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How to Use Your Own Router for Verizon Fios

by on March 25, 2020
in Tips & How-Tos, Computers and Software, Internet & Networking, Computer Safety & Support :: 231 comments

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For years, my family had a bundled package with Verizon Fios that included cable, VOIP and internet. But as my family’s watching habits turned to streaming, it was rare when we turned on the cable box. At the same time, Verizon’s costs have continued to escalate, including the ridiculous fees they tacked on to our already high bill. So, we made the decision it was time to cut the cord and move to an internet-only plan (we have been very happy with Verizon’s internet service). However, when I called Verizon to move to internet-only, I found that those plans would now include a new fee – a $12 a month router rental charge. That’s an outrageous amount to “rent” a router, especially one I’ve already had for years.

Could I use my own router? The Verizon cancellation department representative sounded surprised when I asked her and told me that if I used my own router, they wouldn’t be able to offer support if something went wrong. Given that I’ve never needed support for a router – ever – that was a risk I was willing to take. Also, using my own router would enable me to upgrade to a newer mesh wireless system in my home for far less than it would have cost me with Verizon equipment, so my kids’ bedrooms would finally get a WiFi signal.

Not surprisingly, instructions from Verizon on how to use your own router weren’t available on its main support site. A quick search on Google, though, turned up helpful advice from Verizon’s community forums and other sites confirming that using your own router with Verizon Fios is both possible and easy to do. Some of the steps are somewhat “technical,” but you don’t need to be a techie to follow them. Note: using your own router is only feasible for people who only use Fios for internet service. If you still have TV or VOIP service with Fios, replacing the Verizon router is a more complex process, and you may lose some features of your TV and VOIP.

Step 1 – Buy a new router to replace your existing Fios router

If you already have an old router sitting around, you can use it, but this may be a good time to upgrade for faster WiFi speed and better security. Ideally, you will want a router that offers gigabit WiFi speeds (though 100 Mbps should be fine for most people), and WPA2 encryption is a must – DO NOT use an old router that only offers WEP encryption.

When buying a new router, any current router from a major manufacturer should be fine. The TP-Link Archer A10 would be a solid choice (around $120 on Amazon). And our friends at Tom’s Guide recommend the TP-Link Archer A7 (around $65 on Amazon) if you’re looking for a cheaper option.

There’s no shortage of WiFi mesh systems, either. I set my network up using Eero Pro with two mesh “beacons,” which I had been provided for testing. It works great, but is pricey (retails for $399) and is overkill for apartments or smaller homes. Eero has less expensive choices (starting at under $100 on Amazon), or you could go with a system from Nest WiFi (starting under $200 on Amazon). Each of these also has the advantage of being relatively attractive, as far as WiFi equipment goes. There’s also the option to go with a WiFi range extender, which offers fewer features than a mesh system but comes in at a lower cost.

You will also need an Ethernet cable to connect your new router to the Verizon ONT (Optical Network Terminal) in your house. Get an inexpensive one on Amazon or your local Best Buy. You will need a length appropriate to reach from your ONT box to your router.

Connections on the back of Verizon Fios router

If your ONT is already connected to your router using Ethernet, you’ll just use the existing cable and proceed to Step 4.

Step 2 – Connect your existing Fios router to your ONT via Ethernet

Skip this step if your ONT is already connected to your router using Ethernet.

In a later step, we’re going to switch the internet output on your ONT from coax to Ethernet. To prepare for that, connect an Ethernet cable from the Ethernet output on your ONT to the WAN port on your Verizon router. The ONT box will look like one of these:

Verizon Fios ONT boxes

Verizon Fios ONT boxes from the left: Arris 100 GI4, Nokia 211, Tellabs 612

Leave the coax cable plugged in, for now, so you still have internet on your router.

Step 3 – Call Verizon technical support to switch your ONT from coax to Ethernet

Skip this step if your ONT is already connected to your router using Ethernet.

Call Verizon’s support number 1-800-VERIZON (1-800-837-4966) and follow the prompts to get to internet technical support. Once you get a real person on the line, let them know that you want to switch your ONT from coax to Ethernet so you can use your own router. When I called, the agent knew exactly what I needed and completed the request quickly (it will take a few minutes for the switch to go through). Your router should automatically pick up the Ethernet signal. While you have the agent on the line, verify this by unscrewing the coax cable from the router and make sure you still have internet access by opening a website on a laptop or phone (in airplane mode) connected to your WiFi network.

Step 4 – Release the IP address on your Fios router

Releasing your IP address from your existing Fios router allows the ONT box to assign the correct IP address to your new router when you plug it in. According to the Fios technical support rep, this should happen automatically after a short period of time, but you might as well do it manually just to make sure. To manually release your IP address, follow these steps:

  1. Log into your router settings either by typing https://192.168.1.1 or by going to myfiosgateway.com (method depends on what type of router you have) and entering your password. This information will be in the sticker attached to your router.
  2. Click on My Network at the top of the page, then Network Connections from the left menu.
  3. Click where it says Broadband Connection (Ethernet/Coax)
  4. On the Broadband Connections Properties page, click Settings at the bottom.
  5. Scroll down and click Release under DHCP Lease. Then hit apply changes.

