Getting Connected


There are three ways to connect to the Internet:
 • wireless access point (WiFi hotspot);
 • “School Server” mesh network; or
 • Ad-hoc/mesh network, which allows you to wirelessly communicate with other XOs without any other networking equipment.

Your current connection status is shown on the Home View. You can make other connections from the Neighborhood View. (Note: The XO was designed for wireless access because in the developing world, wireless is actually the fastest, most reliable, and least expensive way to connect.)

Step 1: Go to the Neighborhood View

connecting, Step 1

Go to the Neighborhood View to make your connection to a wireless access point. The Neighborhood View is accessed by pressing the round key with eight dots, found near the upper-left corner of the keyboard.

Step 2: Choose a Wireless Connection

connecting, Step 2

The circles on the screen represent the available networks for your XO to connect. Not all networks will allow you access to the Internet. If you place your cursor above any of the circles, the name of that network will appear. You can also search for a network by typing its name into the search bar at the top of the screen.

Each network's signal strength is indicated by how full its circle looks. Circles that are full have very strong signals, and the computers are able to easily communicate. Circles that are nearly empty mean that your XO is having some trouble talking to that network. Things may operate more slowly. The color of the circle is based upon the name of the access point.

If a circle displays a padlock, it is telling you that a password is needed for that network.

Step 3: Activate a connection

Choose which network you wish to access, and clickonce inside its circle. (To “click”, press once on the left-hand touchpad button—the button with the × symbol at the front of the touchpad.) The circle blinks while the XO establishes the connection. When the circle is surrounded by parentheses, or the rim turns white, you are connected. If the connection failed, the circle will stop blinking. Sometimes it is necessary to try several times before the connection is established.

If the access point requires a key or password, you will be prompted. Note that different types of access points require different types of keys: be sure to select the correct type from the pull-down menu that is presented. Some access points (such as the Apple Extreme®) will only work with a hexadecimal value. If you have a password or passphrase, go to this Hex Converter, or this one, to get the hex key. You also need to set “shared key” with Apple Extreme. Most other access points prefer the “open key” setting when using WEP. See also the chapter in the XO manual Give me the Internet.

If you have problems connecting wirelessly, note that a convenient alternative may be found by using an inexpensive wired USB-to-Ethernet adapter instead.

Step 4: Checking the connection

connecting, Step 4

Activate the Frame—by pressing the square key () found in the upper-right corner of the keyboard—to check your connection. By hovering over the circle icon (lower-right of your screen), you will find details about your connection status.

For more info about connecting, please explore our Community Support.


mesh view
You connect to the Internet from the Neighborhood View.

Access points are represented by circles. The fill level indicates signal strength.

locked ap
Access points that require keys have a “locked” icon.

ap hover
The name of the access point is displayed when you hover over it.

You connect by “clicking” in the center of the circle. The center of the circle will blink while the laptop is trying to connect.

connected ap
Once you are connected, the rim of the circle turns white. (If the attempt to connect fails, the circle will stop blinking, but the rim will not turn white. Try again—it sometimes takes 2–3 tries to connect.)

enter a key
You will be prompted if the access point requires a key.

For more info about connecting, please explore our Community Support.