A Summary of Roku
Roku is a device as well as an app. It could best be described as a media player that provides you with the ability to stream online video and audio content. If you’re interested in streaming your favorite shows and movies with Roku, the first thing you’ll need is a stable, high-speed internet connection. There are several ways to do a Roku speed test, one of them is a speed test built into Roku that we will discuss in this article.
What is the Roku Speed Test?
Previous Roku players only showed your connection speed in a very general way: Bad, Poor, Good, or Excellent. But in the latest model, Roku has added a built-in speed test through which you can check the quality of your connection. You can perform this test in the Internet Connection Setting section of the platform.
All Roku players using OS 9 and above support this test. If you’re running an operating system before OS 9, you won’t be able to use this feature. This is a download speed test. Through the Roku speed test, you’ll be able to find the current speed of the internet on your device.
How to do a Roku Speed Test
To navigate the Roku Speed Test from the main menu:
- Go to Settings
- Then go to Network
- Now select Check Connection
- Your Roku will display a status screen telling you whether the test was successful or unsuccessful
- If the check was successful select OK
The results you get will show you your connection status (connected), connection type (wireless or wired), signal strength (if wireless), your IP address, gateway, MAC address, and your internet download speed.
Roku Speed Test Unsuccessful
If Roku speed test failed, there are a few reasons that might have happened. See below for a few of these possibilities.
If there is a problem with your test, for example when your internet connection isn’t working, there are a few time honored pieces of advice that are helpful to follow. You should verify that your router is working correctly by connecting to the internet using another device (like your phone or computer). If you’re able to connect then you should try restarting your Roku player and your router before trying the test again. More often than not, these simple steps make your technical problems disappear.
Mobile Device Problems
If you are trying to connect your Roku to a network that requires authentication from a browser-based device, like a hotel or a college dorm, you may run into trouble. As Roku does not have its browser, it requires such authentications from a mobile device. The following suggestion from Roku support may help you work through this problem if you’re running into it:
- From your smartphone, tablet, or laptop, go to wireless settings
- Connect to ‘your Roku device name’
- Enter password: (your current password)
- Launch a browser on your smartphone, tablet or laptop to enter the required information (such as name and room #)
After completing these changes, you’ll be able to stream Roku better on your mobile device. And as an added bonus, if you use your smartphone to connect it won’t be using any of your precious data plan!
Roku Speed Test Requirements
Different types of videos require different levels of internet speed to stream. Roku recommends a minimum speed of 1.5 Mbps for standard definition content. For HD content, Roku recommends a 3.0 Mbps speed. There is a large difference in internet speed requirements between the different Roku apps. There is also a difference between your internet service provider’s (ISP) advertised internet speed and the actual speed you’ll get (unfortunately). Roku Speed Test doesn’t check your link speed or theoretical bandwidth. Instead, it gives you an idea of your actual download speeds, which are required by Roku to stream videos on different apps.
Roku Speed Test Using Different Apps
According to Netflix, you need at least 512 kb speed from your broadband connection. A 1.5 Mbps speed is recommended for a broadband connection speed. For DVD and HD quality streaming, you are recommended to have 3 Mbps and 5 Mbps speeds respectively. If you want full HD and 3D streaming you will need between 7 Mbps and 15 Mbps. If you have a 4K TV and want to stream 4K videos, then you need a speed of 20 Mbps at least.
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These statistics may vary from place to place or even in the same house due to several external factors that effect the internet connection speed. All of the above statistics are for single screens. If you want to enjoy multiple screens you’ll need to combine the speeds in the stats above to determine what the ideal connection speed is for you.
In the case of Vudu, the statistics are almost exactly the same as you find for Netflix, but there is a feature that can help you find what kind of video quality your internet connection speed will support. To have a Roku Speed Test in Vudu:
- Download the app
- Select that gear icon on the upper-right side
- Select the Playback Quality option
This option will show you the picture quality that your internet connection can handle, it will vary from standard definition to 4K quality.
At the bottom of the page, there will be a button that says Speed Test. By selecting this button you can find out the Roku’s current download and upload speed. The last thing that should be noted, is that Vudu’s speed test does not show the same stats that your Roku is showing or ISP is claiming.
Roku Not Working
There are several reasons a Roku might stop working. The following steps will get you out of almost any problem.
- Press the Home button on your Roku remote
- Now scroll to Settings
- Select Network
- Go to Check Connection
When the connection check begins, your Roku will try to connect with your home network (that may be wireless or wired). If your Roku succeeds in connecting with the home network, then it will try to connect itself with the internet.
