WiFi mesh has garnered a fair amount of attention lately as an alternative for whole-home coverage. On that front, the Multimedia Over Coax Alliance revealed results this week from 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. Dekra (formerly AT4Wireless) performed the tests and recorded the results from 11 homes around the country including some in Georgia, New Jersey, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Colorado, and California. Nine WiFi clients were deployed throughout each test house, and client location remained the same for all the system tests.
“The results showed a dramatic improvement in WiFi performance when using MoCA 2.0 as the backhaul, compared to a WiFi-based backhaul only,” the alliance reports in a statement.
MoCA says it commissioned 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.
Per the graph below showing cumulative distribution results for TCP traffic type, 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 percent of homes though some homes were capable of only 170 Mbps. Eero and Plume were unable to reach 200 Mbps at all, according to the test results.
Uplink traffic with WiFi was also reported as significantly 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,” MoCA President Charles Cerino comments. “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.”
Further details on the testing methodology as well as the field test report is here.