There are many different models of Roku devices available, and they all serve the function of connecting to the Internet so that you can stream movies from services like Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime and more.
So if you intend to use your Roku to watch movies and TV shows from services like those, then you are going to need to have an Internet connection that you can access, plus a router that allows you to share that Internet connection with multiple devices.
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The majority of the Roku models that are currently available will only allow you to connect to your network wirelessly. So if you purchase one of the Roku models that only offers a wireless connection option, then you will need to have a wireless router connected to your modem. An example of a wireless router that you could use is this Netgear N600 (view on Amazon). The nice thing about setting up a wireless network in your home is that other wireless devices, like laptops, tablets and cell phones, will also be able to connect to that network and share the Internet connection. You can even configure the wireless router with a password so that only people with whom you share that password can connect to the network.
But while every Roku device can connect to a wireless network, there are a couple of models that have an ethernet port that allows you to connect to the Internet with a wired connection. The image below shows the back of the Roku 3, and the highlighted port is the ethernet port to which you can connect an ethernet cable. Note that you will need to have a long enough ethernet cable to connect from your router to the back of the Roku. The chart below shows the connection options available on each of the Roku models that are currently sold by Amazon.
Wired Internet Connection
Wireless Internet Connection
|Roku LT (Amazon)|
|Roku 1 (Amazon)|
|Roku 2 (Amazon)|
|Roku 3 (Amazon)|
|Roku HD (Amazon)|
|Roku 2 XD (Amazon)|
|Roku 2 XS (Amazon)|
So you certainly have options available that will allow you to integrate the Roku to your home network setup, regardless of the wired or wireless nature of that network. But all of the devices listed above can connect to a wireless network, and the setup process of connecting wirelessly will only take a couple of minutes during the initial setup of the device.
Having trouble choosing between a Roku 1 and a Roku LT? Our Roku 1 vs. Roku LT article highlights the key differences between those devices to help you make your decision.
Matthew Burleigh has been writing tech tutorials since 2008. His writing has appeared on dozens of different websites and been read over 50 million times.
After receiving his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Computer Science he spent several years working in IT management for small businesses. However, he now works full time writing content online and creating websites.
His main writing topics include iPhones, Microsoft Office, Google Apps, Android, and Photoshop, but he has also written about many other tech topics as well.