Connecting a Smart TV to WiFi: Quick Guide.
A long time ago, only three television channels were available – all in black and white. Times sure have changed. Today your TV set can connect directly to the internet, where you can find almost limitless content worldwide.
Before you can go online from your living room, you must connect your Smart TV to your WiFi network. This isn’t always as simple as it sounds. We’ll show you how to connect Smart TV to WiFi in clear steps anyone can understand.
Connecting Your Home WiFi to Your Smart TV
A Smart TV is any modern television that has built-in internet connectivity.
Smart TVs let you use a variety of online services such as social networks, instant messaging, and video on demand. Some TVs even include a full web browser which basically turns your TV into a large computer monitor.
Just because your TV has the potential to connect to the internet doesn’t mean you’re already online. Instead, most smart TVs must be configured to work on your home WiFi network.
What is Your Home WiFi Network?
Your home WiFi network is the private network broadcast through your house which allows you to connect to the internet.
You probably have devices connected to your home WiFi network right now. Common ones include laptops, smartphones, video game devices, and more.
How to Know if You Have a Smart TV
If your TV was made after 1994, there’s a good chance it’s smart-capable. If your TV was made after 2010, it’s almost certainly a Smart TV.
One way to tell if your TV is Smart is to look through the menus. Do you see an option to watch Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other streaming video services?
Even if you can’t access those options right now, their presence in the menus indicates you have a smart TV.
If you already have a Smart TV and you already have a home WiFi network, then connecting the two just makes sense. Here’s what to do:
How to Connect a Smart TV to a WiFi Network at Home
A WiFi network runs through your entire home, but you’ll get the best results if your Smart TV is in the same room or close to your router. The closer the route is to the TV, the stronger the WiFi signal will be.
What You’ll Need:
- TV with Smart Capabilities
- Home Internet Service
- A Wireless Router
- The Password to Your Wireless Internet
1. Hit the Menu Button on Your TV
Each brand of TV does things a little differently. If you can’t find the exact button or area within the menus of your TV, try to find the closest approximation.
Don’t worry. You can’t permanently mess up your TV by selecting options in the menu.
2. Choose Network Settings
These are the settings for how your TV will connect to the internet. As you may have noticed, “Network Settings” is the same term PCs use to connect to an Internet Service Provider.
3. Select Set Up a Wireless Connection
This should seem pretty familiar if you’ve ever set up a wireless connection on a laptop or table.
4. Select Your Home WiFi Network
You should see a list of nearby WiFi networks. If you live close to your neighbors, you might see many networks listed. If you live away from others, you’ll probably only see your home WiFi network.
Somewhere in your list should be your home WiFi network. You probably named this yourself when setting up your network for the first time.
If you can’t find the right network, keep reading. We have some additional tips below.
5. Enter Your WiFi Password
You’ll be prompted for the network password. This is the same password you use to get any other device onto the wireless network.
If you’ve forgotten the password or never knew it in the first place, check out the How to Find Your WiFi Password section below.
6. Click OK or Restart Your TV
Some TVs will connect as soon as you enter your home WiFi password. Other TVs must be powered off and turned back on before they connect.
Once you connect your Smart TV to your WiFi, you’ll stay connected unless you take active steps to disconnect.
Benefits of a WiFi Connection for Your Smart TV
There are two main reasons WiFi is the best way to connect your TV to the internet:
- Freedom to place your TV anywhere. Works great for wall mounting.
- No wires running through your living room
A Glossary of Terms You’ll Want to Know
Not everyone is familiar with tech jargon. For your convenience, we’ve provided a list of terms that will make the process easier once you understand what they’re referring to.
Your Internet Service Provider (usually your cable company) is responsible for connecting your household to the Internet.
Some common ISPs in the U.S. include Comcast Xfinity, Verizon FiOS, Spectrum, Charter, and more.
This device your ISP gives you provides internet access to your house. Routers often have both wired and wireless capabilities.
Using an ethernet cable to connect a device to the router directly is an example of a wired connection.
A wireless connection doesn’t require a physical cable. Instead, the device is connected to the wireless internet network, which the router broadcasts through the home.
Short for service set identifier, this is the name given to a wireless network. A wireless network allows you to connect laptops, game systems, tablets, and other devices to the internet without having to use a physical ethernet cable.
Most wireless networks are secured. You’ll need a password to access a secured network.
A wireless connection can also be unsecured. This means anyone within range can hop onto the network and surf the internet.
Using an unsecured network opens your computer up to many vulnerabilities. By default, your home wireless network will be secured.
How to Identify Your Wireless Network Using Windows
Do you already have a laptop, tablet, or other device connected to your wireless network? If so, you can use Windows to identify the name of the network.
1. Click on the WiFi icon
This will be a small icon in your Windows taskbar. The WiFi icon has three crescent shapes. It looks a bit like a radio signal.
