Today, most people either own or are familiar with streaming tools to watch their favorite shows and movies. One such device, the Roku Media Player, can stream content, and some models support USB connections (external storage, flash drives, etc.). With this in mind, I wanted to find out if Roku devices can be used without Wi-Fi.
Though Roku Media Players can be used without Wi-Fi, there are some notable limitations. Roku uses Wi-Fi to stream content to your TV, and without it, users would be unable to access these features. However, some alternative methods will still allow you to use your Roku without Wi-Fi.
Roku devices rely primarily on Wi-Fi to utilize their streaming features; however, there are still options should you decide to use it without the internet. This article will give an in-depth look into what Roku devices offer, as well as some tips for using them without Wi-Fi.
Roku Media Player: A Quick Look
Roku devices can stream all the popular streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and more. Additionally, they support file types like PNG, GIF, and JPG, so you can even view photos and local media content. Roku’s latest device, the Ultra 2020, can stream HD, 4K, and HDR video in 1080p with an HDMI output (cable included), offering competitive quality.
Given the variety of features, as well as the fact that Roku devices use Wi-Fi to stream content wirelessly, you may be wondering if you can use them without connecting to an internet network. Some alternative methods will allow you to use the device without Wi-Fi, though to a limited extent.
Using a Roku Device without Internet
Whether you don’t have access to Wi-Fi, you’re traveling, or visiting a friend, there are many scenarios where you may want to use your Roku device with limited streaming capabilities. Since Roku devices use Wi-Fi to stream content, you understandably won’t have this ability without the internet. However, fortunately, there are some comparable options should you decide to use your player without Wi-Fi.
Using an External Storage Device
As we briefly touched upon earlier, some Roku players have a physical USB connection, allowing external devices to be attached and used, regardless of whether they have a Wi-Fi connection.
How to Play Movies from a USB External Hard Drive
Roku devices can play MKV, MP4, and MOV files. Make sure the content you want to play is in a supported file format before transferring it to your external USB hard drive or flash drive. Additionally, it is essential to note that not all Roku models have a USB connection available.
Once your files are transferred and ready to go:
- Connect your USB storage device to the back of your Roku player.
- Next, open the “Roku Media Player” channel on your Roku and select “Videos.”
- Select the name of your connected device (e.g., “Hard Drive 1”).
- Then navigate to the folder where you transferred your video files and press “OK” to open the corresponding media folder.
- Find the video you would like to play, and press “Play” on your Roku remote.
In addition to video content, Roku devices can also play music or display photos locally stored on your external device. You can even display your pictures in a slideshow or play an entire music album, depending on your content.
Alternate Streaming Methods
Many Android mobile devices, like Samsung Galaxy phones, have a “Smart View” feature that allows you to stream content directly to media players without Wi-Fi. Simply go to your Android phone’s settings a select “Smart View.” This will effectively allow you to stream content from your Android device to a Roku player even if you don’t have a wireless internet connection.
Additionally, Roku supports Miracast, which allows users to display media content wirelessly and without Wi-Fi; this is an excellent option if you’re traveling or visiting friends and may not have access to the internet but would still like to display content wirelessly.
Though this method is only recommended if you have an unlimited data plan (as streaming content would use a significant amount), you also have the option of using your phone as a mobile hotspot and connecting your Roku device to the hotspot network; this would allow you to access the streaming features using your phone’s cellular data instead of a Wi-Fi connection.
The options for media players that can wirelessly stream content are numerous; however, many require a Wi-Fi connection to access your favorite shows. Roku devices are no exception. However, there are still plenty of viable options allowing you to use your Roku Media Player, even if you don’t have access to Wi-Fi.
Is your Roku TV having trouble connecting to internet? Consider performing a reset; check out this article to learn more.