Actiontec MI424WR - a cheap MoCA bridge for all! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 1225 Old 05-08-2009, 11:33 AM - Thread Starter
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So... You have tried 802.11g and power line adapters. You are thinking about investing in 802.11n, but have heard even that may not do HD streaming reliably all the time. Yes... You want to run cat5, but it is just not possible due to xyz.

The solution you might be looking for is MoCA. MoCA is a standard that allows you to piggyback ethernet over your coax outlets. MoCA operates ~1GHz, so it won't interfere with cable operation. It may interfere with satellite depending on how you are routing your satellite signal – so make sure you know whether you are using the 1GHz space before going further.

Now – how much does this cost? Well, Netgear recently released the MCAB1001. It runs ~$175.

Too rich for your blood? Well good, because now I am going to tell you how to get up and running for ~$50.

The good news is that Verizon has been using this technology for years now. There is a glut of old Verizon equipment for very cheap prices on eBay. The first batch of Verizon installs used a device called the Motorola NIM100 for MoCA, and a separate router. These used to be cheap, but are now somewhat hard to find – as the word about using these for MoCA without Verizon has been out for a while.

The next batch of Verizon installs used an Actiontec MI424WR combination MoCA/wireless router. Unfortunately for Verizon, the router was not very good - it had a tiny NAT table which makes it no good for use as a primary router, so many customers complained and upgraded to their newer models – plus of course there is the usual customer turnover.

So – in short – you can pick up a pair of Actiontec MI424WRs on eBay for ~$45. You can use any of the models – Rev A, C or D. Rev A is uglier, but just as functional. You should get close to 100baseT speeds.

[EDIT] After many months and many people trying this, we have found the Rev A routers to be unreliable. Several people have had them die including myself. I would recommend going with the newer revs.

Once you have the routers, you need to configure them to just be a MoCA bridge. To do this:

1.Connect a LAN port of the Actiontec to one of your PCs.
2.Browse to 192.168.1.1
3.Enter 'admin' as the user and try 'password' or 'password1' for the password. If neither works, hold down the reset button on the back for 10 seconds, wait for the reboot, and try again.
4.First we will turn off the wireless – click the wireless button on the top, and disable it. You may need to go to the 'Basic security settings' to do this depending on your firmware version.
5.Next, go to 'My Network'->'Network Connections'. Go through each connection EXCEPT 'Network (Home/Office)' and disable them by clicking the little 'edit' icon and hitting disable.
6.Now – click on the 'edit' icon for 'Network (Home/Office)' and click 'Settings'
7.For 'Internet Protocol' select 'Use the following IP address'. For the IP address, you want to put something you are not currently using (like 192.168.1.18). For subnet mask, you probably want 255.255.255.0.
8.Under 'Bridge' select 'Coax' and 'Ethernet' and 'STP' for both. Uncheck 'Wireless' and 'Broadband'.
9.For 'DNS server', select 'No DNS server', for 'IP Address distribution' select 'Disabled'
10.Next, connect a LAN port of your main router to a LAN port of the Actiontec (NOT the WAN port).
11.Hit apply, and the router will reboot. To access the router from here on out you will need to browse to the address you selected in step 7.
12.Now, try to get to the internet. Your PC should bridge through the Actiontec to your main router and out.
13.If this all works, duplicate on the second router (assigning a different IP address of course).
14.Once you have both done, connect a coax cable directly between the two Actiontecs. At this point, one Actiontec should have a LAN port connected to your main router, and the other should have a LAN port connected to your PC.
15.Verify you can still get to the internet – now you have demonstrated connectivity through the coax ports.
16.Finally, move the Actiontecs to their final destinations, using splitters as needed to maintain cable modem/STB connectivity, and you should be good to go!

If you are worried about security, you may want to enable privacy:
My Network->Network Connections->Network(Home/Office)->Settings->Coax
Select 'privacy' and set the password. Make sure this is the same on all the routers.

If you are not in an apartment, this isn't really necessary as the signal will not make it through the cable main at your curb.

[EDIT] If you are worried about signal loss, you can use diplexers instead of splitters. You want diplexers that split 5-850mhz from 950mhz-2ghz. Connect the MoCa to the high freq port and cable to the low freq. This will reduce your loss by ~2db.

You can download the full manual here:
http://www.fiberfaq.com/article-37.html


Hope you find this useful,
xnappo

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post #2 of 1225 Old 05-14-2009, 10:41 AM
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I've been looking into this or powerline. Been trying to get my hands on a set of Nim100's since they do passthrough of the coax. I'm worried about splitting my already highly split coax anymore and I would need to split it at least 2 more times, 1 for each actiontec. Any clue how much each split degrades your signal?
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post #3 of 1225 Old 05-14-2009, 10:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zetachi View Post

I've been looking into this or powerline. Been trying to get my hands on a set of Nim100's since they do passthrough of the coax. I'm worried about splitting my already highly split coax anymore and I would need to split it at least 2 more times, 1 for each actiontec. Any clue how much each split degrades your signal?

