How to Set Up a Wireless Modem on an iPad


All iPads come with an internal 802.11 a/b/g/n internal wireless card that is easy to set up. If what you are looking for is the wireless signal to which you can connect your iPad, you need an external wireless router or modem/router combination to create the wireless signal in your home or office. That setup is independent of your iPad and may require a computer for proper configuration. If you already have a wireless signal and just need to set up your iPad to use it, skip to the second section.

Things You'll Need

  • Internet service provider
  • Wireless router
  • Computer

Getting Wireless Signal

  • Contact your current Internet service provider if you already have broadband -- such as cable, satellite or DSL -- Internet in your home or office. If you do not currently have Internet or only have dial-up, choose an Internet service provider from among the broadband services available in your area.

  • Ask the service provider which wireless routers are compatible with your current system. If you have a modem you use for your computer, you may need to upgrade this modem or let the provider know the model number and make so they can advise you accordingly. Purchase the recommended router or any compatible model that will give you a Wi-Fi signal.

  • Plug in the new router according to the manufacturer's instructions. Each manufacturer and model has a specific setup process, so follow each step carefully. You will likely need to configure the router through a standard desktop or laptop computer.

  • Look at your computer screen after you complete your router installation. You should see the wireless signal icon on your computer if it has a wireless card. If you see this symbol or your computer has no wireless card, move on to the iPad setup. If your computer should get wireless Internet but you do not see the icon for it in your lower right taskbar (Windows) or upper right toolbar (Mac), contact the router manufacturer or Internet service provider for troubleshooting assistance.

Setting Up iPad Wi-Fi

  • Tap the "Settings" icon on your iPad.

  • Tap "Wi-Fi" and slide the virtual Wi-Fi switch in the upper right corner of your screen to "On" if it is off. This is not a physical switch on the iPad, just a slider icon.

  • Look through the available networks that appear in the list below the virtual switch. Locate your network and tap on its name. Do not tap on the arrow next to the name, as that will take you into the advanced settings, which are usually not necessary.

  • Enter your password when prompted if your network is password-protected. The iPad will try to connect you to the network, and then return you to the wireless network selection screen once it is connected. You will see a checkmark next to the selected network.

  • Press the "Home" button to exit the wireless setup and return to your home screen.

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  • Photo Credit Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images
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