Photo of smart tv and wifi router

How Does a Smart TV Connect To the Internet?

Having a smart TV suggests you need to be smarter than the TV to know how it works. After you spend enough time scratching your head (which is typical for new electronics), you may feel like this might be the case.

One of those crucial points of understanding comes from the internet connectivity of your television. 

So, how does a smart TV connect to the internet? They usually connect using a WiFi adapter built into the device.

On rare occasions, some TVs have a wired ethernet port to connect your TV. WiFi uses a radio frequency to engage a wireless connection.

A wired connection requires you to connect an ethernet cable to your router. If you want more details on what this process looks like, check out the rest of this article.

A Step-By-Step Guide on Connecting To The WiFi: First-Time TV Setup

A WiFi connection is best for your smart TV. While wired connections offer more stability, choosing wireless makes your home look clean. If this is the first time connecting your smart TV to your WiFi network, follow these instructions:

Make Sure The Internet Is On

As you may expect, you won’t be able to connect your television to the WiFi without it being on. To check the WiFi specifically, look at the front of your router for a label saying “wireless” or “WiFi.” If it isn’t blinking, your wireless internet connection is off. 

Some routers have a WiFi button on the front or side of them. Check to see if it has one.

Otherwise, internet service providers (ISPs) have an application that allows you to manage your networks.

If you are using an “old-timey” ISP, you can access it through a local IP address found on the site of your router.

Plugging that IP address into the address bar of any browser (Chrome, Edge, Firefox, etc.) will allow you to access the router’s network settings menu. You will be able to activate your WiFi from this menu. 

If all else fails, you can contact your ISP. With their “magic,” they will be able to look into your home network to see what is wrong. Just make sure you have an active connection. 

Turn On Your TV and Follow The On-Screen Instructions

After turning on your tv set, you may find the rest of these steps become more manageable. Thankfully, Smart TVs try to make things mostly simple on their users by providing a walkthrough. 

At this point, you will be able to choose between wired and wireless connections. Remember the advantages of each as you go through these steps:

  • A wireless connection makes your living room look clean. 
  • Wired ethernet connections give you more stability. 

If choosing a wireless network, your smart TV will scan a list of available connections in the area. Select yours from the list. If you are not sure what your router’s wireless name is, you can find its default on most routers’ underside.

Also, before doing this, you want to be sure that all connected devices are also on.  Some smart TVs sync up with all electronics in your living room. These may include the following:

If you have chosen a wired connection, wait for whatever firmware updates come up and pat yourself on the back. Congratulations on owning and setting up your smart TV. If you chose a wireless connection, you have one last step before you can begin the back-patting. 

(Wireless Only) Input Your Password

Using a wireless network always requires you to input the password. If your ISP was helpful, you already know this password. It might be on some sticky note near the router. 

If not, your password is in one of two locations:

  • It is on the router’s side next to the IP address you might have from step one.
  • It is located on your app managing the network or inside the IP address used to access the local network. 

Once you get it, remember that passwords are case-sensitive. Capitalization in the right (or wrong) area means an entirely different password. 

Once you do this, don’t forget that Android (Google) supports many smart TVs. That means you might be able to install your internet management software here, providing you another hub from which to address internet concerns. 

What If I Want To Change The WiFi After The Initial TV Setup?

After getting to the regular menu for your device, you can use your tv remote to access a menu. A cog typically labels the menu. Highlight that, hit OK, and press the arrows until you find a submenu called “network.” 

From there, you will be able to see some “open network settings” menu options that will let you scan for a new wireless network. Just like the steps above, select your network and insert the password.

What If My Router Is Far Away From My Smart TV? 

If you suffer from the curse of having a house that’s too big for your network, you have two different options: 

When using a WiFi extender, make sure that your network can handle all of your devices. A smart TV doesn’t typically take up your bandwidth by much, but the right household full of gaming consoles and smartphones will run your network ragged.  

Final Thoughts

If this is your first time purchasing a smart TV, congrats. As a luxury item, this sort of purchase can be a great addition to your household. It’s also a good sign that you’ve worked extra-hard that year to earn up some new purchases. 

Once you get over the initial hump and internet connection issues, you can access a whole new line of streaming services without having to turn on a secondary device. Enjoy your new device, and thank you for reading!

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