Connecting to a network

You can connect to a network using a wired, Wi-Fi, or mobile data connection:

  1. Open the system menu in the top-right corner.

    • If a wired connection is detected, Tails automatically connects to the network.

    • To connect to a Wi-Fi network, choose Wi-Fi Not Connected and then Select Network.

    • To connect to a mobile data network, choose Mobile Broadband.

    It is currently impossible to connect to a network using:

  2. After establishing a connection to a network:

    • If you can already access the Internet, Tor is automatically started.

    • If you need to log in to a captive portal before being granted access to the Internet, see our documentation on logging in to captive portals.

For more information, open GNOME Help and choose Networking, web & email.

If you are concerned about being identified as a Tails user on your network, read our documentation about network fingerprinting.

Troubleshooting Wi-Fi not working

If your Wi-Fi interface is not working, either:

  • There is no Wi-Fi option in the system menu:

  • The interface is disabled when starting Tails or when plugging in your USB Wi-Fi adapter:

    Notification about network card being disabled

    In this case, you can disable MAC spoofing to get your Wi-Fi interface to work in Tails. Disabling MAC spoofing has security implications, so read carefully our documentation about MAC spoofing before doing so.

To connect to the Internet, you can try to:

  • Use an Ethernet cable instead of Wi-Fi if possible. Wired interfaces work much more reliably than Wi-Fi in Tails.

  • Share the Wi-Fi or mobile data connection of your phone using a USB cable. Sharing a connection this way is called USB tethering.

    See instructions for:

    Tails cannot hide the information that identifies your phone on the network. If you connect your phone to:

    • A Wi-Fi network, then the network will know the MAC address of your phone. This has security implications that are discussed in our documentation on MAC address spoofing. Some phones have a feature to hide the real MAC address of the phone.

    • A mobile data network, then the network will be able to know the identifier of your SIM card (IMSI) and also the serial number of your phone (IMEI).

  • Buy a USB Wi-Fi adapter that works in Tails:

    VendorModelSizeSpeedPriceBuy offlineBuy online
    Panda WirelessUltraNano150 Mbit/s$12NoAmazon
    Panda WirelessPAU05Small300 Mbit/s$14NoAmazon

    If you find another USB Wi-Fi adapter that works in Tails, please let us know. You can write to (private email).

  • Check in our list of known Wi-Fi issues if there is a workaround to get your Wi-Fi interface to work in Tails.

Using Tor bridges or a local proxy

To connect to Tor using bridges or configure a proxy to access the Internet, you need to activate additional Tor configuration when starting Tails.

Modifying and saving your network settings

To modify your network settings, for example, to configure whether or not to automatically connect to a Wi-Fi network, do the following:

  1. Open the system menu in the top-right corner.

  2. Click on the System button to open the system settings.

  3. Choose Network.

If you want to reuse your custom configuration or the passwords of encrypted wireless connections across separate working sessions, you can turn on the Network connections feature of the Persistent Storage.