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For more information on the free wireless Wi-Fi network, view Free Public Wireless Wi-Fi.
· Use the connection manager of your computer or device to find and connect to the network named "Ponca City Free WiFi", if you do not have a Pepwave or are around town away from your house. If you are using a Pepwave you should connect your computer or device to PC Free Home Wifi. This is what your Pepwave should be broadcasting unless you have changed it yourself. If you need connection steps for your operating system, please see some suggested steps at Wi-Fi Step by Step Instructions. You can also access the network in several businesses around town by connecting to the Wi-Fi network indoors.
· Open your internet browser and start accessing the Internet. That is it.
· A wireless enabled computer (laptop or desktop) or other device - Most laptop computers and some desktops have built-in wireless capability. If your computer does not have this feature built in to it, you can purchase a wireless network card at any local computer retailer. A high power Wi-Fi notebook card can increase the Wi-Fi signal strength of a laptop computer and allow you to get higher speed access from more locations. These cards can be used in laptops that do not currently have Wi-Fi or used to improve the signal on laptops that already have some Wi-Fi capabilities. These cards tend to be more powerful than what comes built into a laptop.
· A Pepwave Wi-Fi modem - Using a Pepwave modem is optional, but can help you receive a strong signal if you plan to access the network indoors. The Wi-Fi modems designed for this network are made by Pepwave and are preprogrammed at the factory to work with Ponca City Free Wi-Fi. You can purchase a Pepwave modem locally at some computer retailers. Then all you have to do is plug it in at your home. No other setup is required. It has five bars that light up to show your signal strength. Place it in your home where you have the most lit bars. Three to five is optimum. A Wi-Fi modem allows a user to convert the Ponca City Wi-Fi wireless signal into a wired signal or stronger wireless signal. You do not need any other equipment except your laptop or other wi-fi enabled device.
· Location - The Wi-Fi signal strength may vary depending on your location. Some areas may be obstructed by buildings or trees. If indoors and cannot receive a signal, you probably need a Wi-Fi modem. Please see the section on Wi-Fi modems for local retailers. If outdoors, we suggest that you change your location to find an acceptable Wi-Fi network connection. You can reference our map to confirm that Wi-Fi is available from your current location. The map is on-line at Wi-Fi Radio Map. The map is to be used as a reference only and is not a guarantee that your particular network device will receive a signal at all map locations.
· Network Association - Please ensure that Ponca City Free Wi-Fi appears in your wireless location profiles, or if using a Pepwave connect your computer to PC Free Home Wifi. We suggest that you try to connect to the network manually. If you need connection steps for your operating system, please see some suggested steps at Wi-Fi Step by Step Instructions.
First, you need a Gmail email address. Go here to get a Gmail email address.
After you get a Gmail email address you can access your account on line at Gmail here or you can use your Outlook or Windows Inbox as described below:
If you have Outlook 2007 then use these instructions found here.
If you have Outlook 2003 then use these instructions found here.
If you are not using Outlook but just Windows Email that comes with Windows then use these instructions found here.
- Your data transfer rate will depend on the distance between the Ponca City Free WiFi node and your device.
- Since Ponca City Free WiFi is a shared resource used by all Ponca City residents, you may see that data speeds vary depending on the number of users accessing the network at any given time.
- Barriers, such as trees or buildings, may partially block the Ponca City Free WiFi signal, which could result in a lower data rate.
- Connectivity may also vary from one type of device to another. Some computer network wireless cards are more powerful than others. A Pepwave should help you but you need some kind of signal for the Pepwave to magnify.
You will need a WiFi device (such as a WiFi modem) that has the WiFi client functionality in order for it to connect wirelessly to the outdoor Ponca City Free WiFi nodes. Broadband wireless routers typically do not serve as WiFi clients. Please read your instruction manual on your WiFi router to confirm whether it has WiFi client functionality.
Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to help keep your computer safe:
- Always keep your computer's operating system and web browser up to date.- Don't run programs from untrustworthy sources -- only from the official source.- Don't open email attachments from people you don't know.- Install anti-virus/anti-spyware software, and run it nightly. Some anti-virus software include Norton AntiVirus Special Edition from Google Pack, McAfee VirusScan Plus, and ZoneAlarm.
