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How to Connect Roku to Wi-Fi Without Remote

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Knowing how to connect Roku to Wi-Fi without a remote may just save your streaming ability in the future. Accessing content on Roku requires both an internet connection and a remote, but there are cases when you may not have access to either. If you find yourself unable to access the internet while at the same time having misplaced or lost the remote, there is a way out. Let’s take a look at the handful of options that you can take to connect your device to the internet without the remote.


What Is Roku?

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Photo via Roku Official Website


Roku is a streaming service that allows you to access streaming content from a large selection of internet-based content through your television. The service essentially turns your regular TV into a smart TV by bringing together a bevy of subscription-based channels through a single application. Aside from the ability to view content online, Roku also allows you to view content via external devices such as flash drives or network-attached storage devices.

Roku offers a selection of hardware devices known as “streaming sticks” that attach to your television as part of their service. The streaming stick gives you access to the Roku app, which contains thousands of streaming apps for you to choose from. In addition to the selection of external streaming channels, Roku has its own channel, which is freely accessible to all subscribers.

The app consolidates content from multiple channels, allowing you to search for, stream, and get notifications for different types of content. The streaming stick is also usually accompanied by a remote control that allows you to select channels and personalize your streaming experience.

Unlike most streaming channels that most people are familiar with, Roku has an entirely different objective. That objective is to provide users access to content from multiple channels via a single access point.

They also offer different types of streaming devices to fit the needs of different types of consumers. Check out this guide on choosing the best Roku devices to stream your favorite content.


When Do You Need to Connect Roku to Wi-Fi?

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Photo by Roku Official Website


With that in mind, you will need to have existing subscriptions for specific channels to be able to access their content. A few examples of subscription-based channels on Roku include Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Crunchyroll.

Connecting to the internet is usually a simple process on Roku. It can be a lot easier when you have already saved your network details and password into the device beforehand. If you are connecting to the network for the first time, the system will ask for the password and remember it for future reference.

Either way, connecting to a new or existing network doesn’t happen automatically on Roku. Most devices automatically connect to a network that it recognizes, especially when you’ve saved the password for that network. Roku, on the other hand, equires you to scan for and select a network each time you want to access the internet.

In either case, you will need to have a physical remote or a digital remote in order to navigate the Roku app. This is why the remote is so important and why you want to know how to access the internet without it.


How to Connect Roku to Wi-Fi


As we’ve mentioned, there are circumstances in which you need to connect to a new network but don’t have access to your remote. As unfortunate as that scenario may appear, there are a handful of methods that come with learning how to connect Roku to Wi-Fi without a remote. Here are the different methods you can try:


1. Use the Roku Mobile App

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The easiest way to connect to a network without a remote is to download the Roku mobile app. The mobile app contains the exact same buttons and functions as the physical remote. The only exception is that it runs on a touchscreen interface.

However, note that your Roku device must be searchable over the network. Otherwise, you will need to use a physical remote to control the device. With this in mind, you can download the Roku app for Android (via Google Play) and iOS devices (via Apple Store).


Connect Roku to Wi-Fi Using the Roku Mobile App:

  1. Download the Roku app from either the Google Play Store or Apple Store.
  2. Select the Remote option from the bottom of the screen in the home menu.
  3. Select the Roku device that you want to pair the software with. For this purpose, you should see the name of the Roku device on top. A green indicator will tell you when it’s connected.
  4. Click on the Home icon on the digital remote, then use the directional arrow pad on the app to navigate to Settings > Network > Set up connection > Wireless on Roku.
  5. Wait for Roku to detect all wireless networks in the area, then select the network you want to access. Input the SSID password as requested and click Connect.
  6. From this point on, you can already use your mobile device with the Roku app as a controller.


2. Use the Roku Chrome App Extension

how to connect roku to wi-fi without remote
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Another option on how to connect Roku to Wi-Fi without a remote is by using a browser-based extension called Remoku. Remoku comes with remote-like features that allow you to control your Roku setup through your computer. However, the extension only works with either Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge.

Like the Roku mobile app, your Roku needs to be connected to the internet beforehand. The steps are also divided into pairing the extension with your Roku and connecting your Roku to the internet. Here are the steps:


Pair Remoku extension with Roku device:

  1. Search for and install the Remoku browser extension through either Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge browser.
  2. Once the extension appears on your toolbar, click on it and select the “R” icon in the upper left corner. The R should bring up the virtual remote. Afterward, you need to click on Settings to ding the Roku device on your network.
  3. From this point, you have two options: scan for your Roku or enter the IP manually. Scanning for your Roku can take a long time to accomplish, so we highly recommend inputting the details manually.
  4. You can check your device’s IP address by clicking on Settings > About.
  5. Take note of your IP address and input the address as requested through the Manual Add feed. Click on the“+” button to save the IP address. You can assign a name for the device to distinguish it from other wireless devices in your home.


Connect Roku to Wi-Fi Using Remoku Extension

  1. Locate the Remoku icon from the top-right section of Google Chrome (or Microsoft Edge) and select the button.
  2. Use the arrow pad on the Remoku extension to navigate to Settings > Network > Set up connection > Wireless.
  3. Wait for Roku to detect all wireless networks in the area, then select the network you want to access. Input the SSID password as requested and click Connect.
  4. 4. From this point on, you can already use the Remoku extension as a controller for your Roku.


