To access the Internet, a TV with support for the Smart TV option needs an adapter for Wi-Fi (wi-fi). Usually it is already built into the TV panel, but if this module is not available, it will have to be purchased separately and configured. Before buying equipment, you need to clarify the type of drivers installed on the TV itself, as well as a number of technical characteristics of the adapter. After that, you can start choosing a device suitable for a particular model.
What is a Wi-Fi adapter
The Wi-Fi module is designed to wirelessly connect the TV to the Internet through a router, often such equipment is purchased for computers. It must have a good signal range, transmitter power and encryption against hacking by intruders.
The adapter itself looks like a regular flash drive and connects via a USB port, which is found in every modern TV model.
The range of such equipment today is quite wide, but all have the same name, type of connection and purpose of use. Not every WiFi adapter for a TV will fit every model. Initially, it is better to limit the choice to modules of the same brand as the TV. Manufacturers develop removable devices taking into account the characteristics of their technology, the likelihood of possible problems and failures will be significantly reduced.
Maximum module bandwidth will be provided subject to the correct choice, based on the technical characteristics. There are a number of key parameters to pay attention to:
- equipment compatibility;
- connection type;
- the power of this transmitter;
- operating frequency;
- transmission signal standard;
- signal capture radius;
- encryption methods used.
Adapter selection options
A common mistake of ordinary people is the opinion that a Wi-Fi adapter for a TV and a laptop or PC are one and the same device. This is not the case, despite the fact that both accessories use the same protocols, the OS for TV and PC is different, which means that the software necessary for the adapter to work will not be supported. It is possible that cross-platform operating systems will appear in the foreseeable future, but so far this is not the case. Therefore, when choosing, you need to specify what exactly the adapter will connect to.
Let’s take a closer look at the important parameters for choosing a Wi-Fi adapter for connecting to a TV.
TV panel compatible
The packaging of the module should indicate which TV models it is suitable for. Sometimes the manufacturer indicates only the brand, which means that the adapter will fit any device that supports Smart TV. When a wireless network module is not included with the TV, the manufacturer indicates it recommended settings in the technical data sheet or on the official website.
There are the following connection types:
PCMCIA is the oldest type of connection, so more modern models can be found with USB or HDMI. When buying an adapter for TVs of well-known brands LG, Philips, Samsung, Panasonic, Toshiba, Sony, it is recommended to use branded modules, for less popular companies it is worth considering universal options, D-link adapters have proven themselves well.
WiFi transmitter power
In order for the connection to be stable and uninterrupted, the power of the adapter must be at least 17 dBm. This parameter can be found on the packaging.
An essential indicator that you should pay attention to when buying. The range of different models varies from 2.5 to 5 GHz. The router and adapter must have the same operating frequency, otherwise there will be no connection.
Transmission signal standard
This parameter depends baud rate, and for the connection it is important. The connection speed parameter must correspond to the characteristics of the router (router), it is divided into two types: real / maximum, the indicator is measured in Mbps. There are several standards, each has its own speed range:
- 11a, 2/54 Mbps;
- 11b, 3/11 Mbps;
- 11g, 24/54Mbps:
- 11n, 50/150Mbps or 150/300Mbps.
It can be noted that the maximum speed significantly exceeds the actual performance. The propagation of the signal may be obstructed by various obstructions such as walls, any furniture, or other radio signals. To achieve a better signal, all negative factors should be eliminated.
The Wi-Fi module can be designed for indoors or open spaces. This indicator is measured in meters, and it is always limited. The farther the router is located, the lower the power will be. When choosing an adapter, you should consider the distance from the TV to the router.
Used encryption methods
WPA2 or WPA protocols will provide the best protection against hacking a router, but WEP is considered obsolete today, therefore, there are many algorithms for hacking it.
Popular adapter models
Below are the five best Wi-Fi adapters for TV with positive feedback from users, which was the reason for their inclusion in the review.
Adapter from LG with built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth module. The device will not only provide an Internet connection, but also allow you to connect TV and other equipment via a DLNA network. In addition to TVs, the adapter is suitable for headsets and soundbars. One of the functions is connection to a Magic Remote TV. The connection is via USB 2.0, the model works in 2.4 Hz networks and supports 802.11a/b/g/n standards.
