Here are some frequently asked questions about the Wireless Ypsi Project:
Why sponsor a free community network?
By creating a free, community network, Ypsilanti has been able to further distinguish itself from the rest of the area as the premier place to live and work in southeastern Michigan. Free wireless Internet access can make a significant impact on attracting new residents, businesses, and visitors, providing a competitive advantage over surrounding communities.
We believe access to the internet should be free to anyone in Ypsilanti regardless of economic status.
How do I connect to the network?
To connect, just look for the Wireless Ypsi signal under your computer’s list of wireless access points.
Are there any rules for using Wireless Ypsi?
Yes! Just because your Wireless Ypsi connection is fast enough to stream video doesn’t mean you should. Be respectful of the businesses that are providing the signal to you. When you stream copyrighted material, they get into trouble. When that happens, they don’t want to participate in Wireless Ypsi. If you want this community resource to remain intact it is your responsibility to follow all applicable usage laws and agreements.
How fast is the connection?
It’s broadband. Users typically see anywhere from one to one and a half megabit of bandwidth. Network speeds will be determined by the number of simultaneous users, the number of people contributing bandwidth, and the strength of the wireless signal.
Can I rely on this network?
Yes. The network is built on a sustainable model of shared access. If someone unplugs a repeater, the system automatically re-routes itself to another repeater in the area to provide seamless service. However, the system will only work reliably if enough individuals join Wireless Ypsi and host repeaters. Even though the technology is solid, the network ultimately relies on community involvement in order to be successful. As more of your friends and neighbors sign up, your internet access will become more consistent and reliable. That’s why we are working with all members of the community. That means YOU!
Can I cancel my internet service?
You could, but we wouldn’t recommend it.
We are not an ISP. We do not guarantee service. The network is based upon a sustainable model of shared bandwidth. If you aren’t sharing your bandwidth, you become dependent on the bandwidth of your neighbors.
How secure is the network?
Wireless Ypsi provides the same level of wireless security as other open wireless access points (e.g. wireless hotspots in airports or hotels, home networks, coffee shops). The network is based on the IEEE 802.11b/g standard for wireless local area networks (WLANs). WLANs, which enable “over-the-air” communications, may be subject to unauthorized interception and are not inherently secure. We cannot guarantee the privacy of your data and communications while using Wireless Ypsi. We strongly recommend you practice safe Internet usage when using any wireless network:
When sending or receiving private or sensitive information on the web, e.g. for Internet banking, be sure to verify that everything is done over a secure, encrypted tunnel such as SSL (https:// will appear in the url rather than http://). Use only trusted websites. We support most customer provided security solutions such as virtual private networks (VPNs), personal firewalls and anti-virus software. We encourage all of our users to use such software and keep it up-to-date.
Can other people access information on my computer through the network?
No. Client-to-client communications are not allowed on Wireless Ypsi. Information that is sent over the wireless connection could be subject to unauthorized interception and is not inherently secure. Please see the suggested best practices laid out under “How secure is the network?” above.
Who’s paying for all of this?
The key word here is community. HDL.com, LLC contributes 100% of the labor for the management and expansion of Wireless Ypsi for free. Countless community members, businesses, and organizations have contributed time, money and internet signal to the effort. Please support the Ypsilanti HotSpots that bring your Wireless Ypsi.