How to connect a smart TV to the internet

Here's how to get the best internet connection for your smart TV...

18 Feb 2020

Most new TV's come with smart features and apps pre-installed, and you'll usually get a handful of catchup and streaming services like Netflix, Prime Video or ITV Player. But before you can use any of your TV's smart features, you'll need to get it connected to the internet.

 

Wired or Wireless connection

To use your Smart TV on the internet, it'll need to be connected to either a wired connection, or a Wi-Fi network - here are the differences.

 

Wired connections

A wired connection is sometimes called an 'Ethernet' or 'LAN' connection and is simply a cable that connects from your TV to your router.

Advantages:

  • Usually more stable.
  • There isn't much risk of interference.
  • Faster - you can use connection speeds up to 1000Mbps (1Gbps).

Disadvantages:

  • You'll have to run a cable from your TV to your router, or use 'Powerline adapters'.
  • The cables can look messy and can be impractical if the TV is a long way from the router.

 

Wi-Fi connections

Most internet-enabled kit these days has Wi-Fi built-in, so it's just a case of connecting to your network in the device settings.

Advantages:

  • You can use the TV in any room, anywhere in the house.
  • You don't need any extra equipment or cables.

Disadvantages:

  • Occasional interference from other kit that uses Wi-Fi, like laptops, tablets, or mobiles phones.
  • The signal might suffer if the TV is too far from the router. You might need to use a 'signal booster' if this is an issue.

 

Connecting to a network

Once you've decided how you want to connect, follow these steps to get connected with an ethernet cable or using Wi-Fi.

 

Connect with a wired connection

If your router and your TV are quite close to each other, you can plug a cable directly from your router into the 'LAN port' on the back of the TV.

If the cable doesn't reach but you still want to use a wired connection, you can use 'Powerline' adapters to send the internet signal through the wiring in your house.

 

Connect with a Wi-Fi connection

First, you'll need to get the Wi-Fi password, which is normally found on the back of your router. Most Smart TVs will ask you to connect to Wi-Fi when they're being set up for the first time, or you can go into your TV's settings to find the Wi-Fi option.

  • Do a search for Wi-Fi networks, and then pick yours from the list.
  • Type in the wireless password for the network.
  • Press the OK button, and the TV will try to connect.

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