DSL Bandwidth Requirements for Roku


This is just my own experience but might be helpful for others in a similar scenario For the first week of using Roku my Netflix instant movies ran intermittently. After about every five minutes the screen would pause and start re-buffering. It was completely unwatchable.

My connection was AT&T DSL, advertised as 1.5Mb/s which costs about $35/month.  I checked with Roku (online tech support). For my model of ROKU 1.5Mb/s was considered the minimum requirement.

Next I ran speedtest.net , a website that provides a free measurement of internet speed in both directions. Speedtest reported 1.25 Mb/s download speed. Aha! AT&T was cheating me I thought. I’ll just call and complain and they’ll quickly do something to give me my 1.5 Mb. WRONG! AT&T says for this reason and that reason I’m never guaranteed to get the “maximum” rate of 1.5 Mb.  The quickest and easiest solution was to upgrade: $40/Month for 3.0 Mb/s.So far that has done the trick. All my Netflix Instant movies now stream glitch-free.


1. I eventually will dump AT&T and switch to  Time Warner Cable. TWC is a much better company, with much better service, and provides much for value in terms of Mb/$ than AT&T. Cable modems can deliver a lot more than old-fashioned DSL.

2.  Even after the upgrade, speedtest.net still reports I’m getting  only slightly better than the 1.25 Mb/s I had before.  I’m guessing the Netflix path to my ROKU is slightly different than the speedtest path.

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