You’re at the most critical point in a movie (the big reveal, the first kiss, the unexpected plot twist) and suddenly it stops to buffer. Moment ruined. We’ve all been there – sometimes it seems like your neighbor’s Wi-Fi works better than your own! Your home Wi-Fi network can be a fickle friend, but before you resort to streaming in the streets, check out these tips for an optimal streaming experience.

Check your speed
In general, a faster Internet connection will deliver better video quality. For the best viewing results, we recommend a minimum of 1.5 Mbps for standard definition and 3.0 Mbps for HD content. You can test your network speed with free websites like

Take care of your router
This seems simple, but it’s easy to forget – make sure to keep your router’s firmware and driver up to date to improve streaming performance. Check the device manufacturer’s website regularly for updates to keep your router in optimal condition.

Know your hot spots
Knowing your home’s hot spots can help you position your Roku in the best possible location. Mobile apps like Wi-Fi Analyzer turn your phone into a Wi-Fi detector, helping you find the least crowded channel for your router and locate the areas in your pad with the strongest signal strength.

Find a trusty ISP
A good wireless internet service provider is an important asset. Lucky for us, Netflix did the hard work and compiled a monthly report ranking ISPs “based upon their actual performance across all Netflix streams.” Google Fiber took first place, with Verizon, Comcast, Charter, Cablevision, Mediacom, and TimeWarner Cable bringing up the rear. Are you taking notes?

If you’re having trouble streaming on your Roku, these additional tips might help optimize your wireless connection. Feel free to contact us for assistance as well – we’re always happy to help.

Happy Streaming!

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  • So, if 3.0Mbps is recommended for HD streaming, and, according to the Netflix speed test, not a single internet provider in the U.S. delivers 3.0Mbps, how can Roku tout its device effective for HD streaming?

    • I would say Netflix is lying to you. My provider routinely provides download speeds in excess of 10Mbps, and upload speeds in excess of 8Mbps. Just did a run and got 14 down and 10 up…

      • First, what is your provider, because that’s awesome speed!

        Second, why would Roku recommend the Netflix site if it’s flawed?

        Something’s not right, here. Ball’s in your court, Roku.

        • Rene Garcia

          I have Comcast and I get 25 Mbps downloads and 5 Mbps uploads, and I have an old modem, a Comcast rep told me that if I replace it with a newer modem I will be able to get 50 Mbps download speeds.

          • then you would pay more money. i took my modem in for a upgrade and told them i wanted DOCCIS 3.0 aand its more money per month. So beware

          • Rene Garcia

            I don’t use Comcast’ modems, I use a Motorola modem I own and I’ve been using it for 5 years now, so it’s not fast enough for the speeds I get with Comcast. I’m planning on upgrading to a new model, I just need to do some research first.

    • Sluggo

      I have a minimum of 55mbps, and it caps out at 66 when I use the turbo boost my isp provides. Those are download speeds, my upload is only around 5 usually. I don’t believe the information you have been given is correct.

    • What are you talking about? Even if you were talking 3.0 Megabytes p/s (as opposed to Megabits) you can get that easily in most metropolitan areas of the country. I believe you that Netflix said that,, but Netflix is wrong.

    • mykcuz

      the article says 1.5 and 3Mbps, i get 75/35 Mbps

  • jfr69

    umm I think what they’re trying to say is those are the ‘minimum’ recommended speeds. My AT&T dsl is 6mbps down.. in other words if you’re internet service tops out @ 1.5, don’t expect to do HD movies….Most cable or Fiber ISP’s run faster.

  • Mikebiker

    I just checked and I’m 9.93 down and 0.82 up on DSL.

  • Time warner DL speeds over 22Mbps and 12Mbps upload speeds. All over my Dlink router.

  • mykcuz

    live in nj here fios offers 15/5(about to be killed) 50/25 as a $5 upgrade, 75/35 for another $5 per month and 150/65. they have a $200/month stand alone of 300/65

  • If your network uses wireless-G, you can quiet the noise by avoiding wireless electronics that use the 2.4 GHz frequency. Horizontal Cable Management


    I’d wish there is a channel app (or ROKU settings) that can test the network speed right from the device.

    • Josh Josh

      I have done so. Check “settings.”

  • Glen Weyant

    ISP speed is 14.5 mbps at the modem; 5.5 on Roku; Why? slow modem?

  • Ollie James

    i have BT infinity and i get 30mbps download and 10mbps upload, however whilst in my bedroom i have to use a netgear extention plug and my 30 download turns to 10, any reason?

  • jeremyrnr

    I have a Roku 2 XD and I have to say the wifi reception is terrible. I have a top of the line router and am pulling 28 Mbps throughout my house but I average 2.5 Mbps through the Roku. Sadly I have a range extender placed a foot from the Roku and I am able to get up to 6 Mbps and actually watch HD movies. You may not know that using a range extender cuts the pass-through speed in half which just shows how poor the antenna is in this Roku 2 XD box. New answer to an old question that may help someone out there.

  • SavingtheRepublicdotcom

    curious will placing the roku in a pie tin work to increase reception? Mine usually works 95% of the time when I am in my garage but there are some nights when it sees my network but refuses to connect (full bars or maybe -1). Ive seen vids of ppl making tinfoil, pie tin, metal strainer antennas etc so logic says put it in a tin to act as a antenna

  • cliftonpyle

    In Washington NC, Centurylink, (one of the very few ISP) says their internet speed is only 1.5mbps, and they call that HIGH SPEED. They are crappy with their internet. I would NEVER attempt to get dish from them.

  • ivy

    does this thing allow you internet access to chose a website to go to to watch a video

  • ivy

    we are trying to connect to firefox or some other but i dont see a way to do this now that we bought and set this up.

  • Jiro Miyashita

    I only have 3.0 MBPS and I really don’t know why is it too slow. I’ve regularly checked my router if it is still functioning well. In New York, I used broadband wiring and I am not having a hard time looking for the hotspot.

  • Kit Kraus

    analysis , I loved the points . Does anyone know if my assistant might
    be able to locate a sample template form to type on ?

  • John Lawrence

    I am camping and they have great wifi, when I connect with the Roku 2 it goes right to connecting to the internet without asking for user name and password. Where/how can I force Roku to ask for user name and password?