I only checked my S/N ratio - it was not affected. I think the Nim100 passthough will also have an equivalent loss(there is really no way to prevent loss when you go though a connector). To your end equipment, the signal split should only be one more time.

I highly recommend this over powerline - at least for me it works much better and is absolutely consistent.

I get 70mbit/sec constantly - but note that none of my equipment goes faster than this(even my two non-HTPC computers directly through my router, I get the same speed - my desktops are dated and my router is 100baseT) so I don't know the true MoCA speed - just that it is not the bottleneck. One of these days I will get gbE stuff.

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post #4 of 1225 Old 05-27-2009, 10:31 AM
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ah seem to hit a bit of a wall. I did all the steps and had connectivity b/w the 2 actiontecs with direct coax connection. When I set them up in the house I can't seem to get the 2nd one to dish out an IP so I can't connect anything to it. I 'm hoping its something I'm missing and not my cable set up which is a bit convoluted.
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post #5 of 1225 Old 05-27-2009, 02:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zetachi View Post

ah seem to hit a bit of a wall. I did all the steps and had connectivity b/w the 2 actiontecs with direct coax connection. When I set them up in the house I can't seem to get the 2nd one to dish out an IP so I can't connect anything to it. I 'm hoping its something I'm missing and not my cable set up which is a bit convoluted.

Hmm, if you connect a computer to it, you should still be able to go the the IP you assigned from a web browser - then you can look at the status to see what the network status is. You should also be able to the the coax-connected Actiontec when you look at the connection status page of the other actiontec connected to your router.

What else do you have connected to your coax? If you can, maybe you could try disconnecting the cable from the street just to rule that out.

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post #6 of 1225 Old 05-28-2009, 01:30 PM
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got to do some more tests. Just so you can see here is my convoluted interior wiring setup



as you can see I have one cable line coming in but 2 separate networks with 2 modems and 2 routers. One business and one personal.
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post #7 of 1225 Old 05-28-2009, 02:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zetachi View Post

got to do some more tests. Just so you can see here is my convoluted interior wiring setup



as you can see I have one cable line coming in but 2 separate networks with 2 modems and 2 routers. One business and one personal.

Nice diagram. That is err.. interesting

I would definitely try taking that cable amp out, or at least put it on the other side of the splitter. You also may want to use a 1 to 3 splitter for the modems and actiontecs if you can.

One other thing I tried before my 'final' configuration that I didn't mention was to hook them up together next two each other like in step 14, but also use a splitter to hook up to the wall coax to ensure nothing else on my coax interfered.

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post #8 of 1225 Old 05-29-2009, 07:30 AM
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updated. So I went and hard reset 1 actiontec.

Followed the instructions and set a new IP of 192.168.1.110 and set all the other stuff per instruction. I now have PC to actiontec LAN-LAN, Actiontec to Dlink router LAN to LAN and have internet connectivity on the PC. This is good.

Problem 1. I can not login to the actiontec through that IP from connected PC to see status. Also my dlink is on 192.168.0 IP subnet not .1 does this make a difference? Should I set the actiontec to .0 IP subnet or does that not matter? I believe I should be able to log in to the at router correct? I do not have coax connected yet nor the 2nd AT set up.

Any ideas?

Thanks
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post #9 of 1225 Old 05-29-2009, 09:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zetachi View Post

updated. So I went and hard reset 1 actiontec.

Followed the instructions and set a new IP of 192.168.1.110 and set all the other stuff per instruction. I now have PC to actiontec LAN-LAN, Actiontec to Dlink router LAN to LAN and have internet connectivity on the PC. This is good.

Problem 1. I can not login to the actiontec through that IP from connected PC to see status. Also my dlink is on 192.168.0 IP subnet not .1 does this make a difference? Should I set the actiontec to .0 IP subnet or does that not matter? I believe I should be able to log in to the at router correct? I do not have coax connected yet nor the 2nd AT set up.

Any ideas?

Thanks

Yes, you should be able to log in. I don't know about your router, but on mine I think the static IP assignments are limitted to 192.168.1.2 through 192.168.1.99. 100 and about are reserved for DHCP. So, maybe try making it lower. Though, will the PC directly connected to the actiontec, I am not sure this is the problem. If you disconnect your router can you get to 192.168.1.110? With and without the router connected, what does 192.168.1.1 take you to?