Step 5 - Factory reset your Verizon Router

Your Fios router has various types of personal information saved on it – the name of your WiFi network, your WiFi network password info, the MAC addresses of each device that connected to the router, etc. You will want to blow that away before returning it to Verizon by factory resetting the router.

There are two ways to reset your router. The easiest is to press and hold the red Reset button on the back of your router for at least 3 seconds. The second way is in your router settings. Log into your router, as above, and go to Advanced > Save & Restore > Restore Options > Restore Factory Defaults and select “Out of Box settings” in the dropdown menu. Then click the Restore configuration button.

Verizon Fios router reset

Once the router has been successfully reset, the login page for the First Time Easy Setup Wizard will display. You can now remove the Ethernet cable from your router, unplug it and pack it up for return.

Step 6 – Connect and set up your new router

Take the Ethernet cable out of your Fios router and plug it into your new router’s Ethernet input jack (could be labeled input, WAN, or something else that should be specified in the setup instructions), then turn on your router. The router should automatically detect the incoming signal from your ONT box and continue with the setup process. The process will vary by manufacturer and model, and by whether you have a standalone router or a mesh WiFi system, though it should be very straightforward. If all is good, then you can take that old router back to Verizon.

Step 7 – Return your equipment to Verizon

Once you elect to go with your own router, you have 30 days to return your Fios router to Verizon, or they will charge you a rental fee. Make sure you return the power cord along with the router. And get a receipt from the store confirming that your equipment has been returned.

How did the process go for you? Let me know in the comments, and if you’re having any difficulties, we’ll see if we can help out. And if you’re having issues with getting decent WiFi in some areas of your home, read our tips for getting better WiFi and faster streaming.

[Image credit: Techlicious/Verizon]



Discussion loading

EERO and VoIP questions

From Karen on July 12, 2020 :: 7:43 pm

Hi Josh, thank you so much for this detailed article and HOW TO! Few questions: 
1. just confirming that the Eero system would replace both the FIOS router and extender, i.e. no other devices needed for whole house Wifi - yes?
2- I currently have FIOS internet and phone - sounds like I should switch from FIOS phone service to VoIP if I want to get rid of FIOS router and extender, yes?
3- is there a VoIP that you recommend? 
Thank you!
Karen

Reply

Some answers

From Josh Kirschner on July 15, 2020 :: 7:46 am

Hi Karen,

Yes, the Eero would replace your current WiFi router and extenders. However, if you own the extender, you could use that as part of the Eero system, as well.

How you handle phone depends on your usage. I got rid of VoIP entirely and just use my cell now. Don’t miss it at all. With a decent headset or Bluetooth speaker, it gets roughly the same quality as I did for VoIP.

You could also get a free Google Voice number, which will work both as a VoIP line through your computer and on your smartphone. That might be worth trying out before you pay money for the full VoIP route.

We haven’t done a review of VoIP providers since most people are moving away from that for home. See what people Digital Trends or Wirecutter have to say about the providers. Remember that your VoIP device will need to connect via Ethernet and the Eero only has one Ethernet port, so you would need to use that or buy a port extender.

Reply

Does Eero work with FIOS internet+FIOS phone

From Karen on July 22, 2020 :: 4:00 pm

Hi Josh: Follow up to my earlier question - I do in fact want to keep a home phone.  Right now I have FIOS internet + FIOS phone.  If I want to ditch my FIOS router + FIOS extender, do I need to get rid of FIOS phone service?  My ideal:  keep FIOS internet + phone; use Eero for router+extender (i.e. no Verizon devices).  Is that possible or MUST I get rid of FIOS phone (i.e. go with VoIP) in order to use Eero for my router?  Thanks in advance for your advice and knowledge!

Reply

it "should" work

From Josh Kirschner on July 23, 2020 :: 9:46 am

If you have Verizon Digital Voice, the phone connects directly to your ONT via an RJ-11 jack. So the router “shouldn’t” matter. You can test this simply by unplugging your Fios Gateway router and see if your phone still works (it should). I’m adding this with the caveat that I haven’t researched this particular setup extensively.

Moca vs mesh system

From Michael on July 19, 2020 :: 1:39 pm

I am currently using a FiOS G3100. I also have multiple Moca extenders and am running Gig internet. Does it make sense to switch over from my current setup over to mesh?

Reply

What are you looking to accomplish?

From Josh Kirschner on July 21, 2020 :: 11:55 am

If your Moca system is working well as far as coverage and speed, there’s not a strong technical reason to switch over to a mesh system. Mesh systems are a little more seamless, since they use the same WiFi network name in each node, but that’s not a huge benefit. There “can” be some speed benefits to mesh over WiFi extenders, but impossible to say what those would be for your particular set up.

