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.
Roku Express Suddenly Will Not Connect Wirelessly, But is Connected Via Eathernet? (impossible)
Last week my Express was working fine. I've made no changes with anything. Suddenly, last night, I cannot connect to internet wirelessly. I have done EVERYTHING I know of, and that which has been suggested on Roku forum to resolve the problem to no avail.
Initially, my Roku Express wouldn't connect and wouldn't show up as connected on Xfinity app tools. That was to be expected. My Xfinity modem will not allow me to manipulate all the modem settings, as has been recommended here in the forum. I was only able to split my signal to 2.4 and 5. I gave each signal a new name. But, that's all I can do. I spent all day today on the phone with Xfinity tech support. We went through everything I had already attempted. The tech did some verifying and some signal and pinging checks. Nothing more. I finally asked if I could get a different modem that allowed me to change its settings. The tech person told me that my internet tier did not allow me to have such a modem...So, no.
I told her about information I had read here on the forum as to what the problem likely is, and a couple suggestions on how to resolve it. She told me either A) That information is incorrect, and the problem is not on their side, or with their modems, or B) I wasn't permitted to do that (use a personal router with an Xfinity modem).
With no resolve, I hung up the phone, fuming, realizing that Roku sold me a device that wouldn't keep up with ISP protocols and modem changes. Only yesterday did I first realize that I purchased a device that would not provide ANY customer service. Now, all of a sudden, my Roku Express is showing up as a connected device on my Xfinity app, but connected via ethernet. That's impossible. The Express only connects wirelessly...and of course, I cannot get it to connect wirelessly. What the **bleep**? As a last resort, I finally did a factory reset on the Express. Still can't connect.
I'm furious. Only things left for me to do now is to throw this Roku Express in the garbage and buy an expensive upgrade, or not, and take my money elsewhere with a different streaming service.
I've worked with tech and tech devices for decades. Never have I experienced this sort of bad customer/product manufacturer relationship. Nowhere does Roku make any official statements, or have any conversation about this problem with this product that MANY customers are having. AND NO PERSONAL CUSTOMER SERVICE FOR THIS ONE AND ONLY DEVICE?? Why is that, I wonder? Because it's made to FAIL?? It appears so.
First thing I would do is call back and talk to a different support tech. Sometimes you just happen to initially get the guy that is "smarter than everyone else", and everyone else is misinformed because he never "heard of this problem." Call again and maybe hopefully you will get someone that will make the necessary changes for you if you want to use your Express. (Tell them you also can't get your security cameras working because they also need "legacy mode b" enabled on the 2.4ghz band.)
The problem with these clowns is that there is no competition and they are trying to manage their users routers in order to regulate demand on their network infrastructure. The issue is their custom firmware which is organizing the different speed protocols. (smart learning feature). A workaround was found that could disable this learning feature by enabling all protocols on the 2.4ghz. (b/g/n). The cable ISP then issued new custom firmware locking their customers out from making these changes and using the workaround. (They know better than you what you need or want.)
People can either complain about this or find a solution to the issue at hand.
1. If you want the easy way, then purchase a dual band streaming band device (Roku or otherwise capable of 5ghz band capability.) All the newer Roku devices on the Roku products page are dual band, including the new Roku Express (3960) releasing/shipping in October. https://www.roku.com/products/players.
These ISP are starting to migrate everything to 5ghz trying to leave 2.4ghz as a fallback standard. For those that have not simply disabled a user's 2.4ghz band, an ordinary user is left using 5ghz capable devices.
2. Purchase your own network equipment. Purchase a compatible modem or modem/router and send the cable ISP modem and router back to the provider in the worst packed box ever prepared by a human. For Xfinity, you can point any snarky/doubting tech support to their own device page and policy https://www.xfinity.com/support/articles/list-of-approved-cable-modems.
Either that, or keep their modem/router, place it in bridge mode, and hook up a compatible router. For that matter, you can actually use an incompatible/unapproved router when second in line as the first router will be handling internet traffic protocols, (modem-only function), while your second router is for your LAN network which you can configure in any manner you wish without any prior approval/permission from some ISP.
The problem with some of these companies is that they provide misinformation to their customers (either knowingly or not) and for some reason, for just a few dollars more a month, they will provide you a way to fix the issues they caused (either with upgraded equipment or service/speed plan, or tiered access to change or become privy to settings that never should have been blocked from the user in the first place.
Caveat above is that some of these ISPs can require you to use their first-in-line equipment if you have phone service with them (for compatibility reasons). For these, you may need to lease at least their modem, but then should be able to connect your own router. If they try to charge you fees for using for your own router, remind them of 2019 Television Viewer Protection Act (TVPA). [https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/5035]. Customer support reportedly is still erroneously warning users they cannot use their own equipment or receive a discount by not using the ISP equipment when available as an option.
Roku Community Streaming Expert Just another Roku user... I am not a Roku employee. Insignia RokuTV, Ultra 4660x, Premiere+ 3921, Express 4k+ 3941
Re: Roku Express Suddenly Will Not Connect Wirelessly, But is Connected Via Eathernet? (impossible)
Thank you AvsGunnar!
You have provided much info here for me to process, and I'm just now starting to do the research necessary. I appreciate the detailed options you provided so that I can make the best choices for my personal needs/limitations. Thank you very much!!
As I take steps to resolve my situation/issues, I'm almost certain that I will have further questions. Would you mind keeping this thread open for additional communication between us regarding this matter? Or, would you have a different, preferred communication method? Please let me know.
So far, I've learned that Xfinity's website claims that my modem/gateway model (provided for my internet tier) does allow me to "change your home network's WiFi Channel Selection or Mode with Xfinity xFi or the Admin Tool." But, in fact, mine does not...neither by using the Xfinity app or Admin Tool. Knowing this, I feel compelled, as you have suggested, to again contact Xfinity tech support (an all day affair!) to point this fact out, and request that they remedy this problem. I'll see where this takes me.