Digital Downtown - Setup
Digital Downtown dot Net   A Connected Community
Providing Free Wireless Internet aceess to downtown Gainesville, Florida.

You should follow these instructions to get set up properly to the Digital Downtown's free internet service. By using our service, you agree to the Acceptable Use Policy.

Setup - Getting Started
A laptop with a wireless card
What you need to connect
There is no registration or sign up process; you merely have to be in our Coverage Area in order to receive a wireless signal. You must have a wireless network adapter in order to pick up the signals from our antennas (wireless access points). The adapter must be 802.11b Wi-Fi compliant (most 802.11g cards are compatible). Use your owner's manual to set up your wireless network adapter, or get some tips on where to get a wireless network adapter.

Set up your Operating System (Windows, Palm OS, Mac OSX, etcetera) to receive a dynamic (changing) IP address (do not "hard code" one in) as well as use dynamic DNS settings (DHCP). Once you have your laptop, Mac, PDA or device accepting dynamic IP address and DNS, the Digital Downtown server can assign you an IP address and Domain Name Server to use, which will allow you to get online.

Be sure to turn Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) security off; and be set your client software to infrastructure mode (as opposed to ad-hoc, where two laptops are directly linked) if at all possible. No username or password is required; Digital Downtown tracks usage and users by other means.

Roaming - Setting up your SSID
You MUST set up your SSID (Service Set Identifier) to "digital downtown" (lowercase, without quotes) which will make sure your device only accepts signals from Digital Downtown Access Points (APs). This will prevent you from accidentally accepting a different wireless signal and losing your connection.

Instructions on how to configure your SSID vary depending on your device; refer to your wireless card documentation for specific instructions.

If you do not set your SSID you may be disconnected when another wireless signal interferes with the Digital Downtown signal, and your wireless network card attempts to connect to it (thereby dropping the Digital Downtown connection); this can happen even when you are sitting still. With your SSID set, your card will always listen only to the Digital Downtown signal and not be interrupted by other signals.

Using the Service
What you can do
While you can use web-based e-mail to your hearts content, you can only check your POP3 e-mail but not send through a SMTP server if it does not allow "open-relay," (see our FAQ) which most servers do not. If you wish to use your home e-mail account, make sure you can access it through the web, or sign up for a free web-based e-mail account.
VPN (Virtual Private Network)
Virtual Private Networks (VPN) will work through the Digital Downtown. You must first connect to the Digital Downtown service, and then connect your VPN server using your VPN client software.

Check our Support page for the most common problems and solutions; If you have problems that our website cannot help you with, contact us.

Troubleshooting FAQ
See our List of FAQs for more Troubleshooting tips and Frequently Asked Questions, as well as other topics.

For other problems, contact us.

Sponsored by Medical Manager   Additional Sponsors
  The Digital Downtown Project is sponsored by Medical Manager Health Systems, Inc.  Website maintained by Alachua County Information & Telecommunication Services.