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post #10 of 1225 Old 05-29-2009, 10:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xnappo View Post

Yes, you should be able to log in. I don't know about your router, but on mine I think the static IP assignments are limitted to 192.168.1.2 through 192.168.1.99. 100 and about are reserved for DHCP. So, maybe try making it lower. Though, will the PC directly connected to the actiontec, I am not sure this is the problem. If you disconnect your router can you get to 192.168.1.110? With and without the router connected, what does 192.168.1.1 take you to?

xnappo

My dlink DHCP gives out IP range 0.100 to 0.205



seems I may have a bigger issue. Over at DSL reports they are saying that the bridge won't work through the Time Warner Amp that they installed to boost my through put. I may need to resort to plan B Powerline Ethernet unless I can figure out a way around all these issues.
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post #11 of 1225 Old 05-29-2009, 10:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zetachi View Post

My dlink DHCP gives out IP range 0.100 to 0.205



seems I may have a bigger issue. Over at DSL reports they are saying that the bridge won't work through the Time Warner Amp that they installed to boost my through put. I may need to resort to plan B Powerline Ethernet unless I can figure out a way around all these issues.

Yes, that address range is for DHCP - you are assigning a static IP address, NOT a DHCP address, so you want it below 100.

You can't move the TWC amp to the other side of the splitter?

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post #12 of 1225 Old 05-29-2009, 10:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xnappo View Post

Yes, that address range is for DHCP - you are assigning a static IP address, NOT a DHCP address, so you want it below 100.

You can't move the TWC amp to the other side of the splitter?

xnappo

ah thanks. My networking knowledge is not as good as my PC knowledge. I'll change the IP when I get home tonight. I don't know if I can move the amp. 2 issues one is the location of the 1st split on the line in. No power outlet near it so i would need to move the split to another location and 2nd I'm afraid of what it might do to my modem if I amp the signal going into it.

Damn and i thought this was going to be simple
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post #13 of 1225 Old 05-29-2009, 10:54 PM
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If we wanted, by not turning off the wireless feature like you instructed, could we use the wireless feature on these when MoCA bridging?
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post #14 of 1225 Old 05-30-2009, 07:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by GooberedUp View Post

If we wanted, by not turning off the wireless feature like you instructed, could we use the wireless feature on these when MoCA bridging?

Well, you *could* use this as your primary router if you wanted to - however depending on your usage you may run into problems with the small NAT table on this router. Google 'small NAT table actiontec' for more info.

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post #15 of 1225 Old 05-30-2009, 09:47 AM
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Still a bit flumoxed. If I direct connect PC to AT router with it set to 192.168.1.5 I can log in. Once connected to my dlink I can't but I can get to the internet. Next step is to try to connect coax before amp and see if I get net, if not back to the drawing board
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post #16 of 1225 Old 06-01-2009, 09:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zetachi View Post

Still a bit flumoxed. If I direct connect PC to AT router with it set to 192.168.1.5 I can log in. Once connected to my dlink I can't but I can get to the internet. Next step is to try to connect coax before amp and see if I get net, if not back to the drawing board

That is really strange. Unfortunately I don't know enough about networking to know what could cause that. I take it you are sure that there is not another 192.168.1.5 on the network somewhere? I wonder if since your router seems to like 192.168.0.x if you should try to assign 192.168.0.5 instead? It could be that because of how your router is set up, whenever you go to an address outside of 192.168.0.x it is trying to go out to the internet.

The more I edit this post, the more I think that is the problem

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post #17 of 1225 Old 06-01-2009, 10:25 AM
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I'm curious-is the actiontec any good as a router? Can you use it as a wireless router (ethernet WAN uplink) and a coaxial bridge at the same time? I'm interested in cutting down the number of devices I have sitting around.

Never mind-I see that this was already answered. I don't do P2P - will I still have issues?
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post #18 of 1225 Old 06-01-2009, 10:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fyodor View Post

I'm curious-is the actiontec any good as a router? Can you use it as a wireless router (ethernet WAN uplink) and a coaxial bridge at the same time? I'm interested in cutting down the number of devices I have sitting around.

F

Please read my post about 4 up

[EDIT] To be honest, I am not sure. If you don't do P2P you might be okay(not sure - but maybe since most services are way slower than FIOS, it wouldn't be as much of an issue?). You might also look into the new Rev E model which has fixed(or at least improved) this issue. You could use one Rev E for the primary router(which run about $60) and one Rev A/C/D for the one just used as a bridge. The other Verizon router without the problem is the Westell 9100EM.

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post #19 of 1225 Old 06-01-2009, 11:55 AM
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OK so I'm at wits end here. I consider myself pretty good with computers but this is kicking my butt.

I'm gonna post my trials and tribulations one more time then these are going to be up for sale and it's off to powerline ethernet

Time warner cable, D-link DGl-4300 wirless router subnet is 192.168.0 2x actiontec MI424 one rev c and one with no rev but older.

setup as in diagram

I've gone through the setup numerous times and have yet to be successful.

