How to Limit Bandwidth Usage on Your Roku

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Does streaming video on your Roku make the Internet unusable for everyone else in the house? Are you up against your ISP’s bandwidth cap, and want to limit data usage? If so, you’ve probably browsed the Roku’s settings looking for a bandwidth cap, and found nothing.

But the Roku does offer a system-wide cap on bandwidth usage: it’s just a little hidden. On your Roku remote, you need to press a particular series of buttons in the right order. You need to press:

  • The Home button five times.
  • The Rewind button three times.
  • And finally, the Fast Forward button two times.

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Press these buttons in order and you’ll be taken to the “Bit Rate Override” screen, a hidden panel that lets you set bandwidth limits on your Roku.

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Note that, by setting a limit, you are putting a ceiling on how good your streaming videos will look. Many video sites can offer 720p content with a cap of 3.5 megabits per second, the highest cap offered here. That’s not full HD, but also isn’t awful. Go much lower than 3.5mbps, however, and your videos will likely be offered at SD or worse.

Of course, this is the entire point of a bandwidth limit. Your videos won’t look as great, but they’ll also clog up your “tubes” a lot less. If that trade-off is worth it to you, this hidden screen can help you out, even if you only use it toward the end of the month, when you’re up against your bandwidth allowance.

Justin Pot is a staff writer for How-To Geek, and a technology enthusiast who lives in Hillsboro, Oregon. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, if you want. You don't have to.