Hardware Overview

WCB6200Q Wireless Network Extender

The Actiontec WCB6200Q 80211.ac Wireless Network Extender ($169.99 List) looks like your average, ordinary wireless router.  And looking at the specs you’d think it was:

  • Two 10/100/1000 Ethernet Ports
  • One Bonded MoCA 2.0 Coax Port
  • 4×4 802.11ac 5Ghz Wi-Fi Radio
  • 2×2 802.11a/b/g/n 2.4 Ghz Wi-Fi Radio
  • WPA2/WPA Security with AES Encryption
  • WiFi Protected Setup (WPS) with Push Button Setup

Yet the WCB6200Q isn’t built to be a standalone router, it has been designed to fulfill two distinct, but related, roles:

  1. Convert your in-home Coax wiring into a MoCA ‘Ethernet network’ without having to run new Ethernet cables through your home,
  2. Using that MoCA Network as a backbone, be a Wireless ‘Extender’ to extend the reach of your current wireless networks.

With claims of up to 2 Gbps Wi-Fi throughput (1.7 Gbps 5Ghz/AC combined with 300 Mbps) and up to 1 Gbps MoCA throughput the WCB6200Q seems to be a good choice for someone looking to expand their network to the far reaches of their home.

ECB6200 Bonded Network Adapter

While the WCB6200Q manages your MoCA network on your Coax wiring network, it cannot function alone, and you need something on the other end of that ‘bridge’ over your Coax to transform the signal to/from Ethernet to Coax and back again.  That’s where the Actiontec ECB6200 Bonded MoCA 2.0 Network Adapter ($99.99 List) comes into play.

About the size of an average laptop power inverter, the ECB6200 (4.5” x 2” x 1”) is small enough to tuck into a corner somewhere and remain out of site.  One Ethernet LAN port and a pair of MoCA 2.0 (Coax) ports are the only connections on the device other than the small port for the ‘wall wart’ power plug.

Speed claims of up to 1 Gbps are of course based on perfect conditions, and as we’ll see in our testing, actual throughput can vary based on the condition and ‘noise’ found on the in-home Coax wiring.

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