The only significant change I see would be the reduction in router rental costs for the G3100 if you don’t own it and intend to swap it out with a mesh router.

Reply

I have a brand new

From Adam Valeriano on August 25, 2020 :: 8:00 pm

I have a brand new ONT running Ethernet to a Velop MX10 WiFi 6 mesh system. I then have an Actiontec MoCA 2.5 Network Adapter Model: ECB6250S02 running from my Velop to the STB boxes. I have released the IP address before switching from my G1100 to my Velop system. Everything including the internet, TVs, Guide, On Demand, etc works for 1-2 days then my Velop switches to red meaning it’s not getting an IP address / detecting the internet from FIOS. What is going on? I don’t understand why it works and then stops. Is anyone else having this is or does anyone know how to fix it?

Reply

Yeah! Replace Verizon Router :)

From Lori on July 22, 2020 :: 7:03 am

Josh - Thank you the detailed info many of us have wondered about for Years!!!
... especially since Verizon has been aggressively trying to sell us their Wi-Fi 6 router now.

Reply

Using MOCA adapter

From Mahesh on July 25, 2020 :: 8:33 pm

Hey I live in a condo with multiple floors and the ont box is located 3 floors away from me in the basement. I read in Verizon’s community forums that I’d need to get a MOCA 2.0 adapter, connect it to ont via ethernet and then run the coax off of said adapter and then over at my unit, run the coax to another MOCA 2.0 adapter and then hook said adapter to router via ethernet in order to get higher speeds. Just wanted to know your opinions on this or if this is in fact, what you had actually done as well? I also plan on using a 3rd party router just like you and wondering if I’d encounter any unforeseen situations?

Reply

I'm not sure on the answer

From Josh Kirschner on July 28, 2020 :: 8:32 am

Not clear to me why you need to run Ethernet to coax adapter to another coax adapter then back to Ethernet to get higher speeds. Would seem like you could take straight Ethernet from the ONT to your apartment. What was the reason for this given in the forum?

Reply

Clarification

From Mahesh on July 28, 2020 :: 9:20 am

Ah should probably clarify. When I was going to upgrade, the fios technician basically threw his hands up saying that since my unit is wired up to only use coax that I’d need an electrician to snake a wire in all the way to the basement in order to connect the ont directly to router. Not only would this cost a bit but also need HOA permits and what not. After researching, I stumbled onto MOCA adapters and was just wondering if you were also familiar with that kind of setup before.

Reply

Ah, got it

From Josh Kirschner on July 30, 2020 :: 9:12 am

I’m familiar with MOCA adapters, but haven’t used them personally and haven’t researched speed across various Fios levels. So, I’m not qualified to answer your question directly. May be worth a conversation with your condo management to see if others have done a coax to Ethernet wiring upgrade in your building and how that was handled.

Using Moca with Coax

From Sheila on July 30, 2020 :: 9:58 am

This has been my problem too.  I only have coax coming in to my house.  I bought an Actiontec Moca converter specifically recommended for FIOS.  My Netgear router will NOT work unless the FIOS router is also turned on.  They are in no way connected to each other, the FIOS router is simply in another room, but if I turn it off, my Netgear goes out.  Would love to get rid of the FIOS router but not seeing how I can do that.

Hello Josh, I plan on

From Joviel Tumenta on July 26, 2020 :: 6:03 am

Hello Josh, I plan on switching to Verizon Fios when setup is completed at my apartment complex. There is this box they placed on my wall, I see a coax outlet but no ethernet outlet, just wandering if it’s still possible to have internet service hooked up to my router with just a coax cable. Keep in mind too that the router I have doesn’t have a WAN ethernet outlet. My router only has LAN outlets. And lastly, do I need to purchase a modem for Fios? If not I hope they offer it free of charge. I will be using ONLY Fios internet service.
Thanks

Reply

You should confirm what you have installed

From Josh Kirschner on July 28, 2020 :: 8:46 am

The box installed on your wall may be a fiber junction for your apartment. It would have a fiber output that runs to your ONT, but I would be surprised if it had a coax output. If it is an ONT box, it should have an Ethernet output. If you are just using internet, you should be able to use your router hooked into the Verizon ONT (which is necessary and isn’t charged separately) via Ethernet. There is no separate modem to buy.

