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post #1 of 10 Old 06-19-2019, 09:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Pls Help with home network upgrade

Hi guys. I'm going to try and write this in digestible bites, but I know I'll miss something.
Ok, so currently I have Frontier Fios for TV, Internet and landline phone. My single unit Frontier provided Modem/Router is the ActionTec MI424W with Wireless-Wi-Fi 802.11n. This is in a bedroom on the 2nd floor along with our main desktop computer/printer etc. Our main TV/home theatre equip and NAS are on the same floor across the house. Our second tv is downstairs across the house and above the fireplace. I also have Frontier Fios cable tv boxes at both tv's.
Wifi works fine for the laptops and streaming to the tv's from hulu and amazon etc throughout the house, but the problem has always been with getting movies from the NAS. I started with a WD Live TV for getting my movies from the NAS via wifi but noticed quite quickly that the full rip blu rays were stuttering badly. I solved this (mostly) by compressing most of them. This still didn't solve the problems with some of the blu rays. I then decided to use Powerlines and using an ethernet connection from the WD and now the Amazon Stick to the Powerlines (there's gigabit swithes in there as well). This worked really well (and still works well upstairs) but I'm having problems with the downstairs...sometimes buffering on streaming and sometimes dropping the internet. I also drop the internet upstairs on my laptop when plugged in to a dedicated Powerline (which happens to be on the same wall as the downstairs powerline (it's an outside wall)...I'm guessing this is a wiring issue in the wall and not a Powerline problem.

What I want is to obviously stream to all areas without buffering or drops...and also not break the bank.
My options as I see them:

1. Upgrade the router/modem. First, I don't want the better Frontier provided modem right now because my understanding is that they have really bad security issues. That leaves buying my own modem and at this point I would need a set up that would also allow for my Frontier products (tv,internet,phone) to work with all it's features. Not my first choice, but I am open to it.

2. Run Cat 7. This would be my first choice, but I'm getting to the age where I'd have to have it done for me, and they'd have to run it across the attic, down the inside wall where the tv is on the second floor, and then (they can't access the rest of the attic) they would have to run it probably around the baseboards and then down the outside wall. This would probably be the best but most expensive.

3. Use Moca. From what little I know about this, it seems like it would work well for my needs. I would probably need 3, maybe 4 adapters but that would still be much cheaper than running the cable.

Does anyone have opinions on these 3 options, and if they would give me what I need, or what the downside would be.

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post #2 of 10 Old 06-20-2019, 02:41 PM - Thread Starter
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I've been researching Moca while waiting for replies. It looks to me that this router (using Fios) supports Moca, but I'm pretty sure it's not bonded. I think that means that I don't need an adapter at the modem, but would at the other locations that I need. I also believe this would not be as fast (about 300 mbps instead of 1000 mbps). Am I correct in assuming that I could put a Moca adapter at the router and then get the better speeds? There sure seems to be a lot of info out there, but it's bits and pieces all over the place. Again, any help would be appreciated.

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post #3 of 10 Old 06-22-2019, 06:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Anyone? There must be someone with some experience with Wifi vs Moca using Fios/fiber.

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post #4 of 10 Old 06-22-2019, 10:27 AM
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#3 Use MoCA. And it can be cheaper and easier than you think if you're just looking for acceptable throughput, rather than maxing-out what's possible with the latest MoCA technology.

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Originally Posted by mr266 View Post
Ok, so currently I have Frontier Fios for TV, Internet and landline phone. My single unit Frontier provided Modem/Router is the ActionTec MI424W ... I also have Frontier Fios cable tv boxes at both tv's.
Given this evidence, you already have a MoCA network active on your coax lines, as the FiOS set-top boxes require MoCA and the MI424-WR has a MoCA bridge built-in, as you noted in post #2 .. But questions remain...

The MI424-WR has built-in MoCA, but you'd want to check the specific version of the unit to know its full specs. (Rev. E, Rev. I?; see here) Hopefully you have the MI424-WR Rev. I, which is MoCA 1.1 and has GigE WAN & LAN ports, but you almost certainly have a MoCA 1.1 gateway, since only the Rev. F or later have wireless-N; so it's just a question of whether you're able to get the extra 50 Mbps available via the Rev. I's GigE ports.

Assuming you can stick with your current gateway, you could grab some pre-owned MoCA 1.1 WCB3000N units ($18 per via Amazon) as your MoCA adapters to provide the needed wired network connectivity at the remote location for up to 2 Ethernet devices (more using a network switch), employing a MoCA-compatible splitter to connect the adapter where necessary. If you have the Rev. I gateway, you should see upwards of 150 Mbps throughput between MoCA nodes.



