How to Connect the Internet to a Cell Phone Via WiFi

By Michael Ryan

Updated September 28, 2017

Items you will need

  • Wireless Internet connection

  • Cell phone with Wi-Fi card

Like computers, cell phones can connect to Wi-Fi networks
i wlan router 02 image by PM Photo from

On cell phones with Wi-Fi radios, connecting to a wireless Internet connection is an effective way to get an Internet connection faster than the one available over the cell phone's data network. Wi-Fi is helpful when you are downloading music or software to your phone, or if you need to take advantage of Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) software like Skype. In order for your cell phone to get an Internet connection via Wi-Fi, it must have an internal wireless card.

Turn on the Wi-Fi radio. Check the "Settings" menu on your phone and click on "Connections." If Wi-Fi is not turned on, click "Wi-Fi" to activate it.

Open your Wi-Fi settings. Once the wireless radio is turned on, click the Wi-Fi icon on the top of your phone screen to bring up connection settings. Choose "Configure Wireless Networks."

Find the network. Select the wireless network to which you want to connect by clicking on it or using the arrow keys to select it. Networks are listed by their SSID, which is the name given to a network when setting it up. Once you find the Wi-Fi network to which you want to connect, tap "Connect."

Enter encryption key. If the Wi-Fi network to which you want access has a WEP or WAP encryption key, make sure you have it available, otherwise you will be unable to connect. If you want your cell phone to remember the encryption key permanently, make sure "Save Password" is checked.

Test the connection. It will take a few seconds for your cell phone to negotiate the wireless connection. Once you see the Wi-Fi icon with arrows appear on the top of your phone screen, open your web browser or a messaging application to test the connectivity.

Ending the connection. To end the connection click the Wi-Fi icon along the top menu bar of your phone and select "Disconnect." Once the Wi-Fi connection is terminated or interrupted, you will still have access to the Internet via your mobile data connection.


Wi-Fi radios are not common equipment in cell phones. As mobile data download speeds have increased, the need to connect to Wi-Fi networks via cell phones has decreased. If your Settings menu does not have an option to activate Wi-Fi, the phone does not have Wi-Fi capabilities.