Which coax to Ethernet adapters are best?
Are you sick of dealing with Wi-Fi dead zones in your home but can’t afford to have Ethernet cables professionally installed? Fortunately, there is a handy little device that will let you boost your home internet connectivity using the pre-existing coaxial cable. With adapters like the Motorola MoCA Adapter for Ethernet Over Coax 1,000Mbps (Model MM1000) helping to boost your network, you can enjoy fast internet anywhere in your house that coax cable can reach.
What to know before you buy a coax to Ethernet adapter
You need to have a MoCA-capable router or a compliant adapter
Though it would be wonderful for adapters to provide enhancements for your existing wired network with no effort, there are some important things to keep in mind. For example, your router must either already possess MoCA capabilities or be able to use such an adapter in the first place.
If you already have FiOS service and a suitable router, likely, your router is already MoCA-capable. However, the vast majority of other routers will need to have coax to Ethernet adapters installed, specifically one for each wired internet connection you create.
MoCA and how it can transform your home network
For those who are unfamiliar with MoCA, it stands for Multimedia over Coax Alliance which is an IP-over-coaxial cable technology. Because many modern homes already have coax cable installed in almost every room, the pathway for faster and more reliable internet connections is already in place.
MoCA frequencies are capable of working at frequencies over 1GHz, which is often greater than signals used by both ISPs as well as TV stations from cable providers. By using a cox to Ethernet adapter, you can significantly boost your network’s performance and prevent issues like lagging and buffering.
If you have coax cable already installed, 90% of your work is done
Unless you have a decent amount of skill, patience and time, laying your own Ethernet cable may not be possible. Furthermore, hiring a professional crew to oversee the installation of your cabling can be very expensive. This is where coax to Ethernet adapters come in handy.
By installing an adapter, you can enjoy the benefits of an Ethernet connection in every room that has a coax cable installed. Wi-Fi units with MoCA capabilities can be used in any room where the coax cable terminates, giving you wireless access wherever you want. However, they may not work with cable installers including AT&T Internet, AT&T U-Verse TV setups, DishTV and DirecTV.
What to look for in a quality coax to Ethernet adapter
Offers simple plug-and-play with no setup or installation
Given that you have purchased a coax to Ethernet adapter to make your life easier by improving your internet access, having to deal with a complicated installation or setup is less than ideal. Even for those who are very familiar with wired and wireless internet technology, the process of reconfiguring your modem or router can be lengthy and frustrating.
Thankfully for you, the selected models are all designed to use plug-and-play functionality. Simply install the adapter and you can enjoy up to 16 wired connections with lightning-fast performance.
Eliminates internet dead zones both wired and wireless
No matter how much you enjoy your home, apartment or other living space, having to deal with poor internet connectivity is always frustrating. Whether you want your wireless devices to work properly in any room, or wish you could enjoy Ethernet-powered gaming anywhere in the house, physical limitations can play havoc.
Thankfully, some coax to Ethernet adapters are also capable of both transmitting and receiving Ethernet signals over coax cable as well as being wireless network extenders. Once you have the initial adapter installed, you can either use MoCA units with Wi-Fi for better connectivity or buy additional adapters for Ethernet-level wired connections wherever your coax cable terminates.
Additional features like free apps, warranty coverage and security
Now that you have installed your adapters, you need to ensure that your new MoCA internet network isn’t vulnerable to outside interference. As such, any adapter you purchase should include a PoE or Point of Entry Filter which isolates your MoCA network, prevents inadvertent broadcasting of your network’s signal and also boosts signal performance.
Furthermore, while all of the selected units are easy to use and install, it is always worth considering other perks offered by the manufacturer, including apps to monitor and manage your MoCA boosted Wi-Fi network. Finally, you should consider whether your preferred model is backed up by a multi-year warranty and reliable customer service.
How much you can expect to spend on a coax to Ethernet adapter
Depending on your budget and any desired features, a quality coax to Ethernet adapter can cost between $26-$83.
Coax to Ethernet adapter FAQ
How do I convert my coax cable into Ethernet?
A. Simply connect an adapter to your router and plug in the coax cable. To use your existing coax cable as Ethernet, you will need to buy another adapter to complete the connection.
Is using Ethernet over coax cabling really that impressive?
A. Consider that the coax cabling installed in your home is already able to transmit video signals that take up huge amounts of data. As such, they are more than capable of meeting or even exceeding the data speeds of Ethernet cabling
What are the best coax to Ethernet adapters to buy?
Top coax to Ethernet adapter
Motorola MoCA Adapter for Ethernet Over Coax 1,000Mbps (Model MM1000)
What you need to know: This great adapter provides fast and stable internet connectivity.
What you’ll love: This unit features bonded MoCA 2.0 with transmission speeds of up to 1,000Mbps with the ability to connect up to 16 devices to your router. In addition to beating wireless in terms of reliability, speed and latency, security is provided via a PoE Filter to protect your network.
What you should consider: Some users have reported issues with the unit working properly with TiVO and FiOS.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top coax to Ethernet adapter for the money
Actiontec Single Dual-Band Wireless Network Extender and Ethernet Over Coax Adapter (WCB3000N)
What you need to know: This is an affordable adapter that still delivers great performance for the money.
What you’ll love: This unit features the ability to transform any coax cable connection into an Ethernet outlet for high-speed internet. Furthermore, it transmits dual 2.4GHz and 5GHz wireless internet signals, comes with an app for monitoring and maintenance and is compatible with many home electronics.
What you should consider: Some users have reported issues with the unit missing cables, splitters and other physical components.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
ZyXEL MoCA 2.0 Ethernet to Coax Single Adapter Bonded Up to 1.4Gbps Gigabit Ethernet (HLA4205)
What you need to know: This reliable adapter works with TVs, smartphones and much more.
What you’ll love: This unit features bonded 2.0 MoCA technology which uses existing coax cabling to transmit data at rates of up to 1.4Gbps. It also features easy plug-and-play integration into your existing router or modem.
What you should consider: Some users have reported issues with the unit sudden ceasing to work or generally underperforming.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Want to shop the best products at the best prices? Check out Daily Deals from BestReviews.
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Daniel Martin writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.