Which Routers Are MoCA-enabled?
Bleb1
Enthusiast - Level 3

I'm thinking of upgrading from a 75- to a 300-Mbps Fios plan and buying an inexpensive but well-rated third-party router (which would connect to the ONT in my basement) and an adapter (that would plug into the coax jack upstairs and would allow my desktop computer to connect to it via ethernet cable).  I'm told that to avoid having to buy a second adapter for the basement, I need to make sure the router is MoCA-enabled.  How do I know whether that's true of a given model - e.g., TP-Link Archer AX 21?  (The company was of no help.)  Can I assume most routers are, or are they not MoCA-enabled unless the product description says they are?

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gs0b
Community Leader
Community Leader

EOL means no longer no longer supported.  No firmware updates, including security patches.  EOL'd devices will still work, but as time goes on they become a bigger and bigger security risk.

Your choices are:

  1. Purchase a used G1100 now to solve your current problem.  Keep it in service until your contract renewal in April, then maybe get a free rental router from VZ.
  2. Purchase a used G1100 now and keep using it for years ignoring the security risk after it goes EOL, as you've done with the ancient Actiontec.
  3. See if you can get a free rental router from VZ now if you switch to a current plan.
  4. Purchase a current, supported non-Verizon router and MoCA adapter now, and don't worry about VZ's equipment.

I recommend 1 or 4.

Note that if you use a non-Verizon router, they, too, go EOL.  You should be checking your router provider's web site for firmware updates on at least an annual basis.  If you don't see new updates in at least 12 months, it's likely they are no longer supporting it and it's time to get a new router or ask their support for a status update.

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LawrenceC
Moderator Emeritus

I would like to thank everyone for taking the time to post your comments and opinions related to this topic. This topic has been thoroughly discussed and will now be closed. Please feel free to open a new thread for further discussion. Thank you.

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gs0b
Community Leader
Community Leader

"MoCA enabled" is not a commonly used term.  If you mean routers that have integrated MoCA adapters, I'm only aware of Verizon routers with this feature.  I've never heard of a non-Verizon router that has an integrated MoCA adapter.

That said, you can easily connect a MoCA adapter to any router using Ethernet.  The router does not need any specific features to work with an external MoCA adapter.

You mentioned you're considering upgrading from 75Mbps to 300Mbps.  75Mbps is an old, grandfathered Verizon speed tier.  If you're currently using a Verizon router provided for that service, it may work fine with 300Mbps.  Or, it could be so old it should be removed from service ASAP due to lack of security updates.  If you post your current router's model number, I and others can advise you on what to do with it.

The current 300Mbps plans include a free Verizon router rental.   That could solve your problem, too.

Also, those old 75Mbps plans can cost more than the current 300Mbps plans depending on the status of your contract and any discounts you may have.  Do be sure to check out current pricing as Verizon won't proactively tell you about potential cost savings.  If you need help with contracts and pricing, reach out to Verizon's social media support team by tweeting @Verizonsupport or DM'ng them on their Facebook page.

Bleb1
Enthusiast - Level 3

Thanks for this very helpful reply.

1.  My 10+-year-old router is an Actiontec MI424WR (Rev. 1). I assume it's out of date in all sorts of ways - security, speed, compatibility with faster plans, etc.

2.  That's too bad about non-Verizon routers not being MoCA-enabled. While I understand third-party routers can be connected to an adapter, I was hoping to avoid the expense of buying or renting two adapters, one on each end.

3.  I've been monitoring Verizon's offers pretty carefully and pushing reps for better deals (particularly since I'm currently grandfathered in on a plan with no router rental fee). The new free-router offer costs $10/month more than the plan I could otherwise get, all else being equal, so it's not really free.  Also, my bargaining power may be more limited because I want to keep my landline.

