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Ask The Expert: Have questions about moving your router or some other device with wired Ethernet or coax (MoCA)? The Expert is Here!

Ask The Expert: Have questions about moving your router or some other device with wired Ethernet or coax (MoCA)? The Expert is Here!

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Registered: ‎06-30-2012

Re: Ask The Expert: Have questions about moving your router or some other device with wired Ethernet or coax (MoCA)? The Expert is Here!

Message 11 of 16
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@Peachpa wrote:

I am trying to move my modem, and when I did it did not connect to the internet.  I believe the connection I tried to connect to is not active.  what do I need to do to have the connection activated.  Thanks.


I’m not sure if we are talking about a coax or Ethernet connection as the post doesn’t mention it, but I’m guessing coax since there was another connection of the same type (whichever one that was) at the new location. Whole-house ethernet connections are a lot less common. If I recall correctly – and I don’t work for Verizon, so this may not be correct – Verizon is only responsible for the connection from the ONT to the router. That’s probably only the first line they ran as well, so you might be on the hook to track down the problem yourself. Verizon has an (additional monthly cost) inside wiring maintenance plan (https://www.verizon.com/about/terms-conditions/terms-and-conditions-verizon-inside-wire-maintenance). It’s not clear if that covers wiring for an Internet connection. It seems to exclude the repair of “jacks not previously connected to the line reported” It sounds like that is mostly for telephone wiring.

That said, coax wiring usually isn’t that hard to fix. First, if the coax that went into your router came directly from the ONT without any splitters (connecting that cable to the other coax wiring in your residence), once you disconnect the router, you would no longer have any connection from the ONT to the rest of the coax in your house. (If you don’t have Fios TV, a splitter isn’t strictly necessary, but I think Verizon generally puts one in anyways.)

You may need to purchase a coax coupler to connect the cable from the ONT to the coax that runs through the rest of the house. You might also be able to connect the coax from the ONT to a coax wall jack. If you do add any couplers or splitters, just make sure they pass signals up to 2GHz and preferably signals up to 3GHz. These are not expensive, but it’s pretty easy to find only 1 GHz versions, which doesn’t transmit the higher-range frequencies used for MoCA.

It’s also possible if you have multiple coax cables running to several rooms, the coax may all run to a common location, but the connections were not connected with a splitter. That is, there are just a bunch of coax cables the end at the same place. That’s usually in a basement or garage, but in my house, it’s in the attic. I have a 4-way splitter (one input and four outputs) in my case. There were two cables original to my house, and I added two more. I had to put the coax connectors on the coax lines I ran myself.

If you find your coax cables seem to be connected inside at some common spot, look up videos on YouTube for how to “ring out,” “tone out,” or trace a coax connection. It could be that you have multiple splitters, or the coax has gotten broken at a jack or splitter. The cable could have broken behind a wall, but that’s less common than at the endpoints.

[Be nice! We are mostly fellow Verizon customers.
My setup: 75/75 Mbps; Linux router (2x 1Gbps ports) + iptables; Linksys WRT1900ACS in Bridge Mode]

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Silver Contributor IV Silver Contributor IV
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Posts: 251
Registered: ‎06-30-2012

Re: Ask The Expert: Have questions about moving your router or some other device with wired Ethernet or coax (MoCA)? The Expert is Here!

Message 12 of 16
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@Khories wrote:

I have another question:

What is the best type of cabling I can use when I am moving my equipment? Does it make a difference? 


The answer to that depends on the distance. I've had short Ethernet cables rated at 100 Mbps run 1 Gbps with no problem. Likewise, 1 Gbps running at 10 Gbps. However, when I start getting up to fifty-foot cables, I really want at least Cat 5e cable for 1 Gbps and prefer Cat 6 cable. If running cable through a wall is involved, the answer to me is always the highest-rate quality cable I can get my hands on.  It's not fun to run that cable. If I can reuse it for a decade or two, but only change what's on either end of the cable, it's money well spent. 

 

For the coax cable I've run, I use RG6 plenum cable. RG6 is supposed to support higher frequencies better than RG59 and the cost difference in the lengths I'm running is pretty negligible. I probably got mine from Monoprice, but it was a long time ago. I've had zero problems with it. 

[Be nice! We are mostly fellow Verizon customers.
My setup: 75/75 Mbps; Linux router (2x 1Gbps ports) + iptables; Linksys WRT1900ACS in Bridge Mode]

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Re: Ask The Expert: Have questions about moving your router or some other device with wired Ethernet or coax (MoCA)? The Expert is Here!

Message 13 of 16
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@Ace2019 wrote:
  1. What are some of the alternative ways I can get MoCA working even if I have my own router?
  2. What are some tools I should use to help determine if I can move my router and where I should move it if I can?

If you are still in the process of getting your own router working in place of a Verizon router, I would point you to this Verizon post on that topic.