Reply

Hi Josh, thanks for the

From Joviel Tumenta on July 29, 2020 :: 1:20 pm

Hi Josh, thanks for the response. I have another question please, I just ordered a high functioning router (Netgear AX11000), is it possible to use the Comcast coax source on the wall to connect to this router which has no coax input point, but it does have a WAN port. If yes, will I be able to have wifi by doing this? I read a bit about this and I’m kind of confused as to what will really work. I saw some suggestions about using an aciontic, saw one about using comtrend gca-6000kit. Please just let me know what adapter I need to purchase.
Thanks

Reply

Not clear about your setup

From Josh Kirschner on July 30, 2020 :: 9:46 am

I’m hesitant to give you specific advice because I’m not clear on what your setup is. For a new install, I don’t understand why they would have run only coax, unless they are simply taking existing coax wiring and simply attaching it to a new jack on your wall. If that is the case, you might be able to use a standard MOCA adapter to connect your Netgear router.

However, I haven’t experimented with MOCA adapters on Fios, so am not able to provide recommendations for that. Perhaps others reading this can comment with their experiences.

MOCA on Fios

From Michael LaPlatney on July 30, 2020 :: 9:56 am

In My Experience, Fios MoCa is needed for set top boxes (internet connection for cable box- video on demand, apps, etc.)  I use Tivo devices with cable cards, so I have the option of using MoCa if I want. Fios, currently, doesn’t support MoCa connections that have more than 100mbs up/down, but that is a limit of the equipment, mostly. Actiontech has MoCa addapters that work well, and some new ones that say they can support up to Gig connections. This is dependent on the quality of the cable run and speeds vary. My understanding is that the fios Router has a bridge setup between ethernet and MoCa that supplies DHCP for both.  In the setup I have, I’ve taken the Fios router out of the loop, and used a netgear to as my main router.  This acts as DHCP. I then have an action tech MoCa adapter running from my router.  This supplies MoCA for my tivo devices and other action tech adapters.

Reply

Does store purchased router need to be DOCSIS 3.1 compatible?

From Jim on August 02, 2020 :: 10:37 am

Hi Josh,

Excellent article!  My two year contract with Verizon triple bundle ends today and I am cutting the cord. 

I will probably buy a new router at Best Buy. Should I get Wifi-6 or do you think Wifi-5 will be supported by Verizon for a few more years - and, I can wait on that type of router upgrade?

Also, does the new router have to be DOCSIS 3.1 compatible or DOCSIS compatible in general,for it to work with Verizon Fios (fiber optic) network?  I am currently paying a monthly cost on the Verizon Fios-G1100.

Thanks for this great article.

Regards,

Jim

Reply

DOCSIS shouldn't matter

From Josh Kirschner on August 02, 2020 :: 3:45 pm

Hi Jim,

DOCSIS compatability is an issue for cable internet, but not for Fios. Any standard router should plug into your Verizon ONT and work just fine. It’s the ONT that takes the optical signal and converts it, not the router.

For WiFi 6, that only affects the connection between your router and connected devices. A WiFi 6 router will provide faster speeds to a WiFi 6 compatible device (e.g., iPhone 11) than earlier WiFi standards. The Verizon equipment doesn’t need to support either standard since it is all handled on the router/device end. WiFi 6 routers will always support earlier WiFi devices.

In most use cases, I don’t see a big advantage to WiFi 6. So I would only go with a WiFi 6 router if it is not a significant cost difference and you want to future-proof.

Best,
Josh

Reply

Re: Verizon Fios Router

From Jim on August 02, 2020 :: 5:54 pm

Hi Josh,

Thanks for detailed reply. Good points on Wifi-6 versus Wifi-5.  I will stick with Wifi-5 for now.

I went to Best Buy today and the rep said I would need to buy a Verizon Fios supported cable modem first and then get a router.  He was trying to sell me on the wonders of the Orbi and Eero mesh network routers.

Evidently, Best Buy only sells Comcast compatible cable modems and so the rep said I would have to talk to a Verizon rep about buying Verizon Fios compatible hardware.  I am a little confused now about router and router/modem.  I do have both coax and ethernet going into my Verizon supplied router.  The coax going into my Fios G-1100, comes off a Moca splitter.  And both the ethernet and coax cables originate inside a bolt locked Verizon box in my basement utility closet.

With all that said, should I neglect the coax cable coming out and just use the ethernet cable coming out, or, do I need both router and modem??, like the current configuration?  I know I can go on Amazon and buy and own the same router (modem?)that Verizon charges me monthly. Let me know your thoughts on this.  Thanks in advance for clearing up confusion.

Regards,

Jim

Reply

Verizon FIOS Router

From Bob D on August 02, 2020 :: 7:19 pm

Jim, I just went through what you are trying to do. I have the exact same FIOS fiber service (1GB) with coax AND ethernet coming out of the ONT. The only difference is that I bought the G1100 router when I had FIOS installed all those years ago. If you’re willing to grab a G1100 off ebay, it’s a piece of cake.

I bought the Orbi AX4200 mesh router with 2 satellites (might be a little overkill). I kept the G1100 in place for the coax (TV and DVR) and made the Orbi my primary router with the ethernet coming out of the ONT. I used a LAN to LAN connection from the Orbi to the G1100. Set 192.168.1.1 for the Orbi and I set the G1100 to 192.168.2.1.

