Trying to get Ethernet without drilling holes in the walls

Dec 31, 2018
I recently built a new PC and ever since I have been having issues with my WiFi dropping in and out. I have been using a Netgear wireless adapter, but am interested in getting Ethernet set up for my room. The house was built in 2002, and has no Ethernet ports set up anywhere. The router and modem are currently set up in the basement, and the room I am wanting to get Ethernet to is on the second floor. I have COAX and phone line outlets in the room, but no Ethernet. I was wondering if it would be possible to get Ethernet without drilling a hole in the wall? I know very little about anything related to networking, and have no idea where to start. Thanks!
The closest option would be a Powerline adapter. You could use a moca adapter over coax but it could cause problems with TV boxes if you have satellite or cable TV.

Get a good adapter as all are not created equal. I've installed TP-Link AV2000 and AV1200 series adapters in some large houses and they work well. They aren't quite equal to a pure Ethernet connection but much better than WiFi.

If you want. You can get one which provides a WiFi Access Point to expand coverage in the house. The access point also has an Ethernet port for nearby equipment. Use the exact same SSID, Encryption Type and Network Key as your main router. Then your devices will automatically connect to the strongest signal.
Dec 31, 2018

We actually don't have satellite or cable TV, so would moca work better?

Theoretically if you got nothing on that coax cable, no TV of any kind, disconnected from your cable Internet, disconnected from splitter that branches out to somewhere, just point-to-point, it "should" be the next best solution after honest-to-God CAT cables. As usual with these things, buy from somewhere you can return easy if unhappy.

I haven't used MoCA. All I can say is based on reading.

MoCA Advantages
- Less likely to encounter interference
- May only need one adapter if your Modem supports MoCA

MoCA Disadvantages
- Interference with some TV services (mostly satellite, also does not work with AT&T/U-Verse TV or Internet if the service uses coax, if you have AT&T internet make sure it is not plugged into coax)
- Few options from manufacturers
- Cost
- Adding WiFi Access Points requires additional equipment
- Requires MoCA compatiple splitters for the COAX cables
- MoCA 1.0/1.1 devices can slow down a MoCA 2.0 network which may or may not be an issue with your modem

Powerline Advantages
- Cost
- More options
- Built-in WiFi Options
- No concerns about TV service or internet service compatibility

Powerline Disadvantages
- Doesn't work with a whole house surge suppressor
- Some appliances may cause interference
- Must be plugged directly into a wall outlet (no surge suppressor in between)

- Maximum range differences. I know Powerline speed decreases the further the adapters are apart. I don't know how that compares to MoCA.
- How security compares

If you go with MoCA. Motorola recommends MoCA compatible cable splitters which go up to at least 1600Mhz (1000Mhz minimum).

Given that MoCA is more complex to make sure it is setup right. I'd get Powerline adapter off Amazon first and see if they work. It's rare they won't. The ones I linked have worked in every setup I've done. Older ones had problems but MIMO cleared that up well. If it doesn't work then return them as defective. Then go with the more complex and costly MoCA adapters. Just remember to plug the Powerline adapters directly into the wall.

MoCA 2.0
Although it likely is not a option maybe you get lucky.

If the phone lines all run back to some central panel and the cable they use is actually cat5 ethernet you might be able to rewire the jacks. Even back in 2002 it was fairly common to use ethernet cable as phone cable.

Then again if they did it as cheap as possible and just installed it with all the jacks daisy chained together you have no hope.


May 10, 2018

Not strictly true, I use mine in surge protector strips just fine, just that they aren't promised to work in protectors, if they do work though they carry on just fine.

(If you dont use a protector the ethernet cable can conduct lightning strikes, SO's mother had her ethernet socket fried by this and had to get a network card to restore LAN socket use for her PC)