Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Cheeky coaxial/ethernet question

Just joined

Hello all,

I'm a uni student and I live with 8 people. I signed up to live with 6, but two of my idiot housemates decided to move their partners in and now my wifi speed is garbage. Our bills package is through the letting agency, and they won't let us upgrade the wifi without adding extra gas and electric (which in the current energy crisis we can't afford), so I've come up with a sneaky idea and I want your help to make it work.

Although the router isn't in my room, a coaxial terminal runs a cable from my wall, through my room, and to the hallway where the router is. So the cheaky question is, can I use a coaxial splitter to connect the wifi for the rest of the house on one terminal, and use the other exposed coaxial terminal to establish a wired connection directly to my computer?

I hate to be so sneaky but I need the bandwidth to do zoom calls for my internship, and my housemates are always on their stupid Xboxes.

Thanks for your help!


Alessandro Volta

In short, not easily.  Your computer needs an ethernet network connection, and whilst ethernet over coax adaptors can be bought they tend to be pricey if you want something competent from a maker willing to support and document them (as opposed to cheap tat with no warranty, no support, and poor or no instructions, and probably poor speeds and reliability).  Most implementations are also relatively bulky, so you'd have to field questions like "what's that junk hanging out the back of the Virgin Media box?" and I get the impression you want to do this without causing a fuss.

A better bet would be to see if you can discretely run a wired ethernet connection along the bottom of skirting boards - use flat profile Cat 6a or Cat 7 cable (something like this) and that should run under doors without problems.  On hard floors a decent size blob of blu-tac will secure the cable into the corner of wall and floor, on carpet you should be able to press it down between the edge of carpet and wall.  No reason to be sneaky about this, you're not "stealing bandwidth" as the hub will still be managing all connected devices, but you will be avoiding wifi constraints.  Tell everybody else your computer has a cheap wifi card and it simply doesn't work.

Be aware that the suggested approach solves wifi (wireless) constraints, it won't help if there's a bandwidth constraint on the broadband.  VM's upload speeds are pants (relative to the download speeds) and if you've got three or four unwashed arts or geography students* all using their consoles (and worse, maybe streaming to Twitch**) then that will easily saturate all available upstream bandwidth on a VM 125 Mbps connection, leading to poor responsiveness and slow uploads, although measured downstream speeds won't be as badly affected.  The only way you may know this is by trying the ethernet cable and seeing.  On the plus side, games-playing-because-there's-no-work-content-on-their-course arts graduates are essentially nocturnal animals, as fearful of light as they are of soap and logic, so from 7am to 6pm the bandwidth is perhaps all yours?

* Based on my experience of which courses have to work, and which seem to be a three year, debt-fuelled work-evasion plan.  At least they're helping keeping University Vice-chancellors in the style to which they've become accustomed

* Twitch.  On line viewing for the terminally sad, and an upstream bandwidth hog that should be banned other than for those paying for their own internet connection.  Just my humble opinion.

Tuning in

Try having a look at the MoCa or MoCa 2 standard.  It is possible to do and is very popular in the states but it is quite expensive still in the UK.