Can you use Roku without wifi? In some cases you can, although depending on the circumstances, a Roku can certainly be less useful without wifi. Here’s what models work without wifi and what they can do for you.
Roku with Ethernet
If your Roku has an Ethernet port, you can use it on a wired connection instead of wifi. I actually recommend this when possible, as it helps prevent overheating and the associated constant buffering. Unfortunately the only current model of Roku with an Ethernet port is the Roku Ultra, the top-of-the-line model that costs $99.
Several older, discontinued Roku models have Ethernet. I don’t recommend buying anything older than a Roku 3, due to the demands of newer streaming apps and lack of support from the newest OS. But that does leave you with six models, produced in 2013 or later, that work with Ethernet, and any of them should cost less than $99. Some of the older Roku 3 models sell for around $30, used.
There are several Ethernet-equipped models still under support. Look for one of these examples of Roku with Ethernet:
What about Roku without Internet at all?
If you don’t have any kind of Internet connection at all, wifi or otherwise, you can still play back digital media via USB, using the Roku Media Player app, if your model has a USB port. In effect this turns the Roku into a miniature Blu-Ray player without the ability to play discs, but it’s smaller and fully solid state, so that’s not necessarily bad.
Again, the Roku Ultra is the only current model with a USB port, but many previous-generation units had one.
Some of the older, unsupported models are pretty inexpensive these days since Hulu and other streaming services no longer support them and Roku isn’t releasing new OS versions for them anymore. If you’re just using them for USB playback, that’s less of an issue.
There are several older USB-equipped models to choose from.
- Roku HD-XR N1101
- Roku XDS 2100
- Roku 2 XS 3100
- Roku 3 4200
- Roku 3 4210
- Roku 3 4230
- Roku 4 4430
- Roku Ultra 4640
- Roku Ultra 4660
Early model Rokus often sell for around $20, so a USB-equipped one makes an inexpensive media player.