MoCA 101: Connect a computer anywhere you have a satellite cable

Wireless is great but sometimes it isn’t enough. Sometimes you need a real, wired connection. The problem is, running ethernet cables costs money. On the other hand, you have high-quality network line running throughout your house already and you might not even realize it.

The coaxial cable that runs through your house can carry network information, and even using a small part of its available capacity gives you enough speed to do anything you want to do on the internet. With just a few parts, you can use the potential of your coaxial cable!

Disclaimer: Cable and Satellite companies do not want you using their wire for anything but cable and satellite. You can’t blame them. If you run your Blu-ray player through their cables, please don’t call them for support. Anything you do in your house is at your own risk.

Shopping List for DIRECTV subscribers:

You must have a SWiM system. If you press the {DASH} button on your DIRECTV and the message there reads “SWiM Connected” then you’re set. Otherwise you’ll need a SWiM dish or an external SWiM. Click on the thumbnails below to be taken to solidsignal.com to see prices.

 or 

If you already have a SWiM dish, then you just need a few things. First, if you don’t have an open satellite line, you’ll need a splitter. This one will do nicely:

Now all you need is a way to connect your device to the coax cable. You have two choices. First, you can use a DIRECTV Cinema Connection Kit. You can also check out the combination of a DECA and Power supply. This does the same thing and sometimes buying it this way is cheaper.


This is the DIRECTV Cinema Connection Kit. You may already have one of these connected to your router.

 
This is a DECA (left) and its power supply, sold separately (right)

If your DIRECTV receivers are not already connected to the internet, you’ll need a second Cinema Connection Kit (or DECA/power supply combo.)

How to Connect:

This is really easy. First, confirm that your receivers are connected to the internet. You may have a kit connected to your router. Press {DASH} on your remote and if it says “Internet Connected,” you are.

If you have the Cinema Connection Kit, plug it into the wall. Connect the coaxial cable into the input of the CCK and connect your device using the supplied ethernet cable. If you have a DECA with power supply, connect the power supply to the attached white cable and plug it into the wall. Connect the coaxial cable into the DECA and connect your device using the supplied cable.

If you are not already connected to the internet, connect the second Cinema Connection Kit (or DECA/power supply) to a cable near your router and run an ethernet cable to your router. If the supplied ethernet cable is too short, any ethernet cable will do.

It should “just work.”

If you have Dish Network, you can’t use this solution. Dish is just now beginning to use MoCA technology and they don’t have adapters yet that serve that purpose. In a future article, I’ll show you how cable or OTA users can do the same thing using off-the-shelf hardware.