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Slower speed on Roku

tomseynyctomseynyc Posts: 64

Hi. I recently got a new modem and router from Spectrum. While setting it up I've noticed and I think I've noticed in the past that the Roku player I have - Roku Express -  gets much slower Wi-Fi speeds than the laptops I have.  My two Wi-Fi using netbooks and my iPhones get at least 220 MBPS download speeds... almost the same as my ethernet wired one. But the Roku player gets like from 7-13 MBPS... much less.

 

I've  noticed from time to time buffering issues or less than great PQ and other oddities and it's hard to tell if this is due to the slower internet or if it is a roku or spectrum app issue or a combination or what. But the slower speed  does seem unusual since I've read of many getting at least 50+ MBPS on it.

 

Just wondering if anyone has noticed this and what may be the issue. I can't seem to log into the Wave 2 spectrum router... apparently not allowed.. to change the channels but like I said...  everything else on Wi-Fi is getting ethernet-like speeds. There is a roku that has an ethernet connection but not sure if that will work better and it costs a lot more. I guess there are other roku players (roku streaming stick?)  that have a faster connection speed.. 802.11ac, but also not sure if this will make a difference since it is so much slower on the one i have.

Best Answer

  • reds91185reds91185 Posts: 2,452 ✭✭✭✭
    Jun 20, 2020 Accepted Answer

    Ahhh...NYC apartment building helps explain some of this. Yes, 5 GHz can get congested just like 2.4 GHz. iPhones and most computers also have better wifi radios built into them than most streaming devices have (except maybe the Apple TV or Nvidia Shield). 

     

    At this point, I think you're seeing the symptoms of a highly saturated wifi environment.  Your best option may be to use a wifi scanner to see which 5 GHz channels are the least used by your neighbors and go with that. For instance, my neighbor uses channel 44 on his 5 GHz network and channel 1 on the 2.4 GHz network so I locked mine to channel 157 and channel 11 just to minimize the interference.

Replies

  • Julia_RJulia_R Posts: 4,287 Lead Mod
    Jun 14, 2020

    What generation is the Roku?

     

    The smaller older Roku Express models are pretty limited. I would not expect most Rokus

    to obtain the same speed that a Laptop or Phone do. They dont need to. A hardwired device will always do better than wireless when it comes to speed and function/stability.

     

    I would suggest looking at some comparisons on the specs of the Rokus. They have a pretty good website and there are a lot of blogs out there where that sort of thing is discussed.

     

    Julia 

  • tomseynyctomseynyc Posts: 64
    Jun 14, 2020
    Thanks Julia.. i got it within the year so I think it is pretty recent. I 'm going to pick up a streaming stick which has 802.11ac and seems well reviewed for HD and 4k TVs and not much more expensive. Maybe that will get better MBPS.
  • Julia_RJulia_R Posts: 4,287 Lead Mod
    Jun 14, 2020

    @tomseynyc   I bought one of the Roku Ultras (Premiere maybe) (The Puck shaped ones ) last year.  

     

    What a great product! 

     

    They recently updated the remote app for my phone and now it has voice commands.

     

    Have a good night!

     

    Julia 

  • tomseynyctomseynyc Posts: 64
    Jun 14, 2020
    Thanks! Yeah this stream stick + model comes with voice commands plus you can control tv with it: volume/on and off and it is small and fits behind the tv in the hdmi slot which will get rid of the hanging wires since tv is wall mounted and has 802.11ac MIMO dual-band wireless. Plus it's only $39.99.. .

    Link to it: https://www.roku.com/products/streaming-stick-plus

    I'm hoping that works out.. ordered from amazon.
  • reds91185reds91185 Posts: 2,452 ✭✭✭✭
    Jun 15, 2020

    Something to remember in addition to everything Julia already mentioned...most every app will only speed test for what it needs to stream properly.  For example, if you're running Netflix and do their built-in "Check your Network" test, it will top out at 20-25 Mbps even if the device is hard wired or AC capable. 

     

    Through the native Roku "Check Connection" option, my main hard wired Roku TV tops out at 80-85 Mbps and a Streaming Stick (not the plus) tops out at 55 Mbps. I think you'll notice a definite improvement of the SS+ over the Express.

