How to Hardwire Your Internet EVEN WITHOUT Ethernet Wiring in Your House!


Even though Wi-Fi is better than ever these
days, it will never be as good and reliable as a regular old hardwired cable. But not every house or apartment has ethernet
cabling installed, so you may be forced to use Wi-Fi. That may not be a problem if you have a very
strong Wi-Fi signal, and your router is centrally located. But if it’s not, you have to choose between
using a poor wifi connection, or somehow running a long ethernet cable across the home on the
floor, or running it through the walls or vents or something. But what if there was another way… such as using existing, non-ethernet wiring
in your house, to carry the internet signal instead of an actual cat5 or cat6 ethernet
cable. Turns out, YOU CAN! And with a few different methods actually. In this video we’ll be talking about two that
I’m aware of. I’ll go over how they work, and we’ll also
be testing them out to see how WELL they actually work. The first is called “MoCA”, which stands for
“Multimedia over Coax”. This technology allows you to run an ethernet
data signal over coaxal cable lines. The adapters, which you put one on each side
of the coax line, have both coax and ethernet ports on them. So you take an ethernet cable from your router
into one adapter, then attach it to the coax cable, then on the other side, plug your computer
into the other adapter just like you would an ethernet wall jack. And you can actually use this even if you
are already using the coax cable for your TV; which is why there are two coax plugs
on each adapter. So clearly the advantage here is that pretty
much every house and apartment will have coax cables run to many rooms, even if they don’t
have ethernet. And if your coax network is all connected
together, you should be able to add more than just two MoCA adapters, and they can all talk
to eachother, which is nice, so it doesn’t have to be just a direct line. Now MOCA claims to be able to carry gigabit
speeds, but of course we’ll test that out to see if it’s true. The other technology we can cover is called
“PowerLine”. Which literally uses your electrical wiring
in your home to carry an ethernet data signal between adapters. We’ll get into how this actually works in
a bit, but the cool thing about this is you can theoretically plug these adapters into
any AC plugs in your home, even on different circuits, and it will still carry the signal. And you aren’t even limited to just two adapters,
in fact depending on the model you get, you can have up to 64 nodes! Now some brands claim powerline can also handle
up to gigabit speeds, depending on conditions, but again, we’ll have to see if that holds
up. So before we get to testing the speeds of
everything, let’s go over how each works exactly. And we can begin with MoCA. There are actually different generations of
MoCA technology with different speeds. The current latest version you can buy is
called “MoCA 2.0 Bonded”, which has a theoretical max throughput of 1000 Mbps. And there’s actually an even newer version,
MoCA 2.5, which can do up to 2500 Mbps, but apparently is only available to ISPs, so us
regular consumers can’t buy it yet for some stupid reason. Anyway, the way MoCA works shouldn’t come
as a surprise, since ISPs have been using coaxal lines coming into your house for internet
for years, so the idea is the same. You have a coax cable capable of carrying
large amounts of data, whether that be an analog TV signal or digial signal, and we
simply install 2 adapters that are cable of transmitting data over that kind of cable,
and then translate it onto an ethernet cable to continue on. And coax cables carry data using high frequency
electrical signals just like ethernet cables, just using less copper connections. A coax cable technically has two “wires” inside,
one in the center, and one on outside, whereas an ethernet cable actually has eight. When we go to install the MoCA adapters, how
we do it will depend on whether you’re already using the coax cable for TV or not. If not, it’s really dead simple, on one end
of the coax cable, which is probably a wall outlet, you attach the cable to the “coax
in” on the adapter, and the ethernet to your first ethernet device like your computer,
or even a wifi extender. On the other end, which might go to a cable
cabinet, you do the same thing, and attach the ethernet plug from the adapter into your
router. Then, that’s it, you have a hardwire connection. If you already using your Coax cables for
TV, the setup is a bit different. In that case, the TV coax signal goes through
your house kind of like the branches on a tree, with the incoming signal from the cable
company coming in one wire, and then being split to different floors and rooms, and may
be split multiple times. But, with MoCA you don’t actually need the
connection to be direct, it should work through splits in your network, and on different “branches”. So what you do in this case is go to whatever
rooms you want for the ethernet outputs, and first plug the coax cable that’s in use into
the “Coax” in, and another cable from the “TV Out” connection, and connect it to where
it was originally. So basically just putting this adapter in
the middle. Also keep in mind though these MoCA adapters
apparently won’t work if you are using them with Satellite TV service because they use
the same frequencies on the coax as these adapters. Now onto PowerLine, which is actually even
easier to set up, but we’ll have to see later if it works as well. Literally all you have to do with these is