I’m sitting in my living room with a 5 year old notebook getting 440mbps. Couldn’t be happier!

Good luck!

That's why I wrote this article

From Josh Kirschner on August 02, 2020 :: 7:48 pm

If you are only using Fios for internet (no TV, no digital voice) you don’t need a Verizon router/modem if you can get an Ethernet connection out of the ONT. If the Ethernet coming into your apartment isn’t active (possible the line is connected but everything is running off coax) and you don’t control the ONT because the building manager controls it, you may have an issue. But assuming you can return the router to Best Buy if you have issues, I would just get one (or a mesh system) and try it out with the steps above. If it works for you, you’re good to go. If not, you can troubleshoot from there.

As Bob, says, if you’re still concerned about compatibility, you can grab a Verizon router off eBay or Amazon, but they’re pricey for what you need, especially if you plan to add mesh capabilities.

Re: FIOS Router

From Jim on August 02, 2020 :: 9:36 pm

Hi Bob and Josh,

Thanks for the responses.  I was thinking of picking one up on Amazon.  But, good point on Ebay.  I could save a few bucks. Thanks for that suggestion Bob.

I have a 3-bedroom cape with two routers on the second floor and the current leased Verizon router/modem in my basement utility closet (where the fiber meets the house). The basement router covers the first floor with no issues.  So maybe, I will buy and own one of their Verizon routers, from an Ebay seller.  Amazon has them I know.

Josh, I only plan on ethernet going forward. So, I can test out just a router and see if that works.  If not, I can easily buy a Verizon router/modem from Ebay or Amazon.

By the way, I only need one of these two wired routers (extenders)on my second floor, for internal coverage.  The second wired router (extender) sits at window level facing out and down my long driveway to a solar and battery powered wireless ring camera.  It works - some foliage issues at time though I think. But the best wireless solution would probably be a directional wireless antenna.  Anyway, I digress.

Thanks again for the great info.  I will look into making some changes this week. I will keep you posted on results.

Regards,

Jim

Reply

FIOS router

From Bob D on August 03, 2020 :: 9:42 am

If your home network is like mine, you have a router (G1100) in the basement and Extenders (not a routers) at your two other locations. The Extenders are likely Actiontec​ WCB3000N​ and connected via coaxial. In the basement, the coax comes out of the ONT into a splitter where one branch goes to the G1100 and the other goes to the coax in the rest of your house to your extenders and Set Top Boxes.

When you buy a G1100 and a mesh router, you would swap Verizon’s G1100 with yours and move the coax from Verizon’s G1100 to your G1100.  The Mesh Router becomes your primary router. Connect the ethernet from the ONT to your new mesh router. Then connect the Mesh router to your G1100 with a LAN to LAN ethernet.

The mesh wireless satellites will take the place of both of your extenders. Disconnect them and return them to Verizon along with their G1100 router. My Orbi AX4200 mesh network covers 4 outdoor cameras and a Ring doorbell.

Hope this helps.

Reply

Re: Routers

From Jim on August 03, 2020 :: 10:16 am

Hi Bob,

I saw a few refurbished Fios-G1100 routers on Ebay and Amazon. It is always good to read the reviewer comments, to get an idea on what you are getting.  One person was worried that the used router was going to be in the Verizon database and that they would then incur monthly billing on this used router too.  Based on that, I may just unplug my Fios-G1100 and plug in an Eero or Orbi mesh system.  I was a little leary of going with mesh.  But, as long as they are secure and reliable, I guess that is what matters.

My two other routers I own are my own.  One is an Asus AC1900 Dual Band 802.11ac Gigabit router and the other is a Linksys EA6900.  Both are only acting as wifi extenders off the CAT5 wire up to the second floor in my home.  I could always repurpose these two routers and make one the router that connects to the ONT ethernet cable.  Or, make a purchase on a new mesh system now.  I am open to ideas.  Thanks again for the input.

Reply

Routers

From Bob D on August 03, 2020 :: 11:36 am

Pretty sure that when you factory reset a purchased G1100 and set it up as a secondary router, Verizon has no way to see it. They would need your permission to access the new primary router. Besides, they can’t charge you a rental fee on a router that you return.

I couldn’t find an easy way around how to eliminate the coax part of the Verizon service from the G1100 and keep the TV Guide and DVR services intact as part of the home network. Never read anything that led me to believe the coax part of the Verizon service played nice with any other routers with coax inputs. Kudos if you’ve figured that out.


Kinda curious on how you’ve integrated your other routers. Do you have multiple network names? My router used to be mynetwork for the 5.0 and mynetwork_24. The Extender was mynetwork_EXT for the 5 and mynetwork_EXT24. So, 4 separate networks each grabbing a dedicated share of the 1GB bandwidth. The beauty of the mesh is that you’ll only have a single network name. The mesh allocates bandwidth to each device seamlesssly to the router or strongest satellite as you move around your house.