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gs0b
Community Leader
Community Leader

There is no market for routers with integrated MoCA adapters outside of Verizon deployments.  MoCA simply never gained enough market presence to make it worth the added cost for consumer routers.  Verizon needs it due to their set-top-box architecture, which may change if they go full IPTV.

Ethernet is always better than MoCA, if you can run the cables.  If not, MoCA is a great way to use existing coax cables for data transfer.  Can you run Ethernet and get rid of the need for MoCA?

If you must stay with MoCA, adapters aren't that expensive if you don't need the fastest speeds.  Or do as cang_household suggested and purchase a used Verizon router.  The G1100 is a solid device that is still supported by Verizon for security updates (however, we don't know how much longer that will be.)  You can probably find used G3100's, too.  But not as cheap as G1100s.

If you haven't tried the social media support team at Verizon, you should.  They may have additional pricing options for you.  Or not.  But if you don't ask, you won't know.  If your current plan is a "contract" with an expiration date, know that prices go up a lot at renewal time.  That's what happened to me.   Continue to keep a watchful eye on your current pricing and any offers; that's how you have to deal with Verizon.

Whatever you do, take that ancient silver band Actiontec out of service ASAP.  Aside from abysmal performance by today's standards, it's a security risk as it hasn't received patches in many years.

Bleb1
Enthusiast - Level 3

@gs0b: 

1.  Yeah, I had a feeling that would be your verdict on my ancient Actiontec.  🙂

2.  The big revelation for me today is that Verizon routers are available from other retailers.

3.  I started what became a lengthy thread on this forum a few weeks back on the question of whether it would make sense to run an ethernet cable up 3 floors from the ONT to where my desktop is (which I'd like to have a hardwired connection), and decided against it.

4.  I have a contract with Verizon that expires in April. It started as a triple bundle and continues even though I dropped TV. They said I'd still be bound by it if I changed to a new (300 Mbps) plan. What I'd like is some obligation on their part -- that is, price protection for several years on a new plan I sign up for.

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Cang_Household
Community Leader
Community Leader

You can buy VZ from third party vendors, just need to be aware of scams. Someone could sell you a stolen unit or a rental unit they did not return. Other times the router could be loaded with a different ISP’s firmware. Make sure you buy from trusted sellers.

Regarding EOL, G1100 is very close now. I would expect end of year or early next year.

Bleb1
Enthusiast - Level 3

Does "EOL" just mean that it won't be available any more or that support for it will end and therefore I shouldn't buy a used one?

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Cang_Household
Community Leader
Community Leader

You can still buy the hardware. The hardware won't vanish when it reaches EOL.

End of Life means no more firmware updates including security ones. This means your network will be vulnerable to attacks.

gs0b
Community Leader
Community Leader

EOL means no longer no longer supported.  No firmware updates, including security patches.  EOL'd devices will still work, but as time goes on they become a bigger and bigger security risk.

Your choices are:

  1. Purchase a used G1100 now to solve your current problem.  Keep it in service until your contract renewal in April, then maybe get a free rental router from VZ.
  2. Purchase a used G1100 now and keep using it for years ignoring the security risk after it goes EOL, as you've done with the ancient Actiontec.
  3. See if you can get a free rental router from VZ now if you switch to a current plan.
  4. Purchase a current, supported non-Verizon router and MoCA adapter now, and don't worry about VZ's equipment.

I recommend 1 or 4.

Note that if you use a non-Verizon router, they, too, go EOL.  You should be checking your router provider's web site for firmware updates on at least an annual basis.  If you don't see new updates in at least 12 months, it's likely they are no longer supporting it and it's time to get a new router or ask their support for a status update.

Bleb1
Enthusiast - Level 3

Post-installation update, in case it's of interest (or might be useful to future forum visitors):

1.  Verizon technician installed a CR1000A router (in my basement, connected to the ONT) and an E3200 extender in my attic office, connected by coax.

2.  What I wish I'd known before I bought my own MoCA adapter last week is that the wireless extender Verizon now throws in for free along with its routers also has an ethernet port and functions as an adapter. I'll be returning the adapter I bought.

