Roku With Ethernet in 2021: How To Get the Best Wired Experience

If your WiFi is unreliable or spotty, using a wired connection is the best solution. In this guide we walk you through how to setup Roku with ethernet.

Sandra Pattison
By Sandra Pattison (Assistant Editor)
— Last Updated: 2020-12-15T17:11:46+00:00 Facts checked by: Andrea Babic

If you’ve already read our Roku buyer’s guide, then you’ll know that not all Roku devices come with an Ethernet port. However, if you have a spotty WiFi connection or you’d just prefer to have a stable wired network connected to your Roku, then you might be wondering which Roku with Ethernet is best.

In this article, we’ll help you get the best wired experience with a Roku. We’ll explain which Roku devices have Ethernet ports and which ones don’t, and whether you can add a USB Ethernet adapter. We’ll also give you a quick guide on how to connect your Roku to Ethernet. If you want to start from the beginning, take a look at our Roku beginner’s guide or maybe dive into a bit of Roku history.

  • You can connect Roku to Ethernet, but only with certain models.

  • No, the Roku Premiere does not have an Ethernet port, nor can you add an adapter.

  • Both the Roku Ultra LT and Roku Ultra have dedicated Ethernet ports, as do some Roku TVs. The Roku Streambar can also support Ethernet, but you will need to purchase a separate USB adapter. Roku Express, Roku Premiere and Roku Streaming Stick+ cannot connect via Ethernet — they only support a wireless connection.

Roku With Ethernet: Which Ones Have It?

Out of all the Roku devices available, only half of them can support an Ethernet connection. That’s disappointing because it limits your options if you absolutely need an Ethernet port, and it’s even more disappointing to see that none of the more budget-friendly Roku devices have an Ethernet port.

We can understand why the Roku Streaming Stick+ doesn’t include one, because it’s made for portability. However, both the Roku Express and Roku Premiere could house an Ethernet port and provide a wallet-friendly option that allows a wired connection. To put it simply, if you want a Roku with an Ethernet port, you’re going to need to spend more money. 

Both the Roku Ultra LT and the Roku Ultra include an Ethernet port. The Roku Streambar doesn’t have a dedicated Ethernet port, but you can buy a separate USB adapter to hook one up. 

Your last option — and the most expensive — is to buy a Roku TV. However, there are lots of brands and models available, and not all of them include an Ethernet port, so you need to make sure you check the specifications before buying.

Which Is the Best Wired Streaming Roku? Ultra 2020

When it comes to choosing which Roku with Ethernet is the best, you might think it’d automatically be the most expensive option. That’s where you’d be mistaken. Both the Roku Streambar and Roku TVs are great picks, but they’re not necessarily the best choice.

The Roku Streambar is great if you’re looking to improve audio, but you’ll have to purchase a USB adapter to hook up an Ethernet cable. A Roku TV is a good choice if you’re looking to upgrade your television anyway, but it’s an expensive pick if you’re just looking for an Ethernet port. 

At the other end of the scale, the Roku Ultra LT is the cheapest option that includes an Ethernet port. However, considering that the Roku Ultra 2020 only costs about $20 more, we recommend you go for that one.

The Roku Ultra 2020 is the most powerful Roku device you can get, so although you might cry as you hand over your hard-earned cash, it’s a better choice in the long run. It has a dedicated Ethernet port, but it also has other features, such as a faster processor, better streaming capabilities and a lost remote finder. Plus, in case you ever need it, its WiFi range is 50 percent greater than any other Roku device.

How to Connect Roku to Ethernet

Connecting Roku to Ethernet is a simple task. We explain everything in our how to set up Roku guide, but we’ll give you a quick recap on how to connect Roku to Ethernet now.

Connect the Ethernet Cable

First things first: you need to connect the Ethernet cable. Plug one end of the Ethernet cable into your Roku, and the other into your router.

connect an ethernet cable
It’s easy to connect an Ethernet cable to your Roku.

The next step will depend on whether you’ve already set up your Roku or if you have a new device. Follow the appropriate section.

How to Connect Roku to Ethernet During Initial Setup

If you have purchased a new Roku device, power on the device and go through the on-screen setup. When prompted, select “wired” and then “connect to wired network” using your Roku remote.

select wired connection
Select wired connection during your Roku setup.

The Roku will obtain the necessary information automatically. Once connected, it will check for any software updates, which you should download and then restart the device. 

How to Connect Roku to Ethernet in the Settings Menu

If you’re adding a wired connection to a Roku that’s already set up, you’ll need to follow the steps below using your Roku remote control.

  1.  Make Sure You’re on the Home Screen

    Press the home button on your Roku remote to make sure you’re on the home screen.

    press the home button
    Press the home button on your Roku remote.

  2. Go to the Settings Menu

    Select “settings” and press “OK.”

    select settings
    Select “settings” from the menu.

  3.  Select Network

    Select “network” and press “OK.”

    select network
    Select “network” on the menu.

  4. Set Up the Connection

    Select “set up connection” and press “OK.”

    select set up connection
    Select “set up connection” on the menu.

  5.  Connect to a Wired Connection

    Select “wired” and press “OK.” Your Roku will connect to your network automatically

    select wired
    Select “wired” on the menu.

Is Streaming Better With an Ethernet Cable?

If you have a WiFi connection, you might be wondering if streaming with an Ethernet cable is better. Although WiFi has come a long way, being faster and having better signal strength than it once did, you can’t just shake off the cons that come with it.

WiFi connections are convenient, but there are plenty of issues that can arise, making it the least reliable connection for streaming. Signal drops, high latency, interference from other devices, complete dead zones and a slower connection are some of the problems you might face with a WiFi connection.

The last thing you want is to be halfway through a movie on Netflix when your connection drops, and we’re confident you’re not a fan of buffering screens.

Streaming directly from your router with an Ethernet cable is much more reliable. Sure, there’s the chance that your whole internet service could go down, but aside from that, connecting directly solves almost all of the issues that can occur with WiFi. Plus, if you want to stream in 4K, a wired Ethernet connection will ensure you get the best quality.

The only downsides to having a wired connection are that you have another wire to try and hide, and the Roku will need to be close to your router in order to connect to it. 

Final Thoughts

We hope this guide has helped you understand how to get the best wired experience with Roku. There are a few choices when it comes to buying a Roku with Ethernet, but the Roku Ultra 2020 is the best option by far. It’s the fastest Roku device and has better streaming capabilities. Add that to the fact that it has a dedicated Ethernet port, and you’re sure to have the best Roku streaming experience possible.

To make your streaming experience even better, be sure to check out our guides on how to add channels to Roku and how to use Roku for free.

Do you have a Roku with Ethernet? Do you think it’s better than using a wireless connection? Let us know about your experience in the comment section. As always, thank you for reading.