Reply

Re: Routers

From Jim on August 03, 2020 :: 10:05 pm

Hi Bob,

The basement (Fios router G1100) is named intuitively: Fios_Basement_2.4G and Fios_Basement_5G.  My Asus router is disabled and has been acting as glorified extender, off a second floor wired wall connection.  It is intuitively named Fios_2nd_2.4G and Fios_2nd_5G.  The other second floor router (also acting as extender only) is aimed down my long driveway and is named LR on both frequencies for Long Range.  I will probably pull the plug on Friday, my day off, as I log into work all week on a VPN connection.  It looks like I am getting around 400 Mbps on the wired connection. The wireless speed has been very good throughout the house.  I may want more outside coverage though,like when mowing the lawn and playing Internet radio from my phone to ear buds.  The outdoor coverage is decent.  But, there are a few dead spots outside in the back corner of my yard. Speaking of outdoor wireless, I originally had Arlo cameras. But, they kept losing sync with their proprietary base station, so I switched to Ring and get solid security performance now. I will update my results this Friday, when the Fios-1100 goes offline for good.  Thanks for the good info again Bob and Josh.

Reply

Just did it and it was flawless!

From Jodie on August 03, 2020 :: 6:27 pm

We cut TV and voice 2 weeks ago and I was toying with getting the new Verizon router but the cost was just ridiculous . I ended up going with the ‘TP-Link Deco Whole Home Mesh WiFi System‘ and that was also ridiculously easier to set up using their app.

Everything worked immediately and I’m looking forward to sending Verizon back their router!!

Reply

Re: flawless

From Jim on August 03, 2020 :: 10:13 pm

Hi Jodie,

Great story. Congrats on cord cutting.  Have you run Internet speed tests across your mesh?  Are the speeds pretty good around your location?  I use a free phone app called Wifi Analyser to see the strength of the signal, as I move around my property.  I am considering a mesh, router myself, based on coverage area, indoors and outside. Regards, Jim

Reply

Re; Flawless

From Jodie on August 21, 2020 :: 8:01 am

Hi Jim, I haven’t analyzed the wifi strength specifically but I installed new flooring and kitchen last week and have been camping in the backyard in our RV. That is at least 100ft from the house and another 20 from the nearest router in the house. Had no problem with internet connectivity for the firestick or laptops out there. Everything in the house is full signal strength. House is 3 levels and about 3500 sqft. The TP Deco Link system I got has 3 units and I have one on each level if that helps

Reply

Cut the cord today

From Jim on August 07, 2020 :: 10:45 pm

Hi Josh,

I disconnected all hardware, bought the Netgear Nightgear AX12 (WIFI 6) router from Best Buy and it immediately worked in the house.  I was able to see the Internet right away without having to call Verizon techs.  Super amazing!!!  Today, I spent the day adding back the wireless devices as I decided to go with new SSID names.  I then called Verizon and the representative was very friendly. I said my new router (WIFI 6) was already working, my contract ended on Sunday and I would like to get rid of everything except Internet.  Oh and I might consider gigabit Ethernet.  Do you have any deals?  Well, I got $99.99 a month for two years for Gigabit Ethernet and actually the first bill was $66, which might be a prorated credit back, based on billing cycle.  Within minutes of accepting the new plan I had faster speeds.  I then logged into my new router and saw speeds just over 900 MBPS.  That is super fast!!!  Also, it was free to mail all the Verizon hardware back via the local UPS store, as there was no Verizon drop off store near my home, that took back residential hardware.  Overall, I am very pleased and so thanks again Josh for putting this article out there.  I really appreciate it.  Thanks, Bob for the useful information too.  Oh, I decided to future proof by going with WIFI 6.  THe only issue I had was connecting some of my wireless devices to my router.  I saw I had chosen the WPA3 encrytion scheme and older wireless devices mmay not be able to handle it.  I dropped back to WPA2 and everything was good again.

Regards,

Jim

Reply

Thanks for the update

From Josh Kirschner on August 11, 2020 :: 4:45 pm

Hi Jim,

Glad to hear everything worked out! Saving lots of money and getting better service is always a good outcome.

Best,
Josh

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Eero & DNS settings

From Chaim Galfand on August 11, 2020 :: 11:32 am

So glad you’re putting this info out there! A few questions. With my FiSO Gigabit internet service, is Cat 5e from ONT to Eero sufficient, or should I use Cat 6 cable? Also, should I use Eero default DNS settings - or have I done something wrong by using Open DNS settings? Lastly, when I go to the verizon.net/speedtest it times out at 99% of the Verizon-to-Router download test & never gets to the upload test. Is this because I’m not using the Verizon-sanctioned router? (Everything is fine with Ookla or Speakeasy.) Thank you!!!

