Wifi support in ROCK

There are a couple of topics already concerning wifi support in Rock. I remember reading in one of them that support of wifi is not a feature, because of possible stability issues. I would like to request to reconsider this decission. 90% of the time I’m using Roon, I’m listening to Qobuz. The bottleneck in the chain is the internet connection, and not my wifi. And besides an occasional outage of Qobuz, I’ve had no problems streaming music. So in practice, the stability of wifi is just fine for music listening purposes.

It would be easy enough to do: there are ready made packages with wifi drivers for Linux. And for users who need a non-free drive, you could do the same trick as with ffmpeg: Let users download the driver from the internet and upload it to a shared folder on Rock (obviously, this would mean that only during install rock needs to be connected via ethernet).

Please add wifi support.


Yep. No Wifi support is like stone-age these days.

There is WiFi support in ROCK for some NUC generations, Gen 7 for example. Others may require a USB WIFI dongle.

But, there is a good reason “everyone” is advising against using WiFi for connecting your Core…

What is it? It seems to work just fine now that I have connected it to my wifi mesh satellite. So I’m using wifi without rock knowing it. On my other endpoint this is not possible (or I have to buy another satellite). Therefore I would really appreciate wifi support in Rock.

Well, the Core needs to have good full duplex connectivity, for recieving streams from online sources and simultaneously distributing these streams, perhaps manipulated, to one or more endpoints on your network.
ROCK is also designed to be an appliance for a specific service, which means it needs a scope of the service and hardware to fulfill that.
I realize you are using your ROCK install for a different purpose, where WLAN connectivity would be less of an issue but you have the option of using a myriad of other solutions that would fulfill your needs.

Your request would fulfill your needs but what are the consequenses for those that use ROCK within it’s specs? More updates, more issues with drivers, less developer time spent on the bigger goals set up by the Roon team and user requests?

Strange. I didn’t know that Roon is not designed for WiFi networking. I connect to my NUC only via WiFi from the beginning and the NUC itself connects to the Internet also via WiFi. I haven’t used LAN for more than 10 years in my home. Maybe the difference is, that the NUC plays the Music directly and I very seldom stream to my iPhone or iPad. I remember some hiccups in the corner of a room whereas using Tidal directly on device had no problem. Maybe there should be an option to stream with less quality or compression like Airplay.

Roon recommends that your Roon core device be connected to your router using ethernet. Even if you don’t stream from Tidal or Qobux, Roon downloads metadata for all of your music, local or streaming, and sends that data from your router to your Roon core. When you play music, local or streamed, Roon sends the music file back to your router. From the router, the music is sent via ethernet or WIFI to your Roon end-point. As you can see, there is a lot of traffic moving from your router to your core and back to your router. In many cases, people use WIFI to send music from the router to the end-point. Also, most Roon control devices, but not all, use WIFI.

WiFi for a server is just asking for trouble in the majority of situations. WiFi is not a full duplex networking protocol, only one device at a time gets airtime on any one access point. If your using a Roon core and streaming to other endpoints then they are all fighting for that airtime as well as all your neighbours WiFi devices. This also results in all devices trying to hog the bandwidth the access point has available to it. The more WiFi in your area the worse yours becomes unless you plan it correctly and take into consideration neighbouring WiFi and adjusting channels accordingly.

Mesh can help but only is effective if it has a wired backhaul to the router and itself not using wireless between each hub. Having a fast internet means nothing in these situations it’s all down to the bandwidth your wireless can put out at once.

As a server Roon is pulling data and pushing data all the time especially if using streaming services. In a poorly designed WiFi network (most home wifi) and a heavy utilized area with lots of other WiFi then this can all fall apart very quickly, you get dropouts, skipped songs , lost control and endpoints dropping off. If your just using a single device then it’s only pulling so less stress. Add multiple zones and then your WiFi bandwidth starts to deteoriate. Most poor playback situations with Roon stem from using WiFi on the core.


I still fail to see the issue: yes, it would require additional effort from the Roon team to add support for the wifi drivers. However, these are ready made linux packages, they should only be kept up to date, so this would hardly be an excuse not to ship other features.

I’m in an area which is quite crowded with wifi networks. I have a mesh network with a router and two satellites: one connected to the router using ethernet, one wireless. My nas is connected via ethernet to my router and I had a small server connected to the wirelessly connected satellite. A plex server ran on my small server. It was able to, without skips or hiccups, show movies on different endpoints, even when it had to get the media files from the nas via wifi, and push the stream to the endpoint via wifi. Surely this required a larger bandwidth than a music stream, even when uncompressed?

Anyway, I’d like to see this feature, that’s why I put forward this feature request. Technically it is possible. I’m hoping it will realised.

1 Like

I believe Wi-Fi 6/ax is full duplex

So true. My rule of thumb is that if it moves around then it gets a wireless connection. If it stays put (desktops, servers, printers, etc) then It gets a wire leash to help hold it in place.

All bets are off for the awful world of IOT though.

1 Like