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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