Network - Wireless & Wired Connections

Help & troubleshooting for network issues, including connecting your device to your home Wi-Fi network, connecting to public networks, troubleshooting wireless issues & ethernet connections, and optimizing streaming performance.
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SocAccPsyc
Level 7

Roku Express+ will not connect if SSID not broadcast

I have 2 newish (received as Christmas presents) Roku Express+ devices (model 3910X).  I use them intermittently - approximately 3 times a week, 1-2hrs. max per use.  I unplug it after each use.

My wireless router does not broadcast my SSID.  This has not been a problem for any of the multitude of devices on my network except the Roku Express+.  Pretty much every time I plug in the Express+, it fails to connect to my wireless network.  If I temporarily broadcast my SSID, the Express+ will connect.  It will even maintain that connection after I stop broadcasting my SSID.  However, it is back to square one once I am done, unplug it, and want to use it again in a day or two.  Let me reiterate: the ONLY thing I change is broadcasting my SSID (no issues with weird password characters or anything mentioned in other topics).

This is an annoyance and does not seem to be working as intended.  I have verified I have the latest firmware.

Is there something I am missing?

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11 Replies
jeffrok
Level 11

Re: Roku Express+ will not connect if SSID not broadcast

You should be able to leave your Roku's plugged in.. no need to unplug them unless you're transporting then.. that alone will help with this annoying bug.
Yeah, I got some Rokus.
https://youtu.be/d1CSEeqWl10
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SocAccPsyc
Level 7

Re: Roku Express+ will not connect if SSID not broadcast

I appreciate the obvious answer, jeffrok,  but that's not how I use my electronics.  Things get turned off when not in use; including the router.
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DBDukes
Level 9

Re: Roku Express+ will not connect if SSID not broadcast

"SocAccPsyc" wrote:
...This is an annoyance and does not seem to be working as intended.  ...

What makes you think it's not working as intended? It may not be working as you want, but I think all Roku devices work that way. It will connect to the last connected network if it sees it, but when it boots up, it doesn't see it. And, if it doesn't see it, it doesn't connect to it. Once connected, it will stay connected, but if rebooted, will reconnect only if it sees it.

From searching this forum, I don't see this particular question being asked before, but it does seem as though this is how Roku works. Not a bug, it just doesn't have a feature you want.
DBDukes
http://www.dbdukes.com/
Roku Ultra (4660)
Roku Premiere+ (3921)
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SocAccPsyc
Level 7

Re: Roku Express+ will not connect if SSID not broadcast

DBDukes, you may be right.  If that is the case, then it is a step backward specific to the Express+.  I had an old Roku 2 and Roku SE that had no problems with the hidden SSID, not to mention literally every other device I have that connects to my network.  Other than manually entering the SSID for the initial setup, I have never (10+ years) had to do anything special for devices to connect to the hidden SSID.
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Heyitsrick
Level 9

Re: Roku Express+ will not connect if SSID not broadcast

Just curious - what possible benefit do you think you get from hiding your SSID? Anyone who really wants to hack could very easily sniff out the SSID/Network, anyway, so who are you hiding it from?  Your actual network isn't hidden at all. Only the network name is.  Here's but one of many articles on the myth of extra security by hiding SSIDs:  https://www.accessagility.com/blog/why-ssid-hiding-is-not-secure
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DBDukes
Level 9

Re: Roku Express+ will not connect if SSID not broadcast

"SocAccPsyc" wrote:
DBDukes, you may be right.  If that is the case, then it is a step backward specific to the Express+.  I had an old Roku 2 and Roku SE that had no problems with the hidden SSID, not to mention literally every other device I have that connects to my network.  Other than manually entering the SSID for the initial setup, I have never (10+ years) had to do anything special for devices to connect to the hidden SSID.

As I’ve never hidden SSID, I’ve no first-hand experience and am relying on what others report. If you say other Roku devices used to reconnect without issue, then the Express+ should too. Do you still have the Roku 2? And is it the model 4210? That one is actually a Roku 3 inside the case, and should be closest to how current devices work. If the Roku 2 is up to date running OS 9.0 or later, it and the Express+ should work the same. You may have a defective device.
DBDukes
http://www.dbdukes.com/
Roku Ultra (4660)
Roku Premiere+ (3921)
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SocAccPsyc
Level 7

Re: Roku Express+ will not connect if SSID not broadcast

Heyitsrick,
Yep, much like locking my front door, it won't be a real deterrent to anyone determined to target me.  I imagine the same is true for the various other moderate security measures I have in place.  They're all just putting up one more impediment so that maybe they'll move on to that other neighbor broadcasting their SSID and still using the default password that their router came with.  Smiley Happy

People,
I appreciate the responses, but I'm not looking for advice on changing my lifestyle or to rehash my security setup.  If there isn't a setting or some other workaround to get the Roku Express+ to connect to a network that is not broadcasting an SSID, then I will continue to eat the 5-10mins it takes me to temporarily broadcast my SSID so the Roku can connect and then go back to hidden.  It just seemed like that should not be the case and, unlike the lack of 5GHz connectivity, I saw no documentation of this limitation either on the box or on Roku's website.  I would have loved to contact Roku Customer Support, but apparently the Express+ does not qualify for that (it's like they knew) and I am left with the very shallow FAQs that do not cover my issue.
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ghb51
Level 8

Re: Roku Express+ will not connect if SSID not broadcast

Fwiw, I just hid my ssid and tested on my Roku Express and it connects fine after a restart and power cycle (unplugging/plugging back in), I also reset network settings on the Express and connected again as Private Network and it worked fine that way too, not much help I realize, but at least you can rule out needing some kind of special setting because it apparently should work as is, the only suggestion I can think of is to reset network settings on the Roku if you haven't already and turn off frame management protection if your router has it, it doesn't seem to play well with Roku in my experience.
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SocAccPsyc
Level 7

Re: Roku Express+ will not connect if SSID not broadcast

"ghb51" wrote:
Fwiw, I just hid my ssid and tested on my Roku Express and it connects fine after a restart and power cycle (unplugging/plugging back in), I also reset network settings on the Express and connected again as Private Network and it worked fine that way too, not much help I realize, but at least you can rule out needing some kind of special setting because it apparently should work as is, the only suggestion I can think of is to reset network settings on the Roku if you haven't already and turn off frame management protection if your router has it, it doesn't seem to play well with Roku in my experience.


Express or Express+?
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