And, yes, you could use MoCA 2.0 adapters to achieve higher throughput (see here), which would then probably require that you maintain the MoCA 1.1 network for the FiOS set-tops, and operate the (optionally-bonded) MoCA 2.0 network in the "D-High" frequency range ... running two separate MoCA networks over your coax lines, per pg. 6 of the MoCA 2.0 specs doc:
Quote:
The MoCA 2.0 frequency plan defines, within the new extended band D, two sub-bands for independent network operation. These sub-bands comprise the D-low and D-high, as follows:

Sub-band D-Low (DL): 1125 to 1225 MHz edge to edge (100 MHz wide)

Sub-band D-High (DH): 1350 to 1675 MHz edge to edge (325 MHz wide)

Guard-band between sub-bands: 1225 to 1350 MHz (125 MHz wide)
Relative throughputs of a multi-node setup for each MoCA spec:

  • MoCA 1.1 w/ GigE ports can achieve up to 150 Mbps.
  • Standard MoCA 2.0 up to 400 Mbps.
  • Bonded MoCA 2.0 up to 800 Mbps.

Of course, if the budget allows for a MoCA 2.0 network for the non-FiOS gear, your coax would be handling more than just the spec'd MoCA 2.0 speeds, since you'd still be simultaneously running the MoCA 1.1 network for the FiOS gear.



p.s. If you go w/ the WCB3000N option for your remote MoCA adapters, you can choose to keep or disable each unit's wireless access point functionality, per your needs. You may find the WCB3000N's wireless function useful for addressing dead zones in your current wireless coverage, or simply to provide a localized wireless connection for the co-located entertainment gear lacking Ethernet capability, to keep that traffic off the longer range home wireless network. (See this TCF post if looking to disable WCB3000N wireless)

Last edited by krkaufman; 06-22-2019 at 12:09 PM.
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post #5 of 10 Old 06-22-2019, 03:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krkaufman View Post
#3 Use MoCA. And it can be cheaper and easier than you think if you're just looking for acceptable throughput, rather than maxing-out what's possible with the latest MoCA technology.


Given this evidence, you already have a MoCA network active on your coax lines, as the FiOS set-top boxes require MoCA and the MI424-WR has a MoCA bridge built-in, as you noted in post #2 .. But questions remain...

The MI424-WR has built-in MoCA, but you'd want to check the specific version of the unit to know its full specs. (Rev. E, Rev. I?; see here) Hopefully you have the MI424-WR Rev. I, which is MoCA 1.1 and has GigE WAN & LAN ports, but you almost certainly have a MoCA 1.1 gateway, since only the Rev. F or later have wireless-N; so it's just a question of whether you're able to get the extra 50 Mbps available via the Rev. I's GigE ports.

Assuming you can stick with your current gateway, you could grab some pre-owned MoCA 1.1 WCB3000N units ($18 per via Amazon) as your MoCA adapters to provide the needed wired network connectivity at the remote location for up to 2 Ethernet devices (more using a network switch), employing a MoCA-compatible splitter to connect the adapter where necessary. If you have the Rev. I gateway, you should see upwards of 150 Mbps throughput between MoCA nodes.



And, yes, you could use MoCA 2.0 adapters to achieve higher throughput (see here), which would then probably require that you maintain the MoCA 1.1 network for the FiOS set-tops, and operate the (optionally-bonded) MoCA 2.0 network in the "D-High" frequency range ... running two separate MoCA networks over your coax lines, per pg. 6 of the MoCA 2.0 specs doc:Relative throughputs of a multi-node setup for each MoCA spec:

  • MoCA 1.1 w/ GigE ports can achieve up to 150 Mbps.
  • Standard MoCA 2.0 up to 400 Mbps.
  • Bonded MoCA 2.0 up to 800 Mbps.

Of course, if the budget allows for a MoCA 2.0 network for the non-FiOS gear, your coax would be handling more than just the spec'd MoCA 2.0 speeds, since you'd still be simultaneously running the MoCA 1.1 network for the FiOS gear.



p.s. If you go w/ the WCB3000N option for your remote MoCA adapters, you can choose to keep or disable each unit's wireless access point functionality, per your needs. You may find the WCB3000N's wireless function useful for addressing dead zones in your current wireless coverage, or simply to provide a localized wireless connection for the co-located entertainment gear lacking Ethernet capability, to keep that traffic off the longer range home wireless network. (See this TCF post if looking to disable WCB3000N wireless)

Thanks for all of that great info! After reading your post and some other info I've found, I was thinking strongly about have both the 1.1 and the 2.0 networks (I do have a REV 1 router). If I'm correct, it looks like I'd basically connect a splitter from the coax at the wall, and then two coaxes from there...one to the router and one to the Moca adapter. Then I'd attach an ethernet from the router to the adapter.

Here's my question about that: Since the router also functions as a firewall of sorts, does the split side (the moca adapter side of the spliter) now become unsecured? Is that even an issue?

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post #6 of 10 Old 06-22-2019, 04:19 PM
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First step is ... getting into your MI424-WR Rev. I's configuration UI and verifying the MoCA network configuration, including the channel/frequency in-use. You can also dig-in and identify the connected MoCA nodes and their MoCA statistics. (good to document before any changes are made)

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr266 View Post
If I'm correct, it looks like I'd basically connect a splitter from the coax at the wall, and then two coaxes from there...one to the router and one to the Moca adapter. Then I'd attach an ethernet from the router to the adapter.
Yes, that is how you would physically connect the MoCA adapter at the router location. However, you'd want to first configure the adapter per instructions to only operate in the "D-High" sub-band.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr266 View Post
Here's my question about that: Since the router also functions as a firewall of sorts, does the split side (the moca adapter side of the spliter) now become unsecured? Is that even an issue?
Security isn't a concern for MoCA on FiOS since the coax only extends to the ONT; the MoCA signal can't pass any further upstream, out of your house. Cable customers do have this risk and so require a "PoE" MoCA filter installed at the cable signal point-of-entry to keep MoCA signals secured inside the home.

edit: p.s. I'm hunting for any docs on how to setup two separate MoCA networks successfully, and will post it if/when found.

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post #7 of 10 Old 06-22-2019, 04:58 PM
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p.p.s. Personally, I'd give one of the WCB3000N adapters a try, to see if the low-cost solution works for a given location. You can get 3 for the cost of a single MoCA 2.0 adapter; then someday resell them on eBay or install them at a friends if/when you find you need an upgrade.
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post #8 of 10 Old 06-22-2019, 10:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krkaufman View Post
p.p.s. Personally, I'd give one of the WCB3000N adapters a try, to see if the low-cost solution works for a given location. You can get 3 for the cost of a single MoCA 2.0 adapter; then someday resell them on eBay or install them at a friends if/when you find you need an upgrade.
This actually sounds like it might work pretty well for me. Don't really need the wifi ability of them, but as you say, I can always turn them off. If I can get even 100mbps via ethernet cables from my gigabit switch, they would blow my powerlines away.

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post #9 of 10 Old 06-23-2019, 06:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krkaufman View Post
p.p.s. Personally, I'd give one of the WCB3000N adapters a try, to see if the low-cost solution works for a given location. You can get 3 for the cost of a single MoCA 2.0 adapter; then someday resell them on eBay or install them at a friends if/when you find you need an upgrade.

One more question about the WCB3000N. I'm assuming, in my case, that I would not need one of these (like I would the Moca 2.0 adapters) at my router. I can just have 2...one at each location that I would like to extend my ethernet lan. I currently have coax to the router, and both my router and my main desktop PC ethernet connected to a switch, and then a Cat6 from the switch to a Powerline. It sounds like I can keep this part the same with the exception of doing away with the Cat6 to the powerline. The other ends would just be a spliter and 2 coaxes to both the cable boxes and the WCB3000N. From the WCB3000N, I can then use a Cat6 to another switch where I plug in any of my devices. Sound right? If so, it sounds pretty good to me.
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post #10 of 10 Old 06-23-2019, 12:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr266 View Post
One more question about the WCB3000N. I'm assuming, in my case, that I would not need one of these (like I would the Moca 2.0 adapters) at my router. I can just have 2...one at each location that I would like to extend my ethernet lan. I currently have coax to the router, and both my router and my main desktop PC ethernet connected to a switch, and then a Cat6 from the switch to a Powerline. It sounds like I can keep this part the same with the exception of doing away with the Cat6 to the powerline. The other ends would just be a spliter and 2 coaxes to both the cable boxes and the WCB3000N. From the WCB3000N, I can then use a Cat6 to another switch where I plug in any of my devices. Sound right? If so, it sounds pretty good to me.
That sounds entirely correct ... assuming the "first step" suggestion above confirms that your MI424-WR's built-in MoCA bridge is alive and well. Each WCB3000N would then connect back to the MI424-WR via your coax/MoCA network.

Also, note that the WCB3000N has 2 Gigabit Ethernet ports, so you'd only need a separate switch at the remote location if you need to connect more than 2 devices via Ethernet.

p.s. Holland GHS-PRO-M series splitters are recommended for MoCA setups, but any cable-rated splitter (1GHz) should suffice for your MoCA 1.1 network. You'd want to review your coax components for MoCA compatibility were you to eventually upgrade to MoCA 2.0, 2.5, etc.
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