Many TVs today come with their own apps you can use to update your Facebook or Twitter accounts, get weather updates, or access video-on-demand services like Netflix. Even if you don't have an Internet-ready smart TV, you can use your computer, game consoles or other TV devices to connect it to the Internet. Of course, no method will work very well if you don't have high-speed Internet access.
Connecting Your TV Directly
To find out if your TV can access the Internet directly, take a look at the user manual. If you've misplaced the manual, you can also determine if it is Internet-ready by looking at the back or side of the TV for an Ethernet port. This port is a little larger than a standard telephone jack and is used to connect an Ethernet computer network cable. You can also use your remote control to browse the TV's settings for a reference to either Internet or network setup. If the TV has built-in wireless, this will be a settings option, meaning you don't need to use a cable to access the Internet, providing you have a wireless router.
If your TV doesn't connect to the Internet directly, you still have several options. Game consoles like the Xbox and PlayStation can be connected to the Internet, as well as some DVD and Blu-ray disc players. Devices designed specifically for Internet TV are also available, like the Apple TV or Sony Internet Player. Most of these devices have wireless access built in. Your TV will need an HDMI or DVI port to connect to these devices if you want high-definition video and sound. If your TV doesn't have the proper port, you may still be able to connect using a VGA cable or RCA cables, depending on what connections your TV and the device support.
Wired or Wireless Internet
Whether your TV access the Internet directly or you use another device like an Xbox or Sony Internet Player, you will still need to connect these to your home Internet service. To connect wirelessly, you will need a wireless router, which connects to your Internet modem and lets you create a Wi-Fi network in your home. If you want to connect the TV using an Ethernet cable, you can use one of the Ethernet ports on the back of the wireless router. Ethernet is much faster than Wi-Fi, so you'll get a better connection and less chance of lags.
Using Your Computer
Connecting a computer to your TV is quick way to access the Internet using your TV. If your TV has a VGA port, you can simply unplug your monitor and then connect your TV. Older TVs can be connected to the video-in port, provided you have the proper adapter. Sound, however, is not transmitted through the video cable, so you will need to connect speakers to your computer's audio port. If your computer has an HDMI port, or if you add a graphics card to the computer that has one, you can connect this to your TV and get both high-definition video and sound on the TV.
- Laurentiu Iordache/iStock/Getty Images