  • tomseynyctomseynyc Posts: 64
    Jun 15, 2020

    Thanks reds91185... yeah that's where I'm seeing 7-13 mbps..w/ the roku check connection option. I'm hopeful the SS+ will improve things with it's up to date standards. I'll let you guys know how it turns out... should get it Wednesday.

  • tomseynyctomseynyc Posts: 64
    Jun 17, 2020

    So I got the SS+ and I'm not seeing much faster speeds with it. The roku seems to shift from channel 1 to channel 44. Channel 44 gets as fast as 33mbps which is faster and 1 gets the same old 7-14mbps.  I guess I'll need to get my own router to play with the channels. My netbook in the same room gets 240mbps. OTOH, the remote is excellent. It controls volume, mute, power and has voice commands. It's worth the upgrade just have to work on improving the speed.

  • reds91185reds91185 Posts: 2,452 ✭✭✭✭
    Jun 17, 2020

    Is that connected to the 2.4 or 5 GHz band?

     

    Sounds like your network may be causing the slower speed somewhere. My older Streaming Stick 3600x running on the 2.4 GHz band tests at ~40 Mbps in an upstairs bedroom on the other side of the house from the router.

  • tomseynyctomseynyc Posts: 64
    Jun 18, 2020

    I guess it's on 2.4.. whatever everything else is on with the wi-fi. How can I assign it a band?  Is there a way to do  it being unable to log in to the router?

     

    All other devices on wifi get 240mbps. Reading around, this seems a somewhat common issue. I've read of people with ethernet getting 10mbps etc.

  • tomseynyctomseynyc Posts: 64
    Jun 18, 2020

    I think I'm going to chat or call CS and see what they can do.

     

    Added: looks like there is a long wait. Think I'll try another time.

  • tomseynyctomseynyc Posts: 64
    Jun 18, 2020

    Ok so I spoke with a rep and he wasn't able to log into the router settings either which he said was unusual..  likely a quality of these latest advanced wireless routers. He was not able to create a second 5GHZ band SSID or anything.

    Seems like he has access to what I have access to which is changing the initial wifi SSID details.

    He offered to send a tech to my house to see if he could get into the router but I told him that's not necessary.

    I think I'm going to get a router (the better ones are not cheap) and play with the bands/channels until roku is getting better speed. I did see on one check 80mbps on the SS+ on channel 44 but most of the checks yield 20mbps or less. All my other devices get 240 mbps on wifi.

     

    Added: I do get better speeds with the SS+ now.. seeing 65-80 mbps but sometimes it drops to 17 ... seems to be locking on channel 44.  Kinda sucks having no control of this. Spectrum should at least allow you to change the channel and bands.

     

    I ordered another SS+ stick from Best Buy for living room tv.. thing is awesome.

  • reds91185reds91185 Posts: 2,452 ✭✭✭✭
    Jun 18, 2020

    Do you have the same network name for both the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands? While most devices are designed to lock onto the best available channel when this is the case (and is good for convenience when using mobile devices), it can cause some unintended consequences.  Perhaps you can separate the two bands with different names and keep the Roku attached to the 5 GHz band. 

     

    BTW...the router you linked to is good but not any better performance-wise than the Spectrum routers except for the fact that you are in full control of their settings.

  • tomseynyctomseynyc Posts: 64
    Jun 18, 2020

    I really don't know how it is set up since I can't see anything.. nothing to log into. The technical support rep couldn't tell me that either. He wanted to send a rep over to look at it but with pandemic i'd rather not.

    I'll just get the router this way I can create a separate and differently named 5g SSDI connection for the rokus and then use a 2.4 ghz connection for everything else  (i think that is what they are using but I'll see)  and see if that helps anything. I can also test different channels to see the speed. The iPhones, smartphones and laptops all get 240 mpbs...they are fine.... I just have to mess about with how the rokus connect and see how it goes.

     

    Even if nothing changes, which I doubt given all the control I'll have,  the router is $50 and I'll save $10 in  a year returning the Spectrum router.

     

    I'll get it tomorrow I'll update on how it goes. I'll keep spectrum router until I'm sure all is good.

