Does Roku Need DSL to Work?

By Julius Vandersteen

If you want to watch TV shows and movies over the Internet on your TV set with a Roku, the device does not require a DSL Internet connection to work. You can also use high-speed Internet service provided by a cable company. Roku devices can also play media files without an Internet connection by reading them from a USB drive.

Using Roku

A Roku device connects to your computer to deliver streaming media over the Internet. Roku recommends that you use a minimum connection speed of 1.5 Mbps for standard definition video, and at least 3.0 Mbps for high definition videos. You can play streaming music, TV shows and movies from sites such as Netflix, Hulu and Pandora.


If you have a DSL connection for your Internet, you can plug the DSL cable into a router to connect it to your home network. Then you connect an ethernet cable from your router to the ethernet port on the back of the Roku. The device also can connect to your network wirelessly if you enable Wi-Fi


The Roku device requires a high-speed Internet connection, which means you can use it with a cable Internet connection as well as DSL. You can either connect an ethernet cable from your router to the Roku device, or enable a Wi-Fi connection between the Roku device and your network.

USB Flash Drive

When your Internet connection is down, you cannot stream audio and video to your Roku, but you can still use the device to play media files on your TV. Insert a USB flash drive into a USB port on your computer. Copy videos and audio files from your computer to the USB flash drive, remove it from the computer, and then plug the flash drive into the USB port on the back of the Roku. You can then use the Roku to browse and play files from the flash drive on your TV.