Below are two ways to setup Wi-Fi on your BlackBerry PlayBook. The first is a simple way, and the second a more advanced way. Check out both and let us know what you think.

The Simple Way

One of the first things you’ll need to do on your new Blackberry Playbook is to connect to your Wi-Fi network.  You’ll need to do this in order to download any one of the tens of thousands of app in Blackberry App World on your Playbook, or use the awesome browser (without Blackberry Bridge), or use Dropbox, or update your Playbook….the list goes on.

If you haven’t done it already, or need to access a new Wi-Fi network, we have you covered!  The Blackberry Playbook makes connecting to a Wi-Fi network a piece of cake.  You’ll be playing Angry Birds in no time!  Let’s get started!

When in the main multitasking view, swipe down from the top bezel to the screen, accessing the “Settings” menu.

On the left side, tap the tab with the green icon that says “Wi-Fi”.  Ensure that “Wifi Connectivity” option is set to “On”.  When Wi-Fi is on, where it says “Select a Network”, you’ll see a list of the presently available Wi-Fi networks.  We’re going to connect to one of these.

The number of grey bars beside the name of each network indicates the Wi-Fi signal strength.  The little lock icons on each indicate that that Wi-Fi network is secure, meaning you’ll need a password to access it.  Tap on the Wi-Fi network you want to access, in my case it’s called “Bell737” (yours will be different).  If your Wi-Fi network is “Open” or not secure, then you do not need a password to connect and the Playbook will try to connect right away when you select that Wi-Fi network.  If the chosen Wi-Fi network is secure, you’ll see a screen that looks like this

In my case, the Wi-Fi security type is “WEP”, other possible types are “WPA” or “WPA2”.  But don’t worry, the Playbook knows that already!  All you have to do is either type in the password key found on your internet router, or the password for your Wi-Fi connection that you’ve already set up.  In my case, it’s a string of about a gazillion numbers found on my router.

Almost there!  Tap “Connect” and your Playbook will be you’ll see the screen below.

Even better, if all goes well you’ll see this glorious “Connected” screen!

Swipe from the bottom bezel upwards, closing the settings, and you’ll notice that little Wi-Fi icon near the top right of the screen is now green!   And green means go browsing!


The WPS Way


So you’ve got a WPS router? And you want to do things the fancy way with just a simple PIN?  I’ve got just the thing!  WPS stands for “Wi-Fi Protected Setup” where you can just set up Wi-Fi on your playbook at the touch of a button on your router or use a shared PIN to securely connect to your router.


Firstly, make sure you have a WPS router (you’ll know if you do if there’s a WPS button on your router).  The next step is to go into the Wi-Fi settings and you’ll notice a button that says “Use WPS”.  Go ahead and tap that.

You have two options:  Pressing the WPS button, or using a PIN.  But let’s stick with with the button option this time because its easier and way cooler.  Tap the “Press WPS Button on Router” option.

You’ll see a “Start” button.  Before you press it, press the “WPS” button on your router.  Once that’s done, you can press “Start” on your Playbook.

Your Playbook will give you 3 minutes for it to talk to the router, but it should be much quicker than that.

Once the Playbook and the router have their moment, you should be good to go!


Goin’ Manual

Have a specialized Wi-Fi network?  What about IPv6 addresses?  Static IPs?  HTTP proxy servers? Single bands configurations?  Or even VPNs?!  If the network you want to connect to needs any one of those, then you’re best off going manual.  If you’re the type to hesitantly smile and nod to the above options, then it might be best to stick with the automatic setup.  Otherwise, let’s go for it.  On the Wi-Fi settings screen, press “Connect Manually”.

You’ll have to fill in the “SSID”, which is just the name of the Wi-Fi connection.  You’ll have to know if the wireless network is secure or not.  If it is, you will have to know whether the network uses WEP, WPA Personal, WPA2 Personal, WPA Enterprise or WPA2 Enterprise.   You can select a VPN network profile from the list if you have any.  In any case, there are lots of options to choose from.

Tapping “Save” will simply save the Wi-Fi profile but not connect.  Tapping “Connect” will attempt to connect to the Wi-Fi network just like in the standard automatic Wi-Fi setup.

In any case, you should now be connected to your Wi-Fi network with your Playbook!  If you’re using a secure network, you will not have to enter the password or keycode again.  Your playbook will save every profile of every Wi-Fi network you’ve connected to.  Convenient eh?   This even works with mobile hotspots in the same way.  Happy surfing!