  • tomseynyctomseynyc Posts: 64
    Jun 19, 2020

    I was looking a little bit at my Windows 10 netbooks, which use 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and how they are connecting to the Spectrum router and it appears they are on the 5 GHZ band on channel 44 according to the properties. These netbooks get 220+ download:

     

    Capture.PNG

     

    My iPhones which also use 802.11ac get the same.

     

    The SS+ Roku which has 802.11ac appears to also be using 5 ghz (I don't see band listed anywhere) since it is using the same 44 channel and it can occasionally get higher speeds using this but more often then not is in the 15-30 mbps range.


    My main Windows 10 laptop which is ethernet wired to the modem gets  240 down, 11 up, slightly more/about the same as wifi netbooks/iPhones.


    If I disable ethernet on the main laptop and turn on wi-fi, the wi-fi speed is much slower since the laptop uses 802.11n and is on 2.4 ghz band. It uses channel 1 and gets around 30 mbps down and 11 up.  I never use wi-fi on this laptop so it doesn't really matter to me.

     

    But it does appear the router is using my single SSID for both the 2.4 ghz and 5 ghz band so maybe that has something to do with it.  Though my netbooks and iPhones have no apparent issue with 5 ghz. Nothing I can do about it with this router since I can't change anything and neither could the tech rep. So  tomorrow like I said when I get new router I'll create separate SSID for 2.4 and 5ghz and play with channels and see how it goes. Thanks again.

  • tomseynyctomseynyc Posts: 64
    Jun 20, 2020

    I got the new router and set up 5ghz and didn't get any different result. The wifi speed on the netbooks and iphones got slower though - 1/2 speed. I changed channels and tried different things and got really frustrated with it plus I did not like the way it looks with antennaes everywhere. I packed it back up and I'm just gonna keep the Spectrum router. One thing I've noticed is that the tv roku in the bedroom, furthest from the router, seems to get a little higher speed than the one in living room right next to router. Anyway, how much bandwidth does roku really need anyway? I'm wondering if most of the issue is just the roku not reporting it correctly or something on rokus end. Some people on roku forum report problems like this.  Everything else on 5ghz gets ethernet speed. The SS+s do seem to be performing well in any case. I'm not gonna worry about it.  Thanks for all your help.

  • tomseynyctomseynyc Posts: 64
    Jun 20, 2020

    Since I'm returning the new router, and especially after reading more reviews about it, I created a new SSID/password for the spectrum router. I also moved the router and modem a little bit away from the tv... an extra 1/2 foot.  Then I make sure I'm on channel 44 by first making the connection via roku. Then after that, when I test it, I'm getting much better speeds now.  For example:

     

    IMG_4960.JPG

     

    It ranges now from 55 mbps to 93 mbps... occasionally a little lower.  Not exactly sure what did it but I'll take it lol.

  • tomseynyctomseynyc Posts: 64
    Jun 20, 2020

    On one of the later checks it showed 1 Mbps and next to it "Good". There is no way that is good. I remember 10 years ago you needed at least 3 Mbps to get a near HD signal. So that makes me think the roku connection reporter might be wacky.

    I'm also wondering if the 5ghz channels can get congested? I live in a NYC apartment building and everyone has a Roku and phones and laptops and probably it's all on 5ghz and it's definitely all on Spectrum. I'm asking because I see the highest Roku speeds early in the morning when building usage is probably at its lowest. 

     

    But, the netbooks and iPhone always have ethernet-like speed regardless of time of day and they are on 5ghz on the same channel. Maybe because the Roku with Netflix, the Spectrum app etc has potential to use a lot of bandwidth they cap it or slow it down a little?  I don't know. Still, the SS+ almost always has faster to much faster internet than the express regardless of the time so I'm happy with it.

  • tomseynyctomseynyc Posts: 64
    Jun 20, 2020

    Ah ok.. thank you. When I had the new router, I went through the channels and it did seem 44 was the best as I recall. I guess though the router itself was not very good since it wasn't allowing the iPhones and netbooks to get the full ethernet-like speed like Spectrum router.  But I'll consider doing what you said. I think I'm pretty happy with it now though. It's getting 30-40 mbps now consistently and then later or early in morning it's up to 90ish mbps. I pretty much don't use 2.4 since the only devices that use it are hard wired. The SS+ in any case did make a difference so that's good.

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