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MOCA Adapter Questions

Last response: in Networking
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June 19, 2012 12:26:21 AM

Hey guys.

I currently have a time Warner cable modem and a wrt54g router in an office. I am trying to get a wired connection to a bedroom that is about 40 feet away. Running cables through the hallways is out of the question and so is running them through the walls.

My questions are regarding the setup of the MOCA adapter(s). Will I be able to use a pre existing cable line in the bedroom to use with the adapter? Will I still be able to use it for TV? Would I need 1 or 2 MOCA adapters? Does the adapter connect to the cable line or do I need something else in between the line and the adapter? How is the performance while using these adapters? What brand/model makes the best adapter?

Any answers, advice, or input would be appreciated.

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June 19, 2012 12:36:35 AM

Yes, you can use pre-existing coax cable lines.

Yes, you can use TV with that same cable at the same time.

You need two adapters, one at each end. The adapters are connected to the coax cable that exits the wall. There's a separate OUT port for the TV.

I haven't used them myself, but have helped others employ them. Speeds approaching 100BaseT (100Mbps) are not uncommon.

Overall, it's a great technology and under-utilized. A lot of ppl just don't know about it. It also tends to be more expensive than wireless and powerline, which doesn't help its popularity. But sometimes it's the only viable solution. And given the performance compare to the alternatives, I think the price is justified in most cases.

Only real limitation I know of is that they won’t work w/ satellite systems, only cable.

Which brand? Most of ones I've helped ppl with were Netgear ( http://www.amazon.com/NETGEAR-MCAB1001-Coax-Ethernet-Ad... ). In fact, Cowboom has had good deals on these MoCA adapters from time to time, about $90-110 for a refurbished pair. I suggest visiting Amazon and just checking the reviews, see what others are saying.
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June 19, 2012 1:03:19 AM

Why do I need 2? Can you explain, please. And I would have thought it would be better than powerline. I have an old, maybe 4-5 year old powerline adapter but I have no way of plugging it into a wall anywhere close to the router due to a giant desk bumping up against the wall.
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June 19, 2012 1:57:45 AM

You need two for the same reason you need two powerline adapters. You're leveraging existing wiring, and so you need one at the point of entry and exit. That’s why they usually sell powerline and MoCA adapters as kits (2 units).

[router]<-- ethernet -->[moca adapter #1]<-- coax cable (running through walls) -->[moca adapter #2]<-- ethernet -->[desktop]

I agree, MoCA should be better than powerline. That was my point.
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June 19, 2012 2:07:28 AM

Hmm..is there a way I can buy a second router to pickup the wireless and then an Ethernet from the second router into my desktop? If that's possible how hard is it to setup, what is this setup called, and how does It compare to a wired connection, and how does it compare to a moca setup?
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June 19, 2012 2:15:01 AM

You mean instead of using MoCA?? Yeah, you can either buy a standalone wireless ethernet bridge (aka client bridge), or what some ppl do (myself included) is install third party firmware from dd-wrt/tomato on a compatible router and reconfigure it as a wireless ethernet bridge. Some routers also support such reconfiguration w/ their stock firmware, but you have to look for that feature specifically in the specs.

[router]<-- wireless -->[wireless ethernet bridge]<-- wire -->[desktop]

It's never going to be as fast or reliable as MoCA if only because MoCA is still a physical wire. But it is cheaper, and if range isn't an issue, and if the performance meets your needs, wireless bridging can work just fine. In fact, I'm using a wireless ethernet bridge here, as we speak, w/ my primary desktop.
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June 19, 2012 2:29:16 AM

I read somewhere though that I need to still have a wire from router A to router B which defeats the purpose if thats true. If it isn't, what router do you recommend pairing with my current one. Will this setup be sufficient for gaming?
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June 19, 2012 2:51:08 AM

I don't know what you’ve read. The whole point here is to eliminate a wire between the two routers by converting the second router into a wireless client. Then any devices on the ethernet port(s) of the second router are bridged over wireless to the primary router. Doesn't require any ethernet wiring between the routers whatsoever. Ethernet only exists between the primary router and modem, and between the second router (the bridge) and its wired clients. But between the routers, it's only wireless. Think of it as a "virtual wire" between the routers, which avoids running an actual wire between them.

As far as gaming, the problem w/ wireless is latency (and depending on the game, perhaps bandwidth too). You’re almost always better off w/ a wired connection (ethernet, powerline, or MoCA) for gaming purposes for reasons of responsiveness and reliability. What’s acceptable for browsing or downloading files is typical NOT acceptable to a gamer. A gamer wants RESPONSIVENESS, which can only be truly achieved w/ wire. Powerline or MoCA should give you the responsiveness, while MoCA should give you both responsiveness and bandwidth.

As far as providing recommendations on routers (assuming you intend to stick w/ wireless bridging), I tend to stay away from that discussion because there are so many variables involved. But if you want me to just throw out some ideas, it would take some times to gather the information.
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June 19, 2012 2:56:27 AM

Yea if you wouldn't mind throwing out some ideas that would be great, thanks.
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June 19, 2012 3:16:20 AM

Also I'm confused as to why I need two of the adapters. Doesn't the pre existing coaxial cable already have the capability of providing internet?
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June 19, 2012 3:37:28 AM

Of course the coax cable can deliver internet. But typically only at one point of entry into the home. Among the many coax ports in your home, you choose one and connect the modem to that port. The internet signal is delivered over a specific freq and location on that coax cable to your modem, separate from the TV signal.

But what do you do when you have a need for internet at two or more widely separated locations in your home/office?! That's the point. You can use the coax cable as "local ethernet wiring" from the modem (or router assuming you use a router) to other locations throughout the home/office. This has absolutely no relationship to the internet signal between the modem and the ISP. You’re using the coax cable in a completely different way to deliver local ethernet traffic throughout the rest of your home.

That said, I suppose you *could* use a second modem ($$$) and establish a second entry point for internet into your home, along with another router. In fact, there’s no limit to how many times you could do this, at least in theory. BUT, all these modems/routers would be completely independent of each other, just as it is between you and your neighbor who has his/her own modem/router.
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June 19, 2012 5:28:34 PM

FYI, found this just today, it's a small, portable wireless ethernet bridge, at a good price ($20 shipped). Can even be powered off a USB port. It's a refurb, but that's usually not a problem, esp. w/ a good retailer like Newegg. Has really good reviews on Amazon too.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Of course, it only serves a single wired device, but you can place a cheap switch behind it if you need more.
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June 19, 2012 6:01:49 PM

Thanks for the suggestions I appreciate it.
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June 26, 2012 7:45:03 AM

Best answer selected by Matt1990.
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