Slow internet at home?  This adapter is the key to faster wired connectivity

NexusLink G.HN Wave 2 Kit review: Turn your unused coax cable into Ethernet

advantages

  • Much cheaper than professionally installed Ethernet
  • Easy setup that takes minutes
  • Include everything but the coax on your walls

cons

  • The maximum speed is slower than Gigabit Ethernet
  • Multiple kits may be required for some installations
  • It won’t work if you still have active cable TV

It’s no secret that most cable and satellite TV services are losing customers to cable outages as people switch to streaming services. So chances are your home has hundreds of feet of coaxial cable that used to be needed for TV, and is now just collecting dust.

It is this “dark” coax that the NexusLink G.HN Wave 2 Ethernet over Coax Adapter use to quickly and inexpensively expand your wired home networking options.

If you live in a home that is already wired for Ethernet, or have spent thousands of dollars adding it, chances are you don’t need this product. But if you’re in the situation that the vast majority of us are, these adapters could save you time and money by turning that obscure coax cable into a valuable network asset.

Too: Why is my internet so slow? 11 ways to speed up your connection

This is especially true if you live in a house where some rooms seem to destroy even the strongest Wi-Fi signals.

Specifications

Maximum nominal transfer rate 2,000Mbps
ports 2 coax (male), 1 Gigabit Ethernet
Can Wall adapters included
Maximum number of nodes per network sixteen
integrated security 128-bit AES encryption
use cases Streaming (up to 8K), home networking, gaming
Accessories included 2 wall power adapters, 2 Ethernet cables
Maximum coaxial distance between adapters 800 meters
Dimensions (single unit) 3.90 x 2.67 x 0.96 inches or 99 x 67.7 x 24.5 mm

A coax wall port

You’ll need a coaxial cable coming out of your wall or floor, or a wall-mounted port like this.

fake images

Setting

The setup process is extremely simple. The hardest part might be checking which coax terminals in your home are connected to which. If each one is labeled, great. If not, you may need to look in crawl spaces with a flashlight.

Which execution you choose depends on what you want to do with the new connection.

For example, if you want a connection from the router in your bedroom to a home theater in your basement, and you already have a coaxial cable in the wall between those locations, you would place one adapter in your bedroom and the other in your basement. .

The Ethernet cable at the basement end can be connected directly to a home theater PC or streaming device, or used to connect an Ethernet switch or secondary Wi-Fi access point for added flexibility.

Accessories included with NexusLink Ethernet over Coax adapters

The kit includes two power adapters and two 6-foot Ethernet cables.

Michael Gariffo/ZDNET

Rather than suggest thousands of similar scenarios, I’ll simply say that almost anything that can be accomplished with an Ethernet cabling run can be easily handled with a coaxial cable run, as long as you have one of these adapters at each end. .

If you’re interested in using this kit, or one like it, to take advantage of dead coax cabling in your home, we’ve already got a comprehensive for you on how to do it.

The bottom of the NexusLink Coax to Ethernet adapter

Each unit is about the size of a small smartphone, but a bit thicker. This makes it easy to hide behind a desk or TV.

Michael Gariffo/ZDNET

Testing

Easy setups like this are a joyous rarity in home networks. But that does not matter if the connection provided by the product is not stable or does not meet the specifications that the company claims. I tried to approach the testing process as scientifically as possible for the adapters, to verify their performance.

More: Top 5 Internet Speed ​​Tests – Test Your Broadband Connection

I’ll explain it to you briefly:

  • I replaced a 40 foot length of Ethernet cable (Gigabit network switch > Gigabit Ethernet port on a desktop PC) with the two adapters, connected by a 30 foot length of coax cable between them.
  • I ran two tests: one with the original 40 foot ethernet cable and a second series with the adapter setup.
  • I tested two scenarios: upload/download rates and latency figures when connecting to the public Internet, and transfer rates for large files transmitted between networked PCs.
  • For each scenario I ran five speed tests at three test sites. For each transfer speed test, I used four files of different sizes, transferred five times each. The average transfer rate and time are shown here.

Internet speed tests

Download (DL) and upload (UL) numbers are in megabits per second (Mbps), while latency (lat.) is in milliseconds (ms). The test was performed on 100 Mbps broadband.

Uninterrupted Ethernet (40ft)

Vendor

speedtest.net

fast.com

Google speed test

DL/UL | Years.

99.97 / 103.33 | sixteen

100 / 110 | fifteen

94.3 / 102.0 | 8

DL/UL | Years.