2. Read the List of Available Network Names
Clicking the icon opens a list of every WiFi signal in your area. Most networks listed will be Secured, meaning you can’t join without a password.
These Secured networks will usually belong to your neighbors.
You’re looking for a network that says “Connected” or “Connected, Secure.” You should only be connected to one network. That’s the name of your wireless network.
Types of Wireless Network Names
Wireless Network names can be up to 32 characters long. The names are case-sensitive.
There are really no restrictions as to what you can name your network. Some people really bring the creativity when naming their wireless networks.
But most wireless routers are named after the associated Internet Service Provider. Look for a router such as “Comcast001” or “CharterWirelessRouter.”
If someone personally set up your internet, they likely named your wireless network something you’ll easily recognize. Look for “FAMILY NAME Network” or something similar.
If you just can’t find any familiar wireless network names, your best option is to call your ISP. They should be able to identify which router is yours.
How to Find Your Wireless Network Password
Learning how to connect your Smart TV to WiFi is pretty easy. The hardest part most people have is figuring out their wireless network password.
After initial set up most devices will automatically connect to the appropriate wireless network. You might go years without seeing the actual password.
You might not remember your password even if you’re the one who created it. Don’t feel bad – this is actually a very common issue.
There are two ways to recover your wireless network password:
- You can use your router (this is the physical method)
- You can use Windows (this is the virtual method)
How to Find Your Wireless Network Password Using Your Router
This way will work every time, even if you have no other devices on the wireless network.
- Access to Your Router
- A pen or paperclip
- A piece of paper to take notes
1. Find Your Router
It’ll usually be in an office or near your TV
2. Reset Your Router
The reset button is usually located on the back of your router. Marked “reset,” it’ll usually be a very small button.
Use the pen tip or the paper clip to press the reset button. Hold the button in for at least 30 seconds.
3. Release the Reset Button
This will disconnect every device connected to the router.
4. Wait for the Router to Come Back Online
The lights on your router will flash in a pattern then eventually come back online. Once the top lights are steady, your router will be back online.
5. Find the Default Login Information
This will be printed on a card attached to the router. Usually, this can be found underneath the router. You’re looking for two pieces of information:
- Network Name (SSID) – This is the default factory name
- Network Password of Key – This is the default password
Located in the Windows taskbar, this icon has three curved lines. Clicking on the icon opens up a list of available wireless networks.
You’re looking for the network with the default factory name. Clicking on the network will prompt you for a password.
Enter the default password exactly as it’s written on your router. The password is case-sensitive.
After the password is accepted, you’ll be connected to your secure wireless network. Sometimes you’ll be given the option to change your password to something more memorable.
How to Find Your Wireless Network Password Using Windows
Suppose your wireless network is already set up. You have plenty of devices using the network without any problems.
All you need is the password so you can connect your Smart TV to WiFi. Fortunately, recovering that password is easy.
1. Open Any Windows Device Currently Connected to the Wireless Network
This will most likely be a laptop, but anything currently on the network which uses a Windows operating system will work.
2. Click the WiFi Icon
This is the “radio signal” icon located in the far-right said of the taskbar.
3. Click Network & Internet Settings
This is located at the bottom of the WiFi menu.
4. Click the Wi-Fi tab
A settings window will pop up. The WiFi tab is on the tab. It might actually be selected by default.
5. Click Change Adapter Options
You have to scroll down a bit. The Change Adapter Options link is underneath the Related Settings heading.
6. Click on Your Home WiFi Network
You should know this one by name. It’ll also have a monitor-shaped icon with green bars.
7. Click on Wireless Properties
8. Click on the Security tab
9. Check the Show Characters box
The Security tab will display the network security key – but the details will be hidden from view with black dots. Checking the Show Characters box will make your password readable.
That’s the password you need to connect your Smart TV to your home WiFi network. You should be able to enter that password into your Smart TV and go online.
How to Connect a Smart TV to a Wired Network at Home
Maybe you want your smart TV online but can’t or don’t want to use your wireless network. Perhaps your wireless network doesn’t provide reliable coverage for your house or doesn’t reach the area where you want to put your TV.
You can also connect your TV online using a wired home network.
- Smart TV
- Home Internet Connection
- Ethernet cable
The ethernet cable will need to be long enough to reach from the router to the Smart TV.
Installing wired internet is easy:
1. Connect the Ethernet Cord to Your Wireless Router
You can use any open ethernet spot on the back of the router
2. Connect the Ethernet cord to your Smart TV
Most Smart TV’s will have only one ethernet port. If your TV has more than one, any will work.
That’s it. Connecting the cord will instantly cause your Smart TV to go online.
Connecting your Smart TV to your home WiFi network isn’t very difficult. The hardest part for many people is simply figuring out their existing wireless password.
Once your TV connects to the internet, your entertainment options will dramatically change for the better. Using your standard remote control, you can watch Netflix, stream music, and more directly from your TV.
A whole new world of entertainment is available once you learn how to connect Smart TV to WiFi.