIC card.
The GWIZ Service utilizes Dynamic Host Configuration protocol (DHCP). DHCP is a protocol for assigning dynamic IP addresses to a device on a network. Most users will not require any additional network setting changes to use the GWIZ.
SSID stands for Service Set Identifier. The SSID differentiates one WLAN network from another. For wireless network access on the GWIZ, configure your SSID setting for your network card to gwiz. (The SSID is case sensitive.)
Instructions on how to configure your laptop or PDA may vary. Please refer to your wireless card documentation for specific instructions.
Signal strength may be too weak from where you are. Signal strength from the wireless access point may not be strong enough to allow reliable connections. Not every access point provides a signal that is strong enough for users to connect from a substantial distance. Physical location of the access point also plays a role determining how close you must be for a reliable connection to occur. The wireless access point is a radio antenna similar to the cellular systems with which we’ve become so familiar. The available signal strength and associated connection reliability is directly related to your position relative to the access point antenna. The closer you are and the less obstructed your line of vision to the access point, the higher your chances of success will be.