I dont get it about home networks

Ive just received an email from Roon inviting me to a session about setting up an optimal home network.

So, full disclosure. I spent a fair amount of my career designing network gear - both big iron for telcos and wireless access stuff .

As long as your wireless network has sufficent capacity - and that only takes a basic wifi router and some extenders if you have a huge house - then you’re set. You don’t have to worry about stuff like jitter. To be honest, your endpoints have the buffering required and you dont need a stratum 3 clock for audio. And let’s be clear - IP is packetized, so any minor jitter in the phy fades into compared to gaps between packets.

It just feels like we’re trying to create issues where none exist. Its more productive to focus in the analog rather than digital domain. And even there, i truly doubt whether we need to spenf big bucks on cables. Spend your money on a decent amp and good speakers.


The session has nothing do do with that sort of thing. It’s about setting up a reliable home network.

If you read the #support threads, you’ll soon come to realize that many of the problems people experience are related to networking.


Okay. My point is that for most people, you just need to use the router your ISP installed for you. If it isnt working properly, call your ISP and give them hell. Roon doesnt require anything special from a network perspective. Its not like you’re streaming 8k video.

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Ive seen posts asking about things like whether you should use separate network switches. If it makes you feel good, go for it. But theres no technical reason a bog-standard home network wont work fine.

You must be very lucky with your ISP, WiFi neighborhood, and router. In the rest of the world:

  • “call your ISP and give them hell” Have you tried to work with Xfiniti (who took 3 months, many calls, and eventually an effective tweet to get them to fix a flaky cable drop)
  • Congested WiFi in dense urban area, causing packet drop bursts? (measured)
  • Buggy IGMP snooping in routers/switches making Roon device discovery fail

I could go on, but this is a good small sample.

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Get the point about the faulty cable drop. But the only way you can get that fixed is to shout at your ISP, which is what I said. My ISP uses the same cable modem/router as Xfinity, and I’ve never had any IGMP issues. And I am in a dense urban area.

Also on Xfinity, since they connect over your home wifi network from the modem to the set top box, any wifi interference causing packet loss would affect your tv picture as least as much as a low bandwidth audio stream. So unless your picture is breaking up, packet loss isnt your issue i suspect. And if it is breaking up - its time to call your ISP.

I don’t know, but I think probably the number one problem people have with Roon is their home network.


What’s TV? :rofl: I don’t have any Xfinity gear, all my own (modem, router, mesh WiFi APs) that I configure and manage. When WFH was at its height, my WiFi neighborhood was such a mess to the point that I had to wire even my work laptop to have good video call quality. I measured packet loss bursts at 5-10% during peak working hours.

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Sorry, but none of this is relevant when your internet access comes over rural cell phone networks or other distribution mechanisms. For someone who claims to have worked in networking all their career, you seem to have a pretty one-dimensional view of this as it pertains to getting Roon to work. I know not much about networking but what you are saying is, basically, bulls))t. Many of us have helped Roon users with issues that directly relate to their network settings.

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Some people are looking at streaming DSD1024 and 1.5Mhz PCM. That’s pushing into video territory.

No matter how good your personal network gear is the ISP has the last say. My ISP insists that the fibre modem MUST feed their own router (for diagnostic access) before it can be passed to your own router for distribution and WiFi. Those routers are probably bought in bulk and may be of dubious quality.

That said I have had the same equipment for over 6 years since fibre was installed with only a few minor outages. Most outages are related to power outages on the infrastructure (presumably) switches.

I do agree with @Jim_F , I follow this forum most days and in general the majority of Roon complaints (except feature issues) centre around networking issues. It seems many people have fancy networks where as the OP says a bog standard setup is all that’s needed. Along with WIRE not WiFi :smiling_imp:


This is sort of advice that normal users need and hopefully is covered on the webcasts

I don’t quite get your point on rural internet access. Absolutely agree that internet access in rural areas can be challenging, but that’s nothing to do with how you set up your home network, which is what we are talking about here.

You started the thread with, “I don’t get it about home networks.”. A few have tried to explain why it matters, but you still don’t get it. Maybe try reading the networking best practices guide.

Or view the last webcast… there’s a link somewhere on the forum.

Martin, my point was that unless you have a large house, using a single router without additional APs etc. should be enough and the setup should be very easy. Thats the first thing that the guide says as well.

And my subsequent responses made two points. First, if you are having issues, its probably not specific to Roon. Second, that problems with things like rural internet access or faulty cable drops arent something you can fix by tuning your home network - your ISP is the only one who can fix this. I dont think this demonstrates an ongoing lack of understanding.

All I’m saying is that most people should be able to go with a standard setup. The email from Roon seemed to imply that to use Roon you need to focus on building a top-notch home network. Heres a quote from the email.

“Our technical support team often receives questions about the optimal network setup for Roon. In this advanced webinar, we will outline some important networking factors to consider to ensure you are getting the best out of your Roon experience.”

If it had said that some people do experience issues, and if you’re one of them, this webinar is for you. But, it says you need a optimal network setup to get the most out of Roon. That just isn’t true. It just has to work, which for many people just means using the modem/router from your ISP.

Hope that clarifies.

Except that Roon seemingly demands more from your home network. I suspect that’s due to their desire to group endpoints and synchronize play across different devices on the LAN, using your LAN instead of some built-in proprietary networking as some other systems do.

Totally agree with that.

As you quoted: “Our technical support team often receives questions about the optimal network setup for Roon.”

IMHO this is absolutely not the same.

People also often ask about optimal (audio) settings for <insert name of arbitrary endpoint>, which is also not the same as: You need an optimal endpoint to use Roon. Or what is the optimal/best Roon Core device, the optimal OS to run Roon Server, … ? All without a definitive answer. In the end, people are free to chose from the available options, it just has to work.
All the available options (different products, device settings, options and settings in Roon) seem to be what confuses many people in the end. Not everyone is a network/audio (device) engineer and the internet is full of outdated, questionable, voodoo or snake oil tuning and tweaking tips. Yes, helpful and good tips are also out there, but how should the unknowing distinguish one from the other?

One of the most seen network setup error on the forum is probably adding additional WiFi devices configured in router mode instead of AP/bridge mode, thus creating new networks. So a webinar that explains some important basic stuff about networking is probably not a bad idea?

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I don’t think they imply this at all. Optimal can apply to any network. I remind you that your opening was about jitter and clocks. This has nothing to do with networking, which is asynchronous anyway, and has doesn’t affect timing.

Anyway. I’ve stated my opinion, and have nothing more to add.

Hi Martin,

Lets just hands and walk away friends. :grin:

I agree with you that most networking is asynchronous. I mentioned jitter because ive seen conversations here about it an it doesnt make sense to me.

The stratum 3 clock reference was a bit of hyperbole. Older carrier optical networking technologies such as SONET/SDH had synchronous payload mapping and required clock distribution. New technologies such as OTN have asynchronous mapping and dont need an extenal clock. But you’re not likely to find either in a home network.

Also, GbE has an option to recover clock from the incoming signal at the PHY (presumably using a PLL) to synchronize devices on the network. This is supposed to improve performance as I understand it. But of course, its not an external clock.