Roku WiFi Problems: Fix Your Roku WiFi Connection In a Flash!

Most people who buy a Roku think it’s one of the best inventions ever. However, quite a few Roku users complain about problems keeping the device connected to their home WiFi networks. Fortunately, there are some easy steps you can take to fix these issues.

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Roku WiFi problems: Fix your Roku WiFi connection in a flash!

Roku WiFi Issues Make It Hard to Enjoy Netflix or Amazon Videos

You may have Roku WiFi issues if the show or movie you’re watching stops, usually with a message such as “connecting” or “transferring.” You might also see a message that says Roku has lost its WiFi connection.

Rebooting the Roku can temporarily resolve the problem, but it keeps coming back. This might happen even if your Roku says it has a strong signal from your WiFi router.

One commonly suggested fix for Roku WiFi problems is to forget the wireless connection and directly connect a LAN cable from the Roku to your home network. Easier said than done for most people!

Maybe your home network equipment (WiFi router, cable or DSL modem, etc.) lives downstairs and your Roku resides in your bedroom upstairs. You probably don’t want to drill a hole in the floor and drop Ethernet cable downstairs, then run the cable across to the network box.

If you’re willing to go this route, though, problem solved. If you’re like the rest of us and need to figure out how to fix your Roku WiFi problems, keep reading.

Time For a New WiFi Router?

If you haven’t replaced your WiFi router for several years, you may want to consider getting a new one. Many older routers were designed before TV streaming became commonplace.

Even if you have a fairly recent WiFi router, your home wireless network probably operates on the 2.4 GHz spectrum, sharing what may be an already crowded WiFi space. Almost all of the WiFi devices in your home, including tablets, smartphones, laptops and cordless phones (the kind you hook up to a landline or VOIP line), squeeze into the WiFi spectrum along with your Roku devices. If you have neighbors nearby, their devices probably grab part of that 2.4 GHz spectrum, too.

You may want to look at replacing your WiFi router with a dual band 2.5/5 GHz model (like the one we recently purchased – the TP-LINK Archer C9 AC1900 Dual Band Wireless AC Gigabit Router, 2.4GHz 600Mbps+5Ghz 1300Mbps). It’ll offer more channels and therefore less likelihood of having to fight for bandwidth with other devices on your network and your neighbors’.

Even if you spend over $100 on a new WiFi router, it’s still a lot cheaper than signing up for cable or satellite TV again if you’ve cut the cord but can’t enjoy programming on your Roku due to connectivity problems.

Slow Internet?

If your Internet drags everywhere (not just on the Roku device), you might consider buying a new cable modem. If you don’t already own your own cable modem, you can knock $10 or so off your monthly Internet service bill by owning your own cable modem.

Other symptoms of a cable modem hardware problem include frequent Internet downtime that causes you to restart the modem on a regular basis. We use the NETGEAR CM500 Cable Modem DOCSIS 3.0, which is certified for Comcast XFINITY, Time Warner Cable, Cox, Charter & more (CM500-100NAS).

Change the Channel

Wireless networks transmit data over “channels,” and most people don’t change the default channel when setting up a WiFi network. This means that your wireless network and all of the devices connected to it compete with each other, AND all the devices on your neighbors’ networks if they use the same channel, commonly set to 11 by default.

You might not notice this contention in the WiFi spectrum when using laptop computers, tablets and smartphones. You will more likely notice it, however, with a TV streaming device such as a Roku, because of the enormous amount of data the device needs to pull over your home network in order to bring programming to your TV set. Changing the WiFi channel can help with this problem, and it’s fairly easy to do.

roku wifi

First, on your tablet or smartphone, download a WiFi scanner such as WiFi Analytics Tool, which will check to see which channels are the most heavily used and which ones are hardly used at all.

roku wifi

After you’ve used the app to choose a fairly vacant WiFi channel, you need to login to your wireless router to change its settings. You’ll probably do this by going into your Web browser and entering the WiFi router’s IP address. Check your wireless router’s user guide for more information on accessing and changing its settings.