3.  Theoretically, my top two floors are covered by the extender and my bottom two floors are covered by the router. The tech said I'm on the 5.0 band everywhere. Nevertheless, my laptop and Roku (both of which have 2.4/5.0 receivers), one floor above the router, are getting only ~ 150 Mbps download.  The desktop, connected by ethernet, gets 250+ download, 75-100 upload.  Not sure why the upload speed is so much lower than the promised 300/300 and, more annoying, why the wireless download speed is disappointing.

Cang_Household
Community Leader
Community Leader

Wireless speeds sound right. You should be able to get full 300Mbps if you have 802.11ac capable device and is standing next to the router/extender.

Ethernet speed is a problem. Intel NIC issues would not apply here as hinted by Dexman as checksum offload would slash the upload to 0Mbps. The OP still needs to tell us the NIC model number in order to rule this out completely.

On the other hand, is your CPU at 100% when running the speed test? If any of the cores of the CPU runs at 100% during the speed test, then your computer may be too slow.

Bleb1
Enthusiast - Level 3

Thanks for these replies.  Not sure if this is what you're looking for, but I think my network adapter is "Realtek PCIe GbE Family Controller - Type "Ethernet 802.3."

But I'm more interested in my wireless download speed than in my desktop's ethernet upload speed.  When my 802.11ac-capable laptop is on the 3rd floor, near the adapter/extender, it gets a satisfying 200-250 Mbps. But I typically use it on the 1st floor, one floor above the new router in the basement. And multiple speed tests are topping out at <150 and sometimes <100.  I'm pretty sure it's switching to the 2.4 band, which I assume is related - and which I didn't expect just one floor away from the router.  Is this really the best I can expect?  (My Roku, also on the 1st floor, is reporting "good," rather than "excellent" wireless quality and 123 Mbps.)

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dexman
Community Leader
Community Leader

5GHz signals allow for faster speeds, but are more readily impacted by distance and obstructions.

2.4GHz signals are less impacted by obstructions, but do not support as fast a speed as 5.0.

As a quick test, move the laptop close to the router and run the speed test using 2.4 and 5.0. Then run the tests again from the spot where it is typically used from. Compare the results.

Although overkill, I opted to put an extender on each floor of the house. G3100 router in the basement...E3200 extenders on first floor, second floor and in the attic bedroom. 🙂

Bleb1
Enthusiast - Level 3

Yes, I understand the trade-off between the two bands (speed vs. distance). I guess what I didn't understand is that even a relatively limited distance between router and device is too much for 5.0, leaving one with the slower speed on 2.4.  Verizon won't give me a second extender and I'm reluctant to shell out $200.

Any point in fiddling with router controls (such as assigning a channel rather than leaving it on auto) to boost wireless speeds?

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dexman
Community Leader
Community Leader

If the desktop has an Intel NIC, some models run into problems when IPv6 is activated. Does this apply to the desktop? 🤔

Bleb1
Enthusiast - Level 3

Very helpful.  Thanks so much.

Bleb1
Enthusiast - Level 3

Well, I bought a coax adapter and negotiated a decent deal with Verizon that includes a free router rental. In the (presumably unlikely) event that the technician has more than one kind in the truck - and I have a choice - which router should I ask for? And is there anything else, in terms of set-up or equipment, that I should make a point of requesting?

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dexman
Community Leader
Community Leader

There are two routers supplied by Verizon...the G3100 and the CR1000a. The 3100 maxes out at 1G while the CR1000a is suitable for multi-gigabit service. I don't know if the customer can select a specific router.

Bleb1
Enthusiast - Level 3

Any other recommendations before the tech shows up? I assume I should take any (free) wireless extenders they're offering, for instance?

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dexman
Community Leader
Community Leader

If they offer a free extender (which is considered a rental despite not incurring a monthly fee), go for it. 🙂