How to Connect an Android Phone or Tablet to WiFi

Introduction

This guide will walk you through connecting your Android smartphone to Wi-Fi.

1 Credentials

In order to connect to a wireless network, you must have the required credentials. These are:
  • Wireless Network Name (SSID)
  • Wireless Network Key (Password)

Finding Network Credentials

Most wireless routers or gateways have a label with the default credentials. If the credentials aren't there, check the documentation that came with your device.
Default Wi-Fi credentials highlighted on router / gateway sticker.

If your Internet Service Provider (ISP) installed the wireless router or gateway, they might have left you a setup sheet which may have the credentials.

? Do you know your Wireless Network name (SSID) and Key?

  1. Yes
  2. No

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This guide will walk you through connecting your Android smartphone to Wi-Fi.
In order to connect to a wireless network, you must have the required credentials. These are:
  • Wireless Network Name (SSID)
  • Wireless Network Key (Password)

Finding Network Credentials

Most wireless routers or gateways have a label with the default credentials. If the credentials aren't there, check the documentation that came with your device.
Default Wi-Fi credentials highlighted on router / gateway sticker.

If your Internet Service Provider (ISP) installed the wireless router or gateway, they might have left you a setup sheet which may have the credentials.

Depending on what device (Smartphone or Tablet) and which generation you have, the menu theme and options might look slightly different on your screen. However, the steps should be similar across all Android devices and generations.

  1. Open Settings.
    Android Settings
  2. Select Wi-Fi.
    Wi-Fi
  3. Make sure Wi-Fi is set to On at the top.
    Wi-Fi with On toggle highlighted.
  4. Your Android device will automatically connect to the network if there is no security enabled, or you have connected to it in the past. The Wi-Fi network name will show Connected underneath.
    Wi-Fi connected
To Connect to a New Network

If you're connecting to a particular Wi-Fi network for the first time:

  1. Select the connection from the list.
    Wi-Fi settings with Connection Highlighted.
  2. Enter the password for the network, then select Connect.
    Wi-Fi password prompt with password entry and Connect highlighted.
To Connect to a Hidden Network

If the Wi-Fi network you wish to connect to is a hidden network, it won't appear in the list of available networks. However, if you know the network's exact name and password, it can be added manually.

  1. Select Add network.
    Wi-Fi settings with Add network highlighted.
  2. Enter the Network Name (also called the SSID) you wish to connect to, the type of Security it uses (usually WPA2), and the Password for the network, then select Save.
    Add Network with Network Name, Security type, Password, and Save highlighted.
To help troubleshoot the problem we should check if other devices can connect to the wireless network.

If other wireless devices are connected to the network and functioning properly, chances are the router is OK. It's possible there is an environmental issue. Do you have a portable wireless device (Smart Phone, Tablet, Laptop, etc.) that you can put in the same area to test and see if that device's wireless connection still functions as intended in that location?

If you haven't already, please try power cycling the device you're working with.

  1. Turn off your device.
    Power
  2. Wait ten seconds.
    Wait 10 seconds
  3. Turn your device on again.
    Power
Check your Android user manual for any specific requirements to connect to Wi-Fi.

The device needs to be within a reasonable range of the router in order to connect and have the best connection speeds.

  • In general, in most homes, you can be up to 30 feet from your router for a decent connection.
  • From 30' to 50' away, the speeds will be slower, and may drop occasionally, but it should be usable.
  • Greater than 50' away, and the signal will most likely be too weak to overcome interference. The speeds will be slow, and the connection may be sporadic.

The above numbers are approximates only. Optimal range may vary based on router make and model.

Your router may need to be relocated to a more centralized location in order to provide better coverage for all your devices.

Good Placement

A house, separated into rooms detailing how placing Wi-Fi in the center of a house will provide better coverage to reach all devices. Diagram.

Bad Placement

A house, separated into rooms detailing how placing Wi-Fi in the corner of the house can cause some devices to not have a Wi-Fi signal. Diagram.

Since this appears to be a range issue that can be resolved by putting the router in closer proximity to the device's intended use area, we recommend moving the router to a more centralized location.
If the wireless signal is not reaching the device and moving the router or device in closer proximity is not possible or doesn't resolve the issue, the best option for wireless connectivity is to get a range extender.
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