Unable To Connect To SLC Library Wi-Fi/ Limited Connectivity
August 2, 2016 1:05 PM   Subscribe

I've just moved to Salt Lake City, and am an inveterate user of public library wi-fi. However, of the 4 libraries I've visited so far, I've only been able to connect to the wi-fi in 1: in the other 3, I don't get a "Connect to Library Wi-Fi" splash screen when I open my browser - I just go straight to "this site can’t be reached - DNS address could not be found." What gives, SLC libraries?

OS: Win 8.1
Browsers: Opera, Chrome, Firefox
Library Success: Whitmore
Library Fail: City, Sprague, Sweet

Prior to moving here, I'd been on the road for over a year, and hadn't encountered this problem with other free wi-fi networks (hotels/ motels/ Starbucks etc).
I've run all the usual vanilla fixes - browser cache clearing etc
I've contacted to library's provider - XMission - and they have not been able to help.
I've read a bunch of articles online about folks who have had similar issues, but have not been able to find a fix (and the articles get a bit beyond my networking knowledge level too).
I've deleted all my remembered networks.
posted by 7 Minutes of Madness to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Have you asked a librarian?
posted by Sys Rq at 1:07 PM on August 2, 2016 [2 favorites]

I'm with Sys Rq, I suggest you ask the people who work at the branch where you are having problems for help.
posted by rachelpapers at 1:10 PM on August 2, 2016 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Yes: I have asked several librarians - no dice.
posted by 7 Minutes of Madness at 1:28 PM on August 2, 2016

I bet it has something to do with the IP settings in your computer. Somewhere there is a network defined in your computer that is clashing with the IP range that those "bad" libraries happened to pick. The "good" library happened to pick a range that doesn't clash. In that case, the network will work fine for them but not you. Look in your network settings for extra network interfaces, or extra routing statements.

A networking professional would troubleshoot this using the Windows command prompt and the "route print" command, but I'm afraid that explaining that is beyond the scope of this little box. And might be a dead end anyway :)

This happened to me once with a VPN, where some of the work machines I was VPN-ing into were colliding with my own home network's printer.
posted by intermod at 1:31 PM on August 2, 2016

Agree with intermod, mostly likely you have a specific IP address assigned to your machine, and it doesn't mesh with the library networks.
Look in "Control Panel\Network and Internet\Network Connections"
Right click on your wifi adapter and make sure it says "automatically assign IP Address" or something similar. If you see numbers written in there, that's where your problem is coming from.
posted by cosmicbandito at 2:06 PM on August 2, 2016

Best answer: Alternatively, did someone set the DNS Server settings to a specific address ( are Google's, I believe, and popular -- as are those of some free Adams resolvers like OpenDNS) in order to beat a filter or something?
posted by wenestvedt at 3:54 PM on August 2, 2016 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: It is fixed!

In the DNS tab of the Advanced TCP/IP settings, the first section reads "DNS server addresses, in order of use:". This box was populated with a bunch of addresses, which I removed and was then able to get online straight away - thank you!

Full solution:
Control Panel -> Network and Sharing Center
Network and Sharing Center -> Select current wi-fi connection
Wi-Fi Status -> Select Properties
Wi-Fi Properties -> Select Internet Protocol Version 4 & choose Properties
Internet Protocol Version 4 Properties -> Select Advanced
Advanced TCP/IP Settings -> Select DNS tab
Remove DNS server addresses
posted by 7 Minutes of Madness at 4:44 PM on August 2, 2016 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: (P.S. How did this happen? I am the sole user/ owner of this laptop.)
posted by 7 Minutes of Madness at 4:45 PM on August 2, 2016

Malware will change this in order to impersonate web sites and then capture your username and password. This is called a Man In The Middle attack, or MitM.
posted by wenestvedt at 6:29 PM on August 2, 2016

« Older Searching for a song   |   Places to avoid around Oceanside, CA? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.