Your Digital Media Has Never Looked So Good

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Workaround: Forcing Roku to connect with no Internet access.

Thu Aug 08, 2019 12:15 pm

I have seen posts where people want to connect their Roku to a Wifi network when the Wifi network does not have Internet access. 
The problem they experience is that Roku 'tests' the Wifi connection and fails the part of the test where it cannot connect to the Internet (errorcode = 9) and thus the Roku refuses to save the WIFI configuration.

OK, so why do people want to connect to their WIFI network which is NOT connected to the Internet?
A) Some people want to set up a Camping/RV/Trailer WIFI router to access movies stored on a portable NAS server or Laptop/PLEX media streaming server.
B) Some people have 2 wireless networks, one with Internet access and one with no internet access. Their non-internet WIFI network might have personal/private content stored on it which they don't want Internet hackers to get to. They want to be able to switch between these 2 WIFI networks.
C) Some people might temporarily lose their Internet access (such as power outage, or upstream internet problems at their ISP), then have Roku 'test' their WIFI connection to then have Roku fail the Internet portion of the test and thus Roku refuses (error code = 9) to save the WIFI connection information.

Overall, I hope Roku changes the policy/design of refusing to save the WIFI config when there is no Internet access.  Please, give users the choice of connecting even though the internet-portion of the test failed !!

For now, I have worked around this.  

My scenario was "A".  I wanted to connect to WIFI router in my RV and stream movies stored on a portable NAS server when camping (sometimes rain/weather can trap you inside the RV and keep you away from the great outdoors).

To work around it, I used an "Ethernet to Wireless" bridge device, and my cellphone's WIFI hotspot feature.  You can search the Internet for a cheap "Ethernet to Wireless Bridge" to buy if you don't have an old one laying around.

1) In my Camper/RV/Trailer, I have a WIFI router setup. 
2) I also had an old "Linksys WET11" ethernet-to-wireless bridge device sitting around (from the days of when my Xbox/Playstation/Laptop had an Ethernet jack but no WIFI built-in).
3) I then used my Laptop to configure the WET11 
   3A) I used an Ethernet cable to connect the WET11 to my Laptop.
   3B) I started the WIFI Hotspot feature of my cellphone
   3C) I then used my laptop to 'admin' the WET11 device and configured the WET11 to connect to my cellphone's Hotspot/WIFI network.
4) I then used the Ethernet cable to connect the WET11 to the "INTERNET" port of the WIFI router in my RV/Camper.
5) I then connected the ROKU to my RV/Camper WIFI network.  The ROKU can now (temporarily, successfully) connect to the Internet, so it now saves the RV/Camper WIFI network config.
6) I then turned off the WIFI Hotspot feature of my cellphone, and disconnected the WET11 from the RV/Camper router and stored the WET11 in a drawer/cabinet of my RV/Camper (if in case I might need it in the future, though so far I have not).

At this point, my ROKU device now successfully connects to and uses my RV/Camper WIFI network, though my WIFI network does NOT have internet access. My Roku device can connect to the portable NAS server which I can move between my RV and my home as needed.  As long as I don't re-test the Roku network connection, the Roku will stay configured to use my RV/Camper WIFI network.

Note: I keep the WET11 device stored in a cabinet/drawer of my RV/Camper so that if someday ROKU was to re-test the Internet connection (or if I temporarily move the ROKU device into my home and connect it to my home WIFI network) that I can then later re-move the ROKU back into my RV/Camper, then I can quickly re-connect the WET11 to my RV/Camper WIFI router and turn on my cellphone hotspot again to successfully reconfigure/retest the ROKU device to connect (again) to my Camper/RV's WIFI network again.

HappyCamping !
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Joined: Sun Mar 10, 2019 12:34 pm

Re: Workaround: Forcing Roku to connect with no Internet access.

Fri Aug 09, 2019 8:50 am

I pulled my hair out with this as well, so I know the frustration.  I settled for miracast-ing to ROKU from my Android device.  This seemed to work, further testing is in order to confirm.

If ROKU chimps out with no internet then DLNA using Roku Media Player might become an issue for me.
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Re: Workaround: Forcing Roku to connect with no Internet access.

Fri Aug 09, 2019 9:22 am

If you set your Plex Server's Security (Network) to:
'Preferred' instead of 'Required'
and the Plex App to:
'Fallback to insecure connections on Local Network Only'
The occasional internet outage is survivable.

For NO Internet - not sure how you'd go about initializing everything, but if you set the Plex Server Security to:
and the Plex App to:
'Always' (blablabla)

Plex insists that will work, but I've never tried it. Even if it does work your Roku is going to be raising heck the whole time 'cause you got no internet, but try to ignore it, if you can.

The goal, ultimately, is to get Plex working and get in that app. Once in, you'll never have to come out again 'cause the 'bounce to Roku Home' never triggers and you'll never have to see Roku Home again - unless the power goes out.... battery backup... get one (or three).

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