I have always wanted to manually set the connection speed of connected Roku devices, especially if I'm on a temporary or metered connection.
Unfortunately after skimming through all the options on the settings menu, I still couldn't find an option to manually set my connection speeds.
So I paid a visit to the Roku forums to find something that can aid me in my quest and figured I should share it with the world to help you with the same too.
To change the internet speed on your Roku, enable the bandwidth saver option from the Network Settings tab (to limit the bandwidth consumption). To increase the internet speed, switch the network to the 5 GHz band, switch to Ethernet (on supported models), or decrease the distance between the devices.
Read on to understand how exactly you can change the internet speed on Roku and how to fix a Roku that is consuming too much bandwidth.
Limit Bandwidth Consumption with Bandwidth Saver
Roku doesn't offer much when it comes to saving bandwidth, aside from a straightforward option, aptly named Bandwidth saver in the settings.
According to Roku, this will save a lot of data by automatically shutting down the media stream after four hours of inactivity.
Roku determines the inactivity period by pushing a message prompt on the screen every 4 hours that the device hasn't received user signals from the Roku remote.
If you want to keep watching, you can press the 'Keep Watching' option with the message prompt. If no input is detected, Roku stops playing the media, thus saving data.
To enable bandwidth-saver mode, simply follow these steps:
- From the Home menu on your Roku, navigate to the Settings option.
- Tap on the Network option.
- Navigate to the Bandwidth Saver option and toggle it on.
This will enable the Bandwidth saver feature and will help in reducing long-time bandwidth costs, especially if you are prone to leaving on media streams.
How to Increase Internet Speed on Roku
Now, even though the means to boost internet speeds through features and curated devises are scant on Roku, there are a few ways you can advance the networking speeds.
Let's side the more conventional ways of enhancing the internet on your Roku. Let's take a look at them shall we?
Switch to the 5 GHz Band
The traditional 2.4 GHz band, though offers excepotuionla range, is flawed when it comes to handling network traffic and actual performance.
Even if this band may suffice for most of the time, once the traffic in the network breaches the threshold, it becomes unstable.
Dropping speeds, ballooning latency, wavering signal strength, are all prime examples of the adverse affects hence derived.
And the answer to this predicamnet - the 5 GHz band.
The 5 GHz WiFi band overcomes most of the flaws exhibited by the 2.4 GHz alternative by providing superior pings and speeds, all the while maintaining integrity even under heavy traffic.
Although, the effective range put up by this band may seem a bit lacking compared to the 2.4 GHz band.
And so, if and when the network seems a bit slow on your Roku, switch to the 5 GHz band. Almost all modern Roku devices support dual-band connections, save for the legacy models.
Here's how to change the network on Roku:
1. Open the Settings tab and navigate to Network.
2. Choose Setup New Connection.
3. Select Wireless.
4. Choose the 5 GHz band from the list and enter the password.
Once the setup is complete, check the speeds now.
If you have been experiaing issues while using Roku on the 5 GHz band, switch the band to the 2.4 GHz and check the speeds now.
Reduce the Distance Between the Roku and the Router
Think of this method as a means to boost the signal strength rather than the actual networking speed.
Morover, the better the signal strength the more stable and faster the internet.
Positioning your Roku far away from the Router (or any other networking peripheral) will affect the effective signal reception.
But little can be done about the same since most Roku devices needs to connect to a TV via the HDMI port. You could however use an HDMI cable extension to reduce the distance between the devices.
Moving the Router may also prove to be facile. Instead, use a WiFi extender.
Once you increased the proximity of the devices, check the signal strength through the onboard speed testing feature on Roku.
If the result yield good or fair results, you're good to go.
Opt for a Wired Connection on Roku
Now, if you happen to own a Roku model, like the Roku Ultra or a Roku TV, why not switch the network connection to a wired one?
Wired connections are much stable and perform far better compared to wireless connections.
And so, if you feel the need for a bit more speed, opt for a wired connection.
Here's how to enable a wired connection on supported Roku models:
1. First, connect the Ethernet cable from the Router/modem to the Roku.
2. Open the Settings tab on Roku and select Network.
3. Choose Setup New Connection.
4. Choose Wired. Roku will automatically detect the Ethernet connection and setup the network.
You can now run a speed test on Roku to check the speed.
Roku Still Consuming Too Much Bandwidth? How To Fix
If the above steps don't work for you, then it's most probably an issue on your end, be it a faulty device setting or even a bug in some cases.
Set Playback Quality For Each Streaming Service
Each streaming service can have its own set of data bandwidth settings that might need to be configured in order to experience better data savings.
Since these settings are channel-specific, they are usually ignored. Also, these services usually have the highest settings turned on by default for the most optimal experience.
|Streaming Service||Average Data Used Per Hour|
|Prime Video||800MB (SD)|
Judging from the data used, setting the content quality on auto or high can burn through some serious bandwidth like a hot knife in butter.
Each service has its own method of accessing the quality settings. In most cases, it can be directly configured from the player menu itself while watching content.
Select services, like Netflix, require you to log into your account from a web portal to limit or increase the bandwidth allotment.
Factory Reset Your Roku Device
If all else fails, then your only option might be to perform a factory reset on your Roku device.
A factory reset will wipe all data of the Roku, along with any misbehaving bugs and settings that might have been the cause of your high bandwidth usage.
This will also wipe out all streaming channels that might have sucked the bandwidth dry unintentionally and user accounts associated with the Roku device.
To perform a factory reset on your Roku, simply follow the following steps:
- From the Home menu on your Roku, navigate to the Settings option.
- Tap on System.
- Select Advanced System Settings.
- Tap on Factory Reset.
- Enter the code and select OK.
This will wipe everything embedded and altered on your Roku and give you a new slate to work with from scratch.
Roku has its own share of cheat codes that let you access various hidden menus. Despite them being intended for developers only it still is accessible by us end-users.
Due to this, the capability of the device skyrockets to great heights, especially considering the price point it comes in and its target demographic.
Despite its shortcomings, the fact that Roku has left a hidden menu that enables users to take control of manually setting various aspects of the device is brilliant.
I hope my troubleshooting guide on how to change the internet speeds on your Roku device has been a fruitful read and helped you achieve the same.
Have a good day!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the recommended internet speed to run Roku devices smoothly?
Roku recommends a minimum download speed of 3 Mbps for SD video streaming and 9 Mbps for HD video streaming.
Internet speed is slow on my Roku. How to fix it?
To get faster internet on your Roku device, switch to a 5GHz wifi signal if you have a dual-band WiFi router. If the internet is still unstable, then connect an ethernet cable.
Do Roku devices disturb other wireless networks?
Some Roku devices have interference mitigation systems that can interfere with other wireless networks. It is recommended to not place any wireless devices in the near vicinity
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