Can someone confirm if Roku is capping bandwidth? I have 6 Roku's connected (2 ethernet / 4 wifi) and I was always able to hit around 200 mbps ethernet and up to 120 mbps wifi now all of a sudden at best I only get 50 mbps max on all of my roku devices. Is it the Roku test site that's not testing accurately or are they actually limiting bandwidth? I have Xfinity's 1200 meg package and my desktop that's hardwired reaches those speeds anytime throughout the day, my PS5 speeds are in the 800's and my mobile devices hit in the 400-500's. Everything connected to my network is always stable except for my Roku devices.
Roku devices with an Ethernet jack are Fast Ethernet. This is 100 Mbps, with real world speeds around 92 Mbps. The WiFi radios/chips they use are not particularly high speed either. The highest WiFi speed I've recorded on any of my Roku devices is my Ultra 4800, which I've seen reach about 210 Mbps. You were never seeing 200 Mbps on a wired connection. If that was the reported number, it was inaccurate.
But you need to remember what Roku has designed these devices for: streaming from an Internet source. At the present time, there's no online provider that streams at more than 25 Mbps, so there's no demand for higher speeds. Yes, those of us that stream from local media servers would like higher speeds for our UHD rips. But I've also tested my 4800 using the USB port, so no network bottleneck. Even the most powerful processor in the 4800 can't process video bitrates above about 160 Mbps. Even that speed I saw some video stuttering, so not a smooth playback. For this use, a Roku simply isn't the best device. But for any currently available online source, their network connections are more than adequate.
One last comment about the network speeds reported by the Roku device. Virtually all of my devices older than the 4800 have never reported the speeds I measured on the 4800. I don't know if the networks were that much slower on them, or if they were finally reported more accurately in the newest Roku devices. But regardless of the reported connection speed, I still never had any issues with online streaming sources. Only with my local media, and even then only with UHD movie rips.
Hardwired with my 4k 2021 Roku Express (2) I was easily ranging between 180-220. Once I positioned my router my Roku wifi sticks easily were in the 100-120 range. These were my readings every time I would test the connection up until I'd say about 3 weeks ago. Seems to me after the latest update speed slowed down dramatically but I don't know how accurate the Roku connection test really is. I wish they had a speed test app
Hardwired with my 4k 2021 Roku Express (2) I was easily ranging between 180-220.
Sorry, those weren't accurate numbers. Fast Ethernet is rated at 100 Mbps, and with packet overhead real world bitrate is around 92 Mbps. There's no way your wired connection was that fast. Again, I'm referring to Roku devices with an Ethernet jack built in, which currently is only the Ultra and most Roku TVs.
Now, let me clarify something. The Roku Express 4K doesn't come with a wired connection, so you must be using a 3rd party USB Ethernet adapter. It's entirely possible the USB adapter you are using is rated at Gigabit speeds, so that would explain the speeds you're seeing. But topping out at 220 Mbps would be in line with the best WiFi speeds I've been able to register, and as I mentioned the Roku itself isn't capable of displaying video at rates that high anyway. So you're losing nothing.
I wish they had a speed test app
Years ago there was a private channel that used speedtest.net for testing. However, it wasn't authorized by Ookla, and it was removed from all devices. That said, it wasn't really accurate either.
Netflix has a speed test built into their channel that is reasonably accurate, and as I mentioned the Roku network test reported speed is much more accurate with the latest models. Vudu also has a speed test, but I can't recall if it actually reports the value or simply rates the speed for supporting various resolution streaming.
@SuperUser that is the most detail that a Roku employee has ever offered about the hardware limitations. Thank you for that. The limitations you mention match up with my real world experience.
Well I just tested on the Netflix Connection Test signed into the app with my Roku Express and Stick, the results listed below.
Roku 4K Express (usb ethernet) 287.38
Roku 4K usb Stick (wifi) 134.71
Results with the Roku connection check used to be around the same numbers up until recently so I guess I'm good.. Never tested my connection before in Netflix app.. THANK YOU ALL
It's nice to get confirmation that the USB Ethernet adapter option allows for faster than Fast Ethernet speeds. Thanks for the verification.