How to connect a wireless device to your network

Going cordless is fun. It makes work easier and play more enjoyable. Plus, as an added bonus... It's fairly simple to set up. You just need: (1) a wireless-capable device, such as a computer, smartphone, tablet, game console, printer, and (2) a wireless network.

How to connect your wireless device

This short video explains the steps for connecting your wireless device to your network.

Simple steps for connecting wirelessly

If you can't watch the video (or just prefer not to), follow these 4 steps instead:

  1. Surf to a web page and confirm your Internet connection is working.
    If you aren't able to connect, read "Troubleshooting your Internet connection" and/or "Troubleshooting common wireless connection problems."
  2. Look at the front of your modem and confirm your modem's wireless is ON.
    If the wireless is OFF, turn it on before trying to connect any devices. (If your wireless connection keeps dropping, consult "Improve the performance of your wireless connection" for suggestions.)
  3. In case you're wondering, this is what the wireless light on the front of your CenturyLink modem means:

    Light Color

    What does the light mean?

    No color, not lit up

    Wireless is OFF

    Flickering Green

    Wireless is ON, and data is being transmitted.

    Solid Green

    Wireless is ON, but no data is being transmitted.

    Amber (yellowish-orange)

    Wireless is temporarily disabled using the wireless schedule feature found in the modem configuration interface.*

    * This may not be true for all modem models.

  4. Find your modem's network name and password.
    Unless you've customized it, this information can usually be found on a sticker on the bottom or side of your modem. (If you can't find a sticker and/or have questions about your network name and password, read "Wireless Network Connections 101" for answers.)

  5. Connect your device to your wireless network.

    1. Open the wireless connect screen on your device.
      This screen displays a network list all the available wireless networks in your area. (For more information, refer to "Where is the wireless connection screen?" below. If you're trying to connect a device without a screen, look at "What if the device doesn't have a screen?")

    2. Select your network's name from the list.
      If there are no networks listed, double check that the device's wireless is ON. If you're using a secure network, when you click on the network name, you'll be prompted to enter the password (KEY or PASSPHRASE) that you found on the modem sticker. After entering this information, you may need to wait a couple minutes for the connection to be made. (If you don't see your network listed, refer to "What to do if your wireless network isn't showing up.")

Answers to common questions

Where is the wireless connection screen?

How to get to the wireless connection screen (and network list) varies greatly by device. If you're not sure where to find the screen, look at your device's user guide. (If you have no idea where the user guide is, you can probably find it online by searching the web. Be sure to include the brand name and model number in your search like "how to connect iPhone 5 to wireless network.")

Here are links to a few of the most popular computer user guides:


Additional useful resources:

Phones, Tablets and Reading Devices

If you want to set up an Android smartphone, the steps are consistent across models. Simply do the following:

  1. From the Home screen, tap Menu, then Settings, and then Wireless and Networks.
  2. Select the Wi-Fi check box to turn your wireless ON.
  3. The device will scan for available wireless networks.
  4. Tap Wi-Fi settings.
  5. Tap a Wi-Fi network to connect.


Home Entertainment Devices


Gaming Devices


What if the device doesn't have a screen, such as a printer?

To set up your wireless printer, begin by connecting it directly (with a cable) to a computer. Once the wireless is set up and working, you can unhook the cable and print wirelessly. If you have questions, check the printer's user guide. If you can't find the user guide, do a search on the web, and you'll probably find it quickly. Alternately, here are links to 5 popular printer manufacturers: HP, Canon, Epson, Dell and Lexmark.


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