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Connect Your Ethernet-Only Devices To Your Home Network

Connect Your Ethernet-Only Devices To Your Home Network

How to connect your Ethernet-only devices to your home network…

Built-in Wi-Fi on modern devices is changing the way we store, stream and share media for the better.

Unfortunately it’s a fairly recent technology to feature as standard on devices, and for that reason there are lots of set-top boxes and media streaming units that are fully capable of connecting to your network, but don’t have the built-in Wi-Fi.

marantz ethernet av receiver

How To Connect Ethernet-Only Devices To Your Network

Fortunately, there are several ways you can get your older media players hooked up to your network. Let’s take a look.

Power-Line Adapters

netgear xetb1001 powerline adapter

Powerline Adapter

Power-line adapters are not new, but they are certainly usefully. They provide a way to let your Ethernet-only devices connect to your network using any electric outlet in your home.

One unit plugs into the wall socket and to the router via Ethernet, other units can then be plugged into any outlet of the house where it will provide additional Ethernet ports to connect to your network.

The downside of this units it the cost as each adaptor is sold separately. They also use up one of your main power outlets as they can’t be plugged into a power strip. Another point to note is that the performance depends greatly on the quality of wiring in your home.

Ethernet over coax (MoCA)

ethernet over coaxial moca

Ethernet Over Coax (MoCA)

MoCA is very under utilized. It’s a great Wi-Fi alternative and relatively inexpensive. The units work in similar way to Power-line adaptors but use the coaxial cabling the some will already have install for cable or satellite TV. Some homes won’t be equipped with too many coaxial connections, but if Power-line doesn’t work for you, this is certainly a great solution.

Wireless Bridge

d-link xtreme n duo wireless bridge

Wireless Bridge

If you already have a good wireless connection the room you wish to connect your Ethernet-only device, then a wireless bridge is likely the best solution for you.

Wireless Bridges simply catch the Wi-Fi signal and transforms it into Ethernet. One unfortunately downside is that most wireless bridges require an in-depth set-up process which often require installing software on a PC connected to the network.

If you don’t have a wireless connection in the room, self-contained wireless bridge kit will make it possible to transmit a Wi-Fi signal from your Ethernet router to your Ethernet-only device. These units come as a pair, one for the router and one for the device, and because they proprietary wireless connection, they’re usually plug-and-play, with simple or no setup required.

New Devices

sonos multi room music system

Sonos Multi Room Music System

Some new home theater devices such as Sonos Multi-Room Music System offer wireless bridging technology. One unit plugged into an Ethernet router can provide a wireless signal to a second unit where Ethernet-only device can be connected.

The Apple Airport Express can also be configured in a bridging mode.

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  1. Matthew Moskovciak: How to get your Ethernet-only gadgets on your home network. Cnet, 12/21/2011.
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