3. Connect Roku Directly to the Router

how to connect roku to wi-fi without remote
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Take note that to be able to connect Roku to a router, you will need either the mobile app or browser extension to serve as a remote replacement. In addition, you will need to make sure that both your Roku device and application are on the same network.

One way to go about this is to establish a direct connection by plugging your Roku device into your router via an Ethernet cable. It’s one of the lesser-known but more effective ways to increase your internet speed, though you can only do so one device at a time.

However, we need to note that a wired connection is only possible through select Roku devices. Specifically, only Roku devices with  Ethernet ports are capable of running wired connections. In order to confirm whether your device can connect through a wired connection, all you have to do is to look at the back of the device for a port called Ethernet. If you’ve confirmed that your device has an Ethernet, you can use any type of Ethernet to connect it to your router.

If you have a Roku TV, it should have an Ethernet port somewhere at the back. The Roku Streambar also comes with Ethernet connectivity, though you would need an external USB Ethernet adapter to connect it.


Connect your Roku device to Wi-Fi via Ethernet

Connecting your Roku device to your router via Ethernet cable is only the first step, as you will also need to use the Roku mobile app to control the device and get it connected to your network. Here are the steps:

  1. Take an Ethernet cable and plug one end into the back of your Roku device and the other end into the Ethernet port of your Wi-Fi router.
  2. Once connected, take your mobile device with the Roku application and open it. Again, you will need to make sure that your Roku is discoverable on the network before executing this step. Otherwise, the digital remote will not be able to pair with your Roku device.
  3. From within the Roku app, click on the Remote icon at the bottom. The software should then automatically detect your Roku device and pair with it.
  4. Navigate to Settings > Network > Set up connection > Wired connection.
  5. Wait for Roku to detect all wireless networks in the area, then select the network you want to access. Input the SSID password as requested and click
  6. After the device has connected to your network, remove the Ethernet cable and manage the network using your Roku app.


4. Set a Mobile Device as a Hotspot

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Newer versions of Roku entirely depend on wireless connections. For these devices, a direct connection to the router may not work. There is another workaround to this problem. However, this particular solution will depend on whether you know the old network that your Roku was connected to.

If, by some chance, you know the details of your old Wi-Fi network (Wi-Fi name and password), you can trick your Roku device into thinking that it’s connecting to the old network. This is possible by setting up one mobile device as a Wi-Fi hotspot for your Roku. At the same time, you can set up another device as the landing point for your Roku mobile app.


Connect the Roku device to Wi-Fi by using a mobile hotspot

  1. Go to your mobile phone’s hotspot settings and change your hotspot name and password to that of your Wi-Fi. This will allow the Roku device to recognize your hotspot as the Wi-Fi.
  2. Wait for the Roku device to automatically connect to the network. You also need to make sure that both the hotspot and the digital remote are turned on.
  3. Take your second mobile phone (the one with the Roku app) and connect to the hotspot you created with the same SSID name and password.
  4. Using your mobile phone with the Remote app, use the Remote function to connect to the Wi-Fi hotspot. Follow the steps enumerated above.


5. Borrow a Roku Remote

borrow a remote
Photo by Roku Official Website


Suppose your Roku device is not connected to the internet or discoverable through the network. In that case, using the Roku app or Remoku extension may not work since the apps will not detect your Roku device.

A potential solution would be to borrow a Roku remote simply for the purpose of connecting your Roku to your wireless network. After your Roku device connects to the network, you can already use your Roku app as a replacement for the remote.

However, you will need to pair the remote temporarily with your Roku device before you can use it to connect your Roku to a wireless network. Note that you don’t need to purchase an entirely new Roku remote for this purpose. Although you can do so to replace your old remote.


Connect Roku to Wi-Fi Using Borrowed Remote

  1. Locate the pairing button at the bottom of the remote, above the battery cap.
  2. Press the Pairing button for about seconds or until a green indicator light appears. The color of the light indicator will let you know whether the pairing process has succeeded or not.
  3. Once the remote is paired, navigate to Settings > Network > Set up connection > Wireless connection.
  4. Wait for Roku to automatically detect all wireless networks in the area.
  5. Once the Roku device has connected, you can turn off your remote. In addition, you can already start using your mobile device as your remote control for the setup instead.


Final Thoughts on How to Connect Roku to Wi-Fi Without a Remote

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While a physical remote is still the best way to control a Roku device, there’s always a small chance of misplacing or losing the remote. Luckily, Roku made sure to provide its users with alternative options to be able to access their Roku devices. With the help of a mobile phone or laptop, you can easily replace your physical remote with a digital one. However, these options will only work if your Roku device is discoverable on the network. Your device needs to “pair” with Roku first before it can serve as a replacement for your remote. Having said this, if the steps mentioned above do not work, Roku does offer customer support via chat or email.

On the other hand, you may know how to connect Roku to Wi-Fi without a remote and accomplish the task, yet be unable to access specific apps like YouTube. If you’re experiencing issues with specific apps within Roku, then the problem most likely relates to the app itself. With this in mind, you may want to read this guide on accessing YouTube on Roku when it’s not working.

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