Wi-Fi & connectivity

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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blaster42
Level 8

What wires do I cut to disable the wifi and will it still work?

I need the wifi off.  Why, this is not important, stay focused on that I need the wifi off.  I am willing to cut the wire to the wifi on the circuit board if anyone knows where.  Will I need an IR remote, and is this always an option?

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3 REPLIES 3
renojim
Community Streaming Expert

Re: What wires do I cut to disable the wifi and will it still work?

You don't give the model number of your Roku, but I hope it's obvious that if it doesn't have an Ethernet port it will be useless without Wi-Fi.  Yes, you'll have to use an IR remote since the RF remote uses Wi-Fi direct.  If you look at the circuit board the Wi-Fi antennas should be somewhat obvious.

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fluke
Level 13

Re: What wires do I cut to disable the wifi and will it still work?


@blaster42 wrote:

I need the wifi off.  Why, this is not important, stay focused on that I need the wifi off.  I am willing to cut the wire to the wifi on the circuit board if anyone knows where.  Will I need an IR remote, and is this always an option?


I would love to have this conversation.  I often wondered what would I have to change about my life if I ever moved to Green Bank, West Virginia (were wifi is illegal).  Unfortunately, I think any discussion involving opening up and modifying the circuit board will be treated by the forum moderators as "hacking" which can result in a ban.  There are other forums that the scope includes doing teardowns of electronic devices and identify the primary components but that is not the scope of this forum.

The best I can do here in terms of forcing the wifi off is to suggest putting the device into a faraday cage.  Going into how to construct one is also probably beyond the scope of this forum.  However, you can find instructions online and there are plenty of sources to buy an EMF meter to confirm it is working.

The answer to your IR for remote question can be found on the Roku accessories shop page.  If you go to the Roku Simple Remote page, you will find it is compatible with "All Roku players (except Roku® Streaming Stick®, Roku® Streaming Stick®+, Roku® Streaming Stick® 4K, and Roku® Streaming Stick® 4K+)." So, as long as your Roku is not any of the streaming sticks, you should be able to switch to an IR remote.  Just be sure to leave enough of a gap in the faraday cage mesh that the IR can get through.

Maybe someday an update to Roku OS will include an "airplane mode" style option for the 141 people of Green Bank, but for now that isn't the case.

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Re: What wires do I cut to disable the wifi and will it still work?

@blaster42 

As @renojim pointed out you should be able to cut or disconnect the antenna leads, but this will only work with certain models (and you didnt mention your model #), as the WiFi-only models do not have a wired alternative (aside from the newer 3940/3941/3820/3821/3960 models which use a newer SoC that supports USB>Ethernet adapters).

However, simply cutting the antenna leads may/will likely not disable the WiFi, but make its range very limited.

Your remote options would be limited to either an IR-based remote as @renojim mentioned, and/or the Roku Remote app or third-party remote app (via a PC/Tablet/Phone) and an assumed wired or other network connection between the devices.

@fluke 

An "Airplane Mode"/WiFi on/off setting would be possible, at least for those models that have a wired alternative.  The setting itself should probably be unavailable unless/until the OS determines such a wired connection exists, and should auto-re-enable if/once the wired connection is disconnected, and of course a factory reset should/would always re-enable the WiFi (failsafes).

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