Failure to address any malicious programs running on your computer violates Ponca City's usage and may result in the termination of a user's ability to access the Ponca City Free WiFi network.
The mis-understanding is that when you pull up a list of wireless networks on your computer, Microsoft Windows list the Ponca City Free WiFi as unsecure network. This is not a statement of security but the way that Microsoft Windows reports a network that does not require a password. These wireless radios are of a high end commercial quality and are used in wireless networks, large and small, that provide municipal as well as public free internets, such as Philadelphia, PA as well as the federal government and military. The Ponca City Free WiFi is built with the latest, most advanced wireless technology available today making it a World Class network. If you have a Pepwave modem and want to make it more secure than reprogram it to require a password when you access it so others in your neighborhood can not use your modem. If you do not understand how to do this, contact a local computer store for help.
This network was created for Public Safety which by law, has to be secure. During testing, it was determined that the network was one of the most robust networks in the World by the vendor and suggested that we sell the extra Internet access to Ponca City residents. Your Mayor and Commissioners decided it would be a great benefit to the Ponca City community to give the Internet to the residents and thus Ponca City Free WiFi was created.
Ponca City recommends using a third party encryption tool like Symantec 360. if you are doing any kind of internet information transfer that you are concerned about. Ponca City reccomends you use a tool like this on all wired or wireless internet connections through any provider as the Internet itself is the weak link in secure transactions. When you connect to a bank, a college, a school, or any other network on the internet and they create a secure connection using https: in their web browser address instead of the normal http: then you are double secure as that is another layer of encryption on top of the radio's encryption. Some businesses, school, and colleges use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) connection. This is also double secure as the VPN connection creates another security layer as well. On any network, wired or wireless, you should also ensure you have a firewall on your computer. One comes free with your computer you just need to turn it on or you can buy more elaborate ones like Symantec 360 at any local retail shop.
When you start a connection with your laptop or home computer to Ponca City Free Wi-Fi, your computer normally connects either to a Pepwave wireless modem in your house or directly to a wireless radio outside on a light pole. If you connect to a Pepwave in your house than all data from your laptop to the Pepwave is encrypted and from the Pepwave to radio outside is encrypted. If you connected directly to a radio outside than you cannot be seen by other users, laptops, or someone on the internet. This is more secure than using common DSL or cable type Internet modems. The wireless network allows no Peer-to-Peer viewing so every connection acts as if it has its own connection to the internet privately. You still need to ensure that when you use any kind of sight that asks you for your credit card or other secret information, that web site starts a HTTPS: connection and not a standard HTTP: connection. You can tell this by looking at the top of your Internet browser where it says what web site you are connected to and instead of saying something like http://www.website.com it should say https:/www.website.com meaning that you are using a website that has installed security and now it is ok to give your information. Always know who you are giving your information to and not just any website that asks for it.
There are other cities around the world using “open” Wi-Fi networks today, including but not limited to Philadelphia in Pennsylvania mentioned above, Mountain View and Lompoc in California; Chaska and Moorhead in Minnesota; St Cloud in Florida; Amory in Mississippi…and the list goes on. The military also uses metro-scale wireless broadband networks to communicate (as you’re probably aware, the military has some of the most stringent requirements as it relates to security). Ponca City leads the way above all these in number of users ratios and amount of data per hour used by those users as well as the speed at which it is used.
Karl Garcia, from Google states "Google Wi-Fi in Mountain View, California enjoys many thousands of people accessing the open or unsecured network daily." This is the same type of network that Ponca City has made available to the community.
From the Wireless Access Point to the Internet, there are multiple layers of security built in to the network itself. Accessing your bank account “online” is still inherently secure – whether you’re on a wired or wireless connection. How can this be? It’s because banks and other on-line transaction applications all are secured end-to-end (from your PC, through the Internet, to the bank) using technology called SSL or Secured Sockets Layer. Whenever you perform a transaction over the internet either wirelessly or wired, it is this technology that secures your vital data. Your web browser even notifies you when you're using SSL technology so you know your transaction is completely secure by switching to HTTPS as mentioned earlier.