Learn to Troubleshoot Your Internet Connection While Using Ubuntu

How to use a wireless connection to get to the internet

Ubuntu logo


The Ubuntu open-source operating system is the most popular Linux distribution on personal desktop and laptop computers. Just like other operating systems, Ubuntu allows operators of wireless-enabled computers to connect to the internet wirelessly. 

How to Connect to a Wireless Network With Ubuntu

If you have a wireless-enabled computer running the Ubuntu operating system, you can connect to a nearby wireless network to get to the internet. To do this:

  1. Open the System Menu on the right side of the top bar.

  2. Select Wi-Fi Not Connected to expand the menu.

    Ubuntu system tray
  3. Choose Select Network.

    Ubuntu system tray menu expanded
  4. Look through the names of the nearby networks. Select the one you want, and press Connect. If you don't see the name of the network you want, press More to see additional networks. If you still don't see the network you want, it may be hidden or you may be out of range.

    Ubuntu WiFi choose network
  5. Enter the password for the network, and press Connect.

    Ubuntu WiFi enter password

Connect to a Hidden Wireless Network or Enter a New One

With Ubuntu, the operator can set up a wireless network and set it to be hidden. It won't show up in the list of available wireless networks. If you know or suspect a network is hidden, you can look for it. You can also establish a new hidden network. Here's how:

  1. Open the System Menu on the right side of the top bar.

  2. Select Wi-Fi Not Connected to expand the menu.

    Ubuntu system tray
  3. Press Wi-Fi Settings.

    Ubuntu system tray menu expanded
  4. Press the three stacked dot menu icon in the top right of the settings window.

    Ubuntu WiFi settings
  5. Select Connect to Hidden Network.

    Ubuntu WiFi settings menu
  6. Another new window will pop up. Enter the network name (the SSID) and select the wireless security from the options in the drop-down list.

    Ubuntu connect to hidden WiFi
  7. Enter the password.

  8. Press Connect to go online.

Although a hidden network is slightly harder to find, it doesn't improve security significantly.