What is a DECA cloud?

Ever hear a satellite enthusiast refer to a “DECA cloud?” It’s one of those terms that everyone talks about but no one seems to really go into detail with.

DIRECTV’s coax networking is designed for high-speed, super-smooth transfers. One way that they do this is by making sure that any network traffic between receivers doesn’t go through your home router. The coax network adapters, whether built-in or external, talk to each other first and then go out to the rest of your home network (and the internet) only if they are sure they have to.

In order to make this happen, they build a network-within-a-network, called a cloud. This cloud lets every device within it connect directly to every other device without a router. Depending on your home network, this cloud could be faster than your home network. It probably has less traffic, and that means smoother connections. DECA clouds also are different from normal networks because every connected device uses an adapter designed by DIRECTV, and that means that traffic has an easier time getting from place to place.

It’s called a DECA cloud because originally every device needed a DECA adapter in order to connect. Today, those adapters are built into DIRECTV receivers.

One specific limitation of DECA clouds though… each cloud can only have 16 devices, for example 4 DVRs, 11 regular receivers, and 1 “broadband DECA” that links the DECA cloud to the rest of your home network (and the internet.) This limitation is put in place to try to keep traffic as smooth as possible as well.