Ask LH: Why Won’t My Smart TV Connect Wirelessly?

Ask LH: Why Won’t My Smart TV Connect Wirelessly?

Hey Lifehacker, Our Samsung smart TV will not connect to our Linksys Wi-Fi router/modem. The TV keeps displaying the message “unable to find a network”, but our iPad and Mac can connect fine. Any suggestions? Thanks, Unget Smart

Dear US,

The first step is to locate the source of the problem — is the WiFi issue being caused by the TV or router? A simple way to check your TV’s connectivity is to tether it to your smartphone; if this doesn’t work, the TV’s wireless card might be faulty.

If the TV has no issues pairing with your phone, you may need to update the firmware on your router. If that doesn’t work, try doing a factory reset on the router and playing around with the different wireless modes to see if you can get a connection. (Naturally, you should also consult your TV’s manual to see if there are any wireless networking protocols that it doesn’t support.)

It may also be worth borrowing a WiFi extender to ensure the issue isn’t related to signal strength: most smart TVs have the WiFi antenna in the back, which can cause additional interference. The problem could also be related to encryption — try temporary changing your router’s security settings to “open” and see if that makes any difference.

Failing all that, adopt the IT Crowd approach and try turning ’em on and off again. We don’t mean simply entering standby: instead, completely deactivate your devices and go through the whole setup process again. You’d be surprised how often this can fix wireless connectivity problems.

For more advice, check out Gizmodo’s in-depth guide to getting the most out of your home broadband connection — it includes sections on selecting the right router, firmware, configuration tips and optimum router placement. There is also some general tips in the below Samsung video:

Have any readers experienced similar connectivity issues with their smart TV? How did you resolve the issue? If you have some troubleshooting solutions of your own, let US know in the comments section below.


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  • 1. check if other devices can connect to your wireless network.
    2. power on and off your router.
    3. Google the error message your TV is giving you on why you cant connect.
    4. Check to see if other wireless devices work where your TV is as it may be out of range.
    5. Factory Reset your router, Make sure you know your ISP details as you will have to reenter them.

    Firmware Update should be last resort or if you know there is a known issue that it will fix.

  • I just thought I would post this solution here after I spent several days and hours on the phone trying to get my Samsung Smart TV to connect to the internet. After having the television for 2 years with not problems at all, suddenly it would not connect to WiFi. The last tech at Samsung that I spoke with knew exactly what to do and my TV was back working and connection to the internet within a few minutes. He told me to reset the DNS to 8888.
    Detailed instructions for the computer challenged community such as me:
    On your TV remote, go to Menu, Settings, Network
    Next select Network Settings, Start, IP Settings
    Then select DNS mode and make sure the green check is on “manual”
    Enter 8 8 8 8 and OK
    Bingo, instant internet
    (note – I also was told to click on Samsung Smart Hub in upper right corner. I had reset my TV and it needed to update and add back my programs)
    I have a Samsung Smart TV Model No. UN553S6500 (a 2012 model)
    NOTE: I adore people that know their jobs!♥ Thanks Chris!

    • Honestly, all I did was power down my wifi modem/gateway, after entering it the first time and it failed, kept it powered down for about 2 minutes, then powered it back up. I enabled the Cap Locks when entering the gateway password, and Shazaam! Instant connection, and no problem after that. Hope that helps someone save hours of their time tinkering with connecting Samsung’s INCREDIBLE televison system.

  • I just unplugged the tv and that did the trick, no tv, no problem. Just kidding, I powered it back on and it worked. The author’s last suggestion did it for me.

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