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Cat 5e should be fine

From Josh Kirschner on August 11, 2020 :: 5:12 pm

You don’t say what speed service you have, but Cat5e should be fine. If you are paying for 1GB and seeing test speeds significantly lower from a device directly connected to the router, or you have lots of devices competing for bandwidth, it’s possible a Cat6 may give you faster speed. And since a Cat6 cable is so cheap, might as well just go that route.

I’m not an expert on DNS settings, so perhaps someone else reading the comments can help answer. Is there a reason you choose to go the OpenDNS route on your Eero setup?

I have similar issues with the Verizon speedtest because it’s not a Verizon router (says my router needs to be updated). Not sure why Verizon has it set up that way, but it does.

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Own Router and Modem

From Cristobal Filiault on August 12, 2020 :: 5:39 pm

Can I use my own router and modem? I had comcast xfinity in my previous place and used my owned router and modem for that service and it worked perfectly.

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FiOS TV with Orbi router

From Matt P. on August 16, 2020 :: 11:57 am

Thank you for this column.

I have FiOS gigabit internet service and FiOS cable TV (through an Arris VMS1100 set top box). I’m trying to replace a FiOS Quantum Gateway router with an Orbi RBR750.

The problem, as I’m sure you can guess, is that I can’t get the channel guide information from the set top box without the Quantum Gateway in the loop somewhere. Currently I have the radio of the Quantum Gateway turned off. The coax from the ONT goes through a splitter and from there to the set top box and the Quantum Gateway. With that arrangement, I can at least see the channel numbers, but no program information. The Orbi itself works fine and fast, connected to the ONT via ethernet.

The goal, if possible, is to be able to see the channel guide information and get rid of the Quantum Gateway altogether. If it’s not possible to do this using the Orbi, would it be possible with the Verizon WiFi 6 router? If so, I suppose I would return or sell the Orbi, even though I’m happy with it otherwise. But perhaps there is another workaround?

Thank you for any thoughts or recommendations.

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What if ONT box is outside and connected to router by coax?

From Sarah Lesher on August 24, 2020 :: 3:01 pm

Surely I don’t want to run an Ethernet cable instead of shielded coax outside around my house up to second floor, roughly 50’.

Verizon’s less than helpful tech person said at one point that I COULD just disconnect coax from existing Actiontec M1424WR rev 1 router and plug that into new router.

She also insulted me by asking if there weren’t a man in the house to do this! I have an (expired) FCC commercial radio engineer license—not exactly the qualifications I need for all this, but better than his! #sexism_is_worst_when_from_other_women.

So what’s the answer? No point in going outside to look at my ONT box—she said that would have to be changed ($149) to upgrade from 70mbps to 200mbps. But (1) doubt that $149 includes running new connection from ONT to router and (2) I still don’t understand why coax doesn’t give better shielding than ethernet cable. 

My memory of the details of that ancient physics course on Maxwell’s equations are a bit hazy, but I’m reasonably sure a grounded shield is better than no shield.  Or am I thinking of CAT5 ethernet and Verizon is talking CAT10 or whatever?

And since twice in last 10 days I’ve had to have Verizon fix problem (internet down) remotely, is it worth paying extra to buy router from Verizon?  If only in time I need to spend debugging?

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Weatherproof Ethernet?

From Josh Kirschner on August 24, 2020 :: 4:18 pm

If your concern is simply the weatherproofing, you can get a weather-proof 80’ shielded CAT6 Ethernet cable for around $40 on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3gpQ6Dc. Though, by the time you buy the new cable and spend the effort to run it, you may be better off buying the Verizon router either new or off of Amazon/eBay.

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response to weatherproof ethernet

From Sarah Lesher on August 24, 2020 :: 8:22 pm

I guess I wasn’t very clear. I would like to continue to use the existing coax running from my catastrophe of a ONT box plus landline phone box (emergency backup) plus an apparently outdated ONT box with 14 (yes, fourteen) cables dangling from my eves. I can trace connections, visually and with a VOM. Wish I could attach picture for visual Rube Goldberg insanity of kluge upon kluge upon kluge.

My two questions are (1) why does coax apparently have slower MBPS conduction rate than Ethernet?  Maybe has to do with electrical fields forming and collapsing rapidly. This I can research.

(2) apparently below 1 GBPS there really is very little practical difference between coax and ethernet speeds because of confounding factors. 

So why should I pay Verizon $149 to come turn on my ethernet? or must I really exchange ONT box for something newer? and maybe charge me even more to string ethernet cable along route of existing coax? 

If instead of switching everything around will a new router work with existing coax input from FIOS via existing ONT?

I don’t need a G3100 router; a G1100 or even something else will do just fine. I’m aiming to move up just from 75mpbs to 200mpbs!