 

However, that's not what you asked, so let's go into that. If you have Verizon Fios TV service (and with that, Verizon set-top boxes [STBs] and/or DVRs), you will still need to get the guide and video on demand (VoD) stream from your Ethernet (Internet) connection onto the MoCA LAN channel on the coax inside your house, which is what the STBs and DVRs need. An Ethernet to MoCA adapter like the Actiontec ECB6200 can be used to do this. (The Verizon router that was replaced used to do that duty as well as handling Ethernet for the other wired and wireless devices .) Verizon also sells a Fios Network Adapter that should do the same function, but I've not used that.

 

I have a video in the How-to videos on the front page of the forums that shows a pair of ECB6200s in action. I am not using these for Fios TV; I don't have the service. I needed to get a near-gigabit Ethernet connection in a room in the house with nothing but coax wiring in the wall. You wouldn't need a pair of these unless you also wanted to get Ethernet somewhere else in the house as I did. The Verizon STBs and DVRs have MoCA built-in, so they don't need any other connectors. If you have Fios TV, your coax is serving live TV (on the lower frequencies)

 


@Ace2019 wrote:

Hi,

I have some questions:

  1. What are some of the alternative ways I can get MoCA working even if I have my own router?
  2. What are some tools I should use to help determine if I can move my router and where I should move it if I can?

(I have another video in the How-To section on moving your router.) If you are moving a router that uses Ethernet from the ONT (rather than coax) to get Internet service, you might need to run your own Ethernet cable to the new location. If you need to do that (or your house was pre-wired with Ethernet). You can join two Ethernet cables together to effectively make one longer Ethernet cable using an Ethernet cable coupler. You can check to make sure the cable in the new location is working using an Ethernet cable tester like this one from Monoprice.

 

If you need to check a coax cable as well (or instead), look up YouTube videos on how to ring out (aka tone out, trace) coax cables like this one. Joining coax cables is easy with coax couplers. The only thing to watch is that the couplers pass the higher frequencies (at least up to 2 GHz). 

 

One thing I did when I wanted to see where to put my wireless router (that I use in bridge mode, so it's really just a wireless access point) is to set it up in various locations, connect to it with my phone and use an app like WiFi Analyzer (the open-source version) to see what the signal is like in various spots in my house. (My house was easy to figure out; no surprises.)

[Be nice! We are mostly fellow Verizon customers.
My setup: 75/75 Mbps; Linux router (2x 1Gbps ports) + iptables; Linksys WRT1900ACS in Bridge Mode]

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Re: Ask The Expert: Have questions about moving your router or some other device with wired Ethernet or coax (MoCA)? The Expert is Here!

Message 14 of 16
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@forumuser123 wrote:

Hello,

 

What is MoCA and why does it matter for me?

 

Thanks.


As a term, MoCA stands for Multimedia over Coax Alliance. A group of networking equipment providers (e.g., Intel and Broadcom), Internet Service Providers (ISPs) (e.g., Verizon and Cox), and content providers (e.g., DirecTV and Dish) formed a group to come up with a specification to make better use of the coax installed in many businesses and homes than just analog TV signals. You can read more about the alliance on the MoCA Alliance website's FAQ.

 

The alliance started in 2004 and there have been several versions of the specification. Every version of the specification breaks the coax frequency range into bands - called channels - that are used for different purposes. Not all channels have the same "width" in terms of frequency range they encompass. For example, the coax cable still carries analog (live) TV (and/or digital TV) on the lower channels (which has a pretty wide band of frequencies). Several channels in the upper frequencies have a much narrower band, and those are set aside for Internet traffic. One channel is set aside for the MoCA WAN (wide-area network), which would carry traffic coming from or going to the Internet. Another channel (or channels) is (are) set aside for MoCA LAN, which is the Internet traffic flowing to and from devices inside your residence. Many of the differences in the specifications have to do with how many channels are supported. You can read more about that also at the MoCA Website Technology section.

 

Now, given what MoCA is, why does it matter? Assuming you are a Verizon Fios Internet-only customer, MoCA may not matter to you at all. Either outside or inside your house, you have an Optical Network Terminal (ONT). That box converts the Verizon fiber from outside to something you can use inside your residence. If you get your Internet service using an Ethernet cable from the ONT to your router, you may not have any MoCA equipment involved.

 

However, if you are also a Fios TV customer (on older Verizon equipment at least), there will also be a coax cable from the ONT that goes both to your Verizon's routers and to the Fios DVRs and set-top boxes (STBs). The Verizon equipment uses built-in MoCA to Ethernet adapters to transfer program guide information and video on demand (VoD) streaming data to be received over a coax cable.

 

A believe that the newer Fios TV One can use Ethernet cabling as well as coax. The Fios TV One mini additionally supports wireless connections. With these, you may not need to use the coax at all if you have access to wired Ethernet connections. I don't have a Fios TV One (or mini), so I am basing that on only what I have read.

