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Roku With Ethernet in 2022: How To Get the Best Wired Experience

If your WiFi network is unreliable or spotty, using a wired connection is the best solution. Less than half of Roku’s lineup supports an Ethernet connection, but there are options for all budgets. In this guide, we walk you through how to set up Roku with Ethernet.

Sandra Pattison
By Sandra Pattison (Editor)
— Last Updated: 2022-05-01T23:06:19+00:00

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.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Roku Ultra LT and Roku Ultra are the only Roku players that have a dedicated Ethernet port, with the Roku Ultra 2020 being the best option.
  • The Roku Express 4K, Roku Express 4K+ and Roku Streambar can all connect via Ethernet, but you need to purchase a separate Ethernet adapter. 
  • None of the Roku streaming sticks support connection via Ethernet, but that’s because they’re built for portability.
  • Connecting your Roku to the internet via Ethernet will provide a more reliable connection and better streaming experience.

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.

  • 03/23/2022

    Cloudwards refreshed this article to include Roku’s newer devices that support an Ethernet connection.

Roku Ultra

Roku Ultra is the best Roku option with Ethernet.
  • You can connect Roku to Ethernet, but only with certain models.

  • Using an Ethernet cable provides a more reliable connection and better streaming quality. That said, it might not be an option if your Roku is far away from your router. WiFi connections are more convenient but can have issues like interference, dead zones, signal drops, high latency and can sometimes be slower than a wired connection.

  • 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 Express 4K, Roku Express 4K+ and Roku Streambar can also support Ethernet, but you will need to purchase a separate USB adapter. Roku Express, Roku Premiere, Roku Smart Soundbar, Roku Streambar Pro and Roku Streaming Sticks cannot connect via Ethernet — they only support a wireless connection.

Roku With Ethernet: Which Ones Have It?

Out of all the Roku devices available, less than half of them can support an Ethernet connection. That’s disappointing because it limits your options if you absolutely need an Ethernet connection. Thankfully, though, some of Roku’s more budget-friendly devices are included in its Ethernet lineup.

Roku Ultra
Roku Ultra LT
Pros
  • Supports Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos
  • Personal shortcut buttons
  • USB for local playback
  • Bluetooth, Long-range WiFi & Ethernet port
  • Private listening with earbuds
  • Supports Dolby Vision
  • Ethernet port
  • Long-range WiFi & Bluetooth
  • Private listening with earbuds
Cons
  • Has to be powered via wall outlet
  • Not portable
  • Not portable
  • Has to be powered via wall outlet
Basic Stats
Form factorCubeCube
4K
1080p HD
HDR
Dolby Vision
PortsEthernet, USB, HDMIEthernet, HDMI
Wireless & connectivityLong-range, ethernet, bluetooth, MIMO dual-bandLong-range, ethernet, bluetooth, MIMO dual-band
Powerwall outletwall outlet
Streaming
Netflix
Amazon Prime Video
Apple TV+
Hulu
HBO
Disney+
BBC iPlayer
Live TV ChannelsYesYes
Display mirroring
In-app streaming
Audio
Audio optionsStandard digital stereo, Dolby Atmos, DTS surroundStandard digital stereo, DTS surround, Dolby-Encoded Audio
Built-in speakers
Headphone-compatible
Speech clarity
Optical output
Accessories & Add-ons
Remote
Native voice assistant
Voice assist integrationAlexa, Hey Google, Apple HomeKitAlexa, Hey Google, Apple HomeKit
Mobile appAndroid, iOSAndroid, iOS
Speakers
Remote Features
TV controls
Shortcut buttons
Personal shortcut buttons
Lost remote finder
Voice commands
Pricing
Buy on Amazon
More shops
Buy on Amazon
More shops

We can understand why the Roku Streaming Stick+ and the newer stick models don’t include one, because they’re made for portability. However, while both the Roku Express and Roku Premiere could house an Ethernet port and provide a wallet-friendly option that allows a wired internet connection, they don’t. 

Still, Roku’s newest editions to the budget line — the Roku Express 4K and Roku Express 4K+ — do offer an Ethernet option via a USB adapter, but the adapter will need to be bought separately.