A green check will appear if it connects or a red cross appears if it fails to connect. If both connections were successful your Roku will show a Connection Check Was Successful message on your screen. If either test was poor, an on-screen message presents an error code and a brief list of suggestions to help improve the connection.
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If a red “x” appears next to Wireless Connection, it means your Roku device is not connected with your router. To fix this, you can try one or all of the following solutions:
- Return to the Network Menu, select Set Up Connection, and try again to connect your Roku device with your network
- Make sure you’ve selected the right network and reenter your password
- Restart your router and Roku device to resolve the issue,
If the problem persists, contact to your Internet Service Provider to resolve the issue.
Internet Connection Check
If a red “x” appears before Internet Connection, it means your Roku device is unable to connect to the internet. To check your internet connection, use a mobile device that is connected to your home network. Try accessing a public website like www.amazon.com. If you cannot access the internet, contact your ISP for further troubleshooting help.
If you can access the internet with your mobile device, then double-check that your Roku device’s connection is properly set up. If you’re using a wired connection, make sure any cables are securely inserted. You can also restart the Roku device and router to resolve the problem.
Result of Completed Connection Check
When your Roku is connected with the network you can check out statistics by visiting Setting > Network > About. You’ll see the following categories: Network Name, Status, Connection Type, IP Address, Wireless MAC Address, Signal Strength, Wireless Channel, and the most important Internet Download Speed.
In the categories mentioned above, Status will show you whether or not you’re currently connected, Connection Type will tell you whether your connection is Wired or Wireless. Wireless MAC Address, Signal Strength, and Wireless Channel only appear on the screen when your Roku is connected to a wireless network. If your Roku device is connected through Ethernet, then it will show only Internet Download Speed.
From the results above, only Signal Strength and Internet Download Speed matter for smooth streaming. The result may be categorized as Excellent, Good, or Poor. An Excellent or Good result means your connection is functioning without any issue. However, a Poor Signal Strength or Internet Download Speed is an issue we’ll cover next.
Tips to Improve Roku Internet Speed
You can improve your poor Roku speed by following the tips offered below.
Sometimes, even a slight adjustment to the placement of a router in your home can make a big difference in performance. Placing a router in the middle of the house is the best practice to allow equal distribution of Wi-Fi signal throughout the house. Avoid placing your router in the basement or near the wall or window of the house, as this will lead to poor signal strength. Placing it near household devices like cordless phones and microwaves can be damaging due to radiation output that not only weakens the strength of your Wi-Fi signal, but can also cause damage your Roku device. Setting it in direct sunlight also harms your internet speed. Changing the angle of the antenna on the router can improve signal strength.
The placement of your Roku is also very important for Good or Excellent signal strength in relation to your router position. You can change the device’s direction so that it faces the router to improve signal strength and internet speed.
Your router’s firmware and drivers need to stay up-to-date to provide optimal streaming performance. Check the manufacturer’s website regularly for updates that will keep your router in optimal condition. This is a pretty simple procedure that you can perform yourself.
Try to limit the number of other connected devices on your network. Removing other devices like phones, tablets, laptops or game systems from your network can greatly increase the bandwidth that is available for your Roku. You can also use a dual-band router if you want to use all of these gadgets at the same time. Moving your Roku player to a band all by itself is a potentially helpful solution.
Strong Network Security
Creating a strong home network password not only helps protect your router, but also to keep pesky strangers or neighbors from sucking up your bandwidth.
A VPN is another fantastic way to make sure that you’re network is safe from other malicious users. Check out this article on using a VPN for security, and click below for our most secure recommended VPN.
Extender or Booster Use
Another option is wireless range extender or booster. You can use this to increase your coverage area in a large house. The wireless range extender is a good option in situations where it is not possible to move your Roku player or router. You can also use an HDMI extender to the range of your wired connections.
Change Wireless Channel
Changing your wireless channel to a less congested one can help you to sort out problems with your download speed. If you are living in a dense residential area, you may have seen other wireless networks near you. It is better to be on a separate channel to avoid any interference from other frequencies.
Recommended channels include 1, 6, and 11, because they are not overlapping frequencies.
Get a New Router
If you have tried everything on this list and your quality of the service hasn’t improved, it might be a good time to consider updating your router to a newer model that can handle the kind of bandwidth you require.
Once your Roku is up to speed (get it?), then check out these great guides to help you get the most out of your Roku: