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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jj94tt
Level 7

Wireless router in RV without internet - stream network media?

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Hi - just purchased a Roku Streaming Stick+ expecting that I could use it for streaming media using the "Roku Media Player" from a central router in my RV that has media connected to it.  But the stick will not allow me to connect to the network because it does not detect an internet connection?!

What am I doing wrong.  I can't believe that this is the case, or else in instances when the internet service is out in a typical household, the Roku would not be able to access the local network...?  What am I missing?

 

Thanks.

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atc98092
Community Streaming Expert

Re: Wireless router in RV without internet - stream network media?

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Yes, changed connection is an apt description. One trick you might try when you're at a campground with WiFi: use a Windows laptop (yes, I'm assuming you have one). Connect the laptop to the WiFi and then connect your router to the Ethernet port on the laptop (again assuming it has one). Then activate Windows network sharing, and your router, and everything inside the RV connected to your WiFi, now has Internet access. Once you leave, all your internal devices are still connected to your WiFi, without needing to change anything. I used this trick at a hotel I was staying at for several months. Only had to authenticate the computer to the hotel WiFi, and all my personal devices had Internet without messing with the hotel connection.

That trick should work with any Windows computer that has both WiFi and Ethernet connections, and most likely Mac or Linux would have the same ability using some sort of app. Windows has had connection sharing as far back as Windows 2000, although perhaps not on every version of Windows.

Dan

Roku Community Streaming Expert

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StreamerUser
Level 20

Re: Wireless router in RV without internet - stream network media?

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First time setup/activation requires an internet connection (it downloads the latest firmware and account associated-apps and registers the device to the account), after that its not needed.

Once you do that, you dont need an internet connection - just a Wired/Wireless connection to your LAN if you want to stream local media (assuming you have all the local streaming apps you want to use already installed).

You can always use a phone (or another device) as a temporary Hotspot for setup/activation (use the same SSID/password as the router's WiFi, disable the router WiFi temporarily), and then switch back to the router's WiFi.

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atc98092
Community Streaming Expert

Re: Wireless router in RV without internet - stream network media?

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That is an unfortunate side effect of the Roku network connection functionality. To connect to any network, it has to see the Internet. So even if you activate the Roku on an Internet connection (which as mentioned is required), the only way it will reconnect to your RV network is if it uses the same SSID and password as the network with Internet access. Roku should allow the user to acknowledge there's no Internet and still connect to the network. But for now, there's no way to get around it. If you can get your RV router temporarily connected to the Internet, connect the Roku to the RV network, then it should work fine after that. 

You must remember the originally Roku devices were designed to only work with Internet providers. Therefore, and Internet connection is considered a requirement. But once they offered channels like RMP, Plex or Emby, they should have made a way to have a network connection without Internet access. For now, you just have to trick it for the initial connection, then it should be OK.

Dan

Roku Community Streaming Expert

Help others find this answer and click "Accept as Solution."
If you appreciate my answer, maybe give me a Kudo.

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StreamerUser
Level 20

Re: Wireless router in RV without internet - stream network media?

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@atc98092 

It should only require the internet connection for first time setup/activation - after that when running the network setup it should warn you that there is no internet connection, but save any WiFi credentials and exit.

It could even ask "Internet connection not found - save WiFI name/password anyway? yes/no".

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atc98092
Community Streaming Expert

Re: Wireless router in RV without internet - stream network media?

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@StreamerUser wrote:

It could even ask "Internet connection not found - save WiFi name/password anyway? yes/no".


It could, but it doesn't at this time. That's something Roku needs to program. It simply will not connect to a new network unless the network has Internet access. It will only connect to a network without Internet if it's the same SSID and password as the previously successful connection. Even though it has the credentials saved for previous connections, it will not use those automatically. And every manual connection attempt requires Internet access. Yes, it should be simple to implement. But they need to do it within the OS.

Dan

Roku Community Streaming Expert

Help others find this answer and click "Accept as Solution."
If you appreciate my answer, maybe give me a Kudo.

I am not a Roku employee, just another user.
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StreamerUser
Level 20

Re: Wireless router in RV without internet - stream network media?

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@atc98092 

That was my entire point.

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jj94tt
Level 7

Re: Wireless router in RV without internet - stream network media?

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It's disappointing, to say the least.  For an RV application, there are times that you'll be in a campground and want to connect up to the campgrounds wifi for streaming.  When it's time to leave, it does NOT appear that I'll be able to RE-connect to the RV wifi unless I can first establish an internet connection at the wan port of the RV router... which, without complicated networking hoops, seems unlikely when on the road.

I've already established that I can remove internet from the wifi router and the roku will stay connected.. I can use the roku media player for dlna streaming from a network connected hard drive.  But, if the roku connects to another network, I can't return to the same non-internet network.

Any new connection NEEDS internet (even if it was previously setup on that connection).  I guess in this case, the proper terminology would be "changed" connection. Any connection "change" requires internet.

Thanks for your input everyone.

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atc98092
Community Streaming Expert

Re: Wireless router in RV without internet - stream network media?

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Yes, changed connection is an apt description. One trick you might try when you're at a campground with WiFi: use a Windows laptop (yes, I'm assuming you have one). Connect the laptop to the WiFi and then connect your router to the Ethernet port on the laptop (again assuming it has one). Then activate Windows network sharing, and your router, and everything inside the RV connected to your WiFi, now has Internet access. Once you leave, all your internal devices are still connected to your WiFi, without needing to change anything. I used this trick at a hotel I was staying at for several months. Only had to authenticate the computer to the hotel WiFi, and all my personal devices had Internet without messing with the hotel connection.

That trick should work with any Windows computer that has both WiFi and Ethernet connections, and most likely Mac or Linux would have the same ability using some sort of app. Windows has had connection sharing as far back as Windows 2000, although perhaps not on every version of Windows.

Dan

Roku Community Streaming Expert

Help others find this answer and click "Accept as Solution."
If you appreciate my answer, maybe give me a Kudo.

I am not a Roku employee, just another user.
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StreamerUser
Level 20

Re: Wireless router in RV without internet - stream network media?

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@atc98092 

And even further back, to Windows 98 SE (1999).

Windows is a great tool for complex ad-hoc networking configurations made easy.

@jj94tt 

I recommend giving feedback to Roku about the issue: 

chat/email/phone:      https://support.roku.com/contactus     (choose setup/ultra/other/need more help?)

https://community.roku.com/t5/Suggest-a-Feature/bd-p/Wishlist

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jj94tt
Level 7

Re: Wireless router in RV without internet - stream network media?

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This is probably the best way around this issue until the day that simple change is made to the roku's connection interface.  :/

The goal is to ensure that the roku's wi-fi connection is uninterrupted as internet access comes and goes.

Thanks for the suggestion.  I did sent a note on the topic through roku's support system.

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