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May be a limitation of the existing ONT

From Josh Kirschner on August 24, 2020 :: 10:24 pm

I’m guessing the ONT you have may not be capable of supporting speeds above 75mbps and that’s why they want to charge you $149 to upgrade it. But hard to say without knowing what model it is. There shouldn’t be any charge for simply making the switch from coax to Ethernet on the ONT - that’s something tech support would handle for you for free. If the ONT is the speed limitation, upgrading your router won’t make any difference.

Hope I understood your questions properly.

g1100 & 3 eeros?

From Peter Pham on August 24, 2020 :: 11:56 pm

My system is verizon fios. It was connected via coax to a splitter which went to a G1100.
I want to add the Eero for all the features like timeouts for kids filters and their new QOs for video.

We have tvs as well so I know I cant get rid of the G1100

So do I go ONT ethernet to eero. Eero ethernet to G1100 WAN port or LAN?

And for the other 2 eeros can I plug into the G1100 LAN ports and use it as a switch?

Do I just disable dhcp on G1100 and set a static IP?

Or do I double NAT? Leave the coax to G1100 plug in eero set to bridge. But do the other 2 eeros also plug into the LAN of the G1100? Do they all 3 go into bridge mode? Or does eero know to bridge only 1 of them?

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FIOS Issue Velop Mesh

From Adam Valeriano on August 25, 2020 :: 7:59 pm

I have a brand new ONT running Ethernet to a Velop MX10 WiFi 6 mesh system. I then have an Actiontec MoCA 2.5 Network Adapter Model: ECB6250S02 running from my Velop to the STB boxes. I have released the IP address before switching from my G1100 to my Velop system. Everything including the internet, TVs, Guide, On Demand, etc works for 1-2 days then my Velop switches to red meaning it’s not getting an IP address / detecting the internet from FIOS. What is going on? I don’t understand why it works and then stops. Is anyone else having this is or does anyone know how to fix it?

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Eero Mesh Router with Verizon

From Rosemary McLaughlin on August 30, 2020 :: 6:38 pm

Very helpful article. Thank you!

Switching to Verizon from Xfinity. I’d like to continue using the Netgear Ac 1750 smart wifi router I got last year. Wondering if I get the Eero Mesh Wifi Router if I can use that as a wireless standalone router with Verizon? Or use it to simply improve the Wifi connections around the house?

Thanks again for your help!

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Yes, the eero can be a standalone router

From Josh Kirschner on September 08, 2020 :: 12:01 pm

You can use the Eero as a standalone router with Verizon if you’re just using it for internet. That’s exactly what I did in the article above. If you have TV services or digital phone, it’s easier to use a Fios Gateway as your main router, then you can add an Eero or similar mesh system on top of that.

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MoCA adapter

From Mary Maholick on September 01, 2020 :: 4:01 pm

Very useful information.  I bought a
TP-Link AC4000 Router so I can return my Verizon router.  Now I am going to buy a MoCA adapter so our Set Top Box for TV will still work.  Does this make sense?
Also, every time I try to go to http://168.1.1 or myverizongateway.com I get error messages.  Is there an alternate way to release my IP address?

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What error message?

From Josh Kirschner on September 08, 2020 :: 12:05 pm

What is the error message that you’re getting? If you aren’t able to go through the process of releasing the IP address, my understanding is that it will release automatically after 2-3 days (perhaps less) once you switch the router.

I haven’t personally tested MoCA adapters with Fios set top boxes, so I don’t want to provide specific guidance on that. But hopefully others here can comment on their experiences going this route.

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Clarification on lost tv services

From Ed on September 03, 2020 :: 2:03 pm

This article was terrific.  I do have a question about my setup.

I have fios TV/Phone/Internet.  Don’t use phone at all.  It is COAX from ONT to splitter.  One half to modem, the other half to tv.  I do not use any FIOS set top boxes.  I have TIVO Roamio instead.  I have never used FIOS guide or on demand.  I can turn off the power to the modem and my TVs still work.  I currently have switched the modem into Bridge mode so I can use my own Mesh router.  I would love to just remove the modem from the picture.  If I ask FIOS to switch the ONT over to ethernet, will I lose TV service all together?  Thanks.

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It may create issues with TV services

From Josh Kirschner on September 08, 2020 :: 12:09 pm

I haven’t gone through the process to test TV services, but my understanding from reading elsewhere is that switching the ONT to Ethernet and replacing the Fios Gatewway can affect TV services. Whether that is only limited to Guide and On Demand (but premium channels aren’t affected), I’m not positive. Hopefully, others who have done that can provide their experience.

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It may create issues with TV services

From Matt P. on September 08, 2020 :: 12:16 pm

Removing the FiOS Gateway and replacing it with another router using ethernet (i.e., for “gigabit” internet service) will definitely create issues with TV services.

I wrote a comment about this previously. The objective is to get the Gateway out of the system, replace with router using ethernet (Orbi RBR750) in my case), and still be able to get TV services through a STB. So far, no one has offered a solution that worked for them.

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