Roku Express 4K+

The Roku Express sticks are Roku’s new budget line that offer Ethernet via a USB adapter (bought separately).
$ 39.99$ 28.98Save $ 11.01 (28 %)

The same goes for the more expensive Roku Streambar. The only Roku players that have a built-in Ethernet port are the Roku Ultra LT and the Roku Ultra

Roku Streambar

The Roku Streambar also offers Ethernet via a USB adapter (bought separately).
$ 129.99$ 99.00Save $ 30.99 (24 %)

Your last option — and the most expensive one — 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 choices.

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 a Roku with Ethernet input.

Roku Streambar
Roku Express 4K+
Pros
  • More compact soundbar
  • USB for local playback
  • Bluetooth and Ethernet adaptor
  • Voice remote with voice commands and TV controls
Cons
  • No Dolby Vision or Dolby Atmos
  • Only difference to Express 4K is the included remote
Basic Stats
Form factorSticknon-stick
4K
1080p HD
HDR
Dolby Vision
PortsUSB, HDMImicro-USB, HDMI
Wireless & connectivityethernet, bluetooth, MIMO dual-bandethernet, Dual-band WiFi
Powerwall outletTV USB port, wall outlet
Streaming
Netflix
Amazon Prime Video
Apple TV+
Hulu
HBO
Disney+
BBC iPlayer
Live TV ChannelsYesYes
Display mirroring
In-app streaming
Audio
Audio optionsDolby-Encoded Audio, PCMStandard digital stereo, DTS surround, Dolby-Encoded Audio
Built-in speakers
Headphone-compatible
Speech clarity
Optical output
Accessories & Add-ons
Remote
Native voice assistant
Voice assist integrationAlexa, Hey Google, Apple HomeKitAlexa, Hey Google, Apple HomeKit
Mobile appAndroid, iOSAndroid, iOS
Speakers
Remote Features
TV controls
Shortcut buttons
Personal shortcut buttons
Lost remote finder
Voice commands
Pricing
Buy on Amazon
More shops
Buy on Amazon
More shops

At the other end of the scale, the Roku Express 4K and Roku Express 4K+ are the cheapest options for obtaining a wired connection. However, you would need to purchase a compatible Roku Ethernet adapter separately, and although the total cost might not creep up too high, you could still end up close to the cost of Roku’s higher-end devices.

The Roku Ultra LT has a retail price of $56.90, and it already has an Ethernet port. However, considering that the Roku Ultra 2020 only costs about $20 more than the LT, we recommend you go for that one.

Roku Ultra LT

Roku Ultra LT is a newer Roku model that also comes with an Ethernet port.

The Roku Ultra 2020 is the most powerful Roku streaming 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 supports Dolby Atmos, has a USB port for local playback, a better remote with personal shortcuts and a lost remote finder.

Roku Ultra

Roku Ultra remains the best Ethernet option for Roku buyers.

Plus, in case you ever need it, Both the Roku Ultra LT and Roku Ultra have 50% greater WiFi range 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 or Ethernet adapter 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 device will obtain the necessary information automatically. Once connected, it will check for any software updates, which you should download before restarting the device (we have a guide on how to turn off Roku). 

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
  2. Go to the Settings Menu

    Select “settings” and press “OK.”

    select settings
  3. Select Network

    Select “network” and press “OK.”

    select network
  4. Set Up the Connection

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

    select set up connection
  5. Connect to a Wired Connection

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

    select wired

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, with faster speeds and 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 Netflix movie on Roku when your connection drops, and we’re confident that 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 downside to having a wired connection is that you have another wire to try to 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. 

Roku Ultra

This Roku option offers Ethernet, plus a fantastic streaming experience.

It’s the fastest Roku player and has better streaming capabilities. Add that to the fact that it has a dedicated Ethernet input 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 what the best Roku free channels are. Plus, if you want to access channels and services that aren’t available in your region, our best VPN for Roku guide can help. Lastly, we have a guide for if your Roku is not working, as well as a guide to Roku scams.

Do you have a Roku with Ethernet? Does it use a dedicated Ethernet port or an adapter? Do you think it’s better than connecting to a wireless network? Let us know about your experience in the comment section. As always, thank you for reading.