MoCA Tests WiFi Mesh vs. Wired Backhaul

The Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) recently concluded field tests that compared three different WiFi mesh-based products in a home ...

GiaX joinds MoCA
GiaX joinds MoCA

The Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) recently concluded field tests that compared three different WiFi mesh-based products in a home networking environment vs. a WiFi network that used MoCA as the backhaul. The results indicated an improvement in WiFi performance when using MoCA 2.0 as the backhaul, compared to WiFi backhaul only.

MoCA conducted the tests to determine if WiFi mesh-based products could sustain performance throughout a typical U.S. home with multiple streams of traffic running concurrently.

All devices tested included 802.11ac fronthaul. Netgear's Orbi, Plume and Eero, which integrate 802.11ac backhaul, were compared to Actiontec WiFi extenders that integrate MoCA 2.0 Bonded backhaul. All devices used are currently available via retail channels so as to test products that consumers can purchase today.

Testing with TCP traffic types indicated that MoCA 2.0 Bonded extenders delivered 800 Mbps or better downlink WiFi performance in all homes. Orbi was able to achieve 300 Mbps or better in 50% of homes though some homes were capable of only 170 Mbps. Eero and Plume were unable to reach 200 Mbps.

Uplink traffic with WiFi was also greater when using MoCA technology as the backbone compared to using Orbi, Eero or Plume. Testing of UDP traffic showed similar improvements in performance when using MoCA technology as the wired backbone.

"Whole home coverage and sustained performance in the home go hand-in-hand, but can be difficult to achieve without a wired backhaul. The beauty in this is, MoCA leverages the already existing coax as its backhaul," said Charles Cerino, MoCA president. "These tests demonstrate that while WiFi mesh may offer some improvement in whole home coverage, it is not consistent and a wire is still critical for the highest performance and lowest latency in every room."

Dekra (formerly AT4Wireless) performed the tests and recorded the results from 11 homes around the country including Georgia, New Jersey, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Colorado and California.

Nine WiFi clients were deployed throughout each test house. Client location remained the same for all five system tests. For each system, Dekra turned off all clients, setup and enabled new APs, and then turned on all clients. Clients were not manually connected to a particular AP.

Traffic types were TCP and UDP, downlink and uplink. Traffic was sent to all clients individually in 60-second intervals in one test. In another test, traffic was sent to all nine endpoints simultaneously.

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