NexusLink G.HN Wave 2 Kit Review: Turn your unused coaxial cable into Ethernet


Pros

  • Much cheaper than professionally installed Ethernet
  • Easy installation that takes a few minutes
  • Everything is included except the coax in your walls

Cons

  • The maximum speed is slower than Gigabit Ethernet
  • Some installations may require multiple kits
  • 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 due to cord cutting as people switch to streaming services. Therefore, there is a good chance that you have hundreds of feet of coaxial cable in your home that used to be necessary for your TV, but now it sees nothing but gathering dust.

It is this “dark” coax NexusLink G.HN Wave 2 Ethernet Over Coax Adapter uses it to quickly, inexpensively expand your wired home network options.

If you already live in a home with Ethernet, or if you’ve spent thousands of dollars to add one, you probably don’t need this product. But if you’re like the vast majority of us, these adapters can save you time and money by turning that dark coax into a valuable network asset.

Also: 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 destroy even the strongest Wi-Fi signals.

Specifications

Maximum nominal transfer speed 2000 Mbit/s
Ports 2X coaxial (male), 1X Gigabit Ethernet
Power Wall adapters included
Maximum number of nodes per network 16
Internal security AES 128 bit encryption
Use cases Streaming (up to 8K), home networking, gaming
Accessories included 2x wall power adapters, 2X 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

Coaxial wall port

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

Getty Images

To build

The installation process is extremely simple. The trickiest part may be checking which coaxial terminals are connected to which in your home. If each one is labeled, great. If not, you may need to look at the scan gaps with a flashlight.

The escape you choose depends on what you want to do with the new connection.

For example, if you want your bedroom router to connect to your home theater in the basement, and you already have in-wall coax between those locations, you would place an adapter in the bedroom. the other in your basement.

The Ethernet cable in the basement can then either connect directly to a home theater computer or streaming device, or be used to connect an Ethernet switch or secondary Wi-Fi access point for added convenience.

Accessories are included with NexusLink Ethernet over Coax adapters

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

Michael Gariffo/ZDNET

Instead of offering a thousand similar scenarios, I’ll just say that anything that can be accomplished by running an Ethernet cable can easily be handled by a coaxial cable with one of these adapters on both ends. .

If you want to use this kit or another kit like it to take advantage of the loose coaxial cable in your home, we’ve got all the information 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 slightly thicker. This makes it easy to hide behind a desk or TV.

Michael Gariffo/ZDNET

Test

Easy setups like this are a joyous rarity in home networking. But it does not matter if the connection provided by the product is not stable or does not match the features claimed by the company. I tried to approach the test process as scientifically as possible to check the performance of the adapters.

More: 5 best internet speed tests: Check your broadband connection

I will explain briefly:

  • I replaced the 40-foot Ethernet cable (Gigabit network switch>Gigabit Ethernet port on the desktop) with two adapters connected by a 30-foot coaxial cable between them.
  • I did two tests: one with the original 40-foot Ethernet cable and the second with an adapter setup.
  • I tested two scenarios: upload/download rates and latency figures when connected to the public Internet, and transfer speeds for large files transferred between networked computers.
  • I ran five speed tests at three test locations for each scenario. For each transfer rate test, I used four files of different sizes, transferred five times each. Average transfer speed and time are shown here.

Internet speed tests

Download (DL) and upload (UL) figures are shown in megabits per second (Mbps), and latency (lat.) in milliseconds (ms). The test was conducted over 100 Mbit/s broadband internet.

Seamless Ethernet (40 feet)

Provider

Speedtest.net

Fast.com

Google speed test

DL / UL | lat.

99.97 / 103.33 | 16

100 / 110 | 15

94.3 / 102.0 | 8

DL / UL | lat.

97.33 / 103.76 | 18

95 / 107 | 14

93.9 / 102.0 | 12

DL / UL | lat.

100.86 / 103.50 | 18

98 / 110 | 13

96.2 / 102 | 10

DL / UL | lat.

100.62 / 103..83 | 17

96 / 100 | 13

95.7 / 97.5 | 10

DL / UL | lat.

99.00 / 103.79 | 18

99 / 110 | 14

95.5 / 97.2 | 8

Average DL / UL | lat

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 coax, 12 feet Ethernet)

Provider

Speedest.net

Fast.com

Google speed test

DL / UL | lat.

100.54 / 103.46 | 18

96 / 110 | 14

94.7 / 99.8 | 9

DL / UL | lat.

99.27 / 103.91 | 18

95 / 110 | 12

95.5 / 97.6 | 11

DL / UL | lat.

98.54 / 103.75 | 15

98 / 110 | 14

101.6 / 98.0 | 9

DL / UL | lat.

98.26 / 103.16 | 18

110 / 100 | 14

101.1 / 97.7 | 11

DL / UL | lat.

98.15 / 103.83 | 17

100 / 100 | 14

101.2 / 97.6 | 9

Average DL / UL | lat

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: Load, load, and latency results are all within a few percentage points, plus or minus, between the two setups. This means that the performance of the adapters for gaming and online video and audio streaming is functionally the same as running a similar length of Ethernet.

File transfer test over home network

While the test above showed the adapters could handle more than the 100 Mbps my broadband connection provided, my home network’s faster theoretical speed of 1 gigabits per second (Gbps) proved more challenging.

Ethernet

File size: Average transfer speed Megabytes per second (MBps) | Total transfer time in minutes and seconds

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

Ethernet over coax adapters

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

As you can see, the adapters reached a speed of about 35 MB / s, while the Ethernet operation reached about 48 MB / s. This resulted in transfer speeds about a third slower than average when transferring large files over my wired network.

Bottom line

You can tell from my tests that the adapters max out at around 35MBps (about 280Mbps) in this scenario at least. That’s more than any 100Mbps broadband plan can hope to use, but not as much as the 300Mbps speeds of many commonly offered home Internet plans.

Again, unless you plan to run multiple devices through these adapters, you’re unlikely to max out that transfer rate. Even demanding scenarios like 8K video streaming shouldn’t be a problem.

The only time you’ll notice the roughly 30% speed reduction I mentioned compared to pure Ethernet operation is when you’re transferring large files between computers on your home network. If this is something you do often, it’s worth considering.

However, given the difficulty, time, and expense associated with installing Ethernet, slow downs rarely seem like a better outcome than spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars to replace existing coaxial cable with Ethernet.

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

Alternatives to consider

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

Another option that also skips additional security, but includes additional coaxial cables for connections that require them.

The predecessor of the adapters we looked at in this review. They offer a very similar feature set, but excel at a maximum theoretical speed of 1200Mbps, which is about 40% slower than the Wave 2 models we reviewed.



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