plug two of these into two different AC outlets, and press the pair button on both, and they’ll
be connected. Two things to keep in mind are that you can’t
plug these into a powerstrip, because they will filter out the modulations used to carry
the data, and also these adapters will work better if they are connected on the same circuit,
which you can determine by looking at your circuit breaker. How these Powerline adapters work is they
modify the the eletrical signal going through the house. Typical AC electricity in your home will be
either 60 or 50 Hz depending on your country. Whereas these powerline adapters combine that
with a frequency anywhere from 2 to 100 Megahertz, using the original AC frequency as a carrier
signal. So visually that might look like the signal
going from this, to this, where the data signal is hidden within the big main signal. Alright so now that we know how MoCA and Powerline
are going to work, let’s go ahead and test them out. I’m going to be using a bandwidth testing
program called iPerf3, it’s a free command line program and works great. First of all, I want to get a baseline for
how fast a direct ethernet connection would be between two of my computers. So no switches or routers or anything in between,
literally just an ethernet cable plugging into each computer, so we can the maximum
speed of the LAN controllers. When I run it, you can see it maxes out at
about 940 Mbps, pretty close to a gigabit. So if either technology can match that speed,
that would be pretty darn good. Let’s start by testing out the Powerline adapters. We’ll do an ideal test first, where both adapters
are in the same room, and on the same circuit. Remember, these claim to be able to do gigabit. So you can see I have one plugged in on one
wall, and that cable goes around to my desktop, and the other powerline adapter goes to my
laptop right here. When we run the test, you can see we’re only
getting about 90 Mbps, not anywhere close to the theoretical gigabit. I also tried running the test with multiple
parallel threads, and the result was the same. So if that’s the result in ideal conditions,
what is it in not ideal conditions? Well this time I took the adapter and plugged
it into the kitchen, which is the room over, and is on a different circuit. This time, as you can imagine, it did even
worse, getting only around 30 Mbps, and again the result was the same with parallel mode. But that wasn’t even the worst one, because
in my kitchen there’s a plug on the side of the counter, and when I tried that one, it
barely connected at all. You can see when it does connect, it’s only
about 1.5 Mbps, but most of the time it fails. So clearly, Powerline performance really depends
on your home’s wiring, and probably is not great if you need fast speeds. But if you’re connecting something that doesn’t
require fast speeds and doesn’t have WiFi, perhaps like a printer or something, it might
still serve a purpose. So Powerline is a bit disappointing, hopefully
the MoCA adapters will perform better. For the firest test, we’ll do another 100%
ideal scenario, so here we’re literally connecting them with a 3 foot coaxal cable, and the connection
is between two laptops right next to eachother. When we run the tests, well, they do a LOT
better. Right around 940 Mbps, which we determined
was the maximum even for direct ethernet connections in my case. So this is looking real promising. I will point out I had to run iPerf with parallel
threads to get these speeds, otherwise it was only getting around 400 Mbps. That’s not a bad thing, it’s still getting
gigabit over the coax, it’s just something to be aware of if you can’t seem to get the
maximum speeds, that might be why. And now for a more real life scenario, I took
one of the MoCA adapters all the way to the other side of the apartment, where all my
coaxial and ethernet cables terminate, and yes I know it’s a complete mess of cables,
don’t worry about it. The other adapter is in the room with my desktop,
so there’s proably at least 50 feet of coax cable between these. And for the moment of truth. It’s AGAIN around 940 Mbps! The average here is slightly lower than that
because the first few seconds are always lower as it apparently warms up. But for all intents and purposes, there is
no noticeable loss in speed. One thing to know though is MoCA adapters
do introduce about 3 milliseconds of extra latency, which in most cases is completely
negligible, but just be aware of it. So as you can see, at least in my experiences
here, we’ve determined that while both of these technologies work, MoCA seems to be
far superior. Powerline is more convenient because you probably
have WAY more AC plugs than coax plugs in your home, but the speed just isn’t anywhere
near ethernet, and probably slower than Wi-Fi in some cases. MoCA on the other hand, at least when they’re
connected directly with no splitters between, seems literally just as fast as ethernet,
which I wasn’t expecting at all. Keep in mind though I do not have a television
signal on these coax lines, and I couldn’t test it because I don’t have cable TV, so
I’m not sure how that would affect anything, if at all. Still, I think these tests will be useful
for anyone who might want to improve their options for expanding their home network. Alright so if you want to keep watching guys
I’ve got some other videos right on here you can check out, and be sure to subscribe because
I make a few new videos every week. I’m looking forward to hearing from you in
the comments, and until next time, have a good one.

Danny Hutson

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