As much as we love Wi-Fi, it isn’t perfect. A new player has taken the field that offers faster and better-performing connections without rewiring an entire building.
MoCA adapters and network extenders offer throughput speeds of up to 2.5Gbps and are perfect for removing dead spots in your network. They are an excellent way to improve a home or corporate network without installing new wiring since they work off of existing coaxial cables. They offer high security, too, and are relatively simple to install. Whether you want to stream your videos at the highest quality possible, up your online gameplay or improve your company’s efficiency, MoCA technology can help.
So how do MoCA adapters work? And how do you install a MoCA adapter? Consider this your MoCA adapter guide, complete with everything you need to know about MoCA adapters.
What Is a MoCA Adapter and What Does It Do?
MoCA stands for Multimedia over Coaxial Alliance. It is a type of connection that uses the existing coaxial wiring in a building to deliver high-speed internet throughout the home, but without the hassle of drilling holes or running additional cable.
We know it improves the connection, but what exactly does a MoCA adapter do? MoCA offers several benefits and can boost the existing connection’s reliability, latency and speed.
- Reliability: Wi-Fi is notorious for being unreliable. It may drop in certain parts of a building or go in and out throughout the day. A nice router can help, and some service providers have more dependable options, but complete reliability can be hard to come by. For reasons we’ll go into later, MoCA offers a consistent and more trustworthy connection.
- Latency: Latency is an important element in the transfer of data. It refers to the time it takes for a data request to move from the sender to the receiver and get processed. Low latency speeds are critical for communication between devices, and MoCA offers very low latency. Because of this reason, many find that MoCA adapters are good for gaming needs.
- Speed: With that low latency comes an improvement in speed. Data moves much more quickly through MoCA. It can reach throughput speeds of up to 2.5Gbps, with the next iteration of MoCA aiming to reach a whopping 10Gbps.
MoCA links up to an existing coaxial system, supporting devices like gaming consoles, stationary computers, smart TVs and streaming devices, which often struggle to keep up with wireless networks, even powerful ones. These hardwired connections improve the entire wireless system.
The home network version of MoCA is a point-to-point system, which means that the communication is between just two endpoints — for example, an adapter and a device. You can also have MoCA on a point-to-multipoint system, which starts at one access point and spreads out to dozens of modems. Typically, that option is used in large buildings like hotels and apartment complexes.
So far there are a few different versions of MoCA either released or in the works. MoCA 2.0 offered 0.5Gbps before a bonded version came out, which offered 1Gbps, followed by MoCA 2.5 with its 2.5Gbps. Finally, MoCA 3.0 has 10Gbps. MoCA 2.0 and up also have a few other handy features, like power save, network-wide privacy and MoCASec peer-to-peer security.
All of these versions are backward interoperable. While MoCA 2.0 and 2.0 bonded were only available as home mesh networks, 2.5 and 3.0 are or will be available for both home networks and on MoCA Access.
While the previously mentioned MoCA systems are more home-based, MoCA Access focuses on a larger scale. MoCA Access is a pier-to-multipoint broadband access specification that can serve as many as 63 modems from an access point. It is based on the MoCA 2.5 adapter standard — though a 3.0 is in the works — and is often used in multi-unit buildings such as apartments or hotels that have existing coaxial wiring built-in. MoCA Access plays well with other services like television, DOCSIS and 4G and 5G cellular technology.
MoCASec is an additional security layer with point-to-point link privacy. It gives MoCA a level of security and privacy closer to that of Ethernet for both wired and wireless connections. MoCASec works with all MoCA mesh networks.
Do I Need a MoCA Adapter?
You might think that if you have Wi-Fi, you’ve already got a good wireless connection, but MoCA complements Wi-Fi — it doesn’t replace it. It can even help improve existing fiber connections to those multi-gigabit speeds. Wi-Fi technology is a powerful one, but it still has its faults. There are quite a few issues that plague Wi-Fi that MoCA set out to solve, including:
- Dead zones: Wi-Fi sometimes struggles to pass through walls and other structures, meaning you could have areas of your house where Wi-Fi just drops.
- Short range: In the same vein as dead zones, Wi-Fi is easily influenced by materials that block it. Wi-Fi is a radio frequency signal, which can be blocked by metal in walls, concrete structures, mirrors and energy-efficient windows. With enough of these materials, your Wi-Fi won’t reach as far as it would otherwise.
- Inconsistency: Sometimes, your Wi-Fi might be strong and sufficient, while other times it is slow and frustrating. Variations in Wi-Fi can sometimes come from high broadband demand or from a lot of devices jumping online at once.
MoCA solves all of these problems, creating consistent whole-home coverage with faster speeds. It creates a backbone for Wi-Fi, so it can more effectively reach wireless devices and support wired ones.
Without a MoCA addition, wireless networks cost more to run and lead to more problems for consumers. By improving the network, it’s a win-win for providers and customers.
Benefits of MoCA Adapters
As you’ve likely guessed, MoCA adapters are full of benefits for various wireless systems.
- They’re easy to install. Part of the difficulty with other high-speed systems, like fiber, is that they require complex installation, which can become incredibly difficult in multi-unit buildings like apartment complexes. Knowing how to install a MoCA adapter doesn’t require a contractor or an IT degree. It’s simple and straightforward.
- They offer better streaming. Have you ever been engrossed in a movie, only to have it pause and show a buffering symbol? A MoCA connection uses bonded channels to allow it to reach higher speeds, so streaming is a snap.
- They improve gameplay. Those high speeds coupled with MoCA’s low latency performance make it the perfect way to connect for online gaming.
