Testing and Results – Ping and Packet Loss

Testing a Wi-Fi extender and network adapter that uses MoCA/Coax as its backbone as opposed to straight Ethernet had me scratching my head for a while as it’s unlike most other network testing.  Eventually I settled on doing a batch of baseline ‘Adjacent’ tests and comparing them with similar long ‘Ranged’ tests. 

For the adjacent tests, I the ‘Server’ and ‘Client’ laptops were within two to three feet of each other.  The ‘Ranged’ tests on the other hand involved running the MoCA network through the longest run of Coax cabling I have in my house.  Starting in one of the far rooms on the second floor, the Coax run goes up into the attic and to the opposite side of the house.  The cable then goes outside and down to the main 10-way tap/splitter.  From there, another Coax run goes back up the side of the house, across the attic and down into another room on the first floor on the far side of the house.  The run puts a good 160 feet or so of Coax as well as the 10-way tap/splitter between the WCB6200Q and the ECB6200 and should be an approximation of what many would try to do in their homes.

For the test scenarios I wanted to make sure I captured not only maximum possible speeds by running the tests with the two machines connected directly to each other over Ethernet, but I wanted to test a wide range of hard wired and wireless configurations at both the Adjacent and Ranged distances so I could compare them to each other.  The test scenarios included:

Adjacent Tests

  • Laptop NICs – Direct Connected (Max Throughput)
  • Laptop NICs – WCB6200Q LAN Ports
  • Laptop NICs – WCB6200Q to ECB6200 Coax Bridge
  • Laptop Wi-Fi – WCB6200Q 5 Ghz
  • Laptop Wi-Fi – WCB6200Q 2.4 Ghz
  • Wi-Fi Signal Strength – Laptop to Router 5 Ghz
  • Wi-Fi Signal Strength – Laptop to Router 2.4 Ghz

Ranged Tests

  • Laptop NICs – WCB6200Q to ECB6200 Coax Bridge
  • Laptop Wi-Fi – WCB6200Q to ECB6200 Coax Bridge 5 Ghz
  • Laptop Wi-Fi – WCB6200Q to ECB6200 Coax Bridge 2.4 Ghz
  • Wi-Fi Signal Strength – Laptop to Router 5 Ghz, No Extender
  • Wi-Fi Signal Strength – Laptop to Router 2.4 Ghz, No Extender
  • Wi-Fi Signal Strength – Laptop to Router 5 Ghz, With Extender
  • Wi-Fi Signal Strength – Laptop to Router 2.4 Ghz, With Extender

Test Results – Ping Tests

First up, let’s look at the ping tool tests.  As I mentioned earlier, this set of tests runs a simple series of pings between the machines looking for response time and dropped packets caused by the network in between them.

You may notice that I don’t even have any charts related to Packet Loss, and that’s simply because I didn’t see any.  None of the test scenarios produced any lost packets which is good to see.

Looking at the Adjacent Ping Time tests, we see 0ms delay when the machines were connected by Ethernet, either directly or through the pair of LAN ports on the WCB6200Q.  Once we add the Coax ‘bridge’ between the WCB6200Q and the ECB6200 into the mix, we do see a minor increase in average ping times up to 2ms, which does show there’s a bit of overhead with the conversion/de-conversion of Ethernet to Coax and back.  The Adjacent Wi-Fi tests using 5Ghz & 2.4 Ghz went up to 3ms and 4ms respectively.

When we move to the Ranged Ping Time test, we see something interesting.  Even though there’s more than 160’ of Coax and a splitter/tap between the two machines, when they are connected by Ethernet we’re getting the same 2ms we saw in the Adjacent tests.  Both the 5 Ghz and 2.4 Ghz Ranged tests over the Coax bridge doubled the average ping time compared to the Adjacent tests.  In both the Adjacent and Ranged Wi-Fi testing, the Laptop and WCB6200Q were about the same distance apart so it’s just the addition of the Coax bridge that seems to be causing the bump up in average ping times of Wi-Fi.

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