The device is not compatible with all LG appliances, so it is recommended to check before buying.
For ease of use, an LED is provided on the case that will notify you when it is ready for use. Price: from 3,500 rubles.
Wi-Fi adapter focused primarily for older Samsung TVs, as well as Blu-ray players and home theaters. The adapter supports two operating ranges — 2.4 and 5 Hz. The connection is made via a USB connector. The maximum transfer rate is 300 Mb/s, supported standards are 802.11 a/b/g/n. Price: from 950 rubles.
This model is not a Wi-Fi adapter in the classical sense, it is capable of receiving a wireless signal, but at the same time connects to the TV’s LAN socket, and this is an important condition of work. Also, the set-top box is included in the USB output for power supply. The device has LEDs that signal the operating status. The model has WPS button for easier connection, operates on a 2.4 Hz network and supports 802.11 b/g/n standards. The adapter is compatible with TVs of different brands, but before buying it is recommended to make sure that it works, since a complete list of supported models is not provided. Price: from 450 rubles.
Branded adapter from Sony for TV and other brand equipment. The model has a compact size, connects directly to USB 2.0, operates in the 2.4 and 5 Hz bands, supports 802.11 b/g/n networks. A feature of the adapter is the ability to install it in a special stand and connect it via a USB cable. This will increase the reception range in case of a bad signal. Price: from 3,500 rubles.
Universal adapter 2 in 1capable of receiving Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. In the first case, the device operates at a frequency of 2.4 Hz and in 802.11 b/g/n networks. Bluetooth connection is carried out according to the 4.0 standard. The model is very compact, according to the manufacturer, it is compatible with various equipment — from PCs and laptops to set-top boxes and TV directly. Connection is via USB 2.0 connector. Price: from 400 rubles. You can buy on Aliexpress.
How to connect and set up
Connecting the adapter for receiving Wi-Fi is quite easy. The module is connected to the selected connector — HDMI or USB. Now on the TV, open the settings menu and select the “networks” section. It remains to turn on the search for wireless networks, find your own and enter a password from it. After pairing, the device will be ready to use the Internet.
Some routers support WPS connection technology. To do this, they have a special button on the case. It may be signed «WPS», or a «key»/»wave» symbol is drawn on it. If there is such a key, then it must be pressed. Now in the TV we open the WPS connection section, it is located in the settings, the “networks” submenu. Sometimes a password or PIN is required to connect. They are usually listed on the bottom of the router. After completing these steps, you will be connected to the network.
Sometimes with a successful connection to the Internet, an unstable connection may be observed. Online video may freeze, and the browser is slow to load pages. Sometimes this happens in the evenings due to increased network load, but sometimes the weak signal is to blame. To fix this, you should try the following.
- Move the router closer to the TV, if possible.
- Check if there is any equipment between the router and the TV that may interfere with the signal — a microwave oven, a cordless telephone, and so on.
- Look in the settings of the router, what country is set for it. This may affect the channels on which the signal is broadcast. If there is no such setting, then the channels are manually set: 1,3,5.
- If the router has external antennas, you can tilt them towards the TV at an angle of 45 degrees.
Quite often it happens that after all the automatic settings, the wireless connection is not configured. This is due to some problems in the operation / fine-tuning of the router, and is solved by entering data and network settings manually. The algorithm of action will be more complex. How to connect Wi-Fi on your own?
- Find the “Wireless network” item in the TV menu and select the “Manual setup” type.
- Open data entry field.
- Enter the IP address (entered using the remote control).
- Go to the next field, specify the subnet mask and gateway.
- Enter DNS.
- Select a network, press «OK» or «Enter». If the desired network is not in the list, you need to create it, enter the name and password that you set when configuring the router.
- Check network operation.
It’s important to know! Many providers provide technical support by phone, do not neglect this opportunity. The consultant’s tips will help you set up the network correctly and quickly, as well as give you the necessary knowledge about the settings that will certainly come in handy in the future.
Data for input can be viewed through a computer, smartphone or check with the operator by phone. Using a wireless connection to the TV, you can connect various devices that support wi-fi technology: laptop, Iphone and others.