Your Tab 4 NOOK’s Wi-Fi Connection

By Corey Sandler

Owning a tablet without regular or at least occasional access to the Internet is kind of like owning a broken pencil: pretty pointless. Without Wi-Fi, you can’t register your device with Samsung for updates and apps and offers, sign in to B&N for NOOK Shop access, or contact Google and get stuff from them. You can’t go to the Internet or get email without establishing a Wi-Fi link.

Four links in the Wi-Fi chain

When you first turn on your Tab 4 NOOK, you’re guided right into the Wi-Fi setup.

Very important point here, please: You need four elements to successfully connect your Tab 4 NOOK to the Internet through a Wi-Fi system. You have to set them up correctly.

  • Turn on Wi-Fi on your tablet. The Wi-Fi radio and software on your Tab 4 NOOK have to be turned on.

  • Be near a router. You must be within range of a functioning Wi-Fi router (a signal transmitter/receiver).

  • Choose a signal. You must connect to an available signal. Some Wi-Fi signals may be open to any user. Others (most, these days) require a password and sometimes a username or other details.

  • Use a working router. The Wi-Fi router itself has to communicate with the Internet. Your tablet may connect to a router, but get no further than the box on the wall. If you can establish a link with a Wi-Fi system but get no further, check with the owner or operator of the router, or find another one to use.

The initial Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK is a Wi-Fi device; it doesn’t have a cellular radio. If you have a non-standard setup in your home, office, or elsewhere, you might want to go there now and return to this later.

For nearly all users the process of connecting to a Wi-Fi system is quite simple. You probably already have one in your home or office. You’ll also find them in most public libraries, many other public places, and in many stores and restaurants.

Barnes & Noble, as part of its intense desire to get you to buy a NOOK tablet and visit their stores, offers free Wi-Fi access. You can even read free samples or certain books in their entirety while you’re in the store.

Hunting for Wi-Fi

The steps you go through are very similar to what you have to do any time you use your tablet somewhere new. When you turn on your Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK, it hunts around for any available Wi-Fi networks. You will likely find three types:

  • Open networks aren’t protected by any password or login requirements. Just choose the network and you’re on the Internet. It’s probably safe, but be very careful about the sites you might visit; do not do your banking or make a purchase involving a credit card on an open network.

    If you have no choice, go ahead. Then plan on changing passwords and monitoring your credit card and bank statements regularly, which is something you should be doing anyhow.

  • Open networks with login don’t need a password, but the browser asks you to log in. You may have to provide your name, address, email address, and other information. In some cases, you may be asked to prove you are who you say you are by providing a smartphone number and then verifying that information by responding to a text message sent to the phone.

    Use your judgment about how much information you want to provide, and don’t assume this sort of system is protected from hackers.

  • Locked networks require a password, and sometimes other information such as a login name and security settings. If the locked network is in your own home or office, it’s probably safe for things like banking and shopping.

    But still: Change your passwords and regularly monitor your credit card and banking statements.

Enabling Wi-Fi on the tablet

When you first sign on to your tablet, turn on the Wi-Fi circuitry.

Why does the Tab 4 NOOK have an on/off setting for this essential function? Because you might choose to save some battery power by turning it off. You can also turn off Wi-Fi by switching to Airplane Mode.

Here’s how to set up your tablet to communicate with Wi-Fi:

  1. Swipe down from the top of the screen to display the notification panel.

  2. Tap the Settings (gear) icon.

  3. If it isn’t already, choose the Connections tab at upper left.

  4. On the left panel, find the Wi-Fi slider switch.

  5. If it’s grayed out, slide it to the right.

    It usually takes a few seconds for the device to set up the system.

    On the right side of the screen, a panel shows all Wi-Fi networks within usable range. They might have clever or manufacturer names. The strongest signal is first; the icon shows the signal strength. A small lock icon means the network is locked; you’ll see the word Secured below the network name. You can tap the name to read details.

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  6. Tap the network you want to connect with.

    If you do it right, the name of the network changes from black to a color, and you’ll see Connected below its name.

    In most secured cases, all you need is the password. Some devices require additional settings. Tap Advanced to show more options, including Proxy and IP Settings.

If you return to a place where you’ve connected via Wi-Fi, your tablet will try to reconnect. And your tablet comes with details for a Wi-Fi hotspot called attwifibn, which is the free hotspot in nearly all Barnes & Noble bookstores.

Adding a Wi-Fi network manually

You can manually add a Wi-Fi network to your system. You have to know the name of the system (referred to in technobabble as Network SSID). Your type of security protocol and password that may be required. To add a system this way, tap the + Add Wi-Fi Network command (at the bottom of the list of detected networks). Tap Connect.

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Switching Wi-Fi systems

Once you’re using a particular system, the tablet stays with it as long as it has a usable signal. If you notice the speed dropping, or if you get an onscreen message about a weak or unstable signal, go back to the Wi-Fi connections page and see if there’s a stronger signal listed.

Reconnecting to a Wi-Fi system after setup

To turn on Wi-Fi, do this:

  1. Swipe down from the top of the screen to display the notification panel.

    Or, swipe down with two fingers from the top of the screen to display the Quick menu.

  2. If the Wi-Fi icon isn’t in color, tap it.

If Airplane Mode is on, that icon is shown in color, but the Wi-Fi icon will be gray. You can turn on Wi-Fi within Airplane Mode, which kind of defeats the purpose of that option, by tapping the Wi-Fi icon.