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Discover MoCA – Thin Ethernet on Steroids

discover moca

If your house is not wired for Ethernet, you should discover MoCA. Multimedia over Cable Alliance is the old thin ethernet on steroids.

Recently, I have been considering a switch from my cable ISP to a local telco. TELUS is installing fiber optic cable in my neighborhood, and I will soon have PureFibre to my home.

Unfortunately, most of the new internet and television technologies assume you have Ethernet jacks in every room. I don’t. Most houses built more than twenty years ago are fully wired for RG-6 cable. Could I find a way to use existing coax rather than installing new runs of CAT5 around the house? If so, I could avoid a lot of hole drilling and wall patching.

So, the answer is yes. My research led me to discover MoCA. Boxes from the Multimedia over Cable Alliance, shown above lower, let you run high speed internet over your existing home coaxial cables. And, it turns out, the TELUS WIFI Hub has a MoCA connector built in.

MoCA is being marketed as a high speed alternative to WIFI in the home. You get 2.5 Gbps over your existing RG-6 cables which are already installed. Your downside, though, is the need to buy a MoCA adapter for each room, and these run around $80 or more. You can use splitters. You can connect all sorts of devices that expect Ethernet, including LAN switches and television set top boxes.

For me, the value proposition seems clear, and I will probably give it a try.

Discover MoCA – Memories of Thin Ethernet

Back in the 1990’s, my first home network was 10Base2. As a ham radio operator, I was comfortable daisy-chaining computers with RG-58 coax. You can see my ISA bus Network Card above top. The BNC connector was for the coax. You can also see the 10Base-T connector for twisted pair, which I did not use.

My home network ran at 10 Mbit/s. Slow today, but fast enough at the time. This technology was called thinnet, thin ethernet or cheapernet. Later, there was also thick networking, which used RG-8 cable for higher speeds. You can read about how this stuff worked here.

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