Nothing puts a damper on a streaming session like a poor wireless connection, so we’re here to offer our best tips to get you streaming happily on your Roku player or Roku TV. Before you call your ISP or pull your hair out, try these steps to improve your wireless internet connection.
1. Check your wireless signal strength
Let’s start off with a common tip. If you’re seeing a loading screen or video buffering checking your internet speed is a good place to start. Your Roku device provides information on the strength of the wireless signal it’s receiving.
- On your Roku device, go to Settings > Network
- When connected, the signal strength will be shown on screen as Excellent, Good, Fair, or Poor
If you find that your internet speed is slower than expected, we recommend trying the tips outlined in this blog post. If issues persist after you’ve tried all of these steps, we recommend contacting your Internet Service Provider (ISP) to troubleshoot.
2. Change the location of your router
The location of the router in your home is crucial to having a strong connection throughout your home. Having the router as close to the middle of your home allows for an equal distribution of your wireless signal. If your router is in the corner of your home, half of your signal may be outside!
You’ll also want to keep your router away from household devices like cordless phones or microwaves that may emit interference and reduce the wireless signal. If your router has an antenna, try adjusting it. Sometimes even a slight change in its angle can help.
Some of the same tips for your router location can be applied to your Roku player or Roku TV. You’ll want to make sure your Roku device is within range of your router and not on top of any other electronic devices like a cable box or DVD player. It’s also important that the front of your player is clear of obstructions, that it’s not enclosed in a cabinet or an enclosed area, and that it’s not sitting in direct sunlight.
If you have a Roku Express, you’ll want to make sure that you test the location of your player and make sure it will be within a line of sight with your remote before applying your adhesive strip.
3. Reduce traffic on your wireless network
When possible, limit the use of other internet-connected devices on your network. Removing some other devices like phones, laptops, or game systems from your network could greatly increase your available bandwidth. If you must have multiple devices connected and you have a dual-band router, you can try moving your Roku player to a band all by itself. To do so, please refer to your router manufacturer’s website or manual.
4. Check your advanced router settings (firmware)
Manufacturers periodically make tweaks and optimizations to their software to boost performance and security, so it’s a good idea to make a habit of checking your router’s firmware on a regular basis. Most manufacturers make this a pretty simple process. For more information on how to update your firmware, please visit your router manufacturer’s website.
5. Change your wireless channel
To avoid interference with other wireless networks around you, especially if you live in a dense residential area, try changing the broadcast channel on your router. Channels 1, 6, and 11 are recommended as they have no overlapping frequencies. Better yet, if you have a dual-band router, you can move your Roku player to the 5GHz band. You can learn how to to do so by referring to your router manufacturer’s website.
6. Create a strong home network password
It’s crucial to have strong password protection on your router for security reasons but also to keep those pesky next-door neighbors from sucking up your bandwidth.
7. Get a wireless extender (Roku Streaming Stick only)
8. Consider a new router
If you have tried everything above and still aren’t satisfied with your wireless connection, it may be time to upgrade your router. If you purchased your router years ago, you may be stuck on an older wireless standard. You may want to consider purchasing a router with newer networking technology, like 802.11n or 802.11ac (available on the Roku 4, Roku Premiere, Roku Premiere+, and Roku Ultra).