MoCA Ethernet over Coax Cable – It’s not just for TV anymore!

Actiontec ECB2500C

Actiontec ECB2500C

Thanks to the Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA), a standard is emerging to enable devices such as set-top boxes, computers, and smart TV’s to communicate with each other and network over the existing Coaxial cable (Cable TV Wire) already in the walls of most homes and offices. It does not matter if the Coax wire is in use to distribute TV service from a cable company, Verizon FiOS, or Over-the-Are Free Broadcast DTV or not in use at all and just sitting there.

Some background:   Wi-Fi® enabled Internet Routers in many homes and small offices have replaced the need to run classic network data cables meeting the Cat 5e or Cat6 standard.  Unfortunately, Wi-Fi® is susceptible to interference. traffic jams and distance/range limitations.  There are only so many channels in which Wi-Fi® can operate and in densely populated areas during peak times, Wi-Fi® can experience a kind of traffic jam similar to the Long Island Expressway at rush hour.  In other cases, the WiFi signal is just not strong enough to reach to every corner of the home or office.

When running new data network cabling is not possible, making the Cable TV wire already in your home or offices do double duty may be your best option. It is MoCA to the rescue to enable you to run Ethernet over the Coax wire already in every room.

For example:  MoCA enabled devices, such as the FiOS Internet Routers, already serve up IP network addresses to the FiOS Set-top boxes over Coax.  (This is how your FiOS set-top boxes get Guide and Widget information and their Internet functionality.)  In fact, the new TiVo Premiere devices are MoCA capable and can use the Coax for their Ethernet/Internet connection instead of traditional network data cabling.

By adding a MoCA Network Adapter, to which you can connect any standard Ethernet enabled device such top computers, notebooks, smart TV’s, media streaming devices (like AppleTV or Internet Radio), and Blu-ray players, you now have a rock-solid network connection to your FiOS Internet Router.

(By standard Ethernet device, I am referring to any device that has an RJ-45 female jack and uses a standard male/mail RJ-45 Cat5e or Cat6 data patch cable to connect to a wired network.  And, a MoCA Network Adapter has a single Ethernet port and Coax Connection to bridge the two different technologies.)

You are probably thinking, “But I don’t have FiOS.  I have Cablevision, Comcast or some other CATV provider.”  Not an issue. Just add one additional MoCA Network adapter to the Coax cable that feeds your Cable Modem.  Then connect the Ethernet Port on the Adapter to one of the Jacks on your Internet Router.  You have just IP enabled your Coax to serve up Ethernet over Coax to every room in your home or office.  By adding additional MoCA Ethernet over Coax adapters anywhere you have Coax cable you can immediately get “hard wired” network stability and performance to share files between devices or access the Internet.

Privacy Note:  It is important that if you are using MoCA Network Adapters connected to Coax that is also delivering your TV, Internet or Phone Service from outside your home or office, that you use a MoCA “Point of Entry” Filter where the Coax first enters your premises.  This would usually be where the grounding block is installed.  The MoCA Point of Entry filter keeps the IP address information that is being distributed across your Coax INSIDE your home or office.  Otherwise anyone adding a MoCA Network Adapter could access your network.

Technical Note:  The most popular brand and widely available MoCA Network Adapter is from Actiontec.  It is a model ECB2500C or ECB2200V.  The models are functionally identical except the V suffix indicates a Verizon Logo on the unit.  They are available as a single unit or as a pair.  Visit the Actiontec Site here: http://bit.ly/ZqQ52y

Sales Note:  At the time of this writing, TiVo is selling the Actiontec MoCA Network Adapter for $49.99 which is significantly less than the normal price of $79. TiVo also sells the MoCA Point of Entry Filter for $8.99.  Visit the TiVo store here: http://www.tivo.com/products/tivo-accessories/index.html

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