NexusLink G.HN Wave 2 Kit review: Convert your unused coaxial cable to Ethernet

Positives

  • Much cheaper than a professionally installed ethernet
  • Easy setup that takes minutes
  • Include everything except persuasion in your walls

cons

  • The maximum speed is slower than Gigabit Ethernet
  • Multiple kits may be required for some installations
  • It will not work if you still have an active cable TV

It’s no secret that most cable and satellite TV services are losing customers to cord cuts as people move to streaming services. Because of this, there’s a good chance that your home has hundreds of feet of coaxial cable that used to be required for television, and now does nothing but collect dust.

It is this “dark” style that the NexusLink G.HN Wave 2 Ethernet Over Coax Adapter It is used to quickly and cost-effectively expand wired home networking options.

If you live in a home already connected to ethernet, or have spent thousands of dollars adding it, you probably don’t need this product. But if you are in a situation that the vast majority of us find ourselves in, these switches can save you time and money by turning that dark switch into a valuable networking asset.

also: Why is my internet so slow? 11 ways to speed up your communication

This is especially true if you live in a home where some rooms seem to ruin even the strongest Wi-Fi signals.

Determination

rated maximum throughput 2000 Mbps
ports 2X Coaxial (Male), 1X Gigabit Ethernet
Power Wall adapters included
The maximum number of nodes per network 16
Built-in security 128-bit AES encryption
Use cases Streaming (up to 8K), home networking, and gaming
Included accessories 2x wall power adapters and 2x ethernet cables
Maximum axial distance between transducers 800 metres
Dimensions (one unit) 3.90 x 2.67 x 0.96 in or 99 x 67.7 x 24.5 mm

Coaxial wall outlet

You’ll either need a coaxial cable coming out of the wall or floor, or a wall-mounted outlet like this one.

Getty Images

prove

The setup process is very simple. The hardest part might be checking which coaxial terminals in your home they’re connected to. If every single one is rated, great. If not, it may take some searching the crawl spaces with a flashlight.

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

For example, if you want a connection that works from the router in your bedroom to your home theater in the basement, and you already have a set of hubs in the wall between those locations, you’d put one switch in the bedroom and another in your basement.

The Ethernet cable on the bottom end can then either be connected directly to a home theater computer or streaming device, or used to connect an Ethernet switch or secondary Wi-Fi access point for added flexibility.

Accessories included with NexusLink Ethernet over Coax adapters

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

Michael Griveaux/ZDNET

Rather than suggesting thousands of similar scenarios, I will simply say that almost anything that can be accomplished by running Ethernet cables can be easily handled by running a coaxial cable, as long as you have one of these adapters on both ends.

If you are interested in using this kit, or other similar tools, to take advantage of idle coaxial cables in your home, we already have a complete 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 store behind a desk or TV.

Michael Griveaux/ZDNET

Tests

Easy setups like this are very rare in home networks. But this does not matter if the connection provided by the product is unstable, or does not meet the specifications claimed by the company. I tried to approach the testing process as sciencefully as possible to the transformers, to check their performance.

More: Top 5 Internet Speed ​​Tests: Test your broadband connection

I will explain briefly:

  • I replaced a 40-foot run of Ethernet cable (Gigabit network adapter > Gigabit Ethernet port on a desktop PC) with two switches, connected by a 30-foot coaxial cable between them.
  • I ran two tests: one with the original 40-foot Ethernet cable running, and another string with the adapter setup.
  • I tested two scenarios: download/upload rates and latency numbers when connected to the public Internet, and transfer rates for large files transferred between networked computers.
  • For each scenario I ran five speed tests across three test sites. For each transfer rate test I used four files of different sizes, each transferred five times. The average transfer rate and time are shown here.

Internet speed tests

The download (DL) and upload (UL) numbers are in megabits per second (Mbps), while latency (Lat.) is in milliseconds (ms). The test was conducted on 100Mbps broadband.

Uninterrupted Ethernet (40 feet)

Provider

Speedtest.net

Fast.com

Google speed test

DL/UL | no.

99.97 / 103.33 | 16

100/110 | 15

94.3 / 102.0 | 8

DL/UL | no.

97.33 / 103.76 | 18

95/107 | 14

93.9 / 102.0 | 12

DL/UL | no.

100.86 / 103.50 | 18

98/110 | 13

96.2 / 102 | 10

DL/UL | no.

100.62 / 103..83 | 17

96/100 | 13

95.7 / 97.5 | 10

DL/UL | no.

99.00 / 103.79 | 18

99/110 | 14

95.5 / 97.2 | 8

Average DL/UL | no

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 of coax, 12 feet of Ethernet total)

Provider

Speedest.net

Fast.com

Google speed test

DL/UL | no.

100.54 / 103.46 | 18

96/110 | 14

94.7 / 99.8 | 9

DL/UL | no.

99.27 / 103.91 | 18

95/110 | 12

95.5 / 97.6 | 11

DL/UL | no.

98.54 / 103.75 | 15

98/110 | 14

101.6 / 98.0 | 9

DL/UL | no.

98.26 / 103.16 | 18

110/100 | 14

101.1 / 97.7 | 11

DL/UL | no.

98.15 / 103.83 | 17

100/100 | 14

101.2 / 97.6 | 9

Average DL/UL | no

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: Download and upload results and response time are all within a few percentage points, plus or minus, between the two settings. This means that for gaming and streaming video and audio over the Internet, the performance of the switches is functionally identical to having a similar runtime to the Ethernet in use instead.

Transfer files over the home network test

While the above testing showed that the switches were capable of handling more than the 100Mbps provided by my broadband connection, my home network’s theoretical speed of 1Gbps proved more of a challenge.

ethernet

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

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

Ethernet adapters over Coax

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

As you can see, the switches maxed out at around 35MBps, while running Ethernet came in at close to 48MBps. This resulted in transfer rates that averaged about a third when moving large files over my wired network.

minimum

As you can tell from my testing, the adapters seem to max out, at least in this scenario, at around 35 Mbps (about 280 Mbps). That’s more than any 100Mbps broadband plan you could hope to use, but not quite as fast as the 300Mbps of many popular home internet plans.

However, unless you plan to run many devices through these adapters, you are unlikely to hit this throughput limit. Even demanding scenarios like streaming 8K video shouldn’t be a problem.

The only time you might notice the nearly 30% speed drop it recorded when compared to running pure Ethernet 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 cost associated with installing Ethernet, infrequent slowdowns seem much better than spending hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars to replace your existing coax cable with Ethernet.

To be clear, you’ll need that coaxial cable in place to make this a worthwhile option. But if you’ve already run it through a convenient spot in your home, these adapters open up a whole new world of possibilities for the times when you need the kind of hard-wired connection that even the best Wi-Fi hardware can’t provide in every part of every home.

Alternatives to consider

A slightly cheaper option (if you apply the frequently available Amazon coupon) that skips the built-in encryption but still delivers theoretical 1Gbps speeds.

Another option also bypasses the extra security, but includes extra coaxial cables for the connections you require.

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

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