How to Connect to a Public Hotspot: The Basics
Here's everything you need to get started, from finding theWi-Fi hotspot to
logging on to the wireless service.
Get Wireless Enabled
To go wireless with an existing laptop, first check to see if it is wireless LAN
enabled. You can have wireless through either a PC Card or an integrated
solution. If wireless isn't built in, you'll need to purchase a wireless LAN
Card (either PCMCIA or a mini-PCI). This card fits neatly in the PC Card slot
of your laptop.
Find the Public Wi-Fi Hotspot
Next, you'll want to locate the hotspot. Using your Laptop or PDA's wireless
configuration tool, start a Scan for available networks in range of the device.
Make the Connection
Wi-Fi-enabled laptops can send and receive data anywhere within the range of
the wireless LAN hotspot. There are actually two steps to making a connection.
The first is to have your laptop "talk" to the hotspot, which means that the
hardware and hotspot must recognize each other. This should happen
automatically as long as your wireless hardware is turned on (You should at
least get a message saying that a wireless network is available for you to
connect to). On most laptop models, you will see some sort of signal icon on
the bottom right hand corner of your screen or a lit indicator on the laptop
itself, which will give you feedback for "On" and signal strength (Ex. a red
screen means your radio is Off; a green screen indicates it is On or a light on
the laptop iteself. Ex. The blue light on the NC8000's).
You can also see the quality of the signal by clicking on the radio icon (may
vary by system):
Your next step is to sign up with the wireless Internet service and configure
your laptop according to Parkview instructions. (Setting the PC's NIC to get
information based on DHCP and remove any proxy settings that may be setup. Also
verify that you are connected to "hotspot") Most of the time, this is a matter
of simply launching your browser. It will automatically go to the wireless
hotspot sign-in page.
Log on to the Wireless Service
The user can sign onto the hotspot by using their Parkview user ID (legacy,
employee, or dictation ID) or they can login as a Guest to the system. To login
as themselves they can just put their login and password in and if they are a
guest they can choose the Guest button. They will then be asked for their First
and Last name, Email address and a phone number. Once filled out they choose
login and they should be redirected to the original page they requested. If you
were not automatically directed to the service provider's login page, your
browser homepage may be set to an Intranet site (for example, on your company's
network). Try browsing to an external site, then click on the refresh icon or
the home icon (in your browser's toolbar) to go to the service provider's
log-on page. (If you still were not directed to the hotspot log-on page, you
may need to uncheck your browser's proxy settings. For further issues, check
with the Parkview IS Service Center for support.) Congratulations! You should
be successfully logged on. You should see the following icon in your tool bar,
indicating the connection has been made.