Verizon Fios Internet

I swapped out my DSL for Fios since it is now available in Sarasota. See if it is available in your area here: Verizon Fios Internet Service. After using Fios for over 3 months I can’t find anything bad to say about this service. What so good about it?

SPEED

While I only signed up for the 5Mbps download / 2Mbps upload plan, I couldn’t be happier. Many people will want faster download speeds, to make those downloads go a bit faster, which comes in especially handy if you download a lot of video, or music. Once you get up to 15Mbps or more, download speeds will more often depend on the website you’re downloading from rather than the Fios connection.

The upload speed is even more impressive. Makes uploading files, videos, etc so much easier. It’s hard to believe that you can get download speeds AND uploads speeds FASTER than a T1 line (1.5Mbps up/down) for less than $40/mo. A T1 line costs $400-$1000 per month! And what does cable offer? Usually 3-8Mbps down and 768kbps up for$50-60 per month!

By the way, these are the plans currently offered by Verizon (may vary by location):

  • 5Mbps down/ 2Mbps Up – $39.95 /mo
  • 15Mbps down/ 2Mbps Up – $49.95 /mo
  • 30Mbps down/ 2Mbps Up – $179.95 /mo

OK, 30 Mbps is just rediculous.

RELIABILITY

Residential Fios may not be business grade service like a T1; well I’ve yet to experience any downtime since day one. I’m not sure if the internet will stay on in a power outage, since I’ve heard that the battery backup installed with the Optical Network Terminal (see detailed installation info on the Fios TV Review) only provides backup power for the phone line. However, I’ve yet to confirm this. Of course you would need to have the router on a battery backup as well, and you’d have to work off a laptop, but it could come in handy during a hurricane.

I haven’t noticed degraded service or slower speed during peak hours. Hopefully this will not happen once everybody gets on Fios. I think cable may be in trouble. They still depend on coaxial cable for the last leg of distribution, and all of their systems are designed that way. Well, fiber doesn’t have many limitations like copper, and Verizon is investing billions in converting the last leg of distribution to fiber. They can serve phone, internet, TV and keep up with the increasing bandwidth demands, all over a single fiber.

FEATURES

Most people will install the software that comes with the installation package, and they’ll have access to the Verizon Entertainment Portal, virus and spam protection, 2GB for email accounts, etc. Personally I prefer not to install any software that might slow down my computer. The router itself provides enough features for me. Most people probably don’t realize that 99% of the time, you don’t have to install the software provided by your ISP to enable service.

Now back to the router. It’s the Actiontec MI-424-WR. Connect a cat5 cable to your computer and your set to go. It takes up to four cat5 connections. Want to connect your laptop via wireless? The SSID and the WEP key is on a label on the outside of the router; just punch it in and your set to go. You don’t even need to login to the router admin area. If you want to login to the router administration, you won’t be disappointed. I’ve never seen a router with so many options and capabilities. Complete firewall control, parental settings, traffic monitoring, extensive port forwarding to name a few. Check out some of the screen shots below to get an idea. If any router can do it, this one probably can.

PRICE

Did I mention that Fios is $39.95 per month? If you don’t use internet very much, then I would suggest sticking with DSL, since it is cheaper: Verizon Online DSL offers unlimited high-speed Internet starting at $9.99/mo. But for the level of service you get with Fios, there simply is nothing better. Oh and for a mere $10 more per month you can jump from 5 Mbps to 15 mega bits per second!

For more details on the installation, be sure to check out the post on Fios TV. I would love to hear other experiences with Fios internet. Is it as good as I cracked it up to be?

PHOTOS

  • Actiontec Router MI424WR
    Yes this router is huge! Look at all the status LEDs!
  • Router Main Menu
    Actiontec Router Main Menu
  • Router Connection Summary
    Connection Summary Page
  • Router Firewall Security Settings
    Firewall Main Menu
  • Router Traffic Monitoring
    Traffic Monitoring Page
  • Actiontec Advanced Menu
    Advanced Settings Menu

SPEED TESTS

Speakeasy speed test from my location (Sarasota) to Dallas:
Speakeasy.net speed test to Dallas

Speakeasy speed test from my location (Sarasota) to Washington DC:
Speakeasy.net speed test to Washington D.C.