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Run Ethernet Over Your Coax TV Cable

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 28 comments

This week D-Link announced a new product called the DXN-221, which allows users to run Ethernet over existing coax cabling throughout their homes.

The product is aimed at users who prefer to run hardwired networking through the home, primarily for speed and security. In this instance, running CAT6 cabling through the home, especially one that's not already pre-wired, could be both troublesome and ugly. Most homes however, have coax cabling wired throughout for TV use and for the most part, the bandwidth available goes largely untapped.

With D-Link's new DXN-221, customers hook the node up to an existing Ethernet connection in one end of the house, and then at the other end, where it would be too troublesome to run Ethernet cabling to, you could attach the other DXN-221 node to a coax outlet. In most instances however, customers facing this situation have already resorted to using Wi-Fi for connecting their equipment as most computers and laptops these days ship with Wi-Fi connectivity.

Still, there are those who insist on wired speeds and security. However, because you're using coax cabling, transfer speeds will be limited to roughly 225 Mbit/sec. Although this is theoretically faster than 100 Mbit/sec. Fast Ethernet, it's nowhere near gigabit Ethernet speeds.

We think most people would settle for 802.11n instead of plunking more money down to run cabling over a coaxial connection.

However, if you're still interested, D-Link is selling the DXN-221 kit directly for $156 but retail cost is $239.

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  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , April 21, 2009 7:02 PM
    I wonder if it can be used to get free cable internet... lol.
    I see no benefit of connecting to another computer through coax. I rather see a TV signal going over ethernet...
    An uncle of min build his house with an eye on upcoming technology.
    He build ethernet cables in his walls that could be used for anything; including sending audio signals to an amplified monitor, or perhaps getting cable/sattelite signals going through them.
  • 0 Hide
    tenor77 , April 21, 2009 7:14 PM
    Coax is MUCH cheaper. Not to mention a whole lot easier to wire as those damn clips break so easily. Yes you can put a new connector on but it's a whole lot easier with coax.
  • 10 Hide
    zaratustra06 , April 21, 2009 7:18 PM
    OMG it's 1992
  • 1 Hide
    tayb , April 21, 2009 7:27 PM
    I use the power outlet ethernet solution.
  • 2 Hide
    njalterio , April 21, 2009 7:31 PM
    No, coax is way more expensive. $150 bucks for that thing?

    I picked up a 100 ft. ethernet cable from newegg for $15 including shipping. Had no problems running the cable (just sent it along the same path as the coax cable I already had).
  • 0 Hide
    joex444 , April 21, 2009 7:45 PM
    Pricing scheme fail.

    For $150, I could easily live with a cable run along the edge of the floor. Make this cost about the same as WiFi, and now you have an interesting product. The 225Mbps is attractive, in so far as the ports on the device are actually GbE capable but limited to the 225Mbps by use of coax. If they are simple 100Mbps ports, this is less alluring but still a lot better than the WiFi transfer speeds. (I stream and copy data across the network fairly frequently, so this is just as important as the 12/16Mbps Internet connection which is about all WiFi is capable of doing).
  • 0 Hide
    hellwig , April 21, 2009 8:02 PM
    Unused bandwidth? How well does this device work with digital TV, on demand service, cable internet, and cable phones? I wasn't aware your modern cable line had that much free bandwidth.

    Do I risk my network traffic being broadcast out of my house, to the local switch box, and back into my neighbors homes?
  • 1 Hide
    TheViper , April 21, 2009 8:18 PM
    hellwigUnused bandwidth? How well does this device work with digital TV, on demand service, cable internet, and cable phones? I wasn't aware your modern cable line had that much free bandwidth.Do I risk my network traffic being broadcast out of my house, to the local switch box, and back into my neighbors homes?

    Coaxial cable has several hundred Mhz of bandwidth. Each cable channel (the Internet is also treated like a channel) is carried over just 6 Mhz each. Plenty of room to work with.
  • 1 Hide
    bourgeoisdude , April 21, 2009 8:22 PM
    zaratustra06OMG it's 1992


    Yeah, back to thinnet...
  • 0 Hide
    Shadow703793 , April 21, 2009 8:49 PM
    njalterioNo, coax is way more expensive. $150 bucks for that thing?I picked up a 100 ft. ethernet cable from newegg for $15 including shipping. Had no problems running the cable (just sent it along the same path as the coax cable I already had).

    +1. Same thing I did. I spent about $60-70 (including switch, crimps,etc). I have CAT 5 in my entire house, except the kitchen.
  • 0 Hide
    maigo , April 21, 2009 9:42 PM
    How is a STIFF peace of cable any better than 1gig over cat5?
  • 0 Hide
    DuncanHynes , April 21, 2009 9:43 PM
    How many splitters could this run through? No it won't give you 'free' internet over cable, just a different way to modulate the signal normally sent over ethernet. But with how people butcher an F-connector many are going to return this and or give it bad reviews, so good luck D-link, just make it cheaper.
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , April 21, 2009 9:48 PM
    This would help me, except for the price of admission...for that, I'd rather just get a super-long Ethernet cable and wire it to my desktop.
  • 0 Hide
    norbs , April 21, 2009 10:53 PM
    You know i wonder if this could be used to create a network between two homes in the same neighborhood. That would be really nice, imaging going in on an expensive internet package with some neighbors and then splitting it using this method.

    Or if you got some friends you could just make your own little network without using VPN.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , April 21, 2009 10:53 PM
    I think this is a good idea for people in apartments that need more stable and higher bandwidth than wireless but can't run Ethernet in the walls and do not want an unsightly Ethernet cable running across the floor. A similar product by netgear was reviewed by small net builder and was found to work great for transferring hidef videos. In that review they said it did much better than Ethernet over power lines and wireless. Also, if it is like the netgear, which I am sure it is in this standpoint, it should be able to go through any number of splitters. It just can't go through amplifiers because of the obvious attenuation reasons. I think this will have a nitch market. I think the two real down falls of the product are lack of gigabit port and price. If it is for a nitch market then the lack of gigabit ethernet is the bigger set back and for the price it should have one.
  • 0 Hide
    norbs , April 21, 2009 10:58 PM
    Wow it's like 90% negative comments, is everyone on this site always unhappy?
  • 0 Hide
    eagles453809 , April 21, 2009 11:20 PM
    no...we just say our opinions on stupid products..thats all.
  • 0 Hide
    michaelahess , April 21, 2009 11:55 PM
    Yup, this is stupid. Cat5/6 is far superior for LAN work. Power and Coax just don't have reliable enough consumer grade equipment to handle speeds over 100Mb.

    Coax has far more bandwidth capability than Cat6, but it's far more expensive to utilize.

    BTW, if you hunt around you can get good quality Cat6 for under $70 for a thousand feet. Cat5 should run about $40 for a thousand feet. Unless you need Phlenum rated....
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , April 21, 2009 11:57 PM
    I have been doing this for some time with Time Warner.
  • 0 Hide
    norbs , April 22, 2009 4:05 AM
    michaelahessYup, this is stupid. Cat5/6 is far superior for LAN work. Power and Coax just don't have reliable enough consumer grade equipment to handle speeds over 100Mb.Coax has far more bandwidth capability than Cat6, but it's far more expensive to utilize.BTW, if you hunt around you can get good quality Cat6 for under $70 for a thousand feet. Cat5 should run about $40 for a thousand feet. Unless you need Phlenum rated....


    OK, i dont think you get the idea behind this, it's not made so you run new coax, it's made so you can use existing coax in your home and not have to run new wires for your home network.
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