If you “cut the cord,” your walls likely contain miles of coaxial wire that is no longer functional. With just a few adapters, we demonstrate in this article how to integrate that unused cable into your home network.
Coaxial cable (shown above) is the circular, often white, somewhat stiff wire that carries all types of pay TV services, including cable and satellite-based subscriptions, if you are not already familiar with it through performing self-installs of set-top boxes or internet modems. For many years, the cabling was installed in almost every home that has had an outdated TV wiring or internet connection.
But as technology advanced, many of us switched from traditional TV services to online streaming of TV shows and films. Even though many houses were still utilizing a single coaxial cable line to transmit their broadband signal to a modem as a result of this, Ethernet has increasingly replaced it as more ISPs mandate its use for any service tier that exceeds 100Mbps.
Due to these transitions, coaxial wires and outlets are now protruding from walls and floors in millions of houses, where they appear to be worthless. Don’t remove all of the cablings, though, just yet. You can use the lines that already snake throughout your home to transmit the same data that would otherwise need hundreds of feet of expensively installed Ethernet cabling with a few simple adapters.
It can link any two Ethernet-capable devices together, including modems, routers, switches, computers, streaming devices, and more, even if they are on different sides of the house. Continue reading to learn how to transform that unused coaxial cable into a useful tool for whole-home networking.
How to transform the coaxial wire in your home into Ethernet lines
- Materials needed: Built-in coaxial cabling, a coaxial-to-Ethernet adapter kit, any networking hardware you’re hoping to connect
- Estimated time: 30 minutes
- Estimated cost: $115 to $150 (depending on adapter model)
1. Locate the coaxial cable line you want to adopt
Finding the coaxial cable connection you wish to convert to Ethernet is the first and frequently most challenging stage in this procedure. It’s quite beneficial if the cable is identified at both endpoints because the majority of cable runs take place inside walls. That’s regrettably not always the case.
A friend or member of your family can support you through this process by joining you on the phone at this time. It can be as easy as having them wiggle one end while you keep an eye on the other for movement if you have a bare coaxial cable coming out of the wall. Or, if you have a built-in outlet, it could require a bit more investigation to visually distinguish between the two lines.
If worse comes to worst, the next steps are straightforward enough for you to merely hazard a guess; if you’re incorrect, you may try again with your next best estimate as to which line is leading to your desired goal. Or, if you’re pressed for time, there’s a really useful tool that can assist you that we explain in the FAQ section below.
2. Connect your first adapter
The next step is to start attaching the adaptor kit you bought once your line of preference has been confirmed (or after making your best estimate). We’ve included a few adaptor candidates below; we advise picking the one that best balances speed and security for your needs.
There are a total of three connections you must make to complete the adapter installation:
- Coaxial cable: will screw into the port marked G. Hn., In, or MoCa (Multimedia over Coax Alliance), depending on your model
- Ethernet: will click into the Ethernet port
- Power: should usually be connected last
Despite differences in power adapter design across manufacturers, electricity is nearly always required to convert and transmit your Ethernet signal via coax.
An outdated TV wiring TV or Out connection for a second coaxial cable may also be included on some adapters. If you still want the same cable to carry an outdated TV wiring TV signal, try this method. Although it is feasible to continue using a cable or other pay outdated TV wiring connection over the same line, we advise against it. The possibility of interference between the two competing signals might result in subpar performance for both.
3. Connect your second adapter
The only difference is that you repeat it at the opposite end of the coaxial wire run from where you started.
Depending totally on your objectives for this new coax-to-Ethernet link, you should decide where to put each adapter. For instance, you would need one adapter where the broadband connection enters your home and the other where you want your router, with a coaxial line running between them if you were trying to connect your incoming broadband connection to a modem or router that would be located elsewhere in your home.
Similarly, you would position one adapter close to the router and the other close to your home theatre if you want a hardwired connection running from an existing router to a setup for a stable 4K (or even 8K) streaming experience in your basement.
The most crucial thing is to see these adapters as nothing more than Ethernet run endpoints. That’s exactly what any old stretch of coaxial wire can become with their assistance.
4. Connect all of your other networking hardware
The last step is to connect any network devices you want your newly established connection to access once your adapters are operational. Anything comparable to the samples in Step 3 as well as additional streaming devices, network switches, PCs, wireless network extenders, and related technology can be included in this. Any device that would typically be able to connect through Ethernet is a contender.
Your new home networking configuration should be ready to use once you’ve connected your other networking devices and made sure the connection is active.
Other lines of coaxial cable may also be converted to Ethernet by repeating this procedure, but you’ll need a different set of adapters for each one.
Which adapter should I buy?
This fully relies on the objectives of your run, the amount of protection you desire, and other elements unique to your house and gadgets. For the most typical cases, we have compiled a few solid alternatives below. The adapter we used in our example is this one. It has built-in encryption for security and can go as fast as 2Gbps at its top speed.