Usually once I configure and complete the reboot I can no longer log into the router. If I pull the cat5 and reconnect sometime it logs in but then loses it again. I even configured the 2 routers via direct coax and no luck.
I do get internet if i plug 1 router into my dlink and connect the pc to it so that seems to work but can't get the 2 to make a bridge with the coax.

Any suggestions, tricks long shots I'll take any advice to try as I would really like to work.


Update. I changed IP on at router to 192.168.0 subnet and can now log in after reboot. I can ping local network as well as outside but can't get FF or IE to connect to any web page while bridged to my router.

ping to internet address gets all packets sent and rec'd but message destination net unreachable?
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post #20 of 1225 Old 06-01-2009, 06:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zetachi View Post

OK so I'm at wits end here. I consider myself pretty good with computers but this is kicking my butt.

I think you are getting closer though it might not seem like it. I am confused though, so can you answer this?

If you connect your PC to your router, can you get to the Actiontec connected via CAT5? Via coax?

If you connect your PC to the Actiontec connected via CAT5, can you get to your router and the Actiontec connected via coax?

If you connect your PC to the Actiontec connected via coax, can you get to your Actiontec connected via CAT5? Can you get to your router?

When you are moving the cable around, are you using a command line like 'ipconfig /renew' to make sure Windows is aware of the change in connection before firing up FF/IE?

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post #21 of 1225 Old 06-03-2009, 10:24 AM
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Interesting, I got Verizons FIOS... you think I can just get one old Actiontec Moca Router and splitter the coax signal going to my STB. Since my Fios Router is already giving out IP addresses over Moca. I know I still have to set a static IP on the old ACtiontec Moca Router and disable the DHCP. Do you think it will work?
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post #22 of 1225 Old 06-03-2009, 11:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Interesting, I got Verizons FIOS... you think I can just get one old Actiontec Moca Router and splitter the coax signal going to my STB. Since my Fios Router is already giving out IP addresses over Moca. I know I still have to set a static IP on the old ACtiontec Moca Router and disable the DHCP. Do you think it will work?

Definitely. That is where I originally got the idea. Head over to the Verizon forums/FAQs on DSLReports and there is plenty of info.

http://www.dslreports.com/faq/verizo...tworking#15984

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post #23 of 1225 Old 06-04-2009, 11:03 AM
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Do these MOCA devices work many to many, i.e. install 3 or 4 of them on the coax mesh and they all make a bridged LAN?
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post #24 of 1225 Old 06-04-2009, 11:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Do these MOCA devices work many to many, i.e. install 3 or 4 of them on the coax mesh and they all make a bridged LAN?

Yes, version 1.0 of the MoCA spec is up to 8 devices (the Actiontec is 1.0).

Version 1.1 allows up to 16.

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post #25 of 1225 Old 06-04-2009, 12:46 PM
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Just wanted to give a quick thanks to you, xnappo.

I bought 5 of these guys (1-A, 2-C, 2-D) and am replacing all the wireless connections in the house with MoCA. At an average cost of less than $20.00 shipped per router, you've saved me a lot of money and I'll likely experience better performance than going the wireless N route.

Timely too, since Ebay seems to be running low on these critters (or at least the ones that were at a decent price point).
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post #26 of 1225 Old 06-04-2009, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xnappo View Post

Well, you *could* use this as your primary router if you wanted to - however depending on your usage you may run into problems with the small NAT table on this router. Google 'small NAT table actiontec' for more info.

xnappo

Actually, my question is a little different. I knew about the NAT problem. But, can I use the remote MoCa units as APs if I don't disable the wireless.

Presently I have 5 Belkins and all of them (except the main one) work as Bridges/APs.
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post #27 of 1225 Old 06-04-2009, 12:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Just wanted to give a quick thanks to you, xnappo.

Good deal! I was hoping I would help someone out and it sounds like you made quite an investment in my suggestion - so I'm glad it worked!

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post #28 of 1225 Old 06-04-2009, 12:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GooberedUp View Post

Actually, my question is a little different. I knew about the NAT problem. But, can I sue the remote MoCa units as APs if I don't diable the wireless.

Presently I have 5 Belkins and all of them (except the main one) work as Bridges/APs.

That I don't know - you are asking if it will act as a wireless bridge for range extending if you leave it on right? No idea. But if it does that would be cool. Let us know if you play with it.

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post #29 of 1225 Old 06-04-2009, 02:09 PM
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I certainly will. Thankfully I can continue to hang my Belkins off the MoCa units, but obviously that's a little more messy.

Again, absolutely great find on your part.
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post #30 of 1225 Old 06-04-2009, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GooberedUp View Post

Actually, my question is a little different. I knew about the NAT problem. But, can I use the remote MoCa units as APs if I don't disable the wireless.

Presently I have 5 Belkins and all of them (except the main one) work as Bridges/APs.

Looks like it will work. Someone at DSLR seems to have already used it in that manner.

http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r218...-FIOS~start=20
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