Question from Michael: I just bought a Roku box I have the choice of connecting it to the Internet over Wi-Fi or with an Ethernet cable.
Which one should I choose?
The Roku box is close enough to the router to connect them with a cable and the Wi-Fi signal is strong there.
My question: Is there an advantage to using one method over the other?
Rick’s answer: Michael, my rule of thumb for connecting devices to a router is to ALWAYS connect the device via a wired Ethernet connection if that’s an option (and if it’s practical to do so).
In most cases a wired connection is going to be faster than Wi-Fi, and it’s virtually guaranteed to be more stable.
In short, a wired Ethernet connection should help prevent buffering and temporary streaming interruptions due to Wi-Fi signal loss.
There’s also another advantage to keeping streaming devices off your Wi-Fi network whenever possible…
Streaming video requires lots of bandwidth, so connecting your Roku via a wired Ethernet connection will free up all of your Wi-Fi bandwidth for your smartphones, laptops, tablets and other devices that really need to connect via Wi-Fi.
My recommendation: Connect your Roku device to your router via wired Ethernet since you have that option available to you.
You’re virtually guaranteed to have a faster and more reliable streaming connection that way, and the wireless users in your home will receive better service from the Wi-Fi network as a bonus.
I hope this helps, Michael. Good luck!
Update from Michael: That helps a lot. Thank you.