What is WIFI on 4th?

Fourth Street Wireless Internet access is a free service provided by the City of Winston-Salem. Citizens in restaurants and businesses along Fourth Street can access the Internet through high-speed connections and enjoy browsing the Web, checking and sending e-mail, or chatting through instant messaging services.

How can I use this service?

The service is accessible along Fourth Street by anyone with wireless computing equipment. All you need is a functioning device that contains a properly configured wireless network adapter.

What equipment do I need?
You can use any device that supports wireless connectivity and is capable of Internet functions. Typical devices include a laptop computer, smartphone, or tablet. A wireless network card is required.

What is an Access Point?
An access point lets wireless devices use the resources of a wired local area network (LAN).

Where are the wireless access points?
Wireless access points are conveniently placed along Fourth Street and broadcast signals as far East as Main Street and as far West as Spruce Street. You could possibly pick up the signal farther than these streets, but the signal is strongest between these points.

Keep in mind that the signal from the access points travels in a straight line and you could possibly encounter "dead" areas in places where the street slopes sharply up or down relative to the transmitter. Note: the specific range within which wireless access is available can be influenced by several things. A lot of metal, leaded glass, and reinforced concrete may reduce signal strength.

What kind of wireless network adapter should I get?
Many brands of wireless network adapters are available. Though we do not specify a brand, the adapter you choose must be 802.11b compliant. That is to say it must support the 802.11b wireless network standard. Check packaging carefully if you are buying a new device. Otherwise, check the documentation that came with your current device to be sure it complies.

What is the IEEE 802.11 standard?
The IEEE 802.11 Wireless LAN standard is a protocol established by the Wireless LAN Standards Committee that enables different brands of wireless LAN hardware to communicate on the same network.

What about security?
As with any Internet access you should take appropriate security precautions. This is not a secure connection.

Whom do I contact if I have trouble?
The City of Winston-Salem provides free wireless access to the Internet along Fourth Street. However, the city does not provide direct support to users of this service. Our configuration document or a knowledgeable friend or network administrator from your company may help if you have problems connecting.

How long can I stay connected?
You can stay connected as long as you want. There is no time limit on your connection

How do I configure my equipment?
There are several things you'll need to check, and a few settings you'll need to change.

The following instructions assume your wireless adapter is properly installed and operational. If this is not the case, please consult the manufacturer's documentation provided with your adapter to properly set up your equipment.

Wireless Network Adapter Settings

  • Set the adapter to Infrastructure mode; Ad hoc mode will not work.
  • Set the adapter SSID to "cityofws" (without the quotes). The SSID is case sensitive.
  • Turn off WEP Encryption if it is enabled.

Network Settings

  • Your network adapter's TCP/IP properties must be set to automatically obtain an IP address.
  • The TCP/IP properties must also be set to automatically detect the DNS server.


Once you've set up your adapter and connection settings above, reboot your computer. You should then be able to access the Internet through the Fourth Street access points.

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