[SOLVED] Roku Not Connecting to Wi-Fi

My friend Mark loves his Roku devices. Lately however he has been having issues with connecting to the internet. When the Roku can’t connect, it’s not very useful. He called me last week to help sort this issue out.

Fortunately after some research I was able to sort this out.

In this post I have documented by research and solutions to the problem. Use this guide if you have a Roku TV, stick, or any Roku streaming device. The article will guide you through the basics of troubleshooting.

If that doesn’t solve the problem continue with the advanced solutions to get your Roku back online.

Start With The Basics

  • Is the Internet working? This is the first and most basic check. The modem will indicate this with a red or orange light for instance. The Roku won’t work and it might appear that it’s not connecting but in actual fact it’s connected to your network and it’s really the internet that’s down.
  • To ensure a successful wireless network connection with your Roku device, enter the correct name for your wireless network. Choosing the wrong network name can lead to connection failures.
  • Double-check that you input the wireless password accurately. If you believe you know the password but encounter issues, re-enter it, keeping in mind that network passwords are case-sensitive.
  • Verify the proper functioning of your router by connecting a computer or mobile device to your home network and attempting to access the internet. If another device is able to connect successfully then your router is functioning correctly.
  • Improve the quality of the wireless signal strength, especially if your Roku device can’t connect despite a correct password and other devices accessing the router. The simplest way to do this is to reduce the distance between the Wi-Fi access point and the Roku. We’ve discussed this topic in greater detail in the post on RSSI.
  • Unplug the TV straight from the wall and plug it back in. Sometimes, this simple trick resets everything and resolves the issue.

Some Useful Tips on Connecting From Roku

Restart Your Router And Roku

While this next step might appear trivial, it has helped multiple users.

  • Reboot your router (even if other devices are connected fine, try it).
  • After your router is back online, restart your Roku device by going to Settings > System > Restart system.
  • If you have a Roku TV, you can restart it by navigating to Settings > System > Power > Restart system.
  • Once your Roku is up and running again, access Settings > Network > Set up connection.

Change Router Settings

If you are using Comcast, Xfinity or Cox as your ISP, make sure your wireless mode is configured to b/g/n instead of g/n. Also, Roku Express and Roku Premiere / Premiere+ (3920/3921) models support only 802.11 wireless b/g/n networks (the 2.4 GHz band). They do not support 5 GHz Wi-Fi connectivity.

To change the wireless mode:

  • Download, install, and open the Xfinity app with the house and WiFi symbol.
  • Navigate to the “Connect” section.
  • Choose your 2.4 GHz network.
  • Access the “Advanced Settings” option.
  • Select both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz WiFi settings.
  • Within the 2.4 GHz WiFi settings, click on “Edit.”
  • Change the WiFi mode from 802.11 g/n to 802.11 b/g/n by clicking the down arrow next to Wi-Fi Mode.
  • Click “Update.”
  • If you encounter a “something went wrong” error message, try the process again. The second attempt should confirm the update.

💡 Make sure your router is not too far away from the Roku. I recommend a RSSI value of at least -50 dBm. Read more about how to estimate the RSSI from a Wi-Fi Access Point.

Change the Wi-Fi Channel

An over-crowded Wi-Fi channel, or Wi-Fi interference, such as a microwave oven that’s operating near either the Roku or the wireless router can cause Radio Interference.

A microwave oven operates for a few minutes and will interfere with the entire 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi band. An interfering Wi-Fi router however will cause this issue for long periods of time. To resolve this I suggest changing the Wi-Fi channel to overcome this issue. Please keep in mind that Roku only detects channels between 1 to 11.

How to pick a different Wi-Fi channel

One way is to simply change channels until Roku starts operating again.

Here is a more systematic way to do this (my preferred approach 🤓)

Get a Wi-Fi analyzer app for your phone to show what 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi channels are being used around you. Find a channel that’s used the least, and set your 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi to that. Don’t use the Auto setting on your router.

Channels 1, 6 and 11 are non-overlapping so it’s best to pick one of them. Most routers are set to channel 6. Try changing it to 11. The picture below shows channels in 802.11 networks.

Image credit: Wikimedia

Here are the instructions summarized in bullet point form:

  • Access the router settings.
  • Check the Wi-Fi settings.
  • Ensure that for the 2.4 GHz frequency, the channel is only set to a number between and including 1 and 11.
  • Note that there are Wi-Fi channels above 11.
  • If the router is set to auto channel selection, it might switch to channels 12, 13, or 14, which can cause issues with Roku detection.

Reset Network And Disable Ping

Resetting the network connection and turning off the network ping has helped multiple users resolve Roku network connection issues. To reset attempt the following steps:

  • Navigate to Settings > System > Advanced System Settings > Network Connection Reset.
  • Next return to Settings > Network > Set Up Connection.

To turn off the network ping on Roku, please follow the steps below:

  • Press the Home button 5 times on your remote.
  • Press Fast Forward, Play, Rewind, Play, and Fast Forward (in this order) once on the remote. The system secret settings screen will appear if it doesn’t; repeat step 1 and step 2.
  • Open the “Systems Operations” setting.
  • Select “Disable Network Pings” and press OK on the remote. “Disable Network Pings” will change to “Enable Network Pings.”

Clear IP Address

Clearing the IP address and letting the device reconnect has helped many users face the problem of Roku not connecting to the internet. You can also try the steps below:

  • Press the Home button five times.
  • Press Fast Forward three times.
  • Press Rewind two times.
  • Now clear the IP address and let the device reconnect.

If Nothing Works

If none of the above solutions helped you, I suggest hard resetting your router (sometimes accomplished through a pinhole at the back). As well factory resetting the Roku by following the steps below:

  • Begin by navigating to the ‘Home’ menu
  • Go to ‘Settings’ and then ‘System’
  • Access ‘Advanced System Settings’
  • Choose ‘Factory Reset’
  • Opt for ‘Factory Reset Everything’
  • Enter the code on the screen and confirm by selecting ‘OK’
  • This factory reset can eliminate any bugs causing Wi-Fi problems on your TV.

Conclusion

In summary, start with the basics, ensure correct network details, and verify router functionality. Restarting your router and Roku can help. For specific ISPs, adjust wireless modes. Changing Wi-Fi channels and resetting network settings may resolve issues. Be patient and thorough in troubleshooting for smooth Roku streaming.

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