- They work with MoCASec security. On the EasyMesh system of MoCA, you can enjoy excellent security standards that protect your data.
- They are compatible with all types of coax networks. Whether your building’s coaxial network follows a cascade, tap-cascade or star-network, MoCA adapters work with it. They also play nicely with multiple frequency profiles and other configurations.
- They are cost-efficient. Many management teams for multi-unit buildings would love to improve service without heavy integration costs. MoCA can do that. Homeowners can also benefit from this low-cost installation. Various small- or medium businesses (SMBs) are often keen to take advantage of cost savings as well.
- They are much more reliable. Coaxial cables are shielded metal wires which help to significantly reduce any external interferences. This factor helps to reduce its level of attenuation, which is a measurement of how signal strength decreases.
- They still include robust privacy features. With MoCASec and data encryption, you don’t have to worry about downgrading your network security to get all these benefits.
If you commonly experience problems with your network but want to avoid the costs of rewiring, MoCA can be the perfect solution for any network.
Perhaps you work from home and a consistent internet connection is critical to your job, or maybe you’re just sick of your signal dropping while trying to watch streaming services. Whether you own your house or rent it, MoCA allows you to improve the connection without expensive or irreversible construction work.
In a business environment, inconsistent connections can mean lost customers and fewer profits. Additionally, employees get frustrated when they don’t have the tools they need to do their job right — which includes a reliable connection. Dead zones can also limit your flexibility in the office, so your employees might be stuck with a stationary computer when a laptop may suit them much better.
Consider the ways that MoCA can help your business:
- Higher productivity from access to tools.
- Happier employees from a reliable work environment that enables them to work efficiently.
- More satisfied customers after smoother, faster interactions.
- Minimal added costs without the need for extensive wiring or construction.
How to Set Up MoCA Adapters in Your Home or Business
While it might seem like MoCA is a complicated science, knowing how to hook up a MoCA adapter is pretty simple. We’ve put together a MoCA adapter installation guide to help.
Let’s talk about materials first. You’ll need a MoCA adapter for each room you want to connect — at least two. These typically come with a coax cable, an Ethernet cable and a power supply. If you need cables that are longer or shorter, you can pick those up from an electronics, department or home improvement store. Another tool you might need is a coax splitter.
Once you’ve got all your supplies, you can move on to setting up your MoCA adapters.
- The first step is to get yourself a MoCA network adapter. These little devices are about the size of your average router. They include Ethernet ports, a coax in port and a port for the power adapter. You may need more than one MoCA adapter, which we’ll cover later.
- Next, plug one end of the Ethernet cable into the Ethernet port on the MoCA adapter. Plug the other end into an open Ethernet port on your router or modem-router combo.
- Find where your coax cable is located in your home. Often, these are in strategic locations where you’re likely to watch TV or sit at a desk, like a long wall in a living room or in a home office. Plug that cable into the modem or modem-router.
- Plug the power cord for the MoCA adapter into the corresponding port, and plug the other end into the wall.
- Now, move to a second coaxial port in your house.
- Connect your second coaxial cable to the wall and the port in your second MoCA adapter.
- Plug your second Ethernet cable between the MoCA adapter and your device, whether that’s a TV, gaming console or something else. You can also use the device’s coax port, if applicable, by connecting a coax cable between the device and the device port on the MoCA adapter.
- Plug in the power cable to the MoCA adapter and turn it on. If everything is set up correctly, you should see the lights power on.
You can also use a MoCA extender to improve the range of your connection if you have a MoCA-enabled router. This would help to fix any dead spots.
If you need to connect additional devices via coax, you can use a coaxial splitter. One cable will go to your adapter, the other to the device.
Your modem and router may already be MoCA-enabled. Look for a symbol and the words “MoCA Certified.” If this is the case, you may just need one adapter instead of the pair. You would connect this adapter at the other end of the coaxial point.
Other Questions About Installation
You may have other questions about what equipment you need to install MoCA adapters. Here are the answers to the three most common questions:
- How many MoCA adapters do I need? MoCA is all about sending data through coax cables, so you’ll need one MoCA adapter for each additional coaxial port that you’ll be connecting. So, if you have three rooms that you want to connect with MoCA, you’ll need three adapters. Typically, two adapters is the minimum since they need to communicate, but if you already have a modem-router that has MoCA built-in, you may only need one.
- Can a MoCA adapter be used with an Ethernet hub? Yes, a MoCA adapter can work with an Ethernet hub to reach multiple devices.
- How many MoCA adapters can I use? In a standard home setup, you can have a maximum of 16 MoCA devices. MoCA Access can accommodate up to 63 routers.
Where to Buy MoCA Adapters
When buying any electrical component, you must prioritize reliability and security. If your adapter isn’t up to par, it could overload your system or even start a fire. Poor-quality products could also create security concerns, as they might open your data up to shady entities. Whether you run a business or want to upgrade a home solution, bad security is a significant concern.
To avoid these problems, buy your MoCA network adapters from a reputable source with plenty of satisfied customers and a track record of success. Here at Worldwide Supply, we can answer the call. Our network adapters can help you boost your internet connection to high speeds and make it more reliable.
Another factor to consider is how well you know your situation. You want to get the best MoCA adapter for your setup, whether that is as complicated as a multi-unit apartment complex or a simple two-room house. Our experts can talk it over with you and help you find the best solution.
If you need MoCA technology for full-quality streaming, vital business procedures or simple, everyday browsing, a MoCA adapter is a simple way to revamp your entire network. To learn more about implementing this technology or how it works, check out our MoCA adapters and request a quote today.