What Is Ethernet over Coax and MoCA & How Does It Work? [MiniTool Wiki]

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What Is Ethernet over Coax?

Ethernet over Coax (EoC), also known as Multimedia over Coax (MoCA), is a family of technologies that supports the transmission of Ethernet frames through coaxial cable. It is an alternative to the wireless network. If your home has been wired for Cable TV service, you already have coax in the wall.

Ethernet over Coax uses existing coaxial TV wiring to extend Ethernet or Wi-Fi to more corners of the home. EoC devices can improve your network speeds by up to 30% over the standard Mesh WiFi.

The Development of Ethernet over Coax

The first Ethernet standard (called 10BASE5 ThickNet in the family of IEEE 802.3) specified baseband operation over 50-ohm coaxial cable that remained the principal medium into the 1980s when 10BASE5 (ThinNet) coax replaced it in deployments.

In the 1990s, thinner and cheaper twisted pair cabling came to dominate the market and replaced 10BASE5 ThickNet and 10BASE5 ThinNet. And, the use of coaxial cable for Ethernet has been deprecated by 2011.

However, the research in Ethernet over Coax continued. Telecommunications operators work hard to take advantage of existing 75-ohm coaxial cable installations (from cable television of CATV) to carry broadband data into and via the home and into multiple dwelling unit (MDU) installations.

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Ethernet over Coax Standards

Most EoC technologies are being developed for in-home or on-premises networking and are expected to be operated within the domain of a single operator.

HomePlug

HomePlug AV and its later extension HomePlug AV2 both operate in a portion of the RF spectrum directly below what is commonly used for terrestrial FM radio broadcasting. HomePlug AV takes advantage of BPSK, QPSK, 1024 QAM, 256 QAM, 64 QAM, and 16 QAM modulation strategies between 2 MHz and 30 MHz while the more recent HomePlug AV2 standard extends the upper bound of its spectral use to 86 MHz.

ITU-T G.hn

The ITU-T G.hn standard provides high-speed, up to 1 Gigabit/s, local area networking over existing home wires, including coaxial cable, power lines, and home lines. It defines an APC (Application Protocol Convergence) layer for encapsulation standard 802.3 Ethernet frames into G.hn MAC Service Data Units (MSDUs).

HomePNA 3.1

HomePNA 3.1, also called G.9954, uses frequencies above those used for digital subscriber line and analog voice calls over phone wires and below those used for broadcast and direct broadcast satellite TV over coax. So, it can coexist with those services on the same wires.

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How Does Ethernet over Coax Work?

Generally, EoC needs Ethernet over Coax MoCA adapters to come in pairs. The MoCA adapters send Internet data, including video streams, through the coaxial cables in your house. You need to connect one adapter to your router or modem and the other to your media player (AppleTV, Roku, etc.) near a coaxial port to convert coax to Ethernet.  

If the media players are not close to a coaxial port, you may need a MoCA network extender instead of a second MoCA adapter. Replacing the second MoCA adapter, the Ethernet over Coax extender sends out a WiFi signal from that point to your media players and other devices in the home.    

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