 

In my specific use case, I am not a Fios TV customer, but I use a pair of Actiontec ECB6200 MoCA adapters to take an Ethernet connection, convert it to coax, and use the coax already installed when my house was built to get wired Ethernet speeds to the other side of my house. At the other end, another MoCA to Ethernet adapter converts it back to Ethernet.

 

At the risk of giving you more information than you wanted to know 😊, I will mention that it sounds like all that is happening on the coax side of the network is a simple signal conversion from coax to Ethernet and back. Actually, the coax network is a full-fledged sub-network with one MoCA device (aka "node") serving as the coordinator (usually the first MoCA-enabled device powered up). The other MoCA nodes will negotiate for a network address and the best frequencies to use (within the allowed frequency range) on the coax to get the best throughput. MoCA 2.0 allows up to 16 devices to be connected via coax. If you have a Verizon router, two STBs and a whole house DVR

[Be nice! We are mostly fellow Verizon customers.
My setup: 75/75 Mbps; Linux router (2x 1Gbps ports) + iptables; Linksys WRT1900ACS in Bridge Mode]

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Re: Ask The Expert: Have questions about moving your router or some other device with wired Ethernet or coax (MoCA)? The Expert is Here!

Message 15 of 16
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@AJ411 wrote:

I was wondering if I can wire everything using Ethernet only? 


The answer to this question depends on what services you get from Verizon. If you are an Internet-only customer, you can use only Ethernet wiring pretty easily. If it is not already, you would want to get your Internet from the ONT via Ethernet rather than coax. (You would have to call Verizon to get that switched.) That would go into the Ethernet WAN port on the router. Then inside your residence, you would just use Ethernet wiring (or wireless) to connect all your devices using the LAN ports on the back of the router. (If you plan to use your a different manufacturer's router, the answer is still the same.)

 

If you are a Verizon Fios TV customer, the answer is a bit more complicated. The older set-top boxes like the Motorola (6200, 7100) used MoCA connection over coax to get the programming guide and video-on-demand streams as well as the live TV signal. For those, you need the coax connection and the Ethernet to coax conversion that the Fios router provides. In a previous customer-life, I had Fios TV service and used a CableCard with a TiVo DVR, but the coax was still a necessary part to get the video signal. In that case, however, the TiVo programming and VoD came over the Ethernet wiring directly to the DVR. 

 

The newer Fios TV One appears to be able to use Ethernet instead of coax, but I couldn't find any definitive confirmation of that. I have not used that myself, but some posts on DSL reports sound as if some users have gotten Ethernet to work. If that's not the case then you would still need to have coax for the Fios TV One.

 

So, unfortunately, my answer is "maybe." If you post this question in the regular Fios forums and describe what equipment is involved, we can probably give a (more) definitive answer.

[Be nice! We are mostly fellow Verizon customers.
My setup: 75/75 Mbps; Linux router (2x 1Gbps ports) + iptables; Linksys WRT1900ACS in Bridge Mode]

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Re: Ask The Expert: Have questions about moving your router or some other device with wired Ethernet or coax (MoCA)? The Expert is Here!

Message 16 of 16
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@AJ411 wrote:

Do you have good information on how I should position my extender if I also need to move my router?


In one of my earlier answers, I mentioned the Android app WiFi Analyzer. I have used this app and there are several others like it. There's also an iOS app by the name WiFi Analyzer Pro (among others) for iPhones, but I can't vouch for that one. What I was trying to find out is the best place to locate a Wireless Access Point (actually a wireless router in bridge mode, but effectively a WAP). I had a pretty good idea that I would want to place it at about the middle of my house, nearest I could get it to the ceiling of the lower floor (which is the closest to the floor of the upper floor without putting the WAP on that floor).

 

Since I was not sure of what's in the walls, I walked around with my phone connected to the WAP to see if any spots had unexpected drop-offs from wiring, metal ducts, etc. In my case, I didn't find anything surprising. My WiFi signal drops off with distance from the WAP in a fairly uniform way. My house is not that large either, so I didn't find I needed an extender (or mesh network) to get the coverage I needed.

 

I believe you could do something similar to figure out the best placement for your extender is to put your router at its new location. Then (with the extender turned off so there aren't competing signals) use the WiFi Analyzer app to determine what area are of your residence has the weakest signal (in a place that you care to have WiFi coverage). If you have multiple floors in your residence, be sure to check vertically as well as horizontally. (I have two floors to which I care to get a reliable WiFi signal.) When you find out where the router's WiFI signal is supplying the weakest coverage, start by placing the extender somewhere in that area (that has a coax connection).

 

The goal is to get a decent amount of separation between the router and extender, but not so far that the signal gets unacceptable weak halfway between the two. To maximize the signal throughout your residence, you may want to walk back about a 1/4 to 1/3 way (as if you had a direct line of sight through walls and floors) toward the router and place the extender there.

[Be nice! We are mostly fellow Verizon customers.
My setup: 75/75 Mbps; Linux router (2x 1Gbps ports) + iptables; Linksys WRT1900ACS in Bridge Mode]

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