Data Doctors: How to set up new WiFi network

I'm trying to get a tablet connected to our home Wi-Fi before I wrap it as a present, but I can't seem to get it connected.  I enter the password and it acts like it's connected but I can't get on the Internet.  What am I doing wrong?

First, kudos to you for taking the time to pre-configure the tablet before wrapping it! There's nothing more frustrating than getting a gift that requires complicated technical setup, especially if the recipient isn't all that tech savvy.

Connecting a new device to a home Wi-Fi network is the most common question we get asked the day after Christmas during our annual Facebook Tech Help-A-Thon (Dec 26 at on our Facebook page ) because there are so many variables that can come into play.

If other devices are also experiencing issues, start with power cycling both the Internet source (cable modem or DSL router) and the wireless router, by pulling the power cord out of both.

Plug the cable modem or DSL router back in first and wait long enough for it to establish a connection (usually a couple of minutes) before plugging your wireless router back in.

Routers differ in the exact wording or symbols used for each of the indicators, but generally speaking you should see the word ‘Internet' or an icon that represents the Internet to confirm that the router has made a connection to the Internet.

If other devices, such as computers and smartphones are connecting with no problem, than the issue most likely resides with the tablet.

Trying to reset the tablet's Wi-Fi settings would be your next step. Look for a "forget this network" option which will allow you to retype the password to connect to the network (while you're at it, make sure you have the correct case-sensitive password for network access).

If that yields no results, performing a hard reboot of the tablet would be next (the exact steps vary based on the device). You can always Google ‘how to hard reset XXXX tablet' if you don't have the instructions.

All Apple iPads have an option to reset just the network settings by going to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings.

This will wipe out any stored information that pertains to connecting to any previous network and give you a clean slate to work with (no other information is impacted.)

If that still does not help, since the device is new try tapping "Reset All Settings" in the same menu.

If you're still not able to connect, it could be an issue with the encryption level that you have set on the wireless router.

The easiest way to test for this issue is to temporarily turn off the encryption on the wireless router so that the network is now open no longer requiring a password (make a note of which level you have set before you turn it off.)

If it connects with no password, you'll need to try a different encryption scheme than what was previously set.  If the router is older, you may need to do a firmware upgrade to it (available via the support section of the manufacturer's website) so that it's up to speed with current standards.

Another way to test the device is to try connecting to a completely different network, like at a neighbor's or a nearby Starbucks as there's a small chance that you have a defective product.

Remember, we'll be on our Facebook page answering any tech questions on the day after Christmas for anyone that needs free tech advice.

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