97.33 / 103.76 | 18

95 / 107 | 14

93.9 / 102.0 | 12

DL/UL | Years.

100.86 / 103.50 | 18

98 / 110 | 13

96.2 / 102 | 10

DL/UL | Years.

100.62 / 103..83 | 17

96 / 100 | 13

95.7 / 97.5 | 10

DL/UL | Years.

99.00 / 103.79 | 18

99 / 110 | 14

95.5 / 97.2 | 8

Average DL / UL | The t

99.56 / 103.64 | 17.4

97.6 / 107.4 | 13.8

95.12 / 100.14 | 9.6


NexusLink Ethernet over Coax Adapter (30 feet of coax, 12 feet total of Ethernet)

Vendor

speedest.net

fast.com

Google speed test

DL/UL | Years.

100.54 / 103.46 | 18

96 / 110 | 14

94.7 / 99.8 | 9

DL/UL | Years.

99.27 / 103.91 | 18

95 / 110 | 12

95.5 / 97.6 | eleven

DL/UL | Years.

98.54 / 103.75 | fifteen

98 / 110 | 14

101.6 / 98.0 | 9

DL/UL | Years.

98.26 / 103.16 | 18

110 / 100 | 14

101.1 / 97.7 | eleven

DL/UL | Years.

98.15 / 103.83 | 17

100 / 100 | 14

101.2 / 97.6 | 9

Average DL / UL | The t

98.95 / 103.62 | 17.2

99.8 / 106 | 13.6

98.82 / 98.14 | 9.8

% difference compared to Ethernet

-0.613% / -0.019% | -1.15%

+2.25% / -1.3% | -1.45%

+3.89% / -1.99% | +2.08%


Results: Download, upload, and latency results are all within a few percentage points, give or take, between the two settings. This means that for gaming and streaming audio and video online, the performance of the adapters is functionally identical to having a similar length of Ethernet in use.

File transfer test over home network

While the above test showed that the adapters were capable of handling more than the 100 Mbps that my broadband connection provides, the much faster theoretical speed of 1 gigabit per second (Gbps) of my home network proved more of a challenge.

ethernet

File Size: Average Transfer Rate in Megabytes per second (MBps) | Total transfer time in minutes and seconds

  • 10.14 GB file: 47.5 MBps | 3:28
  • 1 GB file: 46.5 MBps | 0:21
  • 780 MB file: 46.5 MBps | 0:17
  • 376 MB file: 45.5 MBps | 0:07

ethernet over coax adapters

  • 10.14 GB file: 34.5 MBps | 4:54 (29% slower)
  • 1 GB file: 35 MBps | 0:29 (28% slower)
  • 780 MB file: 33.75 MBps | 0:23 (26% slower)
  • 376 MB file: 34.5 MBps | 0:10 (30% slower)

As you can see, the adapters maxed out at about 35 MBps, while the Ethernet run hit almost 48 MBps. This resulted in transfer rates averaging a third slower when moving large files over my wired network.

Bottom line

As you can see in my tests, the adapters seem to max out, at least in this scenario, around 35 MBps (about 280 Mbps). This is more than any 100 Mbps broadband plan could hope to use, but not as fast as the 300 Mbps of many commonly offered home Internet plans.

Still, unless you’re planning to run a lot of devices through these adapters, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll maximize that transfer rate. Even demanding scenarios like streaming 8K video shouldn’t be a problem.

The only time you might notice the roughly 30% drop in speed I recorded compared to running pure Ethernet is when you’re transferring large files between PCs on your home network. If this is something you do often, it’s worth keeping in mind.

However, given the difficulty, time, and cost associated with installing Ethernet, infrequent slowdowns seem like a much better trade-off than spending hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars to replace your existing coax cable with Ethernet.

To be clear, you’ll need your existing coax cable for this to be a worthwhile option. But if you already have it running in a convenient place in your home, these adapters open up a whole new world of possibilities for those times when you need the kind of stable wired connection that even the best Wi-Fi hardware can’t. provide in every part of every home.

Alternatives to consider

A slightly cheaper option (if you apply the frequently available Amazon coupon) that skips the built-in encryption but still offers theoretical 1Gbps speeds.

Another option that also skips the extra security, but does include extra coaxial cables for connections that require it.

The predecessor of the adapters we saw in this review. They offer a very similar feature set, but hit a theoretical top speed of 1,200 Mbps, about 40% slower than the Wave 2 models we reviewed.

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