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brehas
Level 8

Roku app doesn't discover Roku Devices

After updating my iPhone 12 to ios 16, my app was unable to find Rokus on my network. I did a backup/erase/restore on my phone and it was still unable to discover Rokus on my network. I then started to do some experimenting.

For whatever reason, my home network (Eero) uses a /22 (255.255.252.0) netmask. The network is 192.168.4.0/22 which includes 192.168.4.1-192.168.7.255. My phone was getting 192.168.7.50 and my Rokus were all 192.168.4.x. I then created a reservation for my phone, 192.168.4.123. It was then able to discover the Rokus.

I changed to reservation to 192.168.5.123 and the phone was NOT able to discover the Rokus. So I think that the Roku app is assuming a /24 network and only scanning what it thinks the phone's local network is. Example, if the phone is 192.168.5.123, the app scans 192.168.5.1-192.168.5.255 and doesn't find the Rokus.

I'm curious to know if others are having the discovery problem.

24 REPLIES 24
AvsGunnar
Community Streaming Expert

Re: Roku app doesn't discover Roku Devices

@brehas 

Simply put, the mobile app and the Roku device must be on the same local network for them to communicate.

In your example, any device assigned 192.168.4.xxx will be on the same local network. (discoverable/workable). [The host address is 4.x so device knows this a local request].  If a device is assigned 192.168.5.xxx, the device will not find the host on 192.168.4.xxx and the request will be forwarded to the router. [The device with 192.168.5.x is seeing the local network as 5.x]

In the above instance, the netmask is inconsistent due to the 255.255.252.0 since the resulting bitmasks will be different.  It should theoretically be able to work if you set the netmask to 255.255.0.0 since the IP addresses should be in the same network and the resulting bitmasks should result in the same.

----

In plain English, for the Roku devices to communicate with the mobile app, keep them all assigned to the same local network (as you discovered).  For most people, this will be either 192.168.0.xxx or 192.168.1.xxx where the xxx are the individual addresses assigned to connected devices by the router.

In your instance, setting the address reservation for your phone (or whatever mobile device your app is on) to an available 192.168.4 address is probably the best/easiest method to pursue.  Or change the router to use 192.168.7.xxx for the connected devices (whichever you prefer).

 

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Just another Roku user... I am not a Roku employee.
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atc98092
Community Streaming Expert

Re: Roku app doesn't discover Roku Devices

The Roku app requires several items to be aligned. First it has to be a private IP address range, which yours is using 192.168.x.x. The subnet must be the same. Also, there has to be no security setting enabled that blocked WiFi connected devices from seeing other items on the network. Any WiFi labeled as guest access would almost certainly have that security setting enabled. 

For home use I can't see any reason not to use the /24 subnet (255.255.255.0). Using a /22 subnet allows your network to have 1022 IP addresses, which is really overkill on a home network. I managed a medical center that I used a /23 subnet which permitted 512 IP addresses, which was still overkill for us.  

Now, why was your phone getting an IP address in the 192.168.7.x range while your other network devices are in the 192.168.4.x range? Most likely because of the /22 subnet permitting your DHCP server to assign numbers that high, but it was likely what was messing up the Roku app. Unless you really have a whole lot of devices on your network, I'd change the subnet mask in your DHCP server  (and any devices with static IP addresses) to 255.255.255.0. That gives you 253 possible IP addresses, and it's highly unlikely any home network needs more than that. I have a fairly connected home, and I have less than 50 devices currently detected on my network. 

Dan

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brehas
Level 8

Re: Roku app doesn't discover Roku Devices

@AvsGunnar I appreciate the reply, but with all due respect I disagree with your statement about 192.168.5.0 and 192.168.4.0 being different networks.  That would be true if I was on 192.168.4.0/24, but as I mentioned my network is 192.168.4.0/22 meaning 192.168.4.1 - 192.168.7.255 are all on the same network.  The app should be able to query the network settings of the iphone to figure out what the subnet is. The Roku and my iphone get IP settings via DHCP from the same router, so they both know what the correct subnet mask is.  

 

@atc98092 I understand that a /22 is overkill for a home network. No idea why Eero does that, but it is not configurable and shouldn't really be problematic.  I don't know why, but my stuff gets assigned IP addresses all over the place (within my /22 of course).  I assigned all of my Rokus and our phones reserved IPs that start with 192.168.4.0 and the problem has been resolved.

