Connecting to Wi-Fi at home

 

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How do I connect to Wi-Fi at home?

A photo of router, or modem, used access Wi-Fi in a home.

What's coming up

In this activity, you'll learn how to connect your device to a home Wi-Fi network.

We'll cover the Wi-Fi network name, the password, and explain how your device can automatically connect again the next time you want to use Wi-Fi.

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Connecting to Wi-Fi at home

Your Wi-Fi at home is provided by a special box called a router. This creates the home's Wi-Fi network, to which you can connect your devices.

Your Wi-Fi network will have a unique name and password, supplied by your internet service provider (ISP). These are usually written on the bottom of the router and are called the 'default' name and password.

An illustration of a router, or modem, used access Wi-Fi in a home with the Wi-Fi signal icon hovering above it.
Three Wi-Fi network names, each with a padlock to demonstrate that they are password protected and with varying Wi-Fi signal strengths.

Finding the network name

To join a device to your Wi-Fi network, you need to find your network's name in the Settings menu of your device. The menu will show a list of all the available networks, which will probably include the names of your neighbours' Wi-Fi or any local business networks.

Your neighbours can probably see your network name too, but don't worry, nobody else can use your Wi-Fi without the password! When you find your network, select it by either tapping or clicking on it from your device.

True or false?

Your Wi-Fi at home is provided by a special box called a router.

Click on the 'true' or 'false' card to find the answer.

True

Click to flip

That's correct. Sometimes it might also be referred to as a 'modem' or a 'gateway', but we often call it a 'router'.

False

Click to flip

It's actually true. We do call a Wi-Fi box a 'router'. Sometimes it might also be referred to as a 'modem' or a 'gateway'.

True or false?

To connect to your Wi-Fi network, you need to click on your Wi-Fi name in the 'Wi-Fi' section of the settings menu.

Click on the 'true' or 'false' card to find the answer.

True

Click to flip

That's correct! When we look for our Wi-Fi name (given to us by the internet provider), we will see many different Wi-Fi names (sometimes called network names). We need to look for ours then click on that one.

False

Click to flip

It's actually true. When we look for our Wi-Fi name (given to us by the internet provider), we will see many different Wi-Fi names (sometimes called network names). We need to look for ours then click on that one.

Understanding available networks

The number of solid bars in the Wi-Fi symbol next to each network name indicates Wi-Fi reception strength. Nearby networks are usually stronger than those further away, so your home's Wi-Fi reception should show three or four solid bars.

If your device doesn't have solid bars to indicate Wi-Fi strength, look for lines coming out of a dot. The more lines that are solid rather than faint, the better the Wi-Fi strength of that network.

A padlock that represents password protection and the Wi-Fi signal logo that represents Wi-Fi reception and signal strength.
An illustration showing an unlocked padlock representing a correct password.

Entering the Wi-Fi password

A padlock symbol next to the network name means it is protected by a password. You cannot join a protected network without its password and, likewise, nobody can join your network without your password. Your home Wi-Fi network comes with a password to keep it secure.

Once you've selected your network's name, enter its password when your device asks for it. Be careful to match any upper and lowercase letters exactly.

Connecting again

A useful feature of Wi-Fi is that your device will remember your Wi-Fi connection. You won't need to look up the Wi-Fi name or enter the password again, because your device will connect automatically when you are in range of your Wi-Fi network.

If you don't want this to happen, you can go back into your device settings and choose Forget this network.

A smartphone that has automatically connected to a home Wi-Fi network.
A padlock illustration.

eSafety Tip

You wouldn't want strangers using your electricity without your permission, and it's the same with your internet. It should be OK to let friends and family use your home network when they visit, but don't share your network password with strangers and even neighbours. Their device can remember your network password and connect automatically when in range of your Wi-Fi, giving them access to your internet without you knowing.

Well done!

Welcome to the end of the How do I connect to Wi-Fi at home? activity. You've learned that a home internet connection needs a router to create a Wi-Fi network, and that the network has a unique name.

You've also learned that you need to enter a password to connect to Wi-Fi. But your device remembers the password, so you don't need to enter it every time.

Next up, we'll talk about range and reception in Understanding Wi-Fi range and how it can affect your connection.

A young girl reading something on the internet on a smartphone at home.