Change the wireless channel to the one you selected from the WiFi analyzer app and be sure to save your changes. Your home’s WiFi devices should automatically reconnect to the network using the new channel within a couple of minutes.

roku wifiAfter about 15 minutes, try the Roku again and see if the situation has improved. You can always try another channel if you don’t notice any positive changes in Roku WiFi connectivity.

Location, Location, Location

If changing WiFi channels does not help, try keeping other wireless devices (tablets, smartphones and laptops) out of the room when you’re using the Roku. You might even try moving the Roku device slightly, like to the other side of the TV set, making sure you still have a strong WiFi signal in the Roku’s new spot. You could also relocate any cordless phones out of the room, or as far away as possible from the Roku box.

If you own more than one Roku device, try swapping their locations to rule out the Roku device as the problem. There’s a slight possibility that you might have a bad device on your hands. Should you decide you have a bum device, contact Roku tech support through the company’s website for assistance.

Assuming there’s nothing wrong with your Roku device or your Internet connection, replacing your WiFi router with a dual band model like the Archer C9 should resolve your Roku WiFi issues without having to worry about changing channels or relocating your equipment.

Is It the Roku?

If these steps don’t fix your Roku WiFi issues, your Roku device might be the problem. This is especially true if your Roku worked fine for awhile and then suddenly stopped working.

You could try a different power cable such as a TVPower Mini USB Cable for powering a Roku Streaming Stick or a Roku 2 replacement power cable.

For a Roku that’s still under warranty, you can contact Roku support. Roku’s customer service phone number is 888-600-7658. They might send you a replacement unit.

You can pick up a new Roku for as little as $49 if your old Roku has problems and is no longer covered under warranty.

This article was originally published in January 2015 and updated in December 2016.

Be sure to check out some of my other Roku articles here.

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  1. Tania B says:

    Great pointers! I have similar issues with my wifi connection in general – I’m pretty sure it is the router given to us by our ISP but it is very annoying all the same.

    • Beth says:

      Thanks for your comment. Maybe I’ll write another article devoted to figuring out Internet slowness problems.

  2. Dana Stargazer Truitt says:

    My wifi at home with Comcast was so bad, so I took my main PC and hard lined it. I only use wireless with small devices like my tablet and cell phone. I hate wireless for the bigger stuff it is to slow and choppy for me!! Maybe it’s comcast service IDK. I just don’t use it any more!

    • Beth says:

      Thanks for your comment. Sounds like the problem is your WiFi router if hard-wired connections are okay. You’d probably have better luck with one of the routers I mention in this article. We replaced our WiFi router a little over a year ago, and it’s made a huge difference.

  3. Kelly says:

    I am not very tech savvy. But this sounds like a really good device. I will be asking my IT buy about this. Thanks.

  4. Shannon says:

    THANK YOU! This is being done this weekend. It seems to happen to us at the most suspenseful times!

  5. cami v says:

    I haven’t got one yet. Our Internet out here is to in and out. We tried so many companies. And different Routers but once we finally find a descent Internet this will be my first purchase

  6. Genevieve says:

    I really appreciate reviewing your article Roku WiFi problems: Fix your
    Roku WiFi connection in a flash!.

  7. Kelly O says:

    Wow, thanks this will come in really handy when I have errors. I sometimes feel that the Roku unit gets really hot. I wish there was a way to shut it off. Instead I just plug it in when I am going to use it.

    • Beth says:

      Thanks for your comment! I don’t notice my Roku getting very hot. I can see why you’d want to unplug it when you’re not using it.

  8. Susan says:

    Thanks to your great article with such clear directions I was able to fix my Roku issue in no time.

  9. Olivia says:

    Thank you! It was as easy as moving the roku to the other side of the TV. And I learmed something new. Thanks again.

  10. Rebecca says:

    Not able to view Netflix
    Changed direct tv remote to Roku but that’s all we get .. Purple Roku floating across screen

    Cannot connect to home on remote

    • Beth says:

      Thanks for your comment. I’m not sure I understand your problem. You’re saying the Roku remote doesn’t work? If that’s the case, I recommend contacting Roku support – they’re quite helpful.

Comments are closed.