My question was really just out of curiosity.  I operated like this for over a year and didn't have an issue until our phones were updated to ios 16.  I'd like to know if it's a bug with ios where the app can't query the subnet mask and assumes /24, or I happened to get a new version of the app at the same time and it assumes a /24 (generally a safe assumption, but lots of people have Eeros and I assume they are on /22 networks as well).

 

Thanks for the replies.

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atc98092
Community Streaming Expert

Re: Roku app doesn't discover Roku Devices


@brehas wrote:

My question was really just out of curiosity.  I operated like this for over a year and didn't have an issue until our phones were updated to ios 16.  I'd like to know if it's a bug with ios where the app can't query the subnet mask and assumes /24, or I happened to get a new version of the app at the same time and it assumes a /24 (generally a safe assumption, but lots of people have Eeros and I assume they are on /22 networks as well).


Well, there's been no change in functionality that I'm aware of with the Roku IP stack, so nothing from the Roku OS side appears to have changed. It's hard to say if the app for iOS has changed, although they did release a new version on Sept 13 based on the last time it was updated on my phone. I used the app as recently as two days ago and had no issues on my home network. While I agree that all your addresses should be accessible on a /22 subnet, it also depends on the starting IP address of the range they're using. My work IT hasn't given the green light to install iOS 16 yet, so I can't say if that might have had something to do with it. I'm still on 15.7 for the time being. 

But you bring up a good point. If the app programmers made the assumption that all home networks are /24, that could have been the issue as well. However, since it happened coincident with the iOS 16 update, that really seems the most suspicious area.

This is another reason I don't let my ISP control my network settings. My Comcast modem had some settings they I couldn't change, nor would they change them for me. I never could get port forwarding working using their tools. I instead put their modem in Bridge mode and installed my own router, so now I have complete control of my internal network.

Dan

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brehas
Level 8

Re: Roku app doesn't discover Roku Devices

I'll probably go with a Ubiquiti or something next time, but I bought the Eero because the price was good, I need a mesh network, and it just works. We have also had trouble with our phones connecting to wireless Carplay so I think it's an iphone network issue.  Pretty irritating.  

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AvsGunnar
Community Streaming Expert

Re: Roku app doesn't discover Roku Devices

@brehas 

You are correct that it is all one network. (when set to /22, a 192.168.4.0/22 should have addresses available from 192.168.4.1 to 192.168.7.254 when using the netmask of 255.255.252.0). 

The issue is that some devices run into problems when deciphering the netmask octets and see these differences as being on different subnets/networks.  

Since there is no way to remedy from the device end as a user, you either have to make the changes at the router with an address reservation with similar octets (so it is clear as to network assignment), or can try expanding the netmask to 255.255.0.0 (basically creating a private supernet) that may help the router to resolve the deciphering the device is running into.  

Just mentioned as a possible workaround you can try.

---

By the way, thanks for posting your findings.  It would be interesting to find out if indeed a Roku device limitation, the mobile app programming, or if an Iphone issue.  Would be leaning toward the Iphone as culprit currently.  Appreciate an update if you can narrow it down.

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Dannypic
Level 7

Re: Roku app doesn't discover Roku Devices

I am having the same problem can you elaborate on reservation?

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AvsGunnar
Community Streaming Expert

Re: Roku app doesn't discover Roku Devices

@Dannypic 

When you cannot create a static IP address on a device (which you cannot do on a Roku device), an alternative method is to create a reservation address in the router based on the device's MAC address. (a unique number for a network device that allows a router to identify the device when connected).

Essentially, you are telling the router to use a certain/dedicated LAN IP address each time this device is connected to the network rather than allowing the router's DHCP server to automatically assign a LAN IP address. (on larger networks, this automatic number may be different each time you connect, smaller networks you may get the same number each time, but no guarantees.)  With an address reservation, you will always get the LAN IP address you assigned to the device's MAC address.

On some routers, look for the address reservation option under the DHCP server, LAN, or Static IP.  You can find your Roku device's MAC address under Settings/Network/About.

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Just another Roku user... I am not a Roku employee.
Insignia RokuTV, Ultra 4660x, Premiere+ 3921, Express 4k+ 3941
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SCutting
Level 7

Re: Roku app doesn't discover Roku Devices

I had a similar thing happen after downloading the Android version for the Roku remote app. After troubleshooting, I found that restarting the Roku did the trick. I restarted through the menu, but I think you can just unplug it if that's easier. The Roku Soundbar was detected as soon as it restarted. Phone works great as a remote now, except for not being able to turn the tv on and off.

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