Options for better Network Speeds in home office

McRackin

Limp Gawd
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Dec 27, 2008
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Hi all - looking for help in assessing my options for a better network speed now that my fiance and I are working from home full-time due to COVID-19.

Situation: We live in Alberta, Canada and subscribe to Shaw Internet 300mbps. Her office is on the main floor of the house where the Shaw router/modem is connected into the coax outlet in the wall. Her computer is hardwired right into the back of the router. Me: I'm upstairs on the other end of the house, connected by WiFi. This room has a coax outlet so not sure if that is an option to install a 3rd party router... THEN hardwire into my computer? Since the Shaw router has WiFi, a new router could also connect by WiFi... but not sure that would help significantly since they are both WiFi bottlenecked. Similarly, a cheap $50 WiFi extender could help... or a USB with more powerful WiFi intennas could help.... but not sure. Looking for a mix of value and performance. I don't want to drill holes in my wall and run CAT cables everywhere and I don't want to blow $500 on a router that has 20 intennas sticking out of it. If I can significantly improve speed/performance by spending under $100 I'm happy. Thanks anyone in advance!
 

pendragon1

Fully [H]
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Oct 7, 2000
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Hi all - looking for help in assessing my options for a better network speed now that my fiance and I are working from home full-time due to COVID-19.

Situation: We live in Alberta, Canada and subscribe to Shaw Internet 300mbps. Her office is on the main floor of the house where the Shaw router/modem is connected into the coax outlet in the wall. Her computer is hardwired right into the back of the router. Me: I'm upstairs on the other end of the house, connected by WiFi. This room has a coax outlet so not sure if that is an option to install a 3rd party router... THEN hardwire into my computer? Since the Shaw router has WiFi, a new router could also connect by WiFi... but not sure that would help significantly since they are both WiFi bottlenecked. Similarly, a cheap $50 WiFi extender could help... or a USB with more powerful WiFi intennas could help.... but not sure. Looking for a mix of value and performance. I don't want to drill holes in my wall and run CAT cables everywhere and I don't want to blow $500 on a router that has 20 intennas sticking out of it. If I can significantly improve speed/performance by spending under $100 I'm happy. Thanks anyone in advance!
im on the same setup, same local. your easiest would be power line extenders and hard wire it too. can get a decent set for $80-100.
 

SamirD

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While I love powerlines, when you have a coax jack right there, it is begging for moca adapters that will give you full gigabit speeds:
https://www.bestbuy.com/site/search...rue&iht=y&usc=All+Categories&ks=960&keys=keys

You may even be able to get away with just a single adapter if your cable company router already has moca built-in. And if you want, you can even go with something like this that is moca 2.0, but not bonded but is cheaper and has a switch and ap built-in:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Verizon-Fios-Quantum-Gateway-4-Port-Wi-Fi-Router-Black-FIOS-G1100/174444059519?epid=20027055157&hash=item289dad1b7f:g:2h4AAOSwISBfZ2cH&LH_BO=1

I actually have 2x of these and can get 500Mbps between them. Getting one of these to connect with your cable moca (if it has one) gives you strong wifi on that side of the house as well as a wired connection back to the source.

The only caveat about moca is the wiring--any splitters need to pass the moca signal. If this is easily accessible it's an easy thing to check. Otherwise the lack of moca compliant splitters or an easy way to get to them (inside walls!?) makes powerlines a easier installation. Powerlines av2000 will also have only about a 100Mbps reduction in bandwidth, so that may not be that bad in the first place.

Hope this helps!
 
Joined
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+1 on MOCA, assuming the coax is used for cable TV (which does appear to be the case per the OP).

I checked Canukistanian Amazon, and the Actiontec (pretty much the standard) v2.5 adapters are going for less than the v2.0, so you may as well get the former.
https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B088KV2YYL
https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B013J7O3X0

As mentioned, check any coax splitters for compatibility. They must support >= 1600 MHz for full MOCA compatibility, and should not have any open connectors. You'll also need a MOCA filter near your home's demarcation point (the spot where the cable coax meets your home).
https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00DC8IEE6
 

SamirD

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Wow, actiontec finally joined the 2.5Gbps party. :) Kinda too late as the other ones like the gocoax ones have already been selling out regularly.
 
Joined
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Wow, actiontec finally joined the 2.5Gbps party. :) Kinda too late as the other ones like the gocoax ones have already been selling out regularly.

IIRC from when I was looking into some for myself a few years ago, they've had them then as well. However, until recently they were only supplied to cable providers or VARs or other "certified installers" or some such. I'm not certain when they finally made them available at retail.
 

SamirD

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IIRC from when I was looking into some for myself a few years ago, they've had them then as well. However, until recently they were only supplied to cable providers or VARs or other "certified installers" or some such. I'm not certain when they finally made them available at retail.
Yep, they were actually the first to have them but since they didn't let them out into the retail market, the competitors came in.
 

SamirD

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yes and i have not idea about the MOCA stuff those guys are talking about, youd have to check with shaw and they are over kill for what you have for speed.
They're basically like power lines except they run over coax and are much, much faster. I've seen pretty much gigabit bandwidth when testing my moca 2.0 units.
 

pendragon1

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They're basically like power lines except they run over coax and are much, much faster. I've seen pretty much gigabit bandwidth when testing my moca 2.0 units.
i get what they are now but hadnt heard of them and have no idea if they will work with our provider. there are supposedly 1gb power line ones too but idk about that over copper...
 

SamirD

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i get what they are now but hadnt heard of them and have no idea if they will work with our provider. there are supposedly 1gb power line ones too but idk about that over copper...
They're independent of your provider. But if your isp router has moca it saves you one adapter. Otherwise you put one at each end.

Powerlines can say whatever they want bandwidth-wise--they almost never hit higher than 200Mbps in the real world. I get at best 40Mbps through my av500 and av600 sets.
 

Ready4Dis

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+1 for MOCA, that was going to be my suggestion right when I saw you say you had COAX handy. That's exactly what they are built for, people with COAX running around the house that don't want to run ethernet. Being hard wired it'll probably be a lot more reliable than wifi and range isn't an issue (I know my wifi gets SLOW when i'm not very close to it, to the point even 100mb/s wired be better).
 

SamirD

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Being hard wired it'll probably be a lot more reliable than wifi...
They are beyond wifi--they're like literally having an ethernet cable. The only thing better is a real ethernet cable and from the iperf tests I've run on my set, even a real ethernet cable would just be the same. (y)
 

toast0

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Moca seems like a good bet, but what's your phone wiring like? If it's home runs to a somewhat convenient location with decent cabling, and you're not using it anyway, it can be easy to reterminate with rj45 and you're done. If your phone wiring is daisy chained, or isn't in the rooms of interest, it won't be helpful of course. If the cable is cat3 instead of cat5, it's still worth trying to see; ethernet specs are for 100 meters in a bundle with other ethernet cables, a shorter run that's not next to other cables can work on underspeced cables.
 

SamirD

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Actually, even if you have cat5 that's daisy-chained you can still use it. You simply 'unchain' the wire at each port and make it 2x ports. (y)

But if you truly have cat3 wiring, you'll be lucky to get 100Mbs ethernet to run on that--the specs are just too low on the cabling. However, 10Mbps ethernet will run fine and you can use a vdsl baesd extender to get 100Mbps+ to run on it.
 

toast0

Gawd
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Actually, even if you have cat5 that's daisy-chained you can still use it. You simply 'unchain' the wire at each port and make it 2x ports. (y)

I guess you could do that, but sounds like a pain, and a lot of small switches.

But if you truly have cat3 wiring, you'll be lucky to get 100Mbs ethernet to run on that--the specs are just too low on the cabling. However, 10Mbps ethernet will run fine and you can use a vdsl baesd extender to get 100Mbps+ to run on it.

I mean, cat3 doesn't meet the specifications, but that doesn't mean it won't work. At my last house, I ended up running gigE to my detached garage with a mix of cat5e and cat3 (it was already in the ground between the buildings); it's not supposed to work, but it worked fine. If it doesn't work though, you're going to need to hardcode the speeds, because Ethernet auto-negotiation is just checking capabilities of the NICs, not the wiring.
 

SamirD

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I guess you could do that, but sounds like a pain, and a lot of small switches.



I mean, cat3 doesn't meet the specifications, but that doesn't mean it won't work. At my last house, I ended up running gigE to my detached garage with a mix of cat5e and cat3 (it was already in the ground between the buildings); it's not supposed to work, but it worked fine. If it doesn't work though, you're going to need to hardcode the speeds, because Ethernet auto-negotiation is just checking capabilities of the NICs, not the wiring.
Why a switch? You can simply plug in a small patch cable to both ports and now you have one long cable again. But if you need to use that port, then yes, a switch would be needed.

Yeah, it's all about how well the wiring carries the signal. I was able to get over 10Mbps over 30 year old water logged pots wire using some vdsl boxes and technically